Friday, 5 June 2015

You always need a bright spark(y)

One of the first things I wanted to do when we started renovating was get an electrician in. To be honest, it had to be done fairly early as the previous owners didn't seem all that keen on light fittings, or working bulbs, and so there were a lot of strange empty sockets around.

Also given the age of the building I was nervous that some kind of dodgy wiring would lead to the whole cottage burning down.

And finally, as I have mentioned in an earlier post (you can read it here) - the previous owners were rather keen on painting over light switches.  And power points.  So I wanted to replace the red and green and brown switches to more usual white ones!

So I found a few electricians, and I have to say they all said similar things, which was basically if you start looking into wiring it may open up a can of worms, that it would be best to live in the house for a while before deciding where we needed to put power points etc, and that we may want to do more decorating first before putting in the new light fittings.

But I had already decided I wanted all this done so I insisted.  Which, although I think it was good advice which I was given, I don't regret getting our electrician in early.

The good news was that we had safety switches, and that some work had been done recently, so that we didn't need to worry too much about the rewiring.

There wasn't really any bad news (thank goodness).  Mike (our electrician) was great, and very flexible.  So while he changed all our powerpoints to double ones, changed all the light switches, moved our power points in our main bedroom off the skirting boards (why they were there I don't know.  But it meant you couldn't really plug anything in to them!) and rearranged the cabling in the bathroom, which had previously all been on the outside of the wall (again, who knows why), I went shopping for new light fittings.

This is to try to show the wiring in the bathroom/laundry.  Obviously this is after the asbestos was removed by the wiring had only been sitting on the outside of the wall anyway!

Bit hard to see but this is the famous brown and green light switch.

Most of our lights we bought from Bright Lighting in Punchbowl.  I have to say, and this is not sponsored or anything, but they had the most excellent customer service. I was really happy to go there and their prices were very reasonable.

Some of the before shots of light fittings in the kitchen and spare room.

We installed a chandelier for the lounge room, a pendant light for the spare room, two wall lights for the main bedroom, and matching lights for the kitchen and dining room.  The only thing I regret is that the kitchen lights are not bright enough, however I think this could be improved by changing the bulbs to higher wattage - another thing to get around to.

The other item I purchased was an exhaust fan for the bathroom.  Because our roof in the bathroom is a flat tin roof there is very little space between the ceiling and roof.  For this reason we had to use a wall exhaust fan.  This vastly limited our choices. I discovered most are to be ceiling mounted.  The strength of an exhaust fan is shown by the airflow (cubic metres per hour) and you do need to take into account the size of your room.  Since our bathroom is large, plus we have it combined with our laundry, which may add more moisture, I wanted the strongest fan I could get.

Once I purchased all the lights and the fan Mike installed them for us.  Plus sensor lights for the front of the house, and an external light and external switch on the deck.  And his final work was wiring our hot water system, which the plumber moved from inside the bathroom to outside the house, and for which we needed somewhere to plug it in!

In total we spent approximately $2000 on the electrician.  The lights were approximately $500 for all in total (that is extra to the cost for the electrician), but I did find that you can easily spend much more, as lights vary enormously.

It's definitely worth while getting an electrician to check everything out.  And I think it is a relatively small investment that can really make a major difference to the look of the house.

1 comment:

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