6 Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Reno

Summer is for lake days, camping and road trips. It’s also the time for renovations. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to completing a renovation – especially if you are trying to do some, or most, of the work by yourself. Knowing what to expect and what questions to ask prior to starting your reno, can make a huge difference in the amount of time and money it costs to get everything completed exactly how you envisioned.

With that in mind, here are some of the most common scenarios and issues we run into when helping homeowners with their renovations:

  • important electrical wiring running through walls that the homeowner hopes to remove in order to create a more open-concept and modern living space;
  • moving of wiring and lights during a kitchen remodel in which the layout is changing;
  • the addition of new appliances such as a wall oven, air conditioner, sauna, or hot tub; and
  • not having enough space in the current electrical panel for the new circuits and electrical additions, and the need to add a subpanel for the required capacity.

Knowing these scenarios can help you anticipate and budget for likely electrical needs or issues that may come up during your renovation; saving you time, money and stress because you’ve already planned for them.

Another way to make your renovation easier is to ask yourself some important questions before completing your planning and beginning the work. Here are six questions that we encourage our clients to consider and address prior to their renovation:

  1. How do you want your home to feel? What type of lighting to you like? The right or wrong lighting can make or break your space in terms of design and what you are aiming for.
  2. Do you prefer traditional ceiling lights or newer flex led lights? Do you know the full range of options that are available? What would work best for your space?
  3. In what spaces do you spend the most time, or plan on spending the most time? Are there places you want to be able to curl up with a book, or see the painting your working on? How a space is lit can make or break its use and your enjoyment of it.
  4. Will you be wanting to showcase any artwork or pictures on your walls? Have you considered art lights?
  5. What type of data wiring would you like around the house? Are you planning on relying in wireless data that can be troublesome for your internet or do you want a direct wired internet cable to your t.v.?
  6. What services, lighting, appliances or other are you planning on adding now or in the future that you will need power for? How much power do you need for your renovations? Do you need to budget for a service upgrade?

Whether you know exactly what you are wanting with your renovation, or if you are needing some guidance with what options are available and what would work best, we can help. We encourage you to consider these scenarios and questions prior to beginning your project. We would also recommend giving us a call to talk through your renovation as we may be able to provide some guidance or suggestions that may not have been considered. No matter the size of the job, ensuring proper electrical execution and making your home work for you exactly how you envision is of the utmost importance to us. Give us a call today and let one of our certified team members help you make your home shine.

Big or Small – We Can Help

At Rooham we provide a wide range of residential, commercial and light-industrial services. Our certified and highly knowledgeable team can help with any electrical issue or project you have – big or small! In fact, we love the small jobs just as much as we love the big jobs because its all about quality of life and enjoyment of your space. We want your living areas to function exactly how you want them to, and we can make that happen on the electrical end of things. Some of the smaller jobs that we receive a lot of calls for include:

  • installing new wiring for an air conditioners (that Kamloops summer heat really is coming!);
  • diagnosing and fixing troublesome electrical switches that are not performing correctly;
  • swapping out old light fixtures for newer and more modern ones;
  • adding/installing ceiling fans for a cooler nights sleep;
  • swapping out that noisy bath fan for a quiet and more efficient one;
  • adding new or moving old plug points so that you can have that lamp or piece of furniture exactly where you want it; and
  • moving and changing any and all lights.

 

If you need any of these services or anything else big or small, or simply want a consult on electrical in your home or business, we would love to connect with you. Our goal is to continue providing Kamloops with the fast, knowledgeable and certified service that our community has come to know and depend on and we look forward to providing you with that service when you need it.

Quick Fixes for Breakers and Power Outlets

If you have recently experienced a power outage in your home and power to a particular area of your home, plug, or device is no longer working, we are here to help. One of the ways we can assist is by providing you with this a couple of quick things you can check and try before calling, that may solve your electric issue. Two common areas of electric issues in the home are breakers and power plugs.

