Lighting It Up

When I was in Marche a few weeks ago, I asked Kevin about the electrical plan. I had assumed the architect or geometra would handle this and we’d comment. (The architect and geometra have overlapping roles. The architect has more formal training and certification, and seems to handle the big picture elements of the design. The geometra handles the details, plus acts as a surveyor and project manager.)

light-bulb-referencing-home-electrical-planHe told me that I ought to make the first pass at an electrical plan. I was happy to take this on, as I wanted to avoid some shortcomings in our current house. (This house was built in 1946, so some of the weaknesses, such as outlet placement, remain today. Also, an addition was put on in 1997, which was done without paying attention to some details. For example, we have light switches behind doors which could have been avoided by hinges on the other side or switches on the other wall.)

Kevin gave me a couple of examples of plans past clients had done. I thought they were a bit incomplete in that they left out some important details, like switches in general or the connection of which switches to which circuit.

My goals for our plan were to make sure we have enough outlets and in the right places, having logical switch locations and connections, and appropriate built in lighting. (One thing I wanted to avoid was hanging lights in the main room, as it seemed to me they’d look awkward hanging out by themselves.)

I also wanted to be sure we’d have good wireless internet coverage throughout the house.

I’ve probably been through five or six iterations of the plan, which included the network plan, which I wrote about before. I’m fairly pleased with the plan as it stands right now.

I tried to meet our goals by including an outlet on almost every wall inside, using quad outlets in high use areas like the office and kitchen, and waterproof outlets for outside; clearly showing switches and the connections to circuits and using three-way switches and dimmers as appropriate; building in recessed lighting in the main room ceiling and in the walls in the stairway; and providing connections for outside elements like landscape lighting and irrigation system wiring.

I’m also wanting to have a separate ice making machine, as Italians don’t use much ice and refrigerators don’t have ice makers, so I specified a special outlet for it. (I’m not sure if I can make the ice machine happen. Those I can find online that would work in Italy might be too big or too expensive.)

I considered, briefly, the idea of a “smart home” with special outlets and switches and smartphone control, but I found it’s pretty expensive and when I thought about it, would be more for fun than useful. We can just use timers instead of computer controls.

electrical plan for a new house in Le Marche
Electrical plan
Click image to enlarge and see electrical plan details

When Kevin saw this, he called it, “one BEEFY electrical plan.”

He’s off this week to discuss the plan with the network and electrical specialists. I’m hoping that the plan won’t be too expensive to implement. I’m counting on the incremental cost of a few outlets and switches as being fairly small.

First image: CC0
Second image: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

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