Friday, June 17, 2011

Electrical Appointment done and dusted !!

It is nearly 9pm on a Friday night, Cam is out on the town with his mates for the night, the boys are in bed, one glass of wine has been consumed and I have been staring at this computer screen now for 1 hour (well, that’s not entirely true, I have been watching the box too and trying not to laugh at Gary Mehigan every time he says “spotted dick”, juvenile, I know)

So here goes… the dreaded electrical appointment. The time when you go and spend exorbitant amounts on tiny little lights and powerpoints.

“Yes, add 6 more lights to that room please, another double powerpoint there and there, and here's my right arm and left leg to pay for it all” LOL.

Cam and I spent a lot of time thinking about the electricals, we had grand plans to put in the minimum amount of lights (battens) then get Cam’s Dad who is a sparky to help make them into downlights later one. We went along to Habitat Consultants with our house plans with powerpoints, internal and external light points and switches all nicely colourcoded…Hmmmmm

So in the end here’s the damage…
  • 4 Junction boxes for future lights to the front of the house
  • Extra exhaust fan for the boys toilet upstairs (LOL)
  • Prewire for ceiling fan in grand outdoor room
  • 64 additional downlights spread throughout the home ($101 each)
  • Most existing battens moved and converted to downlights
  • Provision for 2 pendant lights to be hung above the dining table
  • A few dimmer, 2-way switches
  • Provision for future evaporative cooling
  • Provision for future downstairs split system
  • Spotlights for outside x 4
  • Extra light circuits
  • Bigger meter box
  • Upgrade all powerpoints and switches to Slimline (remain white in colour)
  • Stair lights in the wall and provision on ceiling above stairs for feature light
  • Waterproof powerpoints at back
  • Surge protection
  • One additional TV point upstairs

All up these cost in excess of @10,000 which is mindblowing…

On top of this we upgraded the ducted heating to a 4 star Bonaire system, with a remote control to use upstairs and added 2 additional ducts to the Ensuite and bathroom (the cost of this upgrade for the Nelson design was about $1800 but well worth it in my opinion).

The one thing that I was disappointed about was that we weren’t able to use the new technology LED downlights as they were an additional $100 a light than regular halogen downlights. Hopefully over time we will be able to replace these lights with LED, they are so much more energy efficient and I feel a sense of guilt at installing such energy hungry downlights, especially cause I am an environmental science teacher by trade!!!

However, as we paid our deposit prior to 1st May 2011, the new regulations regarding only being allowed to have an average of 5 watts per square metre doesn't apply to our build. Whilst I totally understand why such stringent regulations have been implemented, I am a bit relieved that we didn’t have to consider this on top of everything else.

I guess in time we will have to post photos of what lights we are thinking for the dining table and stairwell.




  1. It is so overwhelming isn't it? I remember when we had our electrical just can't say just keep wanting more! :)

  2. You guys did well we spent over $16k on our electrics and we didn't really go over the top we thought we'd have been able to have saved more money but as you said there a were not that many options to go with. It will all turn out right in the end and you can change things over time, I'm guessing you are planning to live in your new house for several years so just make changes and additions as you go. What we found amusing is that we needed to know things like where we'd put a power point for the kettle in a house we have never seen as the nolan isn't on display in queensland!!!!

  3. Don't panic about the LED's. Charging an additional $100 over and above halogen is overkill. There are LED's out there that you can buy for less than $20 from electrical wholesalers and these replace your existing halogen light. Look for the GU10 fitting type. My brother is a sparky and he'll be doing that for us as well. We chose to leave the standard batten points and have mt brother replace with LED downlights later.


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