With breakers, when they are tripped, they often only partially trip. If you had to reset a breaker and your power has not been restored, ensure that you have turned the tripped switch all the way off before turning it on again. Breaker switches must be completely turned off prior to resetting or they generally do not work. If this does not fix your power issue, try to write down when and why the breaker tripped (if you can recall or know) to have that information on hand for when you call and the electrician visits your home. We can certainly still fix the issue without this information, but the more we know, the quicker and easier the fix usually is.

Most of has have experienced a power plug no longer working. Not all plugs are set up with test and reset buttons however, if the one with the issue is, try hitting the test button followed by the reset button; this often will reset the power and you’ll be good to go. Most bathroom and outdoor plugs are set up this way. If you have several outdoor electrical outlets that are not working, you may have to try testing and resetting all of them individually in order to get them all working again.

Of course, if these quick checks do not resolve your electrical issue, please give us a call right away and we will ensure to have one of our certified and professional team members visit you as soon as possible.

Solar Series Part 4 | EV Chargers

Going green can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For some – it’s simple changes like eliminating plastic from their homes. For others – they want to go all the way – becoming more sustainable with everything they use from cups and straws to cars.

Thankfully, as we all look for ways to reduce our carbon emissions and help our planet thrive, there are an increasing number of options and ways for us do so, including with one of the biggest carbon causers – vehicles. A growing number of manufacturers are producing beautiful and capable electric vehicles. Switching from gas to solar comes with many questions and considerations – some of the most critical of which center around the charging of your vehicle. Where will I charge my car? What kind of charger do I want or need? How fast do I want to charge my car for the distances I need to be able to travel?

There are three primary charger types to consider when looking to install one at your home:

A Level 1 Charger is the easiest and most inexpensive option, as it does not use much of your current home electricity needs. It provides approximately 8km of driving for each hour that it charges, making it the slowest option which could impact your day-to-day life and experience of the vehicle.

A Level 2 Charger is more expensive than a Level 1 Charger, however it has the capability to charge your car approximately three to seven times faster than a Level 1 Charger. Important to note is that in order to provide faster charger capacity, these chargers use considerably more power, which can come with additional cost. With the increased electrical usage, your home may not have enough capacity to handle the chargers needs, which in turn means you may have to upgrade your service, which can be pricey.

However, if you don’t want to go through the process or cost to upgrade your service, or are unable to in your location, there is a third alternative: a Solar PV Charger.

Solar PV Chargers give you the opportunity to use the suns energy to power your green vehicle by using a portion of your grid power and a portion of solar power to charge it. Going with this option means that you don’t have to go through the work or expense of upgrading your electrical service – a good choice if you don’t plan on adding anything else to your home that would require added electricity in the future; plus you get to have the rewarding feeling of using the suns energy to power your car.

Installing one of these chargers is the same as if you were installing a Solar Grid-tied System (see our previous post for more information on that if you missed it). Panels are installed just like with a normal Grid-tied Solar System, the only difference being an inverter that can charge a car or one that could power up a car charger. And when the vehicle is not being charged, this system puts the power back into the grid, allowing you to receive an electrical credit with BC Hydro, just like you would with a normal Grid-tied Solar System.

As you can see, the type of charger you chose is another important piece in your consideration of an electric vehicle. Before you make your new green purchase, give us a call and we can go over all your options with you so that you can pick the best fit for your lifestyle needs and home. No matter whether you choose to install an EV charger on your existing service, if you need an upgrade to your current service to compensate for the new car charger, or if you choose to power your car with the sun by adding a Solar EV Charging System – we can help. We look forward to joining you in this important transition to lowering your carbon footprint and going green in a new way!

Service Update

Great news! Due to the recent changes in the COVID-19 situation and the gradual re-opening of businesses, we are happy to announce that we are once again open for all service calls and appointments.

