Building a home is part of the American dream. Creating a space that you and your family can reside in for years to come that is built to your exact needs and tastes is an exciting, yet complex task. While we may think the home build is about picking modern, tasteful finishes, there is a lot more work that happens behind the walls to create your ultimate dwelling place.
At McAllister Electrical Services, working with families on their home building projects is one of our favorite aspects of our job. From planning to finishes, our team of electricians works with you and your contractors to design the perfect space to call home.
Rural Home Build
Recently our team at MES had the opportunity to work with some long-time customers to design and install the electrical in their brand-new home in rural Cascade, Iowa.
When initially planning the build, our homeowners were very clear about what they wanted throughout the home: functional lighting and receptacles to help with the flow of their family throughout their days. They also needed enough capability to support the high-electrical and technological needs of small business owners and a growing family of five.
Knowing their needs, our team went to work on the plans.
Planning on Paper
When designing the electrical layout in a new home or renovation, our team moves through the floor plan room by room assessing the following needs:
- Receptacles: This includes planning for both large and small appliances in the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as determining things like furniture placement (ie: where the nightstands will be placed in the bedroom) and where you will put your Christmas tree (extra outlets will be handy). We also like to know if you plan to hang outdoor holiday lights, so we can help place receptacles in the eaves around your home and wire-in switches in convenient locations inside your home. When considering receptacle and switch locations, also consider whether you are right or left-handed, where doors will swing open, and how you will move through the home from room to room. All this pre-planning will prove very handy in later phases of the build.
- Recessed lights: we have a handy square-footage-to-light-ratio we employ to make sure there aren’t any dark corners in your new home. Properly lighting hallways, stairwells, and entries also add safety to the home, while soffit lights outside accent features of your home’s exterior.
- Fans: which rooms in your home will require movement of air? Bedrooms, family rooms, and exercise rooms are all more comfortable with the addition of overhead fans.
- Fixtures: plan where you’d like to make a statement with your fixtures. Above your kitchen island or dining table may look nice with the addition of pendant lights. Over your staircase may be a good place for a stately chandelier. In your bathroom, you may want vanity lights or sconces for better illumination. And don’t forget those outdoor fixtures around the garage or in outdoor living spaces for comfort and safety.
Each phase of the home building process requires teamwork from all services sectors working on the job. The better the electrical team can layout where these electrical components will be located, the easier it will be for the head contractor to arrange other features and schedule service installation, not to mention give the homeowners a better idea of the cost associated with the electrical install.
Temporary Electric Install
Post-planning stage, our next step is to power your property. During the building phase, the site itself needs power for the tools and machinery needed by the construction crew. As the electricians on the job, we get in there early on to install a temporary electric pole. At this point, we also run any underground conduit, such as floor receptacles in the basement, so the concrete can be poured and the next phase of the build can take place.
Once all the floors, windows, and doors have been installed, we can begin the roughing-in phase. In this part of a new home build or renovation, we are focused on running conduit and wires from the home’s electric box and through the home. It is at this point where the homeowners will begin seeing boxes for receptacles installed between studs, recessed lighting placed in between the ceiling beams, and wires connecting them to switchplates. This is the time to make any changes to the original concept designed in the “Plan on Paper” stage because shortly after rough-in, the drywall will be installed, at which point it is much harder and more costly to move these behind-the-walls features. Roughing-in can take anywhere from days to weeks depending on the size of the home and the complexity of the features requiring electrical power.
Once the home is nearly complete, our electricians return to install lighting fixtures and fans around the home, put plates on switches and receptacles, and install any other external electrical features. At this point, everything in the home looks finished and ready for use.
After the finish, our electricians will walk through the home with inspectors as needed to meet building code approvals. It is also at this point after the residents have moved in, that they may notice small tweaks and changes that may have been overlooked in earlier phases of the build and our team may need to address. For example, we may be called back to install dimmer switches in certain rooms or fix a light that has been miswired.
Providing Service that Matters to your Home
Our team of electricians at McAllister Electrical Services is ready to help on your new home construction. If you are ready to have us look over your plans, please call Pete at 563-852-7484.