Week 3:

Since it was time to replace the old electric storage heaters in my home, I’d decided that the Atlantic Galapagos electric radiators would be the best heating for me and my needs, which I had purchased from Column Rads. I chose two large 2000 watt heat output for my bedroom and living room and one smaller 1800 watt for the spare room. They were delivered to my home on the date I chose, which was hugely convenient and peace of mind that it was one less thing I had to worry about (although I did double-check, they were definitely the right radiators once they had arrived). They came boxed up nicely and weren’t too heavy for me to move around on my own which was also a great relief.

One of the main reasons for replacing the old night storage heaters was because they had lost some of their energy efficiency as they became older and they were quite ugly. I preferred the look of modern electric radiators with a slimline design. The fact that my new electric radiators would help reduce my electricity bill and running costs was a great bonus too.

Getting the Electric Heating System Installed

Once I had ordered the electric radiators, it was then on to the task of finding an electrician since this is not really a DIY job. Good electricians (or tradesman) can be hard to find, and often people elect to hire based on recommendations. I didn’t know anyone that had completed any recent electrical work, so I was on my own.

I started by Googling qualified electricians in my area and contacting a few to come and give me a quote based on the work (and some other small tasks) that needed doing. Overall, I probably emailed around 10 electricians. Four got back to me. I scheduled appointments for them to come over and confirmed the appointment. Three of the electricians came to view the flat, one text me that he’d forgotten about out meeting, despite my confirmation the day before. Electricians are so highly in demand that many in my area just didn’t have the time or interest in carrying out the job.

I knew it was important to meet the electricians in person and get multiple quotes to ensure (as much as I could do) that the installation cost forecast was fair, and the work was going to be carried out to a high standard. This is something I’d definitely recommend if you’re looking to carry out similar jobs. Don’t just take the first price, try and get a few companies to look at it so you don't waste money and the installation is cost-effective. Out of the three quotes I received there was a slight variation in price to install the heating solution, but all had quoted for similar works, which was positive. Based on a 10-minute conversation and quotes alone, it’s very hard to decide on the right person for the job. In the end, I chose the electrician with the best price and a good idea of the work he was going to carry out and got him booked in for a week later.

For all the work (including smaller plug changes, fuse board changes, testing and light fittings) I agreed on £1500. I was a little bit apprehensive about the amount of work that this included and what disruption there would be to my home and how long it would take. No one could give me a sure timescale as with many trades, it can be affected by so many issues that might pop up. Two of the electric radiators I’d purchased were going in the same place as the old storage heaters, and therefore wouldn’t be too much of an issue. However, one was going on the opposite wall to free up some space, and I knew there could be some mess. The work consisted (or so I’d been told) of removing the old storage heaters, fitting the new ones to the wall and wiring them into the existing points. The new placement of one of the electric radiators would need a spur from an existing plug, which would be tacked to the skirting board.

It seemed simple enough to me, but the work hadn’t begun yet.

Find out more about what Electric radiators are available at Column Rads.