Took a little tour yesterday with a building inspector friend. Some observations: Tract housing primarily solid 2x10 & 2x12 floor joists while custom uses open type floor trusses. Wiring devices for tracts are Eagle and GE Mexico (Something like 29 cents at yellow box). Custom appears to be dominated by P&S & Hubbell. Tracts use pvc for plumbing. Custom=copper. Furnished appliances-Tract competetive line Sears, GE, Whirlpool. Custom Kitchenaid top of line. ie: Dishwasher Kitchenaid KUDS02SRSS. And so on throughout. Is this pretty common? I was never in house wiring, commercial/industrial only, so I am not that familiar with the quality standard fo homes except my own. Some of the home general construction seems pretty borderline.
Tract and spec homes are built as inexpensive as possible, so the contractors use the bare minimum in material. Where as in a custom home the owner specifies what he wants and is usaually willing to spend more money on higher quality material and appliances.
A tract home may still be $800k-$1m around here, still minimum code. They would use plastic conductors if it would work and that is the only metal in the wiring. Plumbing is plastic and the studs are metal.
What strikes me as dishonest about this is where you have a nice home with upgraded oak trim, upgraded kitchen cabinets, a three car garage with brick and nice landscaping...but the wiring is Romex, the distribution panel is cheap, and the design is very minimal. If you asked these buyers, they would expect that the electrical system is more than cheap and minimum.
If you asked these buyers, they would expect that the electrical system is more than cheap and minimum.
Why should they? Is the EC getting paid to provide more than code minimum wiring?
What I would install depends on whether or not the buyer was willing to spend extra on something like electrical infrastructure, as opposed to eye candy like marble countertops and wood trim.
Some very well might (especially if such upgrades were even MENTIONED as options by the builder), but a good percentage of buyers would likely insist on saving money on all that "technical stuff" that "nobody ever sees anyway", and put the savings toward stuff that will impress their fellow yuppies.
If the builder brings the EC in on the meeting, then maybe such issues can get addressed, along with possibilities for VDV, security, home automation, energy management, etc.
But if the person paying to do the work is only paying for code minimum, that's all they are going to get....
[This message has been edited by NJwirenut (edited 04-13-2006).]