The work required for roughing electrical into a new home hasn’t changed significantly since the adoption of PVC-insulated wires and modular/miniature circuit breakers in the 1970s.
To complete a rough-in, an electrician installs boxes for lights, switches, and outlets, drill holes through the studs and frames, pulls wire through those holes from the panel location to each of the boxes, connects the wires, and installs the main panel and service equipment.
In the average new home, this work is completed by a journeyman electrician with one or more apprentices over two or three days.
As the number of experienced tradespeople has dwindled and skilled laborers have become harder to find, builders and contracting firms are looking for ways to complete more work with their existing skilled workers.
Completing Electrical Rough-in and Finishing in Less Time
Weiss-Johnson Electrical works for home builders in Alberta’s Capital Region. The contractor has adopted wire-free Levven Controls to eliminate some of the wiring required in new homes.
“In a [traditionally wired] home, you’ll have a wire for power coming into the switch, one for power going out, and you’d have a wire sent up to your light,” explains Ryan Coupal of Weiss-Johnson Electrical. “With Levven Controls, all this is eliminated completely. It saves us the time of mounting the box, pulling three wires, stapling, cutting it in, and splicing the neutrals. When you multiply this across the entire house, the amount of time saved is just insane.”
“The amount of work and energy we have to put into drilling for switch placement, the amount of wire we’d have to pull for three-ways, four-ways, and to really get what the customer wants, would take us almost a full day more.”
The wire-free controls are saving them one day per home, enabling them to complete their work earlier and move on to the next house.
Simpler Electrical Installations in Difficult Areas
“Stairs are normally very difficult to get up and down with wire. There’re beams, there’s so much lumber in these areas, it’s difficult to get a lot of wires and controls in,” Coupal explains.
“With Levven Controls, all we have to do is worry about the light, which is very simple. And then after that, the homeowner can decide how many switches, what placement, it’s completely up to them. It gives us so much versatility and saves us so much work. Having to wire into such a tight area with so much lumber, it’s so difficult.”
Benefits for Builders, Trades, and Home Buyers
“Reducing the number of days it takes to build a house lowers costs and pads the builder’s profit,” says Marv Verlage, vice president of Levven Electronics. “Imagine it’s costing $1,000 a day to carry your operations. If you build 100 homes a year and you save one day per home – that adds $100,000 directly on your bottom line.”