Future-Proofing
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Data and Electrical

Working out the electrical requirements of your family now and in the future is one of the details that is a key to making sure your build or renovation is Future-Proofed.

Building or renovating is a process of starting with a general concept of how you want your home to be, then whittling away at the concept until all the details are filled out. The decisions you make in the planning stage can have a surprisingly large effect on the eventual comfort and convenience of your home.

First things first

You may already have a clear idea of some of your electrical “must haves”, such as safe outlets to plug in electric toothbrushes and hairdryers in the bathroom, or wired-in surround sound in the indoor and outdoor living areas. The best way make sure you don’t miss anything, however, is to go through your plans with a professional. If your builder has not recommended a preferred electrician, ask for recommendations from friends and family or see if there is an FPB Professional electrician in your area.

Consult with your electrician

An on-site consultation with your electrician will help with decisions on what you will need, where. Professional electricians are constantly updating themselves on new technologies and may be able to suggest products you didn’t even know existed to make your life safer and more comfortable.  In the case of a renovation or extension, it is particularly important to look at existing wiring to work out if it can be extended to provide for the updated needs of the house, and how sound the existing wire is as there is a good  chance that the wiring in the rest of the house will need to be updated, as well as the switchboard.

Ultra-Fast Broadband will be available to 75% of New Zealand homes within the next 10 years, bringing with it access to down loadable movies, TV on Demand, video calling and much more.  To take advantage of these technologies you need the correct product in your home. Building or renovating is the best time to prepare your home for ultra-fast broadband (UFB), it’s also the most cost effective time to do it as well.

By building with technology in mind you will create a leading edge, adaptable and functional home for your family now and in the future, as well as adding more value in if you do come to sell. The Hubbell Home Board and network solution is an affordable technology, and it can make a huge difference in a home, bringing technologies that will improve your family’s lifestyle. You wouldn’t dream of not putting insulation in your home, don’t make the mistake with your telephone, internet and TV cabling.

There has been a shift away from recessed lighting and there’s a good reason for this. Surface mounted lighting is a good-looking, energy-efficient trend. Recessed lights can literally create holes in ceiling insulation through which a lot of your home’s heat could escape, so if you do use recessed lighting, you need to make sure it’s the type that can have insulation butted right up against it.  Another good tip is to install sensors for hallways, walk-in robes and so on.

Health & safety

Other tips are that heated towel rails should be installed with timers, which saves 80% of the running cost, while retaining the luxury of warm, dry towels. Mirror de-misters, which are becoming more popular, should also be installed with timers.

Ventilation installation is very important for older houses. Any external penetrations for ventilation need to be double-checked to make sure they are in the right place and well-sealed, plus the builder should be informed so he can complete his own check.

Good electricians can explain why heat pump heating is an efficient option, as well as being qualified to install and service heat pumps and security alarms (by montgomery). Although security alarms can be monitored by security companies, it is now possible to monitor your own security alarm using an application on your mobile phone.

Pet alarms, which can be sized to cats or dogs, can be installed so that homeowners can arm their homes while their pets are still inside the house. Smoke alarms can also be wired into the security alarm system, avoiding the need to remember to change batteries regularly and enabling monitoring of both.

Also consider installing outdoor power points in case someone wants to water blast or clean their cars outdoors in the future, as well as sensor lights on each corner of the home.

Best laid plans

The best way to make sure everything is provided for and is best laid out for your convenience is do a full furniture layout. Decide where your television will go and how many appliances you need to have outlets for in the kitchen.

Look at your natural lighting versus the dark corners to decide where best to put in artificial lighting. Consider your artworks – will you hang a large painting in the lounge that you might want lit?

Going through this plan with your electrician is the best way to ensure that nothing is missed and that you will be one step closer to having a home that will suit your family’s needs now and into the future.

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