Please note that we will be unable to provide service calls for anyone showing any symptoms of illness and will continue with 6 foot distancing within all homes and businesses. We are also continuing to follow all provincially and federally guided health and safety regulations during this time to ensure that our staff and our customers stay healthy and safe.

We look forward to taking care of all of your electrical needs and thank you for your patience as we have navigated this unusual situation.

Solar Series Part 3 | Grid-Tie Systems

If you’re interested in moving towards more sustainable power systems such as solar but aren’t quite ready to become fully solar-power based, grid-tie systems are a perfect candidate. Allowing you to become more environmentally sustainable, grid-tied solar system homes remain connected to the provincial electrical grid, allowing you to provide some of your own power, but also use provincial power when needed. On the other hand, if you produce more power than your home needs, the extra power is fed back into the grid and whatever you produce during the course of the year is taken off your overall usage from BC Hydro (this is known as Net Metering). And if you produce more in the summer than you use, the power is added as a credit to your account for future usage and bills. In general, adding a simple roof-top solar system can offset as much as 20 – 50% of your yearly power consumption and that adds up quickly! This system is also a much more cost-effective solution (at about $2.50 a watt installed) to going green as you do not need to purchase batteries or a backup generator.

So how does it work?

Grid-tie systems tie directly into your existing or new grid-tied systems so they can be implemented in brand new constructions and in older homes. A typical system will have a solar PV array on your roof, which is hooked up to micro inverters that feed directly into your panel within your home, transferring the power for use.

Grid-tie systems are an excellent and affordable option for those who want to become more environmentally conscious and we can help you determine exactly what your unique home will need. Give us a call today for more information about this option or any other solar-related questions you may have. Our team is here to help!

Solar Series Part 2 | Off-grid Solar Systems

Here in British Columbia we are blessed with hundreds of thousands of acres of pristine wilderness full of lakes, rivers, wildlife, and secluded spots perfect for your dream getaway cabin in the woods. And while early settlers had to rely on wood to stay warm and oil to light the lamps, there is a new option in town: solar power.

Off-grid solar power is the ideal option for those looking to power their remotely-located cabin, cottage or home or for those who have chosen a beautiful cliff-side view or another location that BC Hydro is unable to access or able to – at an enormous cost.

So how does off-grid solar power work?

Photovoltaic panels, more commonly known and referred to as solar panels, generate DC energy and feed the power into batteries located within your home, through charge controllers. Your cabin or home then draws the power from the batteries through an inverted that feeds into the house with the AC power that we are used to in our city homes. A back-up generator continues to provide power when solar power is no longer sufficient or when the batteries need to be toped up. For instance, if you have a bunch of really cloudy days (the solar panels still produce power however it’s a bit less than full sun days) or if you have a heavy usage day, the generator kicks on to top up the batteries. Note that for very small systems that run only a few lights and some phone charges for example, no backup generator is needed.

The image below shows a common off-grid solar system set-up.

How big or small the solar power system is, depends entirely on your unique needs – whether enough is needed to simply power things up for the weekends, you’re planning on spending entire summers at the cabin and need the whole place running, or you need enough to power your full-time off-grid dream home.

Whatever your exact requirements, we can help you determine what is needed and ensure that your transition to solar is as easy as flipping a switch.

 

Solar Series | Part 1: The Introduction

Welcome to our Solar Series!

Solar power is quickly becoming a more accessible alternative power option for everyone from big businesses to home-owners and those wishing to live off-grid (even if for only the summer months); however it can be a daunting option to think about.

One of our goals as your Rooham team is to help you understand what options and opportunities are available to you in regards to your electricity, and to be a reliable and helpful source of information that provides you with easy to understand education around solar power, so that you can see if it’s a solution that’s right for you and your home.

And of course, if you decide that it is, we can of course help you with that too! Our team has a great deal of experience with solar power installations, and we are continuing our own education and certification. In fact, you may not know, but there are currently no federal laws around solar power installation – meaning that technically, any company can offer the service, even if they don’t have the knowledge. We believe that having proper education and certification is critical for the safety and satisfaction of our customers, which is why we are taking the extra step to make sure that we have certified technicians on our team.

