During the past 12 months or so, due to the potential of fire hazard, houses with electrical aluminum wiring connected to receptacles, switches and fixtures have been uninsurable. These houses, which were built during the mid 1960′s through the 1970′s, could only become insurable, if the all the aluminum wiring was replaced with copper wiring. The cost of this retrofit averaged from $10,000 to 20,000 and for obvious reason has had a dramatic negative impact on the marketability of these houses.
As of March 16, 2011 Citizens Property Insurance Co. has approved two acceptable alternative methods for ensuring aluminum branch wiring is not a fire hazard and is insurable.
1. COPALUM Copper-to-Aluminum Pigtailing Use the special AMP (now TYCO) COPALUM connector and special tool to connect short copper wires to every aluminum wire end in the Building, reconnecting the copper to the various devices (receptacles, switches, fixtures) and splices. Due to the cost of leasing this special tool, this retrofit avagerages approximately $5,000.
2. AlumiConn An aluminum-to-copper plug that’s connected to existing aluminum wiring at each receptacle, switch and fixtures. This method requires a $3 connector at each location, total cost $1,000-2,000.
Citizens is still researching the potential for CO/ALR connectors to be considered as a third insurable alternative method. This method will require the electrician to make sure each receptacle, switch and fixture is rated for aluminum wiring, make sure the connection is secure and apply anti oxidation paste. This retrofit will average from a few hundred dollars to $1,000.
The state will encourage other insurance carriers to consider these alternatives, with the intent of lower insurance cost.
I found another great article about the aluminum wiring and how it can affect home buyers on Holly Lovett’s blog.
Please enjoy some of the photos I took of last night’s “supermoon”. 03/19/2011
The following article and photos are the end results of an intensive home rehabilitation on my current residence in Indian Harbour Beach Florida, the lovely beach town in which I spent most of my growing years. I purchased this neglected home in July of 2010. The house was in need of a total rehab, which is sometimes affectionately referred to as a “complete gut renovation”.
The very first step in fixing up this fixer upper was correcting the structural foundation. I wrote a little bit about this process here: Foundation Settling.
Once the foundation issue was settled (excuse the pun), the interior work was started. The inside of the home need some major updates. Check out the before pictures below.
We then made some adjustments to the floor plan by taking down the wall separating what was once an outside patio turned into an enclosed Florida room. This really opened up the kitchen and family rooms to some much needed natural lighting.
The next project was getting rid of the sunken areas of the family room and living/Florida room. The good and bad results were: The Good, there was no longer a 5″-6″ step down from the kitchen and dining room. The Bad, a little less ceiling height, but it was worth it to get level flooring.
The final steps were windows (hurricane impact Lo-E rated energy efficient) flooring, ceiling/walls, paint/trim, kitchens, bathrooms, and last but not least window treatments. The end results you can see below.