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Electrical outlets, phone/cable(jacks)outlets.....

16 years ago

I'll have to be making that decision in the next couple of weeks. Is there anywhere you wish you would have installed a particuliar outlet and didn't? Or put one where it wasn't necessary at all? Did you plan the outlets around your furniture placement?

If you had an intercom system installed, do you use it? I had one when my 5 kids were small, and found I used it often, especially when I needed to call them down for dinner. I'm thinking of re-sale since i'll be living by myself, and it's a family sized house. Did anyone add the holiday package for outdoor Christmas lights? These are all things i've been 'contemplating', but not sure of.

Comments (16)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We added holiday light outlets in the eaves of our house. The switch is in my pantry. I planned each switch for how I thought I would use the house and lights and then once the framing was up I walked it and made adjustments. Outlets were placed in convenient areas for what I thought the rooms will be used for but not according to furniture placement specifically. I know I won't keep things the same all the time but I'll want to reach outlets all the time.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We can switch on our floodlights from the MBR. I put the switch next to the door leading out onto the screen porch.

    If you're going to have a central vacuum system, make sure you have an outlet within 5ft of vacuum outlet (carpet attachment uses this).

    Mounted our electrical outlets 4ft from floor in garage.

    Two outlets in my walk-in pantry for microwave and toaster oven.

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    If your house is new construction, you'll have plenty of outlets just to meet code. Other places to consider: 1. At least one on your deck for lights, fan, cooking tools, etc. 2. In multiple places around the house and yard, outlets for electric yard tools (so much quieter, easier, and cleaner than gas ones, even if the cords are a nuisance). 3. Make sure there's one that's easy to reach in the room where you'll be ironing. If you do ironing in a laundry room, the laundry outlets may be hard to get to, and the cords on irons are short. 4. Anywhere you'll need to plug in a vacuum. 5. Wherever anything that needs to be charged (hand vacs, emergency lights, etc.) 6. In the attic, basement, and garage. (My electrician installed an outlet for me in my attic for his own use and didn't charge me, rather than run a long power cord to the 2nd floor. My house was built c. 1870 and is deficient in outlets, although I've added several.) 7. Consider outlets on the walls behind the toilets for heated or bidet seats. 8. Have ceiling lights wired with 3 wires, so you can add ceiling fans later easily if you want (and have separate controls for the lights and fans). 9. Make sure that rooms with multiple entrances are wired for 3-way lights. You may need extra outlets in your home office.
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  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I went a bit crazy with my outlets, holiday Christmas package outside, outlet on the floor in the great room (for table lamp), outlet on the floor in dh's office (for his computer stuff) for L-shaped desk, outlets in the closets, outlet in each locker of the mudroom.

    We did place outlets higher up on the wall in my future craft room.

    I'd rather have too many than too few!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    TV/entertainment center location needs at least two duplex receptacles- accepts 4 male plugs. We have one bedroom that has only two possible bed locations. In such cases, place a receptacle at each side of the (possible) headboard location.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We put switched outlets in our eaves for holiday decorations. I wish that we had the outlet on our deck controlled by a switch as we put Christmas lights on our deck railing and it would be nice to turn them on/off from inside the house too. We planned our floor outlets around furniture placement. We have a big rec room in our basement that has one post in it that is finished off with wood around it and I wish that we had put outlets in that post. I also wish that we had put floor outlets in the finished part of the basement, but didn't think of doing that because of the concrete slab (and maybe they arent' allowed below grade??). Also, we put one outlet in the appliance garage in our kitchen and I wish that we had put two in there. I put too many outlets above our counters and am actually going to tile over one of them when we finish the backsplash. We only put one outlet in our kitchen island and I wish that we had put two so that there woudl be one on each end of the island.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm in the planning stages but have put tons of thought into this. Hopefully I won't have to tweak it too much when I do the framing walkthrough. (You really should walk though the framed house before finalizing the locations.)

    No Christmas package (don't decorate for holidays) or intercom.

    Outlets at a few locations specifically for nighlights (in bathrooms and in hallways) so we don't have to flip on the overhead lights in order to use the facilities in the middle of the night.

    Switch for the bathroom fan between the toilet and the vanity (instead of with the other switches near the door) so that it is accessible from the toilet and standing in front of the vanity.

    Duplex outlets near the TV area.

    Duplex outlet mounted higher on the wall than normal for the main phone area which will be a nich in the wall.

    Duplex outlets to either side of all potential bed headboards.

    Oulets dedicated for cell phone charging in an elevated nich.

    Duplex outlet, tv cable (for internet) and phone (for fax) anywhere that I plan to (or even might) have a computer.

