Planning power needs wasn't something I'd given much thought to. In fact where to put sockets in a room wasn't something I'd ever considered before! However, its crucial to get this right, as it can make or break a space!
This can seem quite daunting. Work through the 5 questions below to create an outline electrical plan, you can discuss with your builder and electrician:
1). What appliances are included in your kitchen design?
Write a list of the:
Large electrical appliances i.e. american fridge freezer, drinks fridge, range oven, extractor fan, dishwasher. Make sure these are clearly marked on the plans. Large appliances, such as the fridge and oven also require isolation switches, so you can switch them off for maintenance. Consider placing the socket in a cupboard beside the appliance (you can turn the appliance off, without having to pull the appliance out).
Integrated smaller appliances i.e. coffee machine, microwave. Make sure these are clearly marked on the plans, especially if they are hidden i.e. in a pantry/appliance warehouse.
2). How many sockets will you need on your worktop and walls?
To calculate this, consider:
Worktop - what will you have plugged in i.e. a kettle, toaster, coffee maker, bread maker?
Walls - consider sockets for hoovering, plugging in lamps, office equipment, ironing and so on ...
Courtesy of Flickr
Courtesy of Decordove
3). Do you have a pantry/appliance warehouse in your design?
Think about all the appliances you want to store in this. If you are planning an integrated coffee machine you'll need power placed higher up the wall, so you don't have trailing cables.
Modern kitchens have a lot of gadgets and its great to have them all plugged in. We opted for 2 double sockets in our pantry/appliance warehouse (positioned just above the worktop), which is perfect for the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, Coffee Machine, Coffee Frother, Magi-mix Food Processor.
We also opted for one double socket in the 'cocktail' cabinet.
4). Island sockets - do you need them?
YES! Don't skimp on your island sockets, we were amazed by how much we use the x2 double sockets with USB charging sockets.
In a shaker style kitchen this can often be your main work/prep area. Plugs on the island are handy for hand mixers, charging phones, tablets and laptops.
Alternatives are pop up plugs integrated into your worktop
Remember to talk to your builder re the type of floor you have and how easy it will be be run cables to the island and the cost of this.
5). And the rest?....
Do you need power for a boiling hot water tap, waste disposal unit in sink, thermostat, smoke alarms, underfloor heating, integral ceiling speakers and control box (i.e. Sonas), TV, sky box, cat 6 cabling, charging drawer, outside lighting in the garden?
MyCasa Tip: It's helpful to have your kitchen layout plan when discussing underfloor heating. Avoid having it in areas where it is not needed i.e. under appliances (fridge/freezer for example) and under food storage cabinets
The diagram below shows our electrical needs:
MyCasa Tip: Create your electrical plan early on in the design, so it can be incorporated into the builders contract. This makes it easier to manage your budget and helps prevent costly surprises later down the line
You should always defer to a qualified electrician to ensure you meet building regulations.
Look out for the next installation of my blog STEP 5: PLUMBING - AVOID THAT SINKING FEELING
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