Whenever you are hired to complete a new project, it’s important to give thoughtful consideration to any needed electrical work. Of course, you already do this, right? But do you also visually document that electrical work before the project begins?
If not, you’ll find this brief guide to be helpful. Read on to learn the definition of ‘visual electrical documentation’ and discover six reasons why you should create it for every new project.
It is a floor plan drawn to scale, with all electrical details defined through the use of symbols and annotations. So, essentially, it is a visual representation – or blueprint – of the entire electrical system for a room that will be renovated. (This is different from a more expansive, whole house electrical plan, which is used for new construction.)
However, before you create this type of documentation, you will first want to complete a few other important steps:
This orderly approach will help you prepare for any electrical work that must be completed.
This is especially true any time you prepare to remodel a kitchen or bathroom, where electrical needs tend to be more specialized.
Visual documentation of planned electrical work is useful for a couple of reasons: It helps you determine which electrical components and materials you must purchase. And it helps you determine the labor hours that will be required to complete all necessary electrical work.
Every customer deserves to know exactly what electrical work you are going to complete before you begin a remodeling or restoration project. You have the option of explaining your electrical plan verbally. But, truly, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ Reviewing a visual layout of an electrical plan is much easier and more helpful from the homeowner’s perspective. And it will help them appreciate how you are focused on electrical safety and functionality.
So, just think of your plan as an important visual aid for enhancing the customer experience.
A well-developed electrical plan will help the homeowner avoid having to make any electrical changes later, after the renovation is completed. That’s beneficial, because the cost to add a receptacle, switch or lighting fixture will be more expensive later, compared to the cost of doing it during the renovation. Be sure to point out this advantage when you talk with the homeowner.
Whether you are renovating a kitchen, a bathroom or some other room, having a diagrammed electrical plan can be a useful reference once work gets underway. It also can help prevent any miscommunication if you are delegating the work to someone else instead of doing it yourself.
Visual documentation serves as detailed record-keeping of all electrical work that is performed. This can help shield your business from liability issues that may arise after that work is completed.
Simply do what many other remodeling and restoration experts do: use a digital floor plan app loaded onto a mobile device! A powerful and handy app will allow you to:
Be sure to look for a floor plan app that has an “electrical object library” – i.e., a built-in menu of predefined electrical symbols. These tools will simplify and speed up your creation of new visual documentation.
After your electrical plan is completed, study it as you walk through the space you will be renovating to make sure you didn’t overlook anything. Imagine you are flipping switches, turning on a fan, using appliances – doing anything that will require electricity. Also, ask yourself some questions: Did I place switches in convenient locations? Will the fan be positioned correctly? Will the homeowner be able to use all major and small appliances? Did I calculate the electrical load correctly, so that I’m not overloading the circuits? Does my plan meet all electrical codes?
If you identify any concerns, you can alter your digital sketch quickly, on the spot, to update it.
Creating visual documentation of an electrical plan benefits both you and your customer. Plus, it’s easy and fast to do with a digital floor plan app. So, vow right now to make it a part of every new project.
Continue reading our guide on mistakes to avoid when remodeling customers’ kitchens
Or find out how to estimate a kitchen remodel.
Product Marketing Manager