Selections Day 2 – Electrical

After we had recovered from our first day of selections back in mid March (Kitchens and Tiles/Flooring), we were up for the second round of selections which were all directly with Wisdom Homes.  Day 2 comprised of electrical, landscaping and colours appointments with different specialists.

One thing that I think is important to mention about Wisdom is they absolutely do not install owner supplied light fixtures.  Ive never heard of anyone getting their electricians to do cash in hand extras either.  Because of this, we had to be prepared that any lights we wanted that weren’t downlights would have to be purchased out of our own pocket and we were going to need to pay an electrician to install them post handover.  Well that or living with a lot of plain bulbs in the ceiling!

With that in mind, I’ve spent months looking at light fixtures and fans to work out what we like, where we want them, how many we want etc.  This is not an appointment to go into unprepared or you will end up wishing for things later or way overspending to try to mitigate any later regret.  This is a selection of light fixtures we have put on our list for the house.

 

Wisdom provide you with a base electrical plan right back when you get your first drawings, then after we booked in our appointment, the electrical specialist sent us a customised electrical plan that included any extra inclusions from our promo pack (15 downlights) and tender (wall supports for wall mounted TVs).

The weekend before the appointment we sat down with the blank copy of the plans and went through room by room discussing what we needed in each room, drawing it on as went.  Wisdom provide a price list of most common items so you can roughly work out how much extra you’re spending on power points/lighting/network points etc.

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When we got into the appointment, we rolled out our doodled plan and went through room by room again.  Where we hadn’t been sure, we asked the consultant’s opinion and she usually had an idea or would confirm what we had been thinking.

Because of restrictions around lighting and wet areas, we couldn’t do my planned pendant lights in the main bathroom, so we added a couple of wall lights there instead.  We also had to remove a power point in our butlers pantry that was too close to the sink.  It was a slightly tedious process just because with every change, the corresponding switch had to be updated to the right number of buttons/dimmers, or the fixture needed a note to show what height it should be at.  You need to be a patient person to do that job!

As the consultant make changes, there is a rolling total in the bottom corner so you can see what you have spent, but you need to ask if you want to see the individual price on anything as you add it.  For instance we opted to upgrade our power points in the kitchen to the Saturn Horizon range so they would blend with our mirror splashback and island – 3 power points and the cooker switch later and we had spent $297 just for fancy plates!  We wanted an infrared sensor on our pantry light – we changed out mind after finding out it was nearly $300!

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Wisdom outsource things like networking, alarm systems and home theatre cabling to another company called Sentinel, so there were a few items we couldn’t add like rear speaker cabling for our media room.  We have to wait for them to give us a call.

All up it took us 1.5 hours to add everything in and remove any standard inclusions we didn’t use. We got about a $500 credit at the end for batten holders, a phone point and a wall mounting point for a tv we didn’t require.  The consultant then calculated that we needed to add 2 extra power and lighting circuits to for the increased load, kaching thats another $1000!  When we were all done, everything gets printed and signed and you also get provided with a detailed breakdown of every item, cost, how many were included and how many were added.

Finally, here are a few electrical considerations (and the prices we were charged) to think about before your appointment:

  1. As I’ve already said, think about every light fixture you might want to put in post handover – do you need to specify how far they need to be away from a wall to line up with furniture? How heavy are they, do they need additional supports put in the ceiling?
  2. 2 and 3 way switching – do you want to be able to control the lights from more than 1 switch?  We put our downstairs hallway lights on a 3 way switch so we can control them from the front door, garage and the kitchen.  We also did the same with a 2 way switch for our upstairs hallway lights.  Be prepared for this to cost more ($50/2 way and $125/3 way)
  3. Dimmers – if you’re having downlights, do you need dimmers so they’re not glaringly bright everywhere? Again expect to pay more ($113/dimmer)
  4. Outdoor power and lighting – my husband pointed out I was really focused indoors but what about if we (ha yeah right…we should really be he!) needed to go out to the bins at night, so we had to add some batten holders on the side of the house and we put a floodlight at the back.  We also added outdoor power points on the balcony for Christmas lights and around the back for garden lighting and a water feature (we discovered you can get all these things with a normal plug at Bunnings and add outdoor timers, no need for an electrician – hurrah!)
  5. Garage power – adding a power point near the garage door means you can access it on the driveway or in the front garden, but you don’t have to pay the extra for an outdoor power point and it’s secure when you’re not there.
  6. Hallway power – our hallways were the one place not allocated a power point as standard.  I put them midway, upstairs and downstairs, along the hallway to maximise how far I could get with the vacuum cleaner!
  7. Bathroom power – we have hidden virtually all our power points in the vanities in the bathrooms.  Solves the problem of their proximity to basins and keeps our tiling looking nice and clean.  For the 10 minutes a day I use my hair dryer and straightener, I can live with having the vanity open and the rest of the time I don’t have to see them, or my toothbrush, or my husbands razor.  We left it above the vanity in the main bathroom just so guests could find it easily.

 

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