Are you planning to start some home improvements soon, to get your home looking its best as summer entertaining starts, or because you want to sell your home? If so, you’ll be flat out looking at a wide variety of factors, including new layout ideas, working out if you need to organize structural work, and choosing materials and appliances.
Something to add to your to-do list, though, is considering electrical elements. Many people don’t spend enough time thinking about this area, but it’s an essential one to get right if you want not only the home of your dreams but also a safe property when all you’re done. Check out these electrical planning tips to help you sort out everything you need to do over the coming months.
Plan Out the Work
It’s wise to plan out electrical work in detail. Thinking, in advance, about everything that needs to get done will help ensure you don’t miss jobs or have to spend more time and money on a project than necessary because a contractor has to come back to fix or finish things later.
When you complete planning for every room of your home before the remodel starts, you’ll more easily relay information to electricians, builders, plasters, painters, and other relevant tradespeople. As you plan, keep in mind outlets (whether they need to be added or moved), as well as things like switchboard upgrades, changes to other panels, or even the installation of new wiring if you’re adding square footage to your property.
Hire Licensed Electricians
You may be tempted to do as many jobs in the renovation as possible so you can cut costs. However, electrical work is not the type of thing you should handle yourself. Unless you’re already suitably trained and licensed in this area, hire a qualified person to complete any work that involves touching live wires. This keeps yourself and others in the home safe, during the renovation and long-term.
Also, note that if you try to remove or install/reinstall electrical appliances yourself during a renovation, you could void product warranties and various insurance covers. It’s better, then, to leave all of this up to the right people.
Have licensed electricians handle any necessary washing machine, fridge, oven, stovetop, or dishwasher repair or maintenance work so you know your appliances are running optimally, connected safely, and won’t increase the risk of house fires or electrocutions. Plus, speak with these professionals about tips on where to place outlets and appliances. They work in houses day in and day out and usually have excellent ideas, many you won’t have thought of yourself.
Considerations for Main Spaces
Everyone’s home is different, but there are similar electrical considerations for various rooms of a property. When it comes to bedrooms, for instance, most people need double power points on each side of the bed to enable them to plug-in electric blankets, phone chargers, lamps, etc. If you think you may want to move your bed into different positions over the years, situate outlets on at least two walls of the bedrooms. This way, you’ll have a choice if you want it.
Many homeowners also like to install TVs in their main bedroom, plus other electrical gear such as personal video recorders or sound systems. You’ll likely want to have additional power points, plus aerial connections as required, placed on the wall. You may also need extra power points in multiple bedrooms to allow for desk setups (for computer and printing needs), as well as HVAC systems, downlights, and other wall or ceiling illumination.
In the bathroom, good lighting is vital for shaving and makeup application. As such, allow for plenty of overhead lighting at different angles. Most people like to have downlights plus directed spotlights. You’ll probably also want power points so you can plug-in electric shavers, hairdryers, straighteners, etc., and the installation of an exhaust fan or a combined heat/fan/lighting unit. Underfloor heating or sockets for heated towel rails may also be something you want to plan for.
Kitchens always need multiple outlets, too, for all those plug-in appliances and smartphones and tablets that people charge in these busy zones. Consider, also, the electrical work you require for built-in kitchen appliances, not to mention the lights over your island bench, downlights, or even recessed cabinet lighting.
Downlights and other illumination are also a must for most living areas, as is plenty of power points for TVs and other entertainment gear. You may also want to install Ethernet connections and vacuum points throughout your home.
Electrical planning may not seem the most significant factor, but there are dozens of different areas where a contractor might have to help you get set up as you renovate. Think about all the above points to ensure you’re covered.