electrical outlets: randomly placed or strategically laid out?
Where to place outlets:
The current electrical code is very specific about the minimum amount of electrical outlets that are needed in your home while still giving some flexibility to the builder and homeowner to strategically place them to satisfy the needs for different lifestyles.
Code tells us that outlets need to be 6' or less from each doorway, never more than 12' apart in normal living areas, and kitchen countertop backsplash never more than 4' apart. Why these distances?
Planning outlets with how you live in a space:
Think about everyday things we use like lamps for instance generally have a 6' cord while kitchen countertop appliances are usually standard with a 2' cord meaning you will be able to reach an outlet anytime without the use of an extension cord.
Here is a kitchen that had to have outlets right where the windows were by code. Instead of having the outlets on the window trim, we did pop-up outlets on the countertops. This is a great way to keep the backsplash and trim clean without unsightly outlets.
In this living room, we made sure the floor outlets were in the perfect location right behind the couch, and under the console table. That way, the home owner could add a table lamp or a floor lamp without cords in the walk-way.
Hiding tv cables and speakers:
We hid the TV speakers and cables in the shelves behind the stacked wood. The design from the beginning was to have these amazing shelves on both sides of the fireplace. The whole look was to have stacked wood, so you don't have to compromise design for function. In this case, the design actually helped, because it hides everything beautifully.
At Style & Structure we take it one step farther and invite each client to visit the home during electrical rough in to get a feel for these locations and discuss possible adjustments if necessary.
Some considerations for layout adjustments are beds, night stands, or tv locations. While we can normally accommodate these items within the minimum code requirements we do frequently add additional outlets if requested at the walk through. We believe that this small effort during the build will have a lasting affect in your new home.
Here is a book nook we designed, and the homeowner wanted to have access to the light sconces. They also wanted an outlet to have a computer and phone to be plugged in.
Plan outlet locations for special occasions too!
We like to help our clients think of the special occasions as well when thinking about outlet placement. Here is an example of outlets next to beams so the client could hang garland with lights during the Holidays. We also added outlets on the roofline to avoid hanging electrical cords outside.
Here is a great example of this. Our client loves decorating for holidays and wanted to hang Christmas garland from the beams.
Thanks for stopping by for another Friday Fun Fact with Builder Joe!