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Thomas McGuire


Electrical Contractor (17 years experience)



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Which is better for home value- recessed lighting or surface mounted lighting?


Recessed Lighting doesn't scream remodel unless it was done wrong.  Recessed lighting has been around since the 40's.  The catch to recessed lighitng is that it has to be layed out correctly or its not worth it.  A standard sized bedroom needs 4 cans in a square pattern to look good and provide adaquate light.  Hall ways should have 1 can for every 5' of length .  These are good general lighting practices.  I have done entire houses in recessed lighting and they look great.  Remodel or new constrution doesn't matter.  Its the effect you create and whether it is appropriate for the room. 

Where are photovoltaic solar power upgrades reported?


Hi Randy,  I have spoken with alot of appraisers about the value of a photovoltaic system.  Because there are not alot of them yet, this is still uncertain.  What people say is as a rule of thumb you can get half the installed cost back in the value of your home.  As solar systems become more common they may calculate the systems value on an energy savings basis.Tom McGuire