Easy access to electricity is one of the things that make modern living easy and enjoyable. However, poor outlet placement in a home can make using your electronic devices inconvenient and cumbersome. That’s why, if you’re building a new home in Richmond, it’s vital to plan the placement of outlets down to the very last plug. Since it’s difficult to envision something that doesn’t exist yet, allow the pros at Davis & Green to make some suggestions on new-home outlet placement.
Make a List
Before you begin figuring out where you want outlets in your new home, it’s a good idea to make a list of the ways you use electricity in your current home. Take a long walk around the exterior and interior of your home, noting electrical devices and outlet locations along the way. Also, note what’s currently working well and what you’d like to change. By taking the time to take an inventory of your current electrical situation, you’ll begin to get an idea of what your needs will be in your new home.
Add to the List
Now that you have a list of your current electrical needs, it’s time to start adding to the list. The longer you stay in a home, the more your electrical needs are likely to change. Rather than having to call Davis & Green again and again to add more outlets, it’s better to plan for future expansion and changes when you’re building your house. Adding more outlets during construction tends to be less expensive and less disruptive than adding or moving outlets in an existing home. Be sure to plan for an electrical panel that will be able to keep up with demands for the long haul.
Check Local Building Codes
One final note before discussing the specifics of new-home outlet placement: As you plan for outlets, it’s important to check local building codes to ensure that your ideas are legal and sane. You don’t want to take the time to come up with a grand electrical design that you have to significantly modify because of overlooked laws. Building codes typically cover outlet spacing, the proximity of outlets to water sources, the total number of outlets that can be in a given location, and more. If you have questions about building codes as they relate to electrical outlets, it’s a great idea to call an electrician like Davis & Green for assistance.
If you like to change your home’s decor with the seasons, you’ll want to have outlets to help you do the job correctly. One example of this is putting outlets high on the eaves of your home to make it easy to hang holiday lights from your gutters. Another way to make your life easier during the holidays is to put an outlet in the middle of your front window and then connect that outlet to a switch. This makes it easy to turn the lights on your tree off and on. If you have a mantel, this is another great place for an extra outlet or two so that you can add lights to your holiday garlands.
One area in a home that’s often overlooked when it comes to outlet placement is the exterior of the home. The area outside your home should be an oasis for you and your family. However, if you have extension cords running everywhere, your backyard will look more like a factory than an island getaway. Make sure to place multiple outlets on exterior walls so that you can plug in power tools and extra lights. If you have a deck or patio, make sure to outfit this area with multiple outlets so that you can add lights, water features, outdoor televisions, and other unique elements. Finally, if you have a garage, make sure to put outlets both inside and outside so that you can charge batteries, plug in air pumps, and provide power to saws and other tools.
Outlets for Electronics
Although you can’t predict the specifications of the next big smartphone, you can predict your future usage habits for smartphones and other electronics. To serve these habits with electrical outlets, make sure to place outlets on both ends of your couch so that you can charge cell phones, laptops, and other devices. Another common place to charge these devices is in the kitchen. To keep the clutter off the counter, consider adding one or two outlets inside your cabinets so that you can keep the electronics out of sight. If you keep electronics at your bedside, make sure to add outlets at both sides of the bed so that you don’t have to run extension cords under the bed.
Outlets for Cleaning
At Davis & Green, we know that cleaning your home can be quite a chore. That’s why we encourage you to add electrical outlets in locations that will make cleaning your home a little more convenient. It’s important to have at least one outlet on every wall in all carpeted rooms to make it easy to plug in a vacuum cleaner. If you do any ironing, make sure to have outlets installed at waist level so that you can plug in your iron without dangling the cord near the floor. To steam your clothes while they’re still on the hanger, don’t forget to add outlets in or near your closets.
Outlets for Lighting
Planning for outlets for lighting is absolutely crucial so that you don’t end up with extension cords in permanent use. Remember that not all light fixtures sit on the floor or on a table. For hanging light fixtures that aren’t hard-wired, you’ll need outlets on or near the ceiling so that you don’t have to drape an extension cord down the wall. For floor lamps, consider installing outlets in the baseboard to make it easy to conceal the electrical cords. When it comes to table lamps, make sure that any outlets are below the top of the table so that you can’t see the outlet or the cord. Also, consider which outlets to connect to switches to make it easy to turn the lamps on and off.
Floor Outlets for Anything
Many people overlook floor outlets when designing a home. Although they don’t belong in every part of a room, Davis & Green recommends floor outlets for added convenience and safety. You can install floor outlets behind your couch to be able to plug in a lamp or digital picture frame. Another great place for floor outlets is underneath large pieces of furniture that sit flush against the wall. Gaps beneath these pieces of furniture make a great place to run cords so that there isn’t a gap between the furniture and the wall.
We Can Install Your Outlets
At Davis & Green, we can install outlets just about anywhere. In addition to outlet installation, we can take care of electrical repairs, generator installation, water heater repair and installation, air conditioner maintenance, furnace repair, and much more. We have been serving this area for over 30 years with integrity and professionalism, which is why we continually receive 5-star customer reviews. To learn more about electrical design for new homes, contact us at Davis & Green today.