Over the next few blog posts, we are going to provide, what we trust will be, informative and helpful education around solar power. After reading, if you have questions or would like further information – please reach out to us by commenting on the posts or contacting us directly: 778-471-6255.

We’re excited to share this information with you so stay tuned for the first post!

What We’re Doing During COVID-19

During this uncertain and rapidly evolving time in our world due to COVID-19, there is a good chance you are spending a lot more time looking around your home and noticing the projects you haven’t had time to complete. Whether it’s switching around your living room set-up and discovering you need a new plug point to make things work, or finally installing those lights you bought on sale a few months ago – we can help – but it will have to wait a bit.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, like many businesses, the way we operate our business has had to change. At time, we are limiting our house calls to those that are deemed urgent or essential. Examples of this type of work would be thing such as: plugs that have suddenly stopped working as could be a hazard and may signify a bigger electrical issue; any type of restoration work from floods; outside work around the home; or power cutting in and out. Basically only the essential things that need to be done. We are doing everything we can to limit residential work to keep our staff and community safe.

For jobs that must be completed for safety and maintenance of essential service reasons, we have put the following policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety and health of everyone involved:

  • “One trade at a time” policy that stipulates that only one trade can be present at a job at one time, to ensure that our staff are only around their own crew members and those that they know are following the same health and safety precautions and procedures.
  • If several of our staff must be on one job site together, they must practice social distancing by taking separate vehicles to the job site and never working in the same room at the same time.
  • If they are feeling unwell or if they have any flu- or cold-like symptoms, they are not allowed to come into work until they are entirely well.
  • Masks must be worn and hands must be washed as much as possible. If they are on a job-site that does not have a place for them to wash their hands, they must use a hand sanitiser with a minimum 60% alcohol concentration in order to proceed with any work.
  • Team members have the right to refuse work. If they go to a home or job-site and suspect someone is sick, they are to politely communicate that they are unable to stay at the site and to be in touch with our office. Rooham staff are not required to be at or work at a home or site that has someone who is sick.
  • If a team member is feeling unsafe in their work environment or must take time off due to other reasons relating to COVID-19, we are supporting them as much as possible and ensuring they are set up with E.I. immediately.
  • If they have any questions on concerns to talk to our team. We want everyone to feel safe coming to work and to know that if they are not feeling so, they are not obligated to continue working during this pandemic.

Team members were also given direction to read and acknowledge understanding of the proper hand-washing procedure and the importance of hand-washing as per the CDC website and the basic protective measures that everyone can take against COVID-19 courtesy of the World Health Organization’s website.

Please know that our team is working diligently to do our part to ensure that COVID-19 does not spread any further than it currently has, while also working to complete customer projects in a timely manner. If you have any questions or concerns about a project or job that you have been in touch with us about, please reach out to our team.

We hope that you and your families stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented time in our City and Country.

 

 

Save Some Energy. Save the Earth.

 

If you watch the news or spend any time scrolling though social media, chances are, you’ve seen and heard a great deal from Greta Thunberg lately. The 16-year-old climate and environmental activist has much to say about global energy use, and she’s not the only one.

But for many of us, making any sort of significant changes to our daily life can seem overwhelming. Yet imagine if each of us simply made small changes – like using more energy efficient appliances and lighting in our homes – the impact could be enormous.

For example, did you know that simply replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, can save you $75 each year? Not to mention this simple change ensures that you are using up to 80% less energy than traditional lighting. If we all did that, think of the impact on our nation’s total energy consumption and use that would be!

If you’d like to be more environmentally conscious but aren’t sure where to start, give us a call. We can provide a thorough walkthrough of your home to find ways that you can reduce your energy consumption – saving you money, and reducing your carbon footprint, one small change at a time.