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Inexpensive Electrical Improvements before Selling your Home

When it comes time to sell your home you want to make sure that it’s in tip-top shape. After all, you’re going to get the most money from the sale if you’ve got the best product on the market. However, investing a lot of money in home improvements may defeat the purpose of gaining a profit from the sale. The key is to make improvements to the most important areas of a home while keeping the costs of those improvements down.

Electrical improvements are a particularly important area to look at right before selling a home. Not only is it an area where the home buyer will take notice but the home inspector too. Additionally, by making inexpensive changes to the electrical features that are seen by buyers (such as outlets and fixtures) you can significantly enhance a room’s decor without spending a lot of money.

Here are some of the most common inexpensive electrical repair tricks that people use to get a better profit on the sale of their homes:

• Lighting. Changing the lighting of a room can do a number of things to improve the chances of selling your home. Modern light fixtures immediately make an old home look new which is what buyers want. Additionally, good lighting can impact the way the rest of the room is seen. Fixtures can be bought for cheap online or in home repair stores so spend the time to get this done right without spending a lot of money.

• Double-check wiring in non-residential areas of the home. Many people forget to update their basement wiring and garage wiring. Pointing out to buyers where wiring upgrades have occurred will minimize buyer concern and thwart snoopy home inspectors who look for all wiring issues.

• The safety stuff. Speaking of the home inspector, don’t neglect the things that he’s going to be checking out. Circuit breakers, GFCI and outlets should all be modern and in working order. Try to do repairs yourself if you know how, which saves on the cost of hiring an electrician.

• Think modern. If they’re in your budget offer trendy cutting-edge improvements; if they’ve seen it on HGTV they’ll love it in your home. Two examples are wireless networking and eco-friendly products. Comparison shop and see if you can find a way to install what’s needed for a wireless computer system in the home. Likewise, look into some solar lighting. Doing this in small areas of the home keeps costs down and may increase the profitability of the home.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money fixing your electricity to make improvements to your home. Get the safety issues taken care of first. Then, if you have a little spending money left over, consider some additional perks that will make buyers want to snatch up your home before it’s off the market.


Taking Power to a New Level

Move over wind, wave and solar energy! According to an article in the New York Times, there is a new renewable energy source in town. And it’s an energy source that you can generate through everyday activities. What is it you ask?

Well, J. Maxwell Donelan, a professor and researcher at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, created a device that harvests power from the simple act of walking. This contraption, which contains a clutch, generator, gears, and a control system, looks somewhat like a high tech knee brace.

How Does the Device Work?

The device uses the same principles as how regenerative brakes charge batteries in a hybrid car – namely, the regenerative brakes collect energy that would normally be released as heat when a hybrid car slows down. In the same way, this device collects the energy that is usually lost when muscles work to slow the knee down after taking a step forward.

Since the energy is harvested towards the end of a walking stride when the leg muscles are working to slow the leg, the walker does not feel any “drag” when walking. Instead, the device may actually relieve some of the effort that is involved with slowing the body’s muscles down. How very helpful indeed!

Just How Much Energy Do These Devices Create?

Well, if you have one of these devices on each of your legs and walk at an average pace, you will produce about five Watts of energy. Not bad! This amount of power is enough to sustain thirty minutes of cell phone talk time.

Potential Uses

While walking may not power your entire house anytime soon, this new way of capturing energy does have many practical uses. Besides charging cell phones and operating portable electronics, this new invention can run insulin pumps, prosthetic limbs, and other power assisted medical devices. Military applications are promising as well since many soldiers currently carry approximately thirty pounds of batteries to operate of all their high tech gadgets.

Lastly, this new type of power can help areas of the developing world where people do not have access to reliable or any electricity for that matter.

Donelan plans to market this device through his new company, Bionic Power Inc, http://www.bionic-power.com/ within the next 18 months.

Now if scientists can only come up with a device that harvests power from my naps!


Electrician's Best Friend - Me

No one loves me more than my mother, at least I think that's true. One person in the mix of people that love me the most in my friendly neighborhood electrician. No, George the Electrician hasn't elbowed his way past my lovely wife, the kids (if my wallet's open) or the dogs (substitute wallet with doggie treats) but he's breathing down their necks.

Why the love from my electrician? I'm a fool for electrical upgrades. And I'm not alone. Almost every toy on the market - think Best Buy - uses electricity. And they've inundated my home's electrical grid.

I can't turn around without bumping into TVs, iPod stations, laptops, desktops, printers, stereo equipment, every iteration of game machine, radios, lamps, sound machines - need my rainfall - blenders, espresso machines and microwaves. And this is only in the guest bathroom.

The electrician is part of the family. He's on the Christmas card list, at most family affairs and if he wasn't busy changing over my living room lights he'd be with us at Disney. When I come home the dogs bark and growl; George gets his hand licked.

In the next month I need two receptacles added - one inside and one out - two receptacles taken out - previous owners had two placed over the mantle - and a new set of lights placed in the dining area. This doesn't count the bathroom addition where I'll bring him in for a consultation prior to construction.

Should everyone be as close to their electrician as I am? I can't say. I do know that having a reliable electrician, someone that I trust to do a good job and give me good advice makes life easier. And it only makes sense to find a good electrician like we'd find a good car mechanic or go to a restaurant that serves good food.

Is it ever going to end? Will my love affair with my electrician go sour? Maybe. But it's more likely to slow than end. And only because I'll slow. There will come a day when I don't need the latest and greatest toys on the market. Sad to say but it will happen. We refuse to discuss it and look forward to our golden years together.





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