Swapping Outlet Covers Is the 5-Minute Flip That Will Instantly Upgrade Your Home
Don't you wish home updates were as simple as flipping a switch? Swapping out your countertops is no easy feat, but some home updates can actually be simple. Better yet if the easy update really packs a punch.
Upgrading your outlet covers only takes five minutes and can instantly upgrade your home. "Outlets are in every room and on nearly every wall in the home. They can have a big impact on the look and functionality of the space," says Mallory Micetich, a Home Expert at Angi. "If chosen well, they can either blend in or add character but, if chosen poorly, they stick out like a sore thumb."
With that word of warning, here's where to start:
Where To Shop for Outlet Covers
Opting for the aisles of your local home improvement store or online is a good place to start to look for outlets. However, if you have a certain home aesthetic to achieve or maintain, the experts at Angi suggest asking your local electrician for covers that suit your home's look.
How Much Do Outlet Covers Cost
Updating your outlet covers isn't only a quick fix, it's reasonably affordable to do so. For indoor outlets, you can purchase ones on the cheaper end averaging $1 to $10 an outlet. Wi-Fi Smart outlets tend to start at $40 a plug.
For outdoor outlets which are often box-shaped and weatherproof, buyers are looking at $10 to $20 as covers are important for utility and safety. "Outdoor outlet covers will keep [environmental] elements out of the outlet, which is critical for the outlets to work and, more importantly, for safety."
Outlet Covers with Safety and Energy Efficiency Benefits
Aside from updating the aesthetic of your home's interior as well as outlets on your home's exterior, there are other benefits that go beyond looks. "There are many benefits from updated outlet covers including added protection, energy reduction, and additional safety."
While Smart outlets are more expensive than traditional, they do have long-term advantages. Micetich says, "Smart outlets, which tend to cost between $20 and $50, can save money by blocking vampire electronics from wasting energy when you're not using them and many include USB portals, a nice added feature."
Families that have small children may want to opt for a TRR, tamper-resistant replaceable. These outlets have spring-loaded shutters that block the outlet opening when nothing is plugged in.
Can You Install Outlet Covers Yourself Or Should You Call a Professional?
Anytime you're dealing with electrical work, it is best to call a professional. "Swapping out an outlet cover can be as simple as unscrewing the existing cover and screwing in the new one. However, if you're doing anything more than a simple cover change, definitely hire an electrician to handle it," says Micetich.
How Often Do Outlet Covers Need To Be Replaced?
Our expert shares that as long as your outlet covers are working, in good physical condition, tamper-resistant, or Smart, then you shouldn't need to update. However, if you're in the midst of painting your walls, looking to sell, or raising little children, it might be time to flip the switch and update.