One invaluable resource for home improvement hobbyists and do-it-yourself fans is a great electrical supply shop. Renovators working to restore old fixtures and retain as much original material as possible will find the electrical supply shop to be an invaluable asset. As each room is completed, the importance of having consistent access to the right wiring and hardware will become apparent to the renovator. A good source for electrical supplies makes the home’s transformation as seamless as possible.
Many electrical supply stores have a design workshop and can become a great source of inspiration and guidance for home improvement ideas. Maybe a great garage sale lamp find doesn’t seem to fit into any room. Ask if the shop has a “look book” with pictures of lamps purchased or restored by other customers. The workshop’s lighting designer can sometimes even work with you to figure out what is visually appealing and appropriate for a certain space in your home.
Big stores are not always the best source for specialty products in electrical supply. Their markets are broad and items that are stocked by local stores depend on demands in that market. Specialty retailers often carry a wider variety of replacement parts, especially for antiques. Since the specialty retailers deal only in these items, prices may be just as competitive as with larger chains. Often, the knowledgeable staff and convenience of finding all the items required for a project in one place are worth a modest price increase.
Visit any antique store and you are likely to see several different forms of lighting. Chandeliers add a formal quality to historic homes, grand hotel lobbies and restaurant dining rooms. They are in high demand and can be restored fairly easily for a quick profit. Lamps can add functionality or flair to any room and can be easily rearranged around furniture without rewiring. Antique and flea market vendors understand the value of a good lighting piece in proper condition. Many of them can turn an old English pub lamp into a great piece for an American bar by rewiring for U.S. voltage and frequency. A trip to the local electrical supply store is usually all it takes to find what you need to restore a terrific piece of antique lighting. Restoring an old light can sometimes be done in just an afternoon with the appropriate expertise, materials and tools. Knowing where to find all of those things in one place gives your project a perfect place to start.