Saturday, April 18, 2015

Electrical Rough-In

The electrician we chose and the plumber we chose have worked together in the past. This is a good thing. The plumber, electrician and HVAC all have jobs to do once framing is complete. The plumber should go first, because of the rigid pipes placement. The HVAC and Electrician can work at the same time, but we had our HVAC guy come to show us where the returns were going to be so the electrician would avoid running wires the HVAC guy would need moved.

The Electrician kept in contact with our plumber and he and his crew came out the day we got the plumbing inspection. The first day was spent writing on the studs and walls.



They used my blueprint I provided with my mark-ups and marked outlet and switch locations. I figured out their lingo!

This area was where I had the most changes to final blueprints. I had expressed to the architect certain light fixtures I wanted, but not all were captured. One example was, I wanted sconces on the master bathroom vanity on the sides of mirrors, not over the sinks. She placed two, when I really needed four. Things like that.



I walked through after they ran their markings and double-checked. Everything looked good. The fireplace was delivered that day and it was an awesome surprise!


They even ran the vent and placed the chimney!



Because of the ICF, we have to have a direct-vent fireplace. There is actually glass on the front of the fireplace to prevent fumes from entering the house. The fireplace will produce radiant heat.

The next day, they started nailing outlet boxes in place. And they ran a couple of wires.



They verified the placement of my outlet boxes. I have always loved outlets placed in the baseboard, but I kept thinking of the added work that is on our trim contractor. The drywall guy doesn't charge extra to cut around boxes. The trim guy does! The drywall guy would still have to do it in the baseboards, but the trim carpenter would have extra work cutting baseboard pieces exactly right. I went with the normal height-placement in the walls.

They were still waiting on the HVAC guys to tell them where the returns would be.

The following day, they started nailing switch boxes and light boxes.



I told them where I would like the service panels, and they installed them. Yes, we have two!


We place our panels on the far side of the garage. That is where our meters will be. It's easier and less expensive to have your panels be back-to-back with the meter on the outside.



The HVAC guys let us know where the returns would be and the electricians started running wires.

They did the majority of this on Saturday. They also tackled the ICF walls. The wires started off by coming in through the top of the foam and dangling.



They then used a chainsaw to cut a groove in the foam.



Then the outlet box was placed.



We had to wait for inspection to pass first, but the Electricians have plans to cover the grooves with Styrofoam.



I had to dig a mirror out of storage that we are using in Mom's bathroom. She will have sconces on either side and because the wall is styrofoam, the placement had to be perfect. We held the mirror up, marked the location and then ran the wires and installed the boxes.



The other wall-mounted lights just have lines "laced" in the walls. This allows placement to vary and be determined once cabinets are in. This method could only be used on stud framing.



And the coolest part the electricians did was for our TV in the family room. There will be bookcases on either side of the fireplace. I plan to put the DVD player / Cable box on a shelf of the bookcase. But I don't want visible wires running to the TV. The electricians came up with a tube that runs in the walls. I can fish my wiring through the tube! This allows for changes in technology and such. I can run an HDMI cable back there now and be set!



We also did this in Mom's room. Her TV will be mounted up high, but won't have the cable box up there with it.



To create outlets on the exterior, the guys ran the wire down the foam on the inside, and then drilled a hole to the exterior.


Then a box was tied to the end of the wire. These boxes will not be mounted until the mason comes to lay brick and sets them in there.



And you can see how important the pre-slab rough-in is. We have floor outlets in the living room and they ran a wire through the wall and into the slab to reach the outlets.




Same thing with the island in the kitchen. A wall had a tube place that would run underneath the concrete to reach the island. They fished the wire though easily.



Our electricians also installed our bath ventilation fans. The HVAC guys will then run the tubing from the fan.



I also had our electricians run all the cable and internet outlets to a central location. This is called structured wiring. We received bids from companies that specialize in this. Their prices are ridiculous! We then thought of doing it ourselves like we did in the last house, but I just asked our electrician if he could run all the cables to one place. He agreed! Now we just have to get the equipment and a box and we're set!



We called for an inspection, and it took a couple days for their availability, but they came out on Thursday and we passed! Just before inspection, the guys ran the lines for the doorbells. Mom will have one on her porch and we will have one on ours. And the best part... they are tied together! The electrician said we could connect up to three doorbell chimes. One chime will be on her side, one chime will be on our side. There will be a different sound depending on the doorbell rung and we will be able to hear both! Pretty sweet!



Now we wait for the HVAC guys to finish and get their inspection. It's kinda hard for them to finish when we still don't have shingles on our roof. Long story I will explain soon, but I'm hoping we will in a week's time!

I really enjoyed working with my electricians. They were a GREAT group of very smart guys. I didn't feel ripped off and they listened to me. They didn't push, but explained how and why things were done. I'm really happy with them. The next time I'll see them is after drywall and painting, when they'll come install the light fixtures and switch plates.

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