Electrical Rough-Ins: Essential Insights for Draw Inspectors

Electrical rough-ins mark a crucial phase in building construction, where the foundational electrical systems are installed. Some careful attention is required here to understand what constitutes various levels of completion.

Understanding Electrical Rough-Ins

Electrical rough-ins are a fundamental and intricate part of the construction process, often considered the backbone of a building’s electrical system. This section delves into the details of what electrical rough-ins entail, their key components, and their significance during construction.

  • Electrical Rough-In: The phase in construction where the basic electrical framework is installed. This includes the placement of electrical boxes, running wires through walls, ceilings, and floors, and setting up conduits and circuit breakers. It’s a preparatory stage that occurs before the final finishes, like drywalling, and is crucial for laying the groundwork for a building’s electrical system.
  • Service Panels & Breakers: This includes the installation of the main service panel, which distributes electricity throughout the building, and circuit breakers, which protect each circuit from overload.
  • Wiring & Conduit: The conduit provides a protective casing for the electrical wiring. The wiring is run through these conduits to various parts of the building.
  • Electrical Boxes: These are installed in walls and ceilings to house switches, outlets, and other electrical fixtures.
  • Grounding Systems: These are essential for safety, ensuring that in the event of a fault, electricity is directed safely into the ground.
Identifying Completion Milestones

Identifying the progress level of the electrical rough-in phase can be assessed with the following criteria:

  • Electrical Panel: Verify that the electrical panel is properly mounted, secured, and installed in an easily accessible and safe location, with proper clearances to facilitate maintenance. Neutrals should be wired to bus bars, with only one neutral per lug, and ground wires wired to bus bars with no more than 2 ground wires per lug.
  • Circuit Breakers: Breakers should be secured, the proper type per the panel specs, wired up with a single wire per each breaker, and free of corrosion or damage.
  • Wiring & Conduit: Ensure that all wiring is appropriately run through the conduit when needed or that NM sheathed cable (Romex) is appropriately run through studs or I-frames in accordance with industry standards.
  • Electrical Boxes: Check that all electrical boxes, including those for switches, outlets, and fixtures, are correctly installed and secured. Loose and visible wiring is normal in this phase and there are no safety concerns as the system is not energized.
  • Grounding Systems: Confirm that grounding systems are properly installed. Most commonly a 6 AWG bare copper wire should be seen exiting the exterior electrical panel/meter and will either reenter the home near the foundation in cases of UFER or seen entering the ground.
Significance of the Electrical Rough-In Stage

Proper completion of the electrical rough-in stage facilitates the later installation of final fixtures and fittings. It ensures the electrical system will be safe and compliant with local building standards. Mistakes or oversights during the rough-in phase can lead to significant delays and increased costs later in the construction and it’s the responsibility of the draw inspector to identify problems that put the lender’s capital at risk.

Progress Levels

Keep in mind that draw inspections are about gauging progress, not necessarily about ensuring completion. We want to make sure a phase is complete if we are marking it 100%, but we depend on the draw inspector’s expertise to assess a percentage below 100%. If you have a question about a determination, reach out to the Raze network, that’s what we’re here for.