Electrical Planning – Bedrooms 2, 3, 4

Secondary bedrooms are usually considered less important that the main bedrooms but that doesn’t mean that the electrical planning doesn’t need to be considered.

You need to think about the different possible occupiers of the room over a wide range of years.

It might start out as a guest bedroom, or nursery. . .  but may finish up as the live at home bedroom of one of those SKIPPERS (Single Kids In Parents Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings)

Perhaps you don’t want to make it too comfortable for those young adults!

Our spare bedroom is set up as a sewing room, and has our printer.

Here are a few thoughts for planning:

  • Next to bed, power sockets for radio alarm, phone charger, electric blanket, bedside light, on both sides.
  • Desk location, power sockets for computer, desk light, printer.
  • Other locations, power for TV, DVD player, stereo, game console, and phone charger.
  • Don’t forget the hair dryer.
  • Other cabling may include a TV Aerial Socket and possibly a data connection.

As the use of the room changes sockets may be in the wrong positions so you can’t plan exactly.

My recommendation would be to go for a minimum of four double sockets. One close to each corner.

What does your teenager have that I’ve forgotten?

For similar posts see Electrical

More Electrical Planning including Check Lists in the

‘Selection / Pre-Start Guide’


Electrical Planning – Garage

In my current garage I had three double power points installed. . . . which I thought was plenty.

With the amount of power needs on my workbench, including battery chargers I had to fix this power board to the wall.

What We Had Installed

I asked for double outlets at:

  • The corner close to where my beer fridge is, about 1m from the floor level.
  • Behind the shelves where my power tools are stored about 1m from the floor as a recharging station.
  • A low mounted point on the wall where my workbench is located.

What I Would Do Differently

  • Rather than the low point located behind the workbench I would have put two double points, one at either end of the workbench. They would be set above the height of the bench, say about 1200 from the floor.
  • Have task lighting above the workbench.
  • A single point on the ceiling, which would have made wiring the garage door opener in a lot easier. (We had that installed a couple of years after the build.)
  • An extra double 1m from the floor on the opposite side of the garage to the workbench near the main door. To run the pressure washer when cleaning the car on the drive. It’s also where I store my compressor.

Other Thoughts

  1. Some people might suggest having a 15 Amp point installed so that I could run a heavy-duty welder.
  2. I have seen some garages where people have a complete kitchen in the garage for things like making big batches of tomato sauce. If you had thought of this perhaps you should be looking at the kitchen post
  3. Why not run a television aerial to the garage so you can keep an eye on the cricket when working on a project.
  4. Have a hallway light switch in the garage so that as you go through the connecting door you can switch the hall light on.


For similar posts see Electrical

More Electrical Planning including 24 pages of Check Lists in the

‘Selection / Pre-Start Guide’


Electrical Planning – Bathroom and En-Suite

Here are a few thoughts about electrical planning for your new bathrooms.

  • Fan over the shower. I like these better than the centrally mounted fans.
  • Heating unit. A lot of people like those 3 in 1 heating/fan/light units but I prefer separate lights,heaters and extraction fans.
  • Heated towel rail.
  • Power sockets If you really want them try and avoid putting them in a place where you will not be tempted to touch them with wet hands.
  • The ‘lady of the house’ will probably appreciate good lighting of her face (with warm white lights) when she stands in front of the mirror. It is easier for her to get her make-up right.

Luxury Bathrooms

When it comes to luxury I’m not really an expert as I am more a; get in, S**t, Shave, Shampoo, Shower (SSSS) and get out.

A friend of mine however went the five star treatment.

His bathroom includes a two person spa, flat screen TV, and ‘champagne fridge’ within easy reach of the spa, a bit out of my league.

Another luxury fitting which is gaining a following are those ‘Japanese Bidet Toilet Seats’. If you want one of these you will need a power point behind the toilet.

Interesting Fact

Do you know that in England the Electrical Wiring Regulations don’t allow power sockets or wall mounted electrical switches in bathrooms.

All switches must be ceiling mounted pull switches.

The Australian Regulations are far more relaxed about people touching 220 volt switches with wet hands, or dropping the hair dryer in the basin!


For similar posts see Electrical

More Electrical Planning including 24 pages of Check Lists

in the ‘Selection / Pre-Start Guide’


3 in 1 Bathroom Heaters or Separate Units?

In a previous house we had one of those 3 in 1 bathroom light/heater/extraction fan.

I can’t say I was impressed. . . . It suffers from the Swiss Army Knife Syndrome…… doing lots of things, but none of them as well as a purpose designed tool.

It seems more sensible to me to have the fan directly above the shower and extract the steam at it’s source, rather than let it drift across the ceiling and then extract it.

