HTA Update - 06/27/2008 (Plain Text Version)
In this issue:
Quick Tip: Installing Technology During the Critical Path of Construction
How do I coordinate the installation of technology products to ensure it doesn’t disrupt my “critical path of construction?”
Benjamin Franklin wrote in Advice to a Young Tradesman, 1748, “Remember that time is money.” Two hundred sixty years later that advice still rings true. Production schedules delayed just a day can disrupt future scheduling and cause a loss of revenue. Well-organized builders know when the various contractors need to be on site and exactly what needs to be completed. When it comes to the installation of technology products many builders are unsure of how, when or what needs to be accomplished to ensure their “critical path of construction” is not derailed. Listed below are some questions to ask yourself and examples of what to keep an eye on.
Framing stage—Are you going to be adding a plasma TV that requires extra support within the studs? Are you adding controlled shades that need to have framing added to box out the rollers? Are you adding a structured wiring cabinet that will need to be installed between studs in some location?
MEP Rough-in—What additional wires need to be run to accommodate the electronic products that will be installed? Most builders are familiar with security, phone and cable wires. Don’t overlook the wiring for speakers, audio control keypads, TVs mounted above fireplaces, lighting control keypads, controlled shades above windows and any other items you think may need something to control them.
MEP Trim —If a lighting control system is being installed, has the coordination on the location of the controlled dimmers, switches and outlets been provided to the installing contractor? Have they been provided the “product” to install? If they are providing the product were they notified with enough time to order the product prior to being added to your production schedule? Were they notified of any color changes or room design changes that could affect the trim? Are there special needs for any automated plumbing or HVAC systems?
Prior to the Builder Final Walk Through—For products such as in-wall/ceiling speakers, touch screens, TV’s and other equipment that could “walk off” the site—has it been coordinated as to when they will be installed? Don’t forget to make sure any “later” installations do not affect a final nspection, delaying your ability to receive a certificate of occupancy if required prior to closing.
Builder Final Walk Through —Are you familiar with how to operate all of the products and what they are to do so you can test them properly? Are you confident in educating or at least introducing these items to your home buyer?
Customer Care/After-the-Sale Service—Have you and your electronics systems contractor (ESC) discussed how the education on the use of the products will be provided? Is there a clear contact for your homebuyer to call with questions? Does this contact change after the initial warranty on the home has ended?
Please keep in mind these are only a few examples of the many products and stages that could be affected. The best way to optimize your “critical path of construction” is to find a reliable electronic systems contractor (ESC) to partner with. They should work with you and your team to communicate all aspects of the installation process prior to the first stake being hammered in at the site.
Erik Anderson, CGA, CGP of Lutron Electronics is an active member of the NAHB and NCHI on the National level. He works with the 20 Club Program, NAHB Home Technology Alliance (HTA) and is on the CGB Board of Governors. Erik is also active on his local HBA’s Educational Committee and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (484) 809-3867.
For more information or to contact us directly, please visit www.NAHB.org | ©2008, National Association of Home Builders