Most homeowners who’ve lived in a home for awhile realize there are ways they would have wired the home differently if they had either been involved in the process initially, or even if they were, if they knew what they know now they’d probably do at least a few things differently. Fortunately during a remodel is a good time to look at making some changes, but regardless electrical placement should always be considered as part of the remodeling process. Here is a list of what to consider when planning a remodel to make sure you have easy access to electricity in your home.
For Safety’s Sake
It’s best to work with a qualified, licensed electrician to ensure the electricity is installed correctly, and that all necessary permits are pulled.
Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GCFIs) in the bathrooms, kitchen, garage, exterior outlets and anywhere water could come in contact with electricity. GFCIs shut down the power when an irregular current is detected.
Older homes may lack proper grounding, a protection from electrocution that channels the current into the ground; electricians can install grounding.
The safety of your home and family is at stake as improper electrical wiring can result in damage to appliances, electrical fires and electrical shock. And if the electricity is not installed correctly and within code it could affect your ability to make a claim on your homeowner’s insurance and or you may be forced to spend money later to bring it up to code before you can sell the house.
While older homes may lack grounding and the use of GFCIs, they also often lack adequate power. Today’s appliances and electrical devices demand more power, and your home may be due for an upgrade. For example, some homes are using 120V electrical outlets, while most major apliances require 220 V.
With it’s many small and large electric appliances you’ll want to make sure you plan for plenty of outlets in the kitchen, particularly around the island where you’ll do much of the food prep. Consider the layout and where you might need higher amp plugs for your refrigerator, stove and microwave.
With the increasing amount of electronics we use on daily basis, and the need for those devices to charge, plan for plenty of electrical oulets in corners and in the center of each wall. Consider the placement of outlets for where you might want to place decorative items including those that are only used temporarily, such as the Christmas tree. If you are hanging a flat screen TV on a wall, you’ll want to make sure to install a plug directly behind it.
Install plenty of GCFI plugs around the counter and sink areas, making sure the plug locations won’t require you to drop the cord across the sink.
Install electrical plugs on each side of the bed where your night stands sit for lamps, alarm clocks and other electronics. Consider if you have any use for plugs in your closet – for vacuuming for example, or for extra light, or even for a small office or reading space if your closet is large enough.
Place an outlet in the center of the ceiling for a garage door opener (if it’s not already installed), and also make sure there are several outlets positioned along the corners and in the middle of walls so they are easy to reach if you are using electric tools, using a shop vaccuum, etc.
For holiday decorating, install outlets under the eaves; connect the outlet to an indoor plug so you can turn the lights on and off from inside the house. Use GCFI outlets on exterior outlets near the ground; position several of these around the house’s exterior to allow for the use of various landscaping tools and other tools.
Install plugs at desk height versus on ground level to make access to plugs more accessible.
Consider carefully everywhere you would possibly want a light switch. While planning the remodeling project inspect all lights, and make sure they work; it’s easier and often cheaper to replace them during a project as opposed to later. Evaluate if you need more outdoor lighting for safety as well as decorative purposes.
If you want to install a ceiling fan, consider that it usually requires specific wiring, a switch and a mount for stability.
TV and Internet
Consider the type of providers you’ll use for TV and Internet. They all use different types of wiring, and access points and this may affect the location of wiring.
Consider the positioning of speakers and other home theater components in evaluating where to place outlets and wiring in order to hide wires and cords as cleanly as possible. Fortunately there are also now many wireless systems on the market.
Smart Home Automation and Security
If you wish to install a smart thermostat, any home automation system, or a security system, you will most likely need to upgrade your wiring or have the home wired specifically for the system.