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When you make your house plans, it's easy to focus too much on the aesthetics of the fittings and fixtures your choosing and forget about the more practical aspects, like hookups for gas, electricity, and water. So when you're shopping around to outfit the interior of your home, keep this in mind. If you're not naturally practically minded, here's some information on which types of fittings require gas hook ups, how to get a gas hookup, and some information about gas.

The gas we refer to is, of course, propane. Many household fixtures require a gas hookup in order to run, including some ranges, ovens, refrigerators, furnaces, heated swimming pools (like these), outdoor heaters, barbecue grills, insect traps, and fireplaces. Often both electric and gas powered options will be available, so consider the pros and cons before choosing one for your home. One con, of course, would be the need for a gas hookup. While all homes have electricity, not all come set up for gas.

In some cities, there are utility companies that offer propane the same way the water company delivers the water to your property - through a series of underground pipes. If this is the case in your city, you can simply phone the gas company to have a professional in to install a gas line leading to your house. Then you would pay a monthly gas bill. Most resale houses in areas where propane is available through ground lines will already be connected to the main lines, leaving only your appliances needing to be connected.

Many places, however, do not have a gas utility. In these areas, you will need your own external propane tank to run propane appliances. The size of the tank will depend on the number of appliances you want to run, and you cannot install one if you do not have outside access, such as if you live in a condo. Installing a propane system in your home can cost several thousand dollars and it can only be done by a professional.

Before you decide to use gas in your home, consider the safety factor. Propane is a flammable, explosive gas, so you will need to keep an eye on the fittings and fixtures to be sure they are not leaking and are not left on. We also recommend carbon monoxide and gas detectors. On the pro side, however, propane is cleaner and in many cases cheaper than using electricity and creates a real flame that provides better cooking heat and ambiance.




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