It is always good when I see a builder anticipating future electrical usage - as a best practice.
One thing home inspectors run into is under-powered electrical supply in a house. Older wiring often isn't sufficient for modern electrical needs. Codes have changed to reflect this, but what is in an older house is in an older house.
I do a lot of new construction inspections. Recently I did an inspection on a fairly large home that had one gas furnace, a gas cook top, and a gas fireplace. The rest was electric - water heater, dryer, double wall oven, lower-level AC and a heat pump for the upper level. Given the size of the house, and modern electrical usage, I thought it was minimally serviced with only one 200amp electrical panel box.
That is kind of hard to say to a younger couple who is buying an expensive, and large, house. And I don't wish to put doubtful thoughts in peoples' heads, because 200amps is fine, for now. But I am always thinking ahead on a home inspection and I wonder how this service will stack up in a few years as their family grows, and they finish and use the basement.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration anticipates that electrical usage in the U.S. will increase 3.5% PER YEAR just for television sets and computers! And that American's electrical usage generally will increase about 13% per decade.
But wait! Aren't we making things more "efficient" and thereby curbing our electrical usage?
Yes, but what else is happening? We acquire stuff! And then we acquire MORE STUFF! If I remember correctly, 20 years ago nobody anticipated that today households would have TVs in every room, computers and printers all over the house, electrical chargers, video games and other entertainment devices out the wazoo, offices, space heaters, two freezers, basement apartments, etc!
WHAT WILL HOUSES HAVE IN THEM TWENTY YEARS FROM TODAY? AND HOW MUCH OF EVERYTHING WILL LIFE STYLES DESIRE?
Agreed, I don't know either.
So, when I see this, I am encouraged.
Regionally, this is not a large house.
It is a very nice house, but not that large.
But look! The builder has two 200amp boxes in the garage.
That is thinking ahead! When the house is completed, each box will be about 2/3 filled with breakers. That will leave plenty of room for the future and neither box will ever be overloaded.
I consider that
This is a builder thinking ahead.
My recommendation: it's good to think ahead! It's good to see best practices employed when they are not "required" by a jurisdiction. Code requirements are minimal standards, and not terribly impressive. They represent a floor from which the standard begins. There is nothing that says codes cannot be exceeded, or superseded, by best practices!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560