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The ultimate electrical checklist for your new home

April 17, 2019

Building a brand new home can be daunting.

There are lots of moving parts – architect designs, council approvals, working with builders and of course, planning for plumbing and electricity. While builders can take care of most of the plumbing work, electricity is a little more complicated and needs careful thought before installation.

For example, you need to consider where power points will be placed, where lights should be installed in each room, phones, and internet… the list goes on!

At GKT Group, we aim to make the building process easier so you can focus on the more important stuff.

To make electrical planning simpler, we’ve put together this extensive electrical checklist for your new home, complete with all the essentials for comfortable living when the build is done.

 

#1. Power points

power point

Image: Pexels

When designing a new home, one of the first things to plan is where the power points will be. In 2019, we’re attached to our phones, computers, and tablets, so it’s ideal to have lots of power points all over the house for charging and extra appliances.

The average three-bedroom home has an excess of 40 power points throughout the house. Here are a few hints of where to place power points in your new home:

  • Lounge room: behind the couch for lamps and chargers, behind the television cabinet and a higher power point in case you want to mount the television on the wall.
  • Bathroom: place two above the counter beside the sink for razors, hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons. Make sure to keep these far enough away they can’t get splashed.
  • Bedroom: next to the bed for chargers and bedside table lamps. Be sure to count the appliances you’ll have charging beside your bed and adjust the number of power points accordingly. Also, consider adding an additional power point for a television.
  • Kitchen: add a powerpoint everywhere you’ll have a major appliance e.g. fridge, microwave, oven, freezer and dishwasher. Also make note of smaller appliances e.g. coffee machine, blender, kettle, toaster and so on.
  • Home office: have between 2 – 3 powerpoints available for computers, printers, scanners, charging devices and desk lamps.
  • Hallways: although it seems like the last place you’d need electricity, it’s important to have powerpoints in the hallway for vacuuming and maybe hallway table lamps.
  • Entryway: this isn’t mandatory, but sometimes it’s nice to have some ambient lighting in the entryway of the house. This is perfect for when people get home late and need a little illumination.
  • Garage: for the man or woman who likes to get their hands dirty, add a couple of powerpoints to the garage for power tools.
  • Outdoor entertainment: if you’re planning on having outdoor barbeques and get-togethers, consider adding some power points outdoors for televisions, sound systems, and an outdoor fridge. However, be wary and add powerpoint covers to protect from the weather.

#2. NBN

nbn installation

Image: Pexels

Whether you work from home, have teenagers or love binging shows on Netflix, we can guarantee you’ve already started thinking about internet access for your new home.

There are three steps to getting NBN installed:

  • Start planning installation at least six months before the required installation date. Consider how NBN installation will fit into the construction of your new home.

If you’re a bit lost with NBN installation, you can also have a trained NBN specialist come along and review your building plans to ensure NBN will fit into the design. A specialist can also fast-track the internet installation process so you can get settled in your new home ASAP.

#3. Phone line

install a phone line

Image: Pexels

With smartphones taking over the world, fewer and fewer homeowners are opting for a landline. However, some internet providers require a phone line, so it’s important to consider this as part of your home design.

To set up a standard telephone service in your home, you’re going to need to go through a three-step process:

Telstra’s guide to installing phones
Image: Telstra

  • Trenching: in most cases when building a new home, it’s necessary to dig a trench for lead-in cabling. For an underground lead-in cable, you’ll need to dig and backfill a trench. A pole will also need to be erected for an aerial lead-in.
  • Lead-in cable: next, arrange the installation of a lead-in cable and pipe into your trench before it’s backfilled. Phone and internet providers like Telstra can provide a specialist to do this.
  • Internal wiring and telephone sockets: ensure internal wiring for the telephone sockets is completed before the sheeting of internal walls, plus the phone point and/or socket after walls have been fitted. You can get a Telstra contractor to help with this (or whichever alternate company you go with!)

#4. Lighting 

lighting

Image: Pexels

Of course, every home needs lighting – but moving into a home with lighting already installed vs. designing a lighting plan yourself are two different ball games.

The objective of creating a good lighting plan for your new home is to understand the function of each room. What will you be doing in each room? Does the bathroom need heat lighting? Does the dining room need a chandelier or standard lighting?

There are three kinds of lighting which need to be considered and planned – ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.

  • Ambient lighting is the overall illumination of a room or area. For example, you might have pendant lights in the kitchen for light which points upwards rather than straight down. It’s a comforting, relaxing sort of light which isn’t too clinical.
  • Task lighting is self-explanatory. You need this kind of lighting for areas you need more light than anywhere else e.g. above a kitchen bench, over a desk or reading area, in cupboards or above a bathroom mirror. These lights often point down so there’s more lighting around the hands.
  • Accent lighting adds a creative element to the room. It’s designed to highlight certain aspects of a room and points towards certain areas or objects e.g. a painting, a plant wall, a fountain.

Sit down with a trained professional and draw up a plan of the new home. Then, go through with a fine-tooth comb and jot down which kind of lighting should go where. An electrician should be able to provide professional insights and advice regarding ideal lighting positions.

#5. Heating & cooling

fan running in dining room

Image: Pexels

While you’re working on having lighting, power points, internet, and phone lines installed, it’s tempting to go ahead and get the air conditioning installed, too.

However, we advise against having air conditioning installed while the site is still under construction. According to the air conditioning experts over at Air Conditioning Industries in Newcastle, new homeowners should wait until the home has finished being built as there are a series of risks involved with jumping the gun.

“Your construction site is left unattended overnight, leaving your new home susceptible to vandalism and theft,” the team at ACI said.

“It’s becoming an increasing problem throughout Australia as vandals break into residential construction sites, damage walls, break windows, and steal building materials as well as freshly installed appliances.”

Having air conditioning installed before the build is finished can be risky. For one, air conditioning units can be stolen but also, dirt and dust from the building site can damage the unit before it has ever been used.

Wait until after the build is finished and have an expert install the unit for you, rather than your builders who might not be as experienced in this kind of installation.

#6. Security 

security cameras

Image: Pexels

The finishing touch to your brand new home: a you-beaut home security system.

Security comes in all shapes and sizes depending on your needs. For example, a larger home might need a CCTV security system to keep an eye on various parts of the property. This could also be linked to a smartphone or tablet so alerts can come through if an intruder is on the property.

Alternatively, for smaller homes and apartment buildings, a home alarm system might be better suited with a pin number to turn it on and off.

Whichever security system you decide to install, you should leave this to the last minute and contact a security specialist to install the system.

Here at GKT Group, we have an experienced team of home security electricians who can install a brand new security system for you, so we can do the hard work while you move onto more important things – like furnishing your new home!

Get in touch with our Newcastle team to get a quote. We can meet with you to run through your requirements and your new home design so you get the right security system for your family.

Enlist the help of a certified, experienced electrician to assist with the wiring of your new home 

The number one most important message from this article?

DON’T DO IT YOURSELF!

Unlicensed and DIY electrical work is dangerous for whoever does the work, as well as homeowners who go on to use appliances and electricity in the house. We recommend talking to a trained professional for planning and installing electricity in your home, from power points to more advanced installations like CCTV security systems.

Let us do the dangerous work.

Contact GKT Group for your new home build. We can run through the electrical checklist for your new home and make sure you’re all wired up! 

Image: Pexels

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