You have now entered the mechanical phase of your renovation project. You might be thinking… is this when my auto mechanic is going to show up to my house and start working on it? Well no. This phase might sound a bit foreign to you and maybe you’ve heard this phase called the “rough-in” phase. It is when we “rough-in” or do the work behind walls and ceilings in preparation for the final finish stages of all mechanical systems.
Mechanical Phase Components
It involves the following systems and items in your house:
- HVAC System (Heating, Ventilation, Air Condition) including the air handler and ductwork
- Plumbing systems including water lines, drain and vent pipes and gas lines
- Electrical including outlets, switches, recessed lighting, and ceiling lightbox
- A/V Tech including cable, CAT wire, and routers
- Security including smoke alarms, doors, and windows
More than likely, if this is a renovation project, most of these systems already exist in your home. We will typically add to the existing system, moving locations, or replacing and upgrading current systems.
Why is the Mechanical Phase Important?
So you may wonder, how long this phase lasts and why the mechanical phase is important. Typically this phase can last from three to four days for a simple renovation to a month depending on the scope of your renovation project. It’s an important phase as it will give you an opportunity to look at each system individually with us and we can make any recommendations or upgrade if we deem fit now that we can see behind walls and ceilings which is something that is difficult to do prior to this phase as we can’t lay eyes on the systems until the drywall is down. Let’s look at each system and talk about some things to consider.
HVAC System Questions to Ask
If you have lived in your home any length of time, now is the time to consider the performance of how your house has been heating and cooling. Are there some rooms that are cooler than others or are there rooms that are hotter than others? Or if you are adding living space to your existing home, will the supply vents be located under your bed or under a piece of furniture you are planning for the new space? Now is the time to talk with us to address some of these issues or needs.
Plumbing System Questions to Ask
Are you experiencing long lag times for the hot water to finally reach the faucet or shower? How is the water pressure when it does finally reach your fixtures? Or maybe there is a drain line that drains slower than others? This is a great time to communicate that to us for solutions to these dilemmas. Other things to consider are the number of showerheads in your shower and how you want them controlled, as well as if you plan to have 2 sinks in your kitchen or a pot filler faucet over the cooktop. Or does your new coffee pot need a water line directly to it in your new coffee station?
Electrical System Questions to Ask
Rough-in for the electrical system is a little different than the prior two categories. Often, we will relocate the current switches and outlets, as well as lighting types and locations. The use of the space and layout of furniture may be changing, which will affect how you live in the space. If your renovation is an addition of a new space, you will want to consider the best location for the light switches as you come into the room. Most of these decisions should already have been considered by your contractor (we typically have a formal lighting plan prior to contract so you get exactly what you want and we will have it priced accordingly with no surprises at the end). It’s important that you communicate features early on like a special drawer in your kitchen to house a new charging station for your phone, or that you’d like lights inside your cabinets, as these may both require a new outlet.
A/V Tech and Security
I will not go into a lot of considerations for A/V Tech or Security due to its individuality to each homeowner and their situation, but hopefully, you are seeing the value and the importance of the mechanical phase. All of these systems will be hidden in the walls, ceiling, and floor system, so addressing these now will save a lot of headaches later. You won’t have to deal with issues like needing to add an additional outlet for a lamp in your new cozy reading nook, which requires a carpenter to cut a new hole for the outlet, the electrician to rewire it, the drywaller to drywall and patch the old location and the painter to repaint the wall. Let us help you thoughtfully work through your mechanical phase to save headaches later.
As always… Love where you live!