The best part about building or remodeling your own home? All the possibilities for customization. The worst part? All the possibilities for customization. It sounds crazy, but sometimes having complete power and freedom is overwhelming. No matter how many recommendations you get or how many hours you spend perusing Pinterest, you’re bound to forget something. So let’s make it a little simpler by focusing our attention on one aspect of your new home: the electric. We’ve got some ingenious home electrical ideas that will have you running to your electrician. Not only are they cool and creative, but they will also make your home amazingly convenient and efficient.
Remodeling & Electrical Wiring - Basics
- Most older homes will need upgrades to the electrical system at some point. The appliances and technology we have now demand a certain level of reliable power. If not already the case, you will want to upgrade your service to 100 amps or more to support modern power usage.
- Most homes have 120V electrical circuits. Some major appliances might require a 220V current.
- You may want to add, or you may be required to add additional outlets if the existing number is below code.
Electrical Safety For Older Homes
- Older homes may not have proper grounding on the electrical outlets. Grounding provides protection from electrocution by channeling current into the ground instead of into the body. Electricians can install grounding on all outlets.
- Power outlets located in bathrooms, kitchens, home offices or outdoors should be protected with a GFCI circuit breaker. This kind of grounding shuts off power to the outlet if it detects irregular current in the power flow.
- State and city codes often impose guidelines in this area. Improper electrical wiring can result in electrical shock, circuit shorts, appliance failures or electrical fires.
Now that the basics & safety are out of the way we can talk about the really important stuff, like paint colors & built in surround sound.
First Things First - Making the plans
- Do you like to decorate for the holidays? Think about where you’ll be placing your Christmas lights and where you would like to turn them on. You can have an outlet installed along the eaves below the roofline that connects to a light-switch in a more convenient place like in the garage or beside the front door.
- Place a light-switch for the attic in the hallway below so that you don’t have to wander around your dark, steamy attic looking for the switch.
- Place a light-switch beside your bed so that you don’t have to get up to turn off the light.
- Before you install drywall, take pictures of the walls once your wiring is up. These pictures will be vital in future years when projects require that you tap into existing wires. Your future electrician will thank you.
Ideas To Get You Started On Planning Your Next Home Electrical Project
- If you and your electronics are attached at the hip, consider including a “charging station” in your home plans. It will eliminate messy cords and lost electronics and work to charge everything from phones and iPods to cameras and tablets.
- Add outlets inside your pantry and closets. These can be useful for appliances that need to be charged for use (like a cordless vacuum) and for appliances that don’t leave the closet (like an iron, perhaps).
- Also think about adding outlets inside bathroom drawers and cabinets to plug in devices like electric toothbrushes, razors, and blow dryers.
- Set up audio wires in the backyard that can be turned on from both inside and out. Hello indoor/outdoor sound system. *Bonus points if you can spot the hidden speakers in the living room*
- Recess your outlets in places where plugs might protrude and disturb furniture, like behind bookshelves and beds.
- Add a surge protector that can be pulled up from your countertop and used to plug in appliances that don’t live there permanently or conceal an outlet to look like a drawer.
These new home electrical ideas will add a new level of convenience to your dream home and hopefully minimize some of the stress.