As far as Lighting is concerned it’s easier to see yourself clearly in the mirror if the light is in the area between the mirror and you, rather than behind you. . .

I think that ladies putting on make-up in the bathroom will agree!

For heating I never seemed to get much heat from the heat lights. (One exception was a unit in a hotel bathroom with a low 2.1m ceiling)

The best bathroom heating solution for us has been a wall mounted fan heater

A couple of low price alternatives are:

  1. Leave the door partially open overnight allows enough heat from the ducted heating to flow through to the bathroom in the morning.
  2. Switch the bathroom fan on a few minutes before your shower and it will pull the warm air into the bathroom.


Thinking about underfloor heating? . . . Check out this Link : Underfloor Heating


For more see Bathroms and Ensuites


Downlights – 5 Reasons to Think Again

Downlights are very popular and can give dramatic light effects so you seem them a lot in show houses, and shops ……but I won’t  have them again.

A but harsh? . . . . here are my reasons why.

  1. The dramatic effect means that the light from each fitting is fairly limited in area so you need lots of them.
  2. The cost of each individual unit, including installation is high. With four – six in small rooms and ten or more in large rooms the cost really starts to add up.
  3. Because the light is directed down you don’t get much reflected light of the walls and none on the ceiling resulting in a very uneven light, not what you need for reading or general household tasks.
  4. Because the down lights run hot its dangerous to cover them in insulation which means that the effectiveness of your insulation is reduced. .
  5. Changing bulbs can be really fiddly and exasperating, especially with some of the cheaper fittings. Not good when you are working off a ladder.

Now LED downlights are common these are better than the old incandescent so if you love your existing downlights It could be worth upgrading to LEDs.

Here is a comparison of costs; A typical room will need at least 6 down lights at $100 each including installation, Total $600 and using around 50W. Compare this against a single $50 LED bulb on an oyster fitting costing $50 and using 15W.


For similar posts see Electrical

Planning Electrics – Remaining Rooms

With the main rooms covered in previous posts I will cover the remaining rooms with this post.


For a dining table in the kitchen area an extra double socket close to the table should be enough for any cooking gadget that you may want on the dining table.

If you have a separate dining room I prefer one double in each corner to give plenty of flexibility for dining.

It will also make the room more useful if you want to change the use later.

Its quite common to go for a pendant fitting for the dining table.

Remember the point is to illuminate the table but not to dazzle the diners.

If you have got a kitchen dining area make sure the lights are on a separate circuit so you can switch the kitchen lights off while you eat.


In all hallways its useful to have a power socket for the vacuum.

For the front hallway a power supply for the bell and any CCTV system are recommended.

We also have a table light with a time switch on the hall table. This makes the house more welcoming in the evening and deters burglars by making it look more like someone is home.


In our laundry we just have one four way power point. This allows us to leave the washer and the drier plugged in and to have two sockets spare, perhaps for the iron and a radio.


For similar posts see Electrical

More Electrical Planning including 24 pages of Check Lists in the

‘Selection / Pre-Start Guide’


Electrical Planning – Outside

A lot of people forget all about outside electrical work. . .  but it can make a big difference to how much easier it makes things.

I have listed some of the electrical things you might like to think about.

Weatherproof Lights

    1. Light at the front door. ( A good security feature Time switch control is best)
    2. Light to illuminate the driveway. (Sensor or time switch)
    3. Light at the back door.
    4. Lights on the deck/alfresco dining/patio/barby/pool deck/garden
    5. Light for the washing line.

For lights at the side and round the back of the house I generally find bunker fittings work well. They are inexpensive, not as harsh as floodlights, and can be fitted with a low energy bulb.

Weatherproof Outlets

    1. Back door (double socket)
    2. Deck/al-fresco dining/patio/barby/area (at least one double socket)
    3. Driveway (single socket or have a convenient double at the front of the garage)
    4. Pressure pump for water tank (single switched outlet should be OK)
    5. For Low Voltage Garden lights (double socket in a weatherproof box which can also house the transformers)
    6. Shed or separate garage.
    7. Underneath the front eaves. (Only if you are going to want to put up Christmas Lights, one double at least)


    • Door Bell/ Security system
    • 15 Amp socket for spa/pool
    • 15 Amp switched Outlet(s) for future split system air conditioning outdoor unit.
    • 15 Amp switched Outlet(s) for Heat Pump
    • Conduits under driveway/ paths for future garden lights, and fountains.
    • TV aerial point in the Alfresco dining area for a grand final or Melbourne Cup Barby.

What’s the best outside electrical fitting in your house?


For similar posts see Electrical

More Electrical Planning including 24 pages of Check Lists in the ‘Selection / Pre-Start Guide’