The electrical walkthrough occurs after framing and during the same phase as your HVAC and plumbing rough-ins. This meeting is very comprehensive and we have summarized the following suggestions to ensure this meeting is a success!
With some advanced preparation, you will have everything ready to go so you don't have to make uninformed decisions on the fly or worse - reschedule with your entire team! Plan to spend several hours up to half a day walking through every electrical detail with your electrician.
What must you consider?
Similar to a floor plan, a lighting plan or electrical plan shows quantity of light fixtures, location, switches, outlets, and other controls.
Number of Lights
A certified lighting designer or lighting specialist can assist with knowing how many lumens your space requires and then work with you to determine quantity and placement of lights.
Code often will require placement of fixtures but not necessarily quantity. Your electrician will look to your or your designer for how many can lights you want in your space– 2, 4, 6? Answer: it depends on square footage and purpose of the space.
Do you want your lights controlled on a single pole or three-way? For example, if you have a chandelier that needs to be controlled at two different points of the room, then you will need a three-way switch.
Dimmers are another great option when the amount of light needs to be controlled. Your electrician can wire with this in mind. Note, your bulbs determine whether a light can be dimmed or not. Make sure to source these appropriately.
As with the other electrical items, your electrician will place these to code but you can always add more. Consider outlets for exterior use such as holiday lighting, plug-in landscaping equipment, and security cameras.
For your interior, you may need floor outlets in the living room or office. Have a charging station? Your outlet here may need to be a non-standard height to accommodate your specific charging needs. We’ve had clients need to place outlets inside a custom bookshelf where they planned to store laptops. This type of detail must be thought out during an electrical walkthrough.
By the time your electrical walkthrough is scheduled, you will want to have all your lighting fixtures (sconces, chandeliers, fans, etc.) sourced and finalized. It is very helpful to have the specifications for these fixtures printed out in a binder in case any questions arise.
Overhead light or recessed can lights are not the only solution. Your interior designer should plan your space with various layers of general (ambient), task, and accent lighting.
Consider mounting heights of your electrical items such as placement of wall sconces above a nightstand, picture light above artwork, and outlets for ironing boards or charging stations. Your electrician will do everything within your state and local codes but for anything beyond this, will look to you or your designer for where you want these items placed.
Another common mistake we see people make: not planning for both interior and exterior lighting placement. Any exterior cans, fixtures, or outlets will also be discussed during an electrical walkthrough. Consider where you may want soffit lighting, sconces, or up-lights (such as landscape lighting).
Lastly, motorized window treatments are becoming more common. If your windows (say over the staircase) require a motorized shade or blind, you’ll want to discuss this with your electrician so they can run wire to the exact location. This is not an easy fix to make once drywall is hung!
Still need help?
Schedule a call with our team today and we can discuss your upcoming electrical walkthrough needs!