Things to Discuss with Your Electrician During Each Phase of Construction

Electrical work during a construction project involves five main phases that provide unique opportunities to check in with your electrical contractors. Prepare your questions ahead of time or ask your electrician to give you an overview before the next phase begins. This will give you the time you need to collect your thoughts and prepare a few targeted questions. The purpose of this exercise is to give you, as the commercial building owner or manager, peace of mind and confidence that all is going according to plan.

At J&S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we believe in total transparency. To guide your discussions, our master electricians have laid out the five phases of a typical electrical construction project and provided some tips on what to talk about in various phases.

Questions to Ask Before the Build

Here are a few questions to ask your electrical contractor before the build starts:

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • What commercial projects have you worked on in the past five years?
  • What services will you provide at each stage, from planning to the final inspection?
  • Do you subcontract out the work or is it all done in-house by your own technicians?

Establishing trust and transparency before breaking ground is key. Therefore, planning is a key component of large commercial projects. Next, learn about the five phases of project construction and what to discuss during each one.

Phase 1: Temporary Electrical Conduit – During the so-called wet phase of construction, the focus is on completing the building’s foundation. The construction team will need electrical conduits to complete work on the plumbing and drains. This may involve installing a generator. Your electrical contractor will install a temporary electrical pole and conduit line to supply power to construction machinery and equipment.

Note that J&S Electrical Contractors can provide project management services for your industrial, multi-family, and commercial build. During this phase of the project, you can discuss timelines and inquire about how the electricians will maintain NEC and municipal electrical and building codes.

Phase 2: Rough-In – All the doors, flooring, window, and other features are in place. Your electrician can now begin the wiring process and install exhaust fans, lighting, cans, and soffits. They will also set up the infrastructure for the security equipment and other essential systems before the drywall goes up. At this stage, the electrical box is connected to wall studs throughout the property.

Depending on the size of the property, this can take days, weeks, or months. So, discuss the timeline with your electrical and general contractor and ask about strategies that will expedite this stage. 

Phase 3: Set Up Temporary Switches and Controls – Following sheetrock installation, it’s time to put in temporary lighting and temperature controls. Because paint and sheetrock mud can stay in these structures, they’ll need to be replaced with permanent switches and receptacles during the finishing stage.

Now is a great time to create a project checklist that you can go over with your electrical contractor. When you work with J&S Electrical Contractors, this is part of our service to you.

Include the following categories and create checklists for each one:

  • Wiring methods and safety devices
  • Services, feeders, and branches
  • Fire pumps and alarms
  • Dwelling units (for multi-family)
  • Emergency standby systems
  • Grounding and bonding

Phase 4: The Finish As the project nears completion, there are big changes happening. This is when permanent lighting, ceilings, cabinets, flooring, and other features bring the building to life. It’s a great time to talk about the estimated completion date. You should also check in with your electrical contractor to ensure that the infrastructure is in place for the following systems:

  • Phone systems
  • HVAC
  • Switches
  • Outlets
  • Lighting fixtures

Phase 5: Modifications and Warranty Considerations – At this point, all the work is completed and it’s time to prepare for the inspection. During the final walkthrough with a master electrician from J&S Electrical Contractors, discuss precautions to prevent miswirings and potential safety issues. It’s also important to go over the warranty and how to contact us if you need additional changes or repairs.

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