When building a new home, you have a huge amount of things you’ll want to plan and consider. One of the most important things is to plan and design the electrical system in a way that is both most convenient and fully meets all of your needs. At Potts Electric, we have years of experience designing and installing electrical systems in all types of new home construction projects, and we’ve created this guide to help show you all the things you need to consider for your new home’s electrical system.
Initial Walkthrough and Rough-In
Once you’ve finalized the blueprints for your new home with the builder and fine-tuned the floor plan and layout, it’s time to start considering how you want to design the electrical system. At Potts Electric, our team of expert electricians will work alongside you to design and install an electrical system that best meets your specific needs.
When the interior framing of the house is nearly complete, it’s important to do a walkthrough with an experienced electrician so you can plan out the location of all of the outlets, light switches, lighting, and any other electrical features. The electrician will be able to help you by inspecting the layout and suggesting the best location for all of the various features. However, you’ll want to carefully go over the floor plan ahead of time and take lots of notes to make sure you have at least a good idea of where everything will go.
It is important to know where you plan to put all of your furniture and where all of the appliances will be located. These factors will determine where you need different outlets and light switches. For instance, you’ll obviously want outlets next to all of your beds so you can plug in reading lamps and charge your phone. If you plan on having a king bed in the master bedroom, you might want to make sure that there is an outlet on each side of the bed. The outlets also need to be properly spaced and at the right height so you can easily reach them, and you wouldn’t want your bed to block them.
Once you’ve completed the walkthrough and have finalized the entire layout and design with your electrical contractor, they will then get started on the rough-in. Roughing in the electrical means running all of the wires, installing the light fixtures, and putting in all of the boxes for the outlets and switches. When the rough-in is finished, you should also again meet with your electrician and do another walkthrough to make sure everything will look and work as you planned. It’s far easier to make any changes at this point before the drywall is hung and the walls and ceilings are finished. As such, you’ll want to think carefully to make sure you have enough outlets for everything you may need, that you’re satisfied with the lighting plan, etc.
Outlets are one of the most important things to think about when designing the electrical system for a new construction project or a remodel. When thinking about your kitchen, you’ll want to determine what small appliances you plan on leaving out and where they’ll go, such as your coffee maker, can opener, toaster, etc., so you make sure that you have outlets in these places. In general, you want at least two outlets on the wall above each countertop workspace. If you’re putting in a bar or kitchen island, you’ll also want to make sure you have at least a few outlets under the countertop.
When planning out your living room or den, you also need to think about where your sofas and chairs will go and make sure you have enough outlets for your TV and other electronics. Most people want an outlet on each side of the sofa for charging phones, using lamps, etc. If you plan on having any chairs or couches in the middle of the room and not against a wall, you may want to consider installing floor outlets next to them. If you have a surround sound system and you plan on hanging the speakers on the wall, you’ll also want to make sure you have speaker wires run to each speaker location.
We’d also recommend installing outlets with USB ports in the rooms you frequently use so you can charge your phone while still plugging other things in. Having at least a few USB outlets in the kitchen is a good idea, and most people also install them next to all seating areas and in the outlets next to all of the beds.
Lighting and Light Switches
The layout of the lighting in your new home is also essential. You need to think about what types of light fixtures you want to use in different locations. Can lights are an excellent choice for the kitchen, but you may want ceiling fan lights and wall sconces in your bedrooms and living room. Having a hanging chandelier light over the dining table is also common.
You also need to think about the location of all of the light switches. Having a light switch both at the entrance to your bedrooms and next to the beds is a great option for your convenience. You may also consider installing dimmable switches and light fixtures so that you can adjust the lighting as needed.
The Importance of a Professional Electrical Inspection
Before you move in, you should also make sure that the electrician performs another inspection. The municipal electrical inspector will have already inspected the entire electrical system to make sure everything meets building code requirements, but you also want to make sure to have your electrician check to ensure that everything works. It’s never too late to install more lights or add additional outlets, so you should also do a walkthrough yourself to make sure everything is as you imagined.
Having an electrical inspection performed is even more important when buying a new home. You’ll want to have an electrician check the electrical panel, all of the wiring, and every outlet, light switch, and fixture to make sure everything is safe and there are no code violations. The electrician can also recommend any upgrades or necessary changes you’ll need to do after closing on the home.
Hiring a licensed electrician to perform a full inspection is an easy way to ensure you don’t suffer buyer’s remorse and can also help you avoid having to spend a huge amount on electrical repairs and upgrades. If the electrician does determine any repairs or upgrades are necessary, you can then make sure that the work gets done before closing.
No matter what stage your new home construction project is at, Potts Electric can help ensure all of your electrical needs are met. We can take care of the entire thing from start to finish or help if you need to make any changes or have the system inspected before moving in. We specialize in all residential electrical services and can help with your new home or if you need any repairs or electrical installations in the Ellisville and Fenton areas. To schedule an electrical inspection or any other service, give us a call today.