Where to Put Electrical Outlets in Your New Home


Electrical outlets

When it comes to installing electrical outlets in your new home, “you’ll always need more than you think you will,” says Adam Black, owner of Western Contracting Services in Montrose, Colo.

The good news is that when you buy a new construction home, you’ll be able to move outlets that aren’t perfectly placed and add more outlets where you think you’ll need them before your home is built. Planning ahead lets you optimize the functionality, aesthetics and safety of your outlets in ways that could end up being much more expensive if you bought an existing home.

Electric outlets – where to put them

Local building codes may require outlets in specific locations within your new home. You can also add more where you think you’ll need them.

John Mease, owner of John Mease Home Inspections in the metro Atlanta area, suggests positioning outlets on your garage ceiling for a garage door opener, above your fireplace for a TV, inside your built-in cabinets for your entertainment systems and inside a closet for your home security system. You’ll also want outlets near the sinks in your kitchen and bathrooms.

More suggestions come from Louis Wood, owner of DefendItYourself.com, a home alarm and surveillance equipment supplier in San Antonio, Texas. His list includes outlets that are four to six feet up a wall for a wall-mounted TV and in the back of your bathroom cabinet for your electric toothbrush and electric razor. Outlets combined with USB charging receptacles can be handy to have behind your nightstands and in your kitchen for your mobile phone, tablet device or headphones, Wood says. 

Kevin Yarbough, a licensed home inspector with Key Inspector in Nokesville, Va., adds more ideas. He recommends putting outlets in your kitchen pantry for a handheld vacuum or rechargeable flashlight, inside your bathroom vanity cabinets and drawers for hair dryers and curling or flat irons and in your larger rooms for floor and table lamps. 

Electrical outlet placement — safety first 

Never install an electrical outlet where the power cord will run across or near a sink, toilet, tub, or shower in your kitchen or bathroom. Mixing electricity and water can cause an electric shock and can be fatal. 

“One goal of modern home electric service is the elimination of extension cords and octopus-type outlets,” says Mease. “Your home’s wiring is much safer than add-ons you can purchase from the local home improvement store.” 

If you need to plug multiple devices into one location, ask your builder to install a double gang outlet, which has four sockets. A single gang has only two.

To learn more about the IoT in new home construction, check out more articles on the New Home Guide blog.