01 January 2010

Building a new home? Involve your electrician early

Most people, when building a new home will spend enormous amounts of time planning exact size and colour of rooms, appliances, woodwork and furnishings – but fail to seek the assistance of a qualified electrician early enough in the process to get the best possible outcome. Given that the electrical work in the home will provide light, warmth, entertainment, technology and probably even cooked food – you would want the service and outlets and wiring and every detail to accommodate your lifestyle and incorporate flexibility for future changes.

  • Engage an electrician right after you get the building plans
  • Know what to ask in your initial meeting
  • Understand the electrical design process for your new home

For the best outcome and to save time and money, engage an electrician as soon as plans are available. An initial meeting with your electrician should typically take between 60-90 minutes depending on the size and complexity of your home.

Top 10 things to ask your electrician before building a new home

  1. Electricity Supply arrangements, ie. underground or overhead etc
  2. Availability and location of Electricity Service Pit or Service Pole, distance to house
  3. Preferred Electricity Meter location
  4. Occupancy – Single or Multiple (units)
  5. Power Outlets – Type, Colour, Number and approximate location within each room, also include weatherproof outlets for external locations and outlets in ceiling for ducted heating and cooling
  6. Lighting – Type of light fittings, Smart Lighting and Home Automation, number fittings and approximate location within each room, also review external lighting requirements
  7. Electrical Appliance Review - Oven, hotplates, hot water, air conditioning, heating, garage door openers, spa bath, sauna, bathroom 3in1’s, exhaust fans, workshop equipment etc. For all appliances required, power consumption in KW, single or thee phase connection is required in order to confirm electricity supply capacity is sufficient
  8. Telecommunications - TV Points, Telephone Points, Local Area Networking
  9. Smoke Detectors – Number and Locations
  10. Home Automation requirements

Once this is complete, your electrician should be able to prepare the initial quotation that will detail all reviewed requirements. It is advisable to obtain two or three quotes before deciding on your electrician. Do not base your decision solely upon price. Consider how all prospective electricians assisted you to understand the design and implementation phases, how clear each one was when reviewing your requirements, are they all available to undertake the work within your timelines? Remember, no matter how well you planned, changes will occur so you need to be able to easily communicate with your chosen electrician.

What’s the process of the electrical design and wiring for a new home?

Most home electrical installations go something like this: -

  1. Confirm Electrician
  2. Prior to concrete pour, install underground service and builders post, extend Telephone conduits to home, normally buried within same trench. 
  3. Once concrete slab is complete, install Builders Temporary Supply, normally located in final position. Your electrician will organise the required inspection and paper work for supply to be connected. You will be required to nominate the electricity retailer of your choice and open an account with them.
  4. Once the frame is constructed and windows, brickwork and roof installation is complete, the electrician can commence the “Rough-in” stage. This stage allows the electrician to run all required cables within the house frame. Normally the location of outlets and light switches are either confirmed on a final plan or ‘walked’ thru with the owner on-site. Note: Electrical Rough-in stage is normally done with plumbing Rough-in.
  5. Once the plaster is complete, the electrician would cut out all power outlets and light switch locations, down-light holes are also cut. This will allow tiling to be complete where required and will confirm all locations are found ‘BEFORE’ painting is complete.
  6. Once kitchen and bathrooms are fitted out, painting is complete, the electrical “Fit-off” stage can commence. All Power outlets are installed, Light Switches and Light Fittings are installed, Smoke detectors fitted, all appliances and finally switchboard fit out with safety switches and circuit breakers.
  7. Test and energise the installation.

Simple as that. Of course there is more to it than that, but that’s a good start in your understanding. Remember to start early with your electrician, think about all your requirement in the early stages. If you do this, you will save both time and money.

If you are planning to build a new home in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and require a qualified electrician for your project, EPPING ELECTRICAL  would be more than happy to provide the initial review and detailed quotation for you and no cost.

I hope you found this information informative, if you have any questions, please drop me a line or call me on 0431 232 796.