10 Electrical & Lighting


This list of selections serves as a supplement to the Construction Documents (CD’s). Some of the selections below may be difficult to find or omitted on the CD’s. Check the CD’s for consistency with this list. Clarify with your contractor which document takes precedence for any inconsistencies.


Electrical Service & Panel

For starters, ask an electrician to determine how many amps your new service should have, or if your existing service is sufficient for an addition to an existing house.  The electrician will need you to provide a comprehensive list of all equipment and appliances requiring electrical power. Include the type of heating and cooling equipment and see the appliance section for a list of common appliances in the house. Don’t forget to include any outdoor appliances or equipment you intend to install. Hot tubs, for instance, require significant power.


Select size of new electrical service

__ 200 amp                 __ 400 amp                 __ 50 amp sub panel              __ other


For an existing house with above ground electrical power, determine location of new power cables for new service:

__ Above ground                     __ Below ground                                 __ No new service


For an existing house, ask your electrician if a disconnect box will be required. If so, verify the location of the disconnect box.


Select location of electrical panel with your electrician: ___________________


Install wiring for the following appliances & equipment:

Dishwasher, disposal, microwave, washer, chime, furnace, refrigerator, lights



It is strongly recommended that you thoroughly review a lighting plan, drawn by your Architect, for your new house and property. The lighting plan should indicate the type and location of all interior and exterior lights on your house and property. By specifying the actual number of lights below, prior to construction, you can easily keep tabs on extras you may authorize during the construction phase.



Select total number for each type of light:

__ recessed                                                                 __ ceiling fan with blades & light      

__ exterior                                                                  __ ceiling mount dome

__ ceiling mount pendant                                           __ wall mount

__ ceiling mount linear                                              __ exhaust fan with light

__ under wall cabinet mount                                     __ toe kick (under base cabinet)


Select desired color temperature of recessed lights:

__ 2700K, warm white light, all living spaces unless noted below

__ 3000K – 3300K, cool white light, appropriate for utility spaces, indicate room  names:________________________________________________________________


Select total number of light switches. Keep in mind that dimmer switches, 3-way and 4-way switches are more expensive than a single standard switch.

__ single standard                                                      __ single dimmer       

__ 3-way standard                                                      __ 3-way dimmer

__ 4-way standard                                                      __ 4-way dimmer



It is strongly recommended that you thoroughly review a power plan, drawn by your Architect, for your new house and property. The power plan should indicate the type and location of all interior and exterior receptacles (outlets) and other similar power boxes on your house and property.


Indicate total number of each type:

__ 110 volt duplex receptacle                                                __ GFCI 110 volt duplex receptacle

__ 110 volt fourplex receptacle                                 __ GFCI 110 volt fourplex receptacle

__ 220 volt duplex receptacle                                                __ 220 volt weatherproof duplex receptacle

__ disconnect box for A/C                                          __ Doorbell (chimes)

__ clock/timer for lights or sprinkler                         __ Garbage Disposal

__ garage door opener                                               __ thermostat control

__ smoke detectors                                                    __ carbon monoxide detectors

__ phone jacks _____                                                 __ tv cable connection





Audio and Security systems should ideally be installed before the insulation and drywall is installed. These systems are commonly outside the scope of the basic services of the Architect or General Contractor. Consult a specialist in your area well in advance.



Once the rough framing is complete, work on rough electrical can begin. In most cases, though, it makes more sense for rough plumbing and rough mechanical to installed prior to rough electrical, since wiring is more flexible to move around plumbing and mechanical systems. Confirm your electrical selections prior to meeting with your electrician.


Review Scope Of Work with Your Electrician

  1. Review your lighting and electrical plan with your electrician. This provides a good record upon which your initial estimate is based. If you don’t have one, it will be difficult to keep track of changes, and most projects involve several changes to the initial electrical estimate.
  2. Conduct a thorough “walk-thru” with your electrician and mark all light and outlet locations on the rough framing. Do your best to envision future obstructions, such as a new guard rail connecting to and exterior wall right where and outlet is located.
  3. Make sure your electrician verifies that your proposed electrical load capacity will accommodate your proposed electrical equipment.
  4. Review any electrical demolition work that needs to take place.
  5. Provide Electrician with height of medicine cabinet if light fixtures need to fit between top of medicine cabinet and ceiling. There may not be sufficient space depending on your ceiling height.
  6. Provide electrician with model number and specifications for new appliances and equipment, especially built-in wall ovens, which may require unique capacity and/or locations for outlets.


Organization of Materials & Delivery Dates

  1. Verify who is responsible for ordering, purchasing and delivering materials, including light fixtures, light switches and outlets. It is common for Owner to select and purchase specialty lights such as kitchen island and bathroom lights. It is customary for the electrician to provide less specialized items such as recessed lights, switches, and outlets.
  2. Identify the date upon which the electrician needs owner supplied light fixtures to be available at site.
  3. Identify safe location to store light fixtures, which tend to be fragile.
  4. Coordinate installation of final lights with painting work. Ceilings are commonly painted prior to installation of lights.
  5. Coordinate installation of faceplates with painting work. Walls are commonly painted prior to installation of faceplates.
  6. Determine targeted completion date for operation of system.


Inspect For Correct Installation

  1. Verify 12 guage wire is installed to kitchen and bathroom outlets.
  2. Ensure that no furniture is moved into spaces prior to installation of light fixtures, so as to minimize obstacles and delays for your electrician.
  3. Verify all lights work.
  4. Verify all outlets work.