Construction: Rough Mechanicals to Drywall

Once your framing is complete, the inspections have passed and the bank has finalized their first draw, your project will move on to rough electric and plumbing, insulation and drywall. The siding, shutters, doors, windows and roof shingles will be installed during this phase too so from the outside it starts to look like a finished home and that is really exciting to see! Another exciting part about this phase of the project is weather becomes less of a worry since the crew can work indoors and covered! Fun fact about this photo below…somehow they were short on siding and had to order more so our home was sporting this style for about two weeks. Really glad we were able to get more siding, because I never quite got on board with this look 🙂

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There’s an abundance of information available through Schumacher and other sites regarding the details of the actual work being done at this point so I’m going to keep writing from the perspective of what we found most important during this phase and what we learned along the way hoping that helps y’all with your own projects!

Prepare for your electrical walk through

Before insulation can be installed, the electricians and plumbers need to go through the house and do phase one of their setups. The electrician will schedule a time with you to do a walk through of the house together. The agenda will include:

  • A review of the basics included with your home showing you where every outlet, light switch, ceiling light, smoke detector and CO2 detector will be located
  • Confirmation of the locations and number of outlets/lights – for example, how you want can/recessed lighting spaced in the kitchen, the number of outlets in certain rooms, etc.
  • Discuss add-ons and customization like rooms you want to have a ceiling fan set up, extra outlets or USB compatible ones, light switches with dimming capabilities, etc.

The third bullet point is the one that requires a bit of prep work before your appointment. I suggest doing a walk through of the house yourselves first and making notes of things you want to ask or request. We went through and decided every room we wanted a ceiling fan (which will require an additional switch so the fan can be managed separate from the light), the number of pendant lights we planned to install over the kitchen island, places where we may want additional outlets (office and garage) and then of course my tech focused husband wanted to ask about running cat 5 wires alongside the standard electrical – did I even say that correctly? 🙂 With any customization, you’ll spend some additional money so it’s also important to budget for this phase at the beginning of your project. Any custom add-ons requested during your appointment will require same day payment directly to the electrician. I think it’s safe to budget between $500 and $1200 for this day.

Going to the house on this day is pretty fun also; you get to completely experience the construction site atmosphere. And kudos to the people working on these teams. You can only imagine the expandable ladder that had to be used to install a ceiling fan setup in our living room that has very high cathedral ceilings! My husband is not fond of heights and could barely watch the electrician climb the ladder! Check out my highlighted ‘New Build’ Instagram stories for some video to see what I mean! Impressively, the team working on our house got everything done for phase one in just a day which let us move right along to insulation!

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Insulation is pretty standard so you won’t have any similar appointments for this. I do want to note though, you can add insulation where it’s not typically installed as long as you clear and plan this with your builder. My husband does a lot of work on dirt bikes and other off road vehicles in the garage so he wanted to do insulation on all of the garage walls. He installed insulation in the exterior wall and above the garage doors on the front of the house himself. You just have to keep in line with the drywall schedule, because they probably won’t wait on you 🙂 I’m also really glad we were all able to visit the house together at this point, because sweet Hailey got to write this message to our crew on one of the walls in the garage. The best photos of our house project are ones like these.

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Oh! Friends of ours also shared a great idea to do at this stage – take video, in addition to photos, of the electrical wiring so you’re familiar with everything behind the walls and can reference this any time you want to hang or install something in your home.

Work on your Homeowner responsibilities list

During the insulation and drywall phase, you’ll want to start focusing on some tasks that are not necessarily managed by the crew. Definitely request to have a written schedule when you start this project. The dates will change, but something that would be really helpful from Schumacher is a schedule that also includes tasks the homeowner should be doing at different stages of the project. Hopefully you can learn from us!

  • Trenching for Permanent Electric – You won’t need your temporary electric set up much longer so prep work for the permanent install needs to be done at this point. You’ll be responsible for working with your electric company on these steps and trenching will be the largest task. I honestly didn’t realize we would have to take care of this and we got around to it later than we should have from the perspective of hiring and scheduling. First, finding companies/contractors who do this work according to the electric company’s guidelines was a bit challenging for us. We spent a couple weeks alone just googling options and getting quotes. We were also surprised with the quotes we got back which were more than we were hoping to spend at this time.
  • To save on money and time, Allen decided to rent a walk behind trencher and do the work himself. This also included laying the PVC piping and running a generic rope through the pipes. Two things on this approach. One, it did save us probably around $1000 and that’s awesome. Two, it was VERY time consuming. Our ground is filled with rocks so that unique aspect certainly didn’t help. My poor husband spent over 12 hours doing all the work for a 120 foot trench. Once the trenching is done, it has to be inspected and when you have the pass inspection number you can then work with the electric company to schedule the removal of temporary power and installation of permanent power.

And then they move on to drywall and you start to feel like you’re standing in an actual house!!

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Start Ordering Appliances

I would purchase a couple appliances in particular at this point so you can provide measurements to the cabinet crew and have them do custom cutouts in the kitchen. You can always purchase the appliance and delay delivery if needed. Do this especially if you have a wall oven unit and/or cooktop. Schumacher will request cooktop measurements from you, but they don’t require the wall oven and instead will do a generic cutout unless otherwise specified by you. By the time we purchased our wall oven/microwave combo it was too late to have the cabinet crew customize our cutout due to scheduling conflicts. We ordered the appliance from Best Buy who said they will do custom cutouts, but it requires a separate appointment to measure before delivery and costs $75 per cut!! So my handy husband and helpful brother and Dad came to the rescue and they cut the cabinet where needed and installed the appliance themselves! I’m telling you, I did not realize just how handy Allen is until we moved into this house! Doing this step will also confirm if you need to order an extra drawer for under the wall oven…something that’s not as quick and easy as you’d think after that fact.

And then get ready for the fun stuff to begin! Cabinets, stairwell railings, painting, flooring….you know, all the things that will be in my next post 🙂

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Post your questions in the comments; I’m happy to answer them and add anything I’m forgetting to include at the moment!! Forgive me, it’s 9:00 PM and on the Tuesday after daylight savings weekend in November that’s practically like midnight since it’s been dark since 5 something…ho hum!

 

Have a beautiful day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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