    Outlet immediately beside the loft railing in case we ever want to put lights across the railing we can plug them in without a tripping hazzard.

    Although we probably won't need them, I am putting one oulet just inside each WIC.

    In my workshop, I'll put an outlet 5' high so that I can put a shelf under it to hold a small radio and clock but still be able to put tables or work space under it.

    Outlets closer together than Code requires so that it's more convenient.

    Switches for a room at EVERY entrance into that room. (Our current house doesn't have switches at every entrance and it's a pain.)

    We will have a small vestibule (for guest entry) and small mudroom for our entry from the garden that are beside each other. Their lights will be on the same switch so that when we walk from outside, into the mudroom, into the entry (from interior access) and then finially into the main house we don't have to flip lights on and off every few steps. Just once when we enter the mudroom and again when we enter the main house.

    Don't forget electrical service for any undercabinet lights.

    There are past threads about outlets that are mounted so that they are accessible from inside cabinet drawers so that clothing irons or hairdryers can be left plugged in all of the time and stored in the drawers. I'm considering that, too.

    In a similar manner, outlet inside of mixer lifter kitchen cabinet for mixer.

    Outlets and switch for pendant lights on the kitchen island.

    Outlet for microwave that will be raised above countertop height.

    Exterior grade outlets at multiple places outside that are easily accessible from the porch and patio areas (not for Christmas lights).

    Outlet at attic access incase I need to plug in a light there since we will have minimal lighting there.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We spent a great deal of time trying to think about our electrical ... while you can go crazy adding plugs, the cost will add up so it is important to balance usefulness and cost. Here is a sense of what we did, albeit a number of them were referenced above.

    - Added a switched Christmas light package for eaves of house, as well as a separately switched set of ground level plugs that could be used for "net lights" in bushes ... or simply easily power yard tools. Additionally, we ensured we had a ground level plug on the front porch to run any lights/decorations around the entrance, albeit this plug was not switched (Note: we use $8 remote control from big box store)
    - Think about where you will place your Christmas tree and ensure you have a plug near that location ... and consider making it 1/2 hot switchable (ie, one plug has power 100% time and other plug controlled by switch)

    - Thought about how we would enter and exit rooms to determine placements and or need to 2 or 3 way switches, as well as dimmer switches to either save power or vary the 'mood'

    - Outlet in all closets

    - Outlet in bath comode areas ... use for night lights (guests, senior family members or even for us in the middle of night!)

    - Hm office has dedicated "homeruns" for multiple 4 plex outlets to support computers, moniters, etc. Also have a PVC pipe extending down from attic to a blank plate near electronics to allow for easy expansion if required in future. Similiar plans at the entertainment center area.

    - Specified 4 plex on each side of MBR bed to support clocks, lamps, electric blankets, phones, etc.

    - Switch next to bed for MBR fan ... placed at height just above the bedside table

    - Small shelving area near back/garage entry door ... where cell phone rechargers, answering machines, small lamp, etc can be powered vs scattering the devices and clutter around the house.

    - Inset plugs built into the top of the mantel at each end for lamps to holiday decorations

    - Kitchen island has outlet at each end

    - Kitchen backsplash area void of outlets and clutter, since they were added via power strips mounted under cabinets and an angle for easy use, but still out of sight ... we have been very pleased with this decision after second guessing ourselves initially

    - We have multiple garage doors, so installed switch to kill power to openers for use during holidy ... even though many openers now offer that feature on their actual openers ... I wanted a backup.

    - Ensure you have PVC runs under walkways, driveways, etc to allow for future electrical runs you might require...
    After focus on the house, I let us end up short in the garage ... grr!! BTW, agree with the 4 foot height suggested above.

    Finally, the best decision we made which has been used a number of times ... we took digital pictures of all the plug locations and wiring runs before the walls were closed up ... You will not believe how often you will find those pictures useful. BTW, take them in a logical orderly manner through house so you can keep with which room you are looking at and rename the file name to help future recall.

    Good luck !!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Trish, if my husband saw your post he'd have "a lot" to tell you. Poor guy, I just about killed him with my "electrical" requests. I went overboard on this too. All of my life I've lived in houses and apartments that had maybe 2 outlets to a room and never had one available close to me when I needed it.

    So for my new house I put outlets on all the walls, some 2 to a wall.

    In the great room I have 2 on each wall, one by the fireplace, and 2 in the floor for lamps since the furniture will be floating in the middle of the room.

    The master bedroom has 1 on each side of the bed for lamps, 2 on the opposite wall and one on each remaining side wall.

