Do you have a healthy respect for electricity? Most smart people do! With good reason, an electrician has strict licensing requirements and constantly changing codes to follow.
Yes, a good electrician is expensive, but well worth the investment. Should you decide to go with the lowest bid, I promise that you will pay for it in the long run well over where the high bid landed. Why? Because when they make mistakes wiring while the walls are open, you often don’t know until the installation of fixtures – now, you have a very expensive problem.
Typically, I will do an electrical and lighting plans and I always do the electrical plan with furniture drawn into the room so that we can customize the electrical requirements to the homeowners personal needs. This plan allows the electrician to give pricing and explain how he works as well as provides a launching point for the walk through.
This is what we discussed during the electrical walk through at my house:
1) Kitchen Lighting – we decided to use (6) 4″ recessed cans, under cabinet/ shelf lighting as well as discussed the location of specialty lighting over the sink. Everything on a dimmer!
2) Kitchen Outlets – since the kitchen wall will have subway tiles, we will have some outlets installed horizontally to meet code as well as blend the design. I explained how I wanted the pantry to layout and function so that it is completely custom.
3) Bedroom – Since I am going with pendants next to the bed, we will switch those independently on each side of the bed on a dimmer at 24″ off the ground. Also at 24″ will be the outlet complete with USB ports.
4) Closet – My electrician measured the distance from the floor to the center of my eyes and will install the make-up mirror at that height (at my age, I don’t see very well so it would be a good idea to look clearly in the mirror).
5) Bathroom – Between the heated floor mat, heated towel bar, heat/ fan/ light fixture (can you tell that the room as been cold?) there is a lot going on in the bathroom. We had to figure out where to switch the pendants, task and shower lights as well.
A good electrician will take the time and energy to go through all these important decisions with you. I’ve known Jeff Bower of JB Electric for about 17 years and he has done four of our properties. He is patient, creative, thoughtful and very talented. Thank you Jeff for your attention to detail!