Before the drywall is installed: 10 things to discuss with your clients
Once the board is installed, options for change become limited
By John Bleasby
The drywallers are coming next week. However, the electrician is still finishing up his work. The HPAC guys have done their thing, hopefully guided by the well-proven motto ‘What flexes the least goes in first.’ That means ducts, natural gas supply pipes and PVC drains go in before the (hopefully PEX) water supply lines and electrical wiring.
Related: Before the studs go up: 10 things for clients to consider
However, here’s your last chance to go over things with your client to ensure all is good before all that stuff is hidden perhaps forever.
1. Insulate ceilings for sound! The pitter-patter of little feet and the squeaking of bedsprings should not be heard beyond those four walls.
Sound insulate any drainage pipes running across the ceilings and especially inside walls, whether for sinks, showers, baths, or internal drain pipes in the case of flat roofs. The sound of dripping water can make people feel…uhhh… uncomfortable!
Insulate wall spaces behind TV/speaker alcoves if there are bedrooms or quiet spaces on other side. If the husband likes his late night Monday football loud but the wife wants to turn in before 11 pm, everyone can be happy!
2. Consider USB recharge plugs alongside regular sockets, at least one in each room. That makes recharging cell phones and laptops much more convenient. Have you made sure all possible TV locations have been considered so that hard-wiring to the cable system or internet modem is possible?
3. Talking about computers, is your client considering a laptop or tablet computer in the kitchen? Think about its placement so it is out of the way yet still functional.
4. USB plugs in an office area and at bedsides are very handy, but install them below table top level. Lead the devices’ tails through grommets so there is no visible clutter of wires.
5. Is your client likely to place a floor lamp in the middle of the living room? Use a floor socket under a nearby chair or sofa so wires don’t have to be hidden under carpets or rugs.
6. How about a switch on each side of the bed so no one has to get up to turn off the lights?
7. Consider a pop-up electrical outlet on the countertop, but at the end, not in the middle.
8. Do a complete walk-through the house to ensure the light switch logic makes sense. It’s easy to re-wire banks of single, two or three way switches now, but more difficult later.
9. Take a few minutes to place nail plates on studs to protect plumbing and wiring behind. Drywall screws won’t penetrate far into the studs, but who knows about any future fasteners for cabinetry, heavy mirrors or TV screen brackets?
10.Take photos of the electrical and plumbing running along stud walls before the drywall goes up, for future reference. Label the photos carefully. Take measurements from the nearest corner and map all stud locations in a notebook that you can give to your clients. This will help with all future renovations or wall installations.
Do you have more ideas? Drop us a note or put them down in the comment section below.