Although it makes perfect sense when you think about it, I was surprised that decisions about the positioning of plugs, switches, lighting, and radiators, came so early on.
This is my first experience of renovating a property, and it’s not something I’ve thought about before, so I’m learning all about the sequence of decisions you have to take.
One of the first decisions I’ve been asked to make by my builder concerns the number, type, and location of electrical plugs, light switches, TV wall sockets, ethernet jacks, and radiators. The building team need to know where all these things go so they can lay the tubes and pipes for the electrical wiring and plumbing, which all goe in the walls and ceiling.
Switches and plugs seem like small details but their number and position make a difference to small, repetitive tasks in daily life. You really want to have them located in just the right place to make it easy to do small things like turn the lights on and off. So you need to plan where beds and other key bits of furniture will go. Luckily my builders have interior design and architecture in house so I’ve got great professionals to help me draw up plans and make changes as we go along. At this stage I don’t have to decide on the style of these features, just their number and location.
I’m going for lots of plugs in lots of places, as I hate having to resort to plug extension leads that look ugly, get in the way, and collect dust. In my office I’m going for a rack of ten plugs to be on the safe side.
I’m putting digital TV wall sockets in all 3 bedrooms, my office, and the living room, just for safety’s sake. I don’t plan to have TVs in any bedrooms but who knows what my kids will bully me into when they get older.
But as far as TV goes, these days you don’t need TV sockets if you have a fibre optic internet, TV and telephone bundle like the one I have with Movistar. All the data travels over ethernet cables, or wifi. I’m putting ethernet plugs in all the rooms just in case, but the plan is to be wireless as far as possible. I’ll explain the options at a later date.
I’ve kept the old radiators because they are traditional cast iron and cost a fortune. I also like that retro look. We’re going to spruce them up and have them dotted around the flat, though we’ll also install some slimline modern radiators in some places. But I’m not planning to use the central heating much, as I’m putting in lots of insulation, which I’ll explain in my next article.
Lighting is a big and complicated subject that I’ll also be writing about in more detail. It can make all the difference to the mood and look of a home. So often I see lighting installation badly done. I’m determined not to make the same mistake.
Next time I’ll look at the question of insulation, what are your options, and what they cost.