Compared to the various decisions that need to be made when building a new home, electrical outlet locations may be treated as a small (and possibly forgettable) detail. However, the detail won’t seem so small once you’re in your new home and realize the placement of your electrical outlets doesn’t work well with your furniture plan, or worse, there aren’t enough to meet your needs.
This is why planning your electrical outlet locations should be a much higher priority during the building phase. In this guide, we’ll take the headache out of electrical outlet placement to ensure your home is well-wired when move-in day comes.
It’s best to study the spaces that will eventually become bedrooms. Think about where you’ll place beds, dressers, and other furniture. Consider your typical habits in these rooms; this will help you place outlet locations to meet those needs.
For instance, will you need an outlet near the nightstand for phone charging, alarm clocks, or a small reading lamp? Will your bedroom have a television or computer and need more outlets in an area? What about a dimmer switch for a range of lighting? Consider all of your needs and preferred furniture placement and plan accordingly.
While the kitchen requires the most electrical power in one room, outlet planning for the kitchen is pretty straightforward. Decide where your major appliances (fridge, oven, dishwasher) will be located. These areas will have durable specialized outlets to handle the powerful appliances. In kitchens, all outlets that serve countertop surfaces should be equipped with GFCI outlet protection.
Next, consider your counter space and small appliances. Will you need outlets for a microwave oven, toaster, or coffee machine? Will these items need an outlet at all times, or would you rather store them and pull them out only when necessary? Consider all of your cooking needs and go from there.
Since the living room is where most families spend the bulk of their time and where most people host friends and family, it’s smart to be sure that there are ample outlets available. It is recommended to place an outlet in all four corners of the living room in addition to an outlet in the middle of each wall.
Follow those recommendations, and there will be plenty of power for entertainment centers, extra lighting, and places to connect devices. Additionally, if your family likes to decorate for holidays, consider your outlet needs. For example, Christmas tree placement might need an extra electrical outlet.
The bathroom is an easy room to overlook when planning outlet locations. However, it is highly beneficial to ensure ample coverage in this room, too. Consider your family’s needs when getting ready for the day; will you need an outlet for a blow dryer, electric toothbrush, or electric shaver?
While your expert electrician will ensure special GFI-rated outlets are used around water, it’s important to place these outlets in easily accessible areas so they won’t be dangerously crossing the sink or other water areas.
The garage is frequently forgotten when it comes to electrical planning. However, it may be beneficial to have several outlets if power tools will be used. If you plan on having a garage door opener, an outlet in the center of the ceiling will be necessary.
The home office can be tricky when planning electrical outlet locations. Many homeowners place them along the walls for lighting and a desk that will sit against them. However, floor plugs may be beneficial in a home office. After all, not everyone wants their work desk against the wall, and floor plugs will allow easy access to power for computers and laptops.
Also, consider just how much power you’ll need. If you work at home as a writer, several outlets may be unnecessary in the space. If you work with demanding equipment like sewing machines, special lighting, cameras, or other equipment, plan for it.
Another good space to consider is any kind of extra space or bonus room you may want. This is also a chance to plan for the future. Will this room turn into a bedroom for a new child down the road? What about for an aging relative?
Perhaps it will be a storage room with little need for several outlets, or perhaps it will become a media room with a high demand for outlets. Either way, decide what you will do with this room and plan accordingly, or for the possible future.
If you’re thinking about building a home or are currently in the process, our experienced professionals at Southwest Florida Electric would love to assist with electrical outlet planning to ensure your new home suits all of your needs. Contact us today, and we’ll help you get started.