We have an underground electricity pit

11 01 2012

We didn’t want an overhead power line to our house, so we got an underground electricity pit installed.  Most new houses built in an established area will have an electricity pit included in their contract (if one does not already exist).

We submitted the application for the underground pit on 9 November.  We received the quote to install the pit on 30 November and we paid it the same day.  The pit needs to be installed near a property boundary with the neighbours and we requested the pit to be installed on the side where the meter box would be installed to make connection up to the house easier.  Just prior to Christmas, the power pit location was marked out on the footpath.

Electricity Pit Marking

And yesterday (11 January) we noticed that the underground electricity pit was installed when we visited the site.  When submitting the application for the pit, we were advised that it takes 20 working days from date of payment for the pit to be installed.  In reality it took Jemena, the local electricity distributor, 26 working days to get the pit installed.  Given the slowdown of work during Christmas holiday period, we think they installed it in a reasonable timeframe.  Overall it took 2 months from application to completed installation.

The power poles are on the opposite side on our street and the Jemena field officer who inspected the site determined it required 17 metres of cabling to complete the works.  The cost to install the underground supply, including the service pit and cable was $3392.

We went for 3 phase supply to cater for our future needs.  As technology becomes more interwoven into our lives, our power consumption will increase.  Furthermore, we are looking forward to turning our house into an icebox during the hot summer months so we will be installing a central ducted refrigerative cooling.  A normal 80A single phase supply will provide 19.2 kWe maximum.  So single phase supply could be overloaded when most things are operating (lights, fridge, tv, computer gear, central aircon unit etc) causing the fuse to blow.  This has happened to some friends of ours, especially during the summer months when the air con unit is running.

It is recommended to get the electricity pit installed prior to the builders starting work because 1) it will be cheaper to install 2) will save you money on building site costs as the builder doesn’t need a temporary power pole for the site works.  Here’s a blog post by another Metricon home build, Tim & Tina, about this.

Installed underground power pit


Laminex samples

1 12 2011

Above are some of the Laminex samples we have collected so far.  The Laminex samples you get at Studio M or at most kitchen and bathroom showrooms are quite small (3 depicted at the bottom of the image).  We have found the small samples don’t give a good indication of the colour and patterns compared to what you see at the display homes.

Kristen went to the Laminex showroom in Melbourne (130 Sharps Road, Melbourne Airport) to pick  up some larger samples (8 depicted at the top of the image). The showroom had a larger selection of colours and samples compared with Studio M and the person in the showroom was really helpful and answered lots of questions. Kristen was able to get four of the larger samples which is the maximum number that they are able to give you. They did give us a contact number for the customer service centre (1800 002 204) so that we could phone up to order more. Kristen rang and ordered them yesterday and they arrived today, pretty prompt service hey!!  As you would expect, the showroom also had lots of cupboard and benchtop samples (again a much larger selection than Studio M) so you can get a better idea of what the colours look like on a larger scale.

(PS. Kristen would advise not to drive down the one way street the wrong way when driving into the showroom carpark!!)