A Basement Finishing Saga – Why an Ounce of Preparation is Better Than a Pound of Correction

You’ve heard the expression “Experience is the best teacher,” but learning from sad experience isn’t exactly what you want to be doing during a basement finishing project.

While small mistakes and/or corrections are to be expected on any project, you’ll want to minimize the size and frequency of mistakes if you’re going to make it to the end of the project with a quality finish.

For this reason, preparation trumps making corrections any day of the week. Someone else once said it differently (and much better): “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

While project plans and pre-construction meetings are readily recognized and understood as effective methods for reducing mistakes, another tool – the pre-electrical walk-through – is just as important.

Years ago we were trained to always conduct pre-drywall walk-throughs on our basement finishing jobs. The purpose was to catch any errors in placement of:

• electrical,

• architectural, or

• mechanical elements.

If placement was incorrect, we wanted to correct the error before covering them over with drywall, at which point moving them required drywall patches – less than desirable in any type of construction: new builds, kitchen remodels or basement finishing projects.

Projects Like This Aurora Basement Finishing Job Finish Much Better With the Use of a Pre-Electrical Walk-Through

I quickly realized that the vast majority of errors were simply miscommunications in the exact desired location of lights, outlets, switches, and audio/visual components. The architectural and mechanical elements in our basement finishing projects were usually correct (as per the plan). Thus, most of our walk-through was spent looking at improperly placed electrical elements.

Because the electrical components were typically the last to be installed I discovered that by moving the walk-through from a pre-drywall walk to a pre-electrical walk, we eliminated 90% of the homeowner’s headaches before they even started!

Let’s face it; visualizing a completed project is not the easiest thing for all of us to do. While plans are the first line of defense, a walk-through after the basement finishing efforts have begun, and after the structure has really taken shape is the best way to visualize a finished project.

The pre-electrical walk-through is the perfect way to visualize how the location of lights and video and audio components would work in the completed basement. Walking through a framed structure gives you a more accurate idea of potential dark spots, logical location of switches and outlets, and functionality of audio/visual and tech-wiring components.

Basement finishing isn’t rocket science, but it does require careful planning and accurate timing to pull off great quality. Your basement finishing contractor should care more about preparation than correction. The pre-electrical walk-through is a step in the right direction.

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