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Phases of Construction – Rough In, Insulation and Sheet Rock

Rough In Once the frame, roof and exterior windows have been put in place, it is now time for the rough-in phase of your house. This phase is when you lay out your electric and plumbing lines without making any final connections. Your roofer might need to come back during this phase to make openings in the roof for drain vents and pipes.

This phase is the last chance you have to add or move electrical or plumbing fixtures. It is also during this phase that you want to add wiring for speakers and data cabling for internet and security cameras if you have not already designed those items into your home. Once the sheet rock is put in place, you incur significant expense in trying to move these items.

Take a look at your designs and walk through your house and consider the placement of things. Do you think anything is missing in your home? Do you think you need another light fixture or a ceiling fan perhaps? Do you have enough outlets along your counters in your kitchen? What about data cabling, do you want to add a TV to the master bath? What about outside? Do you like your water faucet placement? Do you need another electric outlet, perhaps for Christmas lights?

Insulation Once the rough-in work is done, the house will need to be inspected to be sure that everything meets city codes. After your rough-in has passed inspection, this is when your insulation will take place. Now, this assumes that you're installing loose-fill insulation. If you've opted for blow-in insulation, then this process will take place after the sheet rock installation. My house required an inspection after we installed insulation. I was not required to install insulation under my floors at this time but in order to pass final inspections, it did need to be put in place.

Sheet Rock Before installing sheetrock, the installers will come through the house and mark the floors to indicate the presence of electric junction boxes. For example, if you have an outlet, they’ll use spray paint to mark an “x” on the floor right under the junction box; they have different symbols for different items. They do this for all of your electric and data cable junction boxes so that they can come back after installing the sheet rock to cut out the sheet rock so the electrician can come back and install the fixtures.

Don’t rely on the sheetrock guys to get this right. Go around and take photographs of everything. This will help you to ensure that the sheet rock installers addressed every junction box. I was able to determine that at least 3 of mine were missed and because I had photographs, I was able to show them exactly where the boxes were after the sheetrock had been installed.

And finally, when they cut out the area for your switches and outlets, the cuts aren’t always clean and precise. You will need to have them come back to clean up those cut outs. In other words, if you don’t pay close attention to this, when you go to install your outlets and switchplates, you’ll see gaps.

Once this phase is complete, you're ready for the next one: Trim and paint.

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