Garage addition project: part 9, electric rough

The electric rough of your new building should not start until the plumbing and HVAC work is complete and all windows are installed. This prevents any wires from being accidentally cut by other workers and avoids wiring damage from water infiltration. The electric rough is a stage that requires input from you before any work starts.

Your input in the electric rough

If you have ever had a home addition built before, you know that the electrical contractor may not install enough outlets or have switches where you would like them. For example, if your new space is going to be used as a man cave, chances are you're going to want a lot of outlets. Your electrical contractor has probably priced your project to be wired as per electric code, so he or she may already have a good idea of how many outlets will be installed and their approximate locations. You and your contractor should walk through your addition and discuss outlet and switch locations. A few suggestions for items to discuss are:

  • Floor outlets to avoid extension cords for furniture in the middle of a room
  • Light switches next to nightstand locations so lights can be turned off from bed
  • Ceiling fan locations
  • Outlets for holiday lighting
  • Approximate locations of wall art, furniture and shelving units
  • Shower and tub lights
  • Under cabinet lights

It might be a good idea to measure large pieces of furniture and draw proposed locations on the subfloor with a carpenter's crayon. This may prevent having to reach behind a chest of drawers to turn off the lights in a room for the next ten years. You may also want to make sure that a thermostat isn't placed directly in the center of a large wall where you may plan to hang artwork. Don't be reluctant to discuss all of these concerns and any others you may have with your contractor. It's easier to change the location of an outlet or switch before it is roughed in than after. But keep in mind that wiring has to pass inspection, and there are times an outlet can't be moved, so you might have to pay for additional wiring and boxes to be added if your needs change in the future.

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