- The electrical system is going to support the intended use. For example, wiring requirements for a medical clinic are different than those for an office building.
- Are there sufficient outlets and are they usefully located?
- Is the lighting in the best locations?
More serious issues can exist in older buildings. Most likely some electrical improvements have been made over time to meet the needs of past and current commercial occupants, but to be on the safe side, it's best to not assume an older building's electrical system is going to meet new business needs. The San Luis Obispo electrical contractor reports that electrical issues in older commercial buildings can include:
- "Patchwork" wiring meaning that some of the wiring has been upgraded to meet the needs of some of the tenants, but other upgrades have not been done.
- Old wiring that isn't properly grounded or may be faulty in other ways.
- Not enough outlets.
- Insufficient dedicated circuits for operating specialized equipment.
- Electrical systems that don't meet current electrical codes.
Generally speaking, any building that was constructed before 1987 is considered an older building. While most code enforcement agencies don't require owners to keep their buildings updated to all current codes, technological advances in both electrical systems and business operations bring their own efficiency and safety requirements. At some point, depending on the age of the building and the age of any electrical upgrades, an inspection is in order to be sure the electrical system is safe and can support a growing business.
Isn't it more cost-effective to just move into a modern building? There are many solid business reasons for investing in upgrading the electrical system in an older building. Location, location, location are three leading reasons. Locating business where it's easy to find and recognizable can be critical to drawing new customers. Certain types of businesses thrive in "historical" areas and the charm of an older building is an asset.
Whether the final decision is to move into a modern, upgraded building or open business in an older building with character, two things are important:
- For new, or newly remodeled commercial buildings, ask to see the electrical inspection reports or specifications to be sure the electrical system is going to meet the needs of the intended use.
- For older buildings, hire an experienced electrical contractor, such as San Luis Obispo'sElectricraft, Inc., to conduct a thorough electrical inspection.
Electricraft, Inc. has been serving the residential, commercial and public works needs of California's Central Coast since 1984. This family owned and operated electrical contracting company, based in San Luis Obispo, continues to provide superior quality service, repair and construction while keeping up to date on ever-changing technology. Displaying a passion for quality and hard work, the Electricraft professionals stay current with the progressive electrical industry. There's no electrical project too big or too small for the professionals at Electricraft – from repairing light fixtures in homes, to installing the latest solar technology, to large industrial electrical construction.