    On the outside outlets we installed a box at the top of each column as we plan on having lights wrapped around each. We have a box under each window on the front and side porches. We also installed outlets under the 4 front windows for any inside decorations that we want to put in the windows. We also are putting a box a distance from the front of the house in the front yard where we plan to make our "holiday" display area. We have a huge front yard so I thought I'd designate one area for holiday decorations, i.e., a manger at Chrristmas, maybe a graveyard at Holloween. You get the picture.

    We decided against the intercom, we really don't need it and most probably would never use it.

    We have outlets in every room including the closets and walk in kitchen pantry.

    We have all lights, except the lamps, on dimmers. We also wired so when we enter the bedroom we can turn on the nightstand lights from the wall switch and not have to put on the large overhead lights. We have that now and it's perfect.

    We have recessed, lamps and sconces and chandeliers all on different switches.

    We also have switches for porch lights at the front and side doors.

    I have some others, but they have already been mentioned. I think that's it.

    Let me know if you want any other specific information, I'm glad to help you.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    daltex's post reminded me of something else. I considered doing the following but now think I'm not going to do it in favor of incorporating the same features into a custom-made headboard. I still think it's a good idea so I'll post it in case it gives anyone else ideas.

    In the master bedroom, have 2 separate reading lights above each side of the bed with two separate switches. Locate the switches above the center of the headboard so if one of us falls asleep with our light on, the other one can turn it off without walking around the bed.

    Also considerd putting a switch for the main master bedroom light (and maybe fan) above the headboard (between the reading light switches) so that we don't have to get out of bed to operate them. I still may do that.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You might also be wary dimmer circuits for lights.
    When incandescent lights go away, sometime in 2011 - 2015, the replacement flourescents might not be dimmable, unless you really pay a high price.

    don't forget an outlet near the garage door.
    I also placed several outlets in the 1st floor joist spaces accessible from the basement. I have then drilled holes in the first floor (through carpet and floor) to deliver power to islands in the great room. Probably not to code, going through the floor, but when visible from both sides and using heavy duty short extension cords.....

    I would also install a whole house surge protector, it might protect your furnace or refrigerator electronics.
    Many appliances now have computer components that are easily damaged by errant current.

    Also be very wary of putting things like motion detector flood lights under second floor eaves. They work fine, but when they break or you want to change, you will have to find someone willing to work at the top of a tall ladder. (my current dilema) I also wish that I had outlets below my sinks for both automatic faucets, and hot water recirculation systems. put a couple of outlets in attic spaces, you never know when you might need power for satellite systems, alarms, or fans.

    I understand your agony. I lived it. But I also have never regretted any outlet I had installed, and I have never wished I had any other, (other than the garage and sink outlets) Much cheaper at this stage, than when you have to install in an existing house.

    Good Luck

    good luck

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "So for my new house I put outlets on all the walls, some 2 to a wall."

    Residential construction under very old standards did not specify receptacle spacing.
    For many years now the rule has been than no place on a wall may be more than 6 feet from a receptacle (receptacles every 12 feet).
    This often results in extension cords being needed depending on furniture placement.
    Cutting the spacing to 3 feet (Receptacles every 6 feet) almost completely eliminates the need for extension cords.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    So I didn't overdo it, that's good to know. I hate extension cords and think they are dangerous.

    Allison, that is funny, I had never heard of not being able to have an outlet in a closet. It's allowed where I live, but they are very lax on things where I'm moving. Where I'm moving they don't even inspect inside walls before you drywall. They come out after to make sure you have things vented properly and grounded I believe. That's about it.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    WOW~have I got a LOT of thinking to do! Some of you have thought to put switches/outlets in places I never would, such as a closet.

    Seeing that many of the places I need floor outlets are on the main floor, and it's a slab, how is that handled? Is it 3 times as expensive as on a wall? I'm not used to having my furniture against the walls, and prefer smaller conversation areas.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I love the lists.

    I also had outlets put in the linen closets, in under any bath vanities (blow dryers, curling irons) and in medicine cabinets (electric toothbrush, shaver) I don't like clutter on my counters so if I can put things in the cabinet that's where I'll put it.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Also, look into plugmold, I wish I had known about that, since it would have eliminated oulets from my backsplash. Another cool idea I din't do (sigh) is arranging for the outlets to be in the baaseboard trim - if your trim is whie, they virtually disappear...
    Also, make sure if you have any pendant lighting over the counters, your elec. puts the holes in the center of the WHOLE countertop - in our peninsula, the holes for the pendants are centered on the 24" cabinets, but this didn't take into account our 11 inch overhang, so the holes aren't centered over our peninsula after all (ouch). It's not too bad, I guess, heck, I may be the only person who notices (not the 1st time for that phenomenon to occur!)