Whether you’re hoping to sell your house, or you simply want to ensure that your home is safe and energy-efficient, making sure that it’s up to code is a smart investment.

Building codes can change over the years as technology improves and safety standards advance, so an older home that was once built to code may no longer meet the necessary requirements.

Here are a few easy ways you can work toward bringing your home up to code.

  1. Update your windows.

First, you should replace any single-pane windows with double-pane glass. This improves energy efficiency, lowers your heating and cooling costs and dampens outside noise.

Windows that are near stairs or anywhere that someone could slip and fall should also have tempered safety glass as well.

  1. Upgrade your smoke alarms.

Older homes usually have just a few battery-operated smoke detectors placed throughout the house. These can fail without regular maintenance, and they may not alert you of a fire in time.

Every bedroom, hallway and major living space such as a den or kitchen should have a hard-wired smoke detector. You can even go a step further and install interlocking detectors that will all sound the alarm if one is triggered by a fire.

  1. Switch your bathroom fixtures.

Replace your older toilets and showerheads with low-flow models. The overall water pressure will still feel the same, but these fixtures use significantly less water, which saves energy and lowers utility bills.

While you’re upgrading your showers, install an anti-scald shower valve as well. These valves, also called pressure-balance valves, prevent someone from being scalded by hot water if the cold water pressure drops unexpectedly.

When this happens, a pressure-balance valve drops the hot water pressure as well, and then returns it to normal when the cold water pressure goes back up.

When in Doubt, Call the Pros

Before you begin installing upgrades and renovating your home, it’s wise to have a professional audit completed by a knowledgeable expert.

Consulting professionals such as those at AJ’s Electrical who are familiar with the current building code can help you to make sure that every change you make is both necessary and correctly done.

The upfront cost of hiring an expert to assist you in bringing your home up to code is a small investment to make compared to wasting time, money and energy on making repairs and upgrades that your home might not actually need.

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