Customer Service
1.877.ESA.SAFE / 1.877.372.7233

Buying & Selling the "Fixer Upper"

Have you set your sights on a fixer upper? Perhaps your plans are to turn it into your dream home? Or maybe you’re planning on renovating it to sell? Either way, buying a home is likely the largest investment you will ever make, and you don’t want any surprises – especially when it comes to the home’s electrical.

That’s why it’s essential to know if there are any open electrical permits on the property you’re about to purchase. The best way to do this is to have your lawyer request an Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) Search of Records as part of your purchase agreement. If there are outstanding permits, by law, the new homeowner assumes responsibility for the permits and corrections of any defects if they exist. You’ll want to factor that in when making your purchase decision.* Please note there are fees associated with a Search of Records.

home renovation

After the Sale

Before you renovate, you’ll want to find out what electrical work has been done in your home in the past, and whether the work was inspected by ESA. If you didn’t have a Search of Records prior to the sale, a Request for Information can provide you with a report of all of the electrical work that was completed under a permit with ESA. Please note there are fees associated with a Request for Information. Another option to help you understand the current condition of your home’s electrical system is to get a general electrical inspection. This is different than a home inspection because it is focused solely on the electrical.

Planning Your Renovation

You’ve done your homework and you have some great ideas to work with. It’s time to start your renovation planning! There are a number of things to consider, but one of the most important to ensure a safe renovation for you and your family is the electrical work. Remember: what’s behind your walls is just as important as what you put on them! If you are hiring someone to do electrical work in your home, by law, it must be a Licensed Electrical Contractor. And most electrical work requires a permit with ESA. 

Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor in my Area

If you decide to do any electrical work yourself, there are some essential things you need to know. Follow the law and do it right – otherwise your renovation dream could turn into a nightmare. To learn more about what you should consider as you plan your renovation, visit

Make sure you know the Important Steps to a Safe Installation!


*Please note: ESA records date back to 2000.