I was wondering what order people generally rough in a new house. start upstairs first, and work your way down? do you like to knock the kitchen out first?..is it different every time? do you have enough guys to have it all done at once? just wondering...I'm trying to become more efficient...have you found how to become more efficient over the years? I have been fortunate to have worked under some highly seasoned veterans and have litterally fed off their knowledge. little stuff that makes a HUGE difference...like stripping the romex and cutting off the black and white wires leaving the ground intact to get around a tight corner where 2 walls meet...I was surprised how many people have noticed me do that who didn't think of it before. or taping a paper bag to the wall right below where you are going to cut in an old work box so the homeowner's million dollar rug (Greenwich, CT snobs) won't get any dust on it. anybody have any more tips?
When pulling wire, I've learned that it is easier to go ahead and pull a circuit, if not more, then come back and staple all at once,(that is all except the runs overhead that would hang down in my way). It saves reaching into the nail apron for staples at every pull. I first saw this done by another contractor, and I thought he done a "sloppy job" and was sure it wouldn't pass inspection, until I saw later that he had went back and stapled them. I tried this after that, and seen it worked better for me also. It does look "sloppy" at first, but then after you go back, it looks alright. Also saves staples too, since I usually staple two cables under one staple coming down a "stud". One of many apsects of saving time, especially when working by yourself. I also found that it is quicker for me to go ahead and stick the romex into the boxes as I pull wire. I usually pull all the wire, before I "cut in", that way I can keep one "action" going, without stopping and starting with different tools. Hope it helps.. Steve .
[This message has been edited by sparkync (edited 02-04-2005).]
Re: general frame of mind#48109 02/04/0509:02 PM02/04/0509:02 PM
We have a strict method of roughing in. We do 75+ homes per year and there's no money to slack off.
The biggest time saver is getting the material takeoff done and having EVERYTHING at the sight when you get there. I keep the shop loaded up and pull the order the evening before. The only thing we have to get is the cut length SER and range and I do that at lunch.
Last week we roughed an 1700 sq ft heated house in four hours. Three men in the 33 degree rain.
When we hit the job I layout while the two guys hit the ceiling boxes. I start to nail up wall boxes as soon as I mark heights w/ a story pole. One man leaves the ladder to start drilling behind me. All boxes up and all holes drilled before any wire goes up. Home runs first, we pull six at a time and lable them as they land. Then jump the cicuits and then the 240V lines. Then it's staple up before ya make 'um up time. While two of us make up one will remain in the attic and pull DataCom. We stuff the LV cables while making up. Stud gaurd while we broom clean the job. Paint the floor so we can find our boxes that dont get cut out. Hop in the truck and go to the next one!
Re: general frame of mind#48110 02/04/0509:44 PM02/04/0509:44 PM
Wow arseegee, that's pretty impressive. You sound like you have it down. I do believe it too. When we did new homes we had a system too, the key is momentum. (sp?)
I wish I could put a dollar value on momentum. Then I would know how much extra to charge when the homeowner breaks it by adding something upstairs when we're in the basement already. Or when the GC insists you start roughing before some "small" but key decisions are made that could imact one switch location or how you could best layout a room.(it canbe a little more complex with EMT because of the (4) 90's rule)
Another comment about momentum. Don't underestimate how much time it can waste to have to stop and think before you do. I should rephrase that. Don't underestimate how much time you can save by thinking about what you will be doing next while doing what you are doing now. If it is already decided what you will be doing next you don't have to stop for a moment to decide what is next. by the time you get to what is next, you have already figured it out, and are thinking about what is next. You become an installation machine. Also don't underestimate how much time is wasted by being distracted, whether by phone calls or other chit-chatty people on the job. I wish I could put a dollar value on that too. I fully beleive that a 1 or 2 minute distraction that kills momentum can literally cost you as much as 30 min in this type of installion.
Arseegee, can I ask what you charged for that 1700 ft home?
Re: general frame of mind#48111 02/04/0510:24 PM02/04/0510:24 PM
Stopping and thinking ... there is so much to be said for how that destroys time. I have been working 8 days on a job that involved reworking knob and tube (see my post a couple weeks back). You wouldn't believe how having to use a little used wiring method and having to change your thinking will kill your productivity. Bottom line ... 6 days reworking the knob and tube ... 2 days to knock out the "real" part of the job. Common sense would dictate that it would be the other way around, but when you have done something 100 times, you can do a lot more of it becuase of .... what did someone here say, oh yea ... MOMENTUM! Definitly consider this when you bid jobs .. I was afraid of this knob and tube scenario when I bid the job and bid accordingly so I thougt, but did not bid enough!!
Re: general frame of mind#48113 02/06/0512:34 PM02/06/0512:34 PM
Clydesdale, as far as the service, do you mean indoor panel or outdoor disco? We only make up the SER in the panel on rough. We land the branch circuits when we return for permanent power.
It takes a man just over an hour to make up the panel and install the breakers for a 150 or 200 amp panel. Of course 300 and 400's take more time.
As for the outside service, we use a meter/main combo on the 150's and 200's. The quickest time so far 27 minutes. That's mount the meter make up the service cable, drive the rod (just one here), connect the GEC, drop the chase pipe and and strap the pipe. What can I say, my guys like to race.