Planning Your Electrical System
When building a new home, one of the last things that new homeowners think about planning is their electrical system. Although your contractor will typically take care of the basics for you, it is important to consider how you plan to use your electricity on a day-to-day basis. Most homes come with a standard set of outlets, lights and other fixtures that will work for many people, but what about if you have specific electrical wants or needs? For example, if you will be installing an advanced audio/visual entertainment system, talk to your builder about what they offer. In most cases, you can also designate how many outlets each room has, where they are placed and other things to ensure that your electrical needs are taken care of.
When it comes to advanced wiring systems, many builders and electricians are capable of installing systems that can handle some special functions, such as video and audio distribution. You can have a gateway hub installed to help distribute incoming cable, satellite, television, data and telephone. This will ensure that high-quality, high-speed data and internet are properly distributed throughout your home for easy access. Other advanced wiring options include dedicated lines for computers, fax machines and other electronics.
By installing an electrical control system, you can streamline the electrical usage of your home, making it more efficient and ultimately saving money. Many automation systems allow you to control your heating and air conditioning, lights and other important parts of your home while you are away. Furthermore, you can normally operate things such as sprinklers and other essential aspects of your home with the push of a button. This makes leaving your home for extended periods of time much easier and safer.
One of the most commonly manipulated parts of an electrical system is the location of lights, switches and electrical outlets. Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming that none of these can be moved. If you want to be an active part of this portion of building your home, talk with your builder early in the process so that you can let them know exactly where you want these outlets.
When determining outlet and lighting location, think about how you will use each room. Make a list of where different types of electronic equipment, such as televisions and computers, will be placed. Also make note of any special needs, such as children and the elderly. If warranted, have light switches and other devices placed within easy reach so that their rooms are fully functional for them.
After considering your needs for electrical access, lighting and other wiring, do a walk through with your builder. This will give you a chance to visualize lighting and consider the location that you have in mind for your outlets. It can really pay off to talk about this early on with your builder, because having an electrician come out and move all of the wiring after it has been installed is very time consuming and expensive. After everything is installed, ensure that your electrical panel is properly and completely labeled so that you can quickly and easily control the power to each area of your home. With a little bit of planning, and solid communication with your builder, your electrical system can do great things for your home.