Home design 101: why you need to think about electricity early in the process

Building or renovating your house? What an exciting time: it’s that rare opportunity to really reflect on how you like to live and what space you need.

Of course, you can choose flooring, think about appliances, colors you like, etc. But one area that has a huge impact on design impressions and quality of life, but is often overlooked at first, is electrical design.

Whether you’re a typical aesthete, with countless Pinterest boards of home inspiration and a love for interiors; or someone who wants their home to perform well – livable, smart and a good investment – talking to your electrician early will pay serious dividends, both in terms of the finished project and the ease of living in the home.

Homes are getting smarter every day and there is now a huge range of electrical innovations that make life better. A good electrician can talk to you about your needs, dreams and aspirations and suggest solutions that will bring your home to life.

Bad lighting ruins good design, so if that's a priority, electricity should be too.

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Bad lighting ruins good design, so if that’s a priority, electricity should be too.

Robert Knight, residential electrical design consultant at PDL by Schneider Electric, explains that in the past, homeowners tended to approach their home’s electrical considerations as a kind of afterthought, instead of thinking about them early in the process. and as part of the big project. scheme.

“By the time some people get electricity, they’ve used up a lot of their budget and are forced to make critical sacrifices, which means their home isn’t performing as well as it could. We hear time and time again, people wanting to install more power outlets or think about their lighting plan sooner, it really has an impact on how they can enjoy the day to day use of their home.

He says simple things like drawing up a plan with an electrician and installing enough outlets can make a huge difference in the overall outcome of the build or renovation.

For starters, homes these days can hold literally dozens of devices, including phones, tablets, and computers, so having enough USB chargers is a must.

A good electrician can talk to you about your needs, your dreams and offer solutions to bring your home to life.

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A good electrician can talk to you about your needs, your dreams and offer solutions to bring your home to life.

Knight also notes that modern households rely on the convenience of wireless Wi-Fi in their daily lives more than people often realize. However, not all devices are wireless, so it’s wise to use data cabling whenever possible for streaming and bandwidth-intensive gaming, for example.

“Even refrigerators can be smart devices these days, so plan to put a data cable behind yours.”

It says that devices like heated towel rails use power if left on all the time, but now you can set them on timers and even control them from your phone (as you can with many other devices). Keep energy consumption to a minimum.

“Motion sensors are another useful feature, allowing you to move safely through your home when the lights come on at night – or when you open the pantry – or even your closet.” Another wonderful space for a motion sensor is the laundry room – a space where we often have our hands full.

Another wonderful space for a motion sensor is the laundry room – a space where we often have our hands full.

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Another wonderful space for a motion sensor is the laundry room – a space where we often have our hands full.

Knight also noticed that Kiwis tend to underlight their homes in general, but he thinks it’s actually best to overdo the lighting first and then make it customizable so you can remember it. using tools such as dimmers.

Bad lighting ruins good design, so if the latter is a priority, electricity should be too: plan so that you can have lighting that complements and enhances the elements you are most proud of in your house, such as a special work of art or a characteristic staircase. You don’t want your most beloved items to end up in the shadows.

Savvy designers should also consider the design and style of light switches and outlets. PDL offers ranges including anodized aluminum, modern matte and fingerprint resistant finishes, and in a variety of shades and styles. “You often see this beautiful kitchen with all the elements considered except for the look of the power outlets, it completely changes the aesthetic. Homeowners often just don’t know that there are choices of Designing switches and outlets that really contribute to the overall design and feel of the space.”

More and more people are logging on to research all the electrical options for their new build or renovation, and are showing a better understanding of the benefits of thinking ahead when it comes to electricity.

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More and more people are going online to research all the electrical options for their new build or renovation, and are showing a better understanding of the benefits of thinking ahead when it comes to electricity.

Other key things to consider are security cameras, two-way light switches in hallways or large rooms, outdoor electrical access to create outdoor spaces perfect for entertaining, and remote access and control of a house.

Knight says the most compelling reason to consider an electrical plan at the start of a project is the fact that much of that groundwork is difficult to do in retrospect — not to mention more expensive.

But it’s good to see more and more people logging on to research all the electric options for their new build or renovation, and showing a better understanding of the benefits of thinking about the future with electricity.

“A good electric home design adds value to your property and is something that will always pay off in the end, especially how much you enjoy living in your home and whether it suits your daily needs.”

PDL offers a full range of electrical solutions for a harmonious and elegant life on its website where you can discover other interesting possibilities for your home. Visit pdl.co.nz/homebodies