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Doing Electrical Work for Your Remodel: An Interview with Victor Brown of V&G Electric

By Victor Brown

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

My Westerly, Rhode-Island based company is owned and operated by Victor and Grace Brown. I have been in the electrical and electronics field for over 30 years. With the slowing of industrial manufacturing, I have organized V&G Electric and made it a service all about the customer. We work with contractors, homeowners, real estate agents and home inspectors to provide the proper service for their particular needs.

What are a few of the most common electric installations or upgrades that homeowners need to make during a remodeling project?

A remodeling project can be exactly what the eye sees or it can have many hidden hurdles. A common hurdle is that the remodel requires more receptacles, lights and other electricity-using devices. The first question a homeowner should ask is if the electrical service provides room for the expansion. Another common hurdle involves ideas of how the space may be used. For instance, the need for an additional bedroom, with the idea that it can be done in the basement of the house. This is a great idea, however, one needs to check with the local building officials to insure the space has the proper headroom and escapes. Lastly, among the common hurdles smoke detectors. These must be permitted, not only the building, electrical and plumbing permits, but in most jurisdictions, you must get another permit from the fire marshall.

When is usually the best time to do electrical work on a home or room that's being remodeled?

It is best to do the initial work before the new sheet rock and the insulation is installed. The final electrical is done after the room is complete.

Are there any special permits for electrical changes that are necessary in your area?

All electrical work that involves changes in wiring must be permitted. Other scenarios will also require permits.

What is one of the biggest challenges with electrical service that comes up during a home remodel/renovation?

The biggest challenge that come up is usually poor planning before the project begins. Make sure you have asked all the questions you have, even if they seem dumb. The correct contractor will answer all your questions and give you a lot of hints and suggestions to make the whole project go smoothly.

Do you have any tips for homeowners about remodeling and getting electrical work done?

Don't be shy to ask to see the electrical contractors license and have him forward insurance coverage to you. Look for recommendations from former customers.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

I am on call for emergencies 24/7 and may be reached during the day at 401-447-6322 and my night emergency number is 401-348-6648.

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