Retrofit vs. Renovating

When it comes to modernizing a home or office building, retrofitting can cost significantly less than new electrical installations. Economically speaking, a retrofit is easier and faster to install, cutting down on production time and labour costs. However, there are further factors to consider in regard to performing an electrical retrofit versus a renovation.

To avoid confusion, let’s first clarify what a retrofit means. Since the terms ‘retrofit’ and ‘renovation’ are often used interchangeably, it can be puzzling.

Retrofit: to provide an existing electrical system with a new feature or component. Similar to a remodel, the aim of a retrofit is to improve the performance of a building with new technology or equipment. By contrast, the key goal of a renovation is to change the aesthetics or appearance of a building (not the performance).

Renovate: to repair or restore an electrical system, thereby improving the structure. Some renovations are subtle, such as replacing a component, while others are substantial, such as repairing or replacing an outdated or damaged part of a building to bring it up to code.

Thereby, retrofitting involves the addition of new technology or features to older systems.

What are 5 Benefits of a Retrofit?

  1. Enhance existing components.
  2. Save time with improved technology.
  3. Save money over purchasing an entire new electrical system.
  4. Reduce maintenance expenses.
  5. Boost the reliability of existing electrical.

In addition, obsolete components can be refurbished, repaired, or recycled. Doing so supplies an electrical upgrade, renewability, or offers additional functions, such as connectivity. Also, the lifespan of circuit breakers may be increased. Accessories, such as plugs and lights, may be reused.

What are 5 key points in deciding whether it’s time to modernize?

  1. Reduce maintenance costs since the risk of electrical failure increases as products age. Upgrading and modernizing power distribution equipment, as opposed to replacing it, can reduce upkeep costs and save time and labour.
  2. New electrical is more reliable than old. Outdated electrical can cause financial loss due to down time.
  3. If spare parts are no longer available for an old electrical panel, it needs to be replaced.
  4. Newer technology allows for improved performance, reduced maintenance, and more features.
  5. Equipment failure is a valid risk with older equipment. There is also a risk of personal injury and damage due to electrical fires.

Furthermore, the environmental impact of replacing old electrical with new is significant. However, outdated electrical equipment must be replaced if it’s become a hazard.

Only trust reputable electrical contractors who provide experienced installers. Any project requiring a retrofit must be developed in stages.

5 Key Aspects of a Retrofit:

  1. Budget development.
  2. Locate alternate workspace for business continuity.
  3. Arrange backup power systems.
  4. Arrange HVAC relocation.
  5. Proper disposal and recycling of old electrical materials.

Without a doubt, builders can save time, money, and reduce the environmental impact by retrofitting a pre-existing building. In addition, contractors with extensive design experience know how to minimize reconstruction costs. They know how to incorporate updates for HVAC units, lighting, and security systems. Certainly, the result is lower electricity bills.

When in doubt, contact the electrical professionals at Walls. We can illuminate the mysteries of reusing, refurbishing, recycling, and renewing electrical equipment, rather than replacing systems altogether.


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Vancouver Island Electrician

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(Ladysmith – Nanaimo – Parksville – Qualicum)
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3049 B McCauley Dr
Nanaimo, BC
V9T 1V7

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