interior of house under renovation

Buying and Selling the "Fixer Upper"

Have you set your sights on a fixer upper? You may have plans to turn it into your dream home. Or you may plan on renovating it to sell. Either way, buying a home is likely the largest investment you will ever make. You don’t want any surprises – especially when it comes to the home’s electrical systems.

Before you buy, you must know if there are any open electrical notifications on the property. These are outstanding notifications to correct any defects. By law, the buyer assumes responsibility for doing this. Have your lawyer make an Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) Search of Records a part of your purchase agreement. Note there are fees associated with this search.

After the sale

Congratulations, you've got the house! Before you renovate, find out what electrical work has already been done, and if the ESA reviewed the work. If you didn’t ask for a Search of Records before the sale, get a Request for Information. This reports all the electrical work completed under an ESA notification since 2000. Note there are fees associated with a Request for Information.

Ask your Licensed Electrical Contractor to do an assessment of your home’s electrical system. This is different than a home inspection because it just focuses on the electrical.

Planning your renovation

You’ve done your homework and you have some great ideas. It’s time to plan your renovation!

One of the most important parts of a safe renovation is proper electrical work. Remember: what’s behind your walls is as important as what you put on them! If you hire someone to do electrical work, by law, it must be a Licensed Electrical Contractor. And most electrical work requires an ESA notification.

If you decide to do any electrical work yourself, there are some essential things you need to know. Follow the law and do it right – otherwise your renovation dream could turn into a nightmare. Click here to find out what you need to know about notifications and inspections.

*Please note: ESA records date back to 2000.