View Full Version : Iinquire Standard Code For House Electric Outlet

Julia Tang
07-26-2011, 04:30 AM
Hi, there,

I would seek your help regarding electric outlet layout and quantities for new construction house.

Right now our builder is laying out electric outlet for our new construction house. I found they did not install electric outlet besides each vanity (around sink area) for guest bath, main bath and master bath, plus the powder room, and they did not install outlet for a master bath room as large as 180 sq ft since the builder told us that it is a bath room.

I want to present them a building industry standard, so they can follow the standard, rather than decided by the site supervisor by marking whatever location he wants. If you know the standard or you have such standard link or document, can you post it here?

When city comes to inspect house (before dry-wall), will they inspect these electric outlet layout? Or what do they usually inspect from city?

Thank you very much!


H.G. Watson, Sr.
07-26-2011, 06:28 AM
Yes, the electrical code adopted by your jurisdiction, including any local ammendments would be the minimum standard.

For the permit there should have been planning documents submitted, reviewed for approval.

It is not the responsibility of the "city" to assure that all is exact or every thing is met.

It sounds as if you are under contract with a developer/builder for property you do not yet own.

Seek the guidance of an attorney, and a consulting building specialist who can represent your interests regarding plans review and stage inspections. Do not expect the government or "the builder's" representatives to do that for you.

Check with your local building office as to what codes they have adopted, and with what, if any local ammendments are in place. They can further direct you to where you may review this information.

Likely you would have been asked to sign off on plan descriptions/documents regarding your contract with "the builder".

Ken Rowe
07-26-2011, 06:29 AM
You should speak with the city inspector or hire your own inspector as a consultant. Sounds like you're having several issues with your builder.

Harry Janssen
07-26-2011, 06:22 PM
In most areas,the electrical inspection bureau,controls what must go into each house,since they have final control,the electrical work will not pass,if it was not done according to their rules.
Seek out the help of a trusted outside party,to ensure all work is done properly.
Good luck

Matt Fellman
07-26-2011, 10:46 PM
I haven't seen a house built in the last 50 years that didn't have outlets in the bathrooms..... there has to be some misunderstanding or miscommunication here.

Julia Tang
07-28-2011, 07:54 AM
H.G. / Ken / Harry / Matt,

Thank you very much for getting back to me. I very appreciate. Yes, we have a number of issues with this small builder. It is very hard for me to prevent their errors and also ask them to correct errors. Only way I can do is to use industry standard to ask them to follow.

I will talk to city inspector.

Thank you again for your time and sincere advice.


James Duffin
07-28-2011, 11:59 AM
Julia...This from the 2008 National Electrical Code:

(3) Bathroom Branch Circuits. In addition to the number
of branch circuits required by other parts of this section, at
least one 20-ampere branch circuit shall be provided to
supply bathroom receptacle outlet(s). Such circuits shall
have no other outlets.

Exception: Where the 20-ampere circuit supplies a single
bathroom, outlets for other equipment within the same
bathroom shall be permitted to be supplied in accordance
with 210.23(A)(1) and (A)(2).

Julia Tang
07-31-2011, 09:57 PM

Thank you very much for the detailed NEC regulation. I will ask my builder to follow NEC closely.

By the way, there is another concern surging up. My builder wants to put insulation and drywall to the house before they put exterior brick and siding. We very worry about that the summer rain is going to damage the thin ply wood if there is no brick/siding protection, and damage insulation and drywall. If insulation is wet, it is very easy to grow mold.

Do you know any standard construction process by building industry? Like builder should put exterior first, then do interior?

Thanks a lot.


Markus Keller
08-01-2011, 05:50 AM
This is really getting to be nonsense here. You are raising repeated serious issues that aren't making sense. The garage was odd but an understandable issue for various factors. The electrical outlets and the brick/siding questions are plain nonsense.
Where are your contract documents and blueprints? There can't be a permit on the job. Even around here with our odd permit process at times, no permit is going to be issued if required receptacles aren't on the drawings. The builder isn't following the drawings? Your contract doesn't state, 'build as per approved Plans'? You don't have an architect? Something is fishy here.
The idea that a licensed electrician isn't putting receptacles in a bathroom doesn't fly. Contractors make mistakes and fudge on jobs but I don't see a guy putting his license at risk for something so utterly stupid. Based on that, I have to wonder whether the 'electrician' is from the home desperate parking lot.
What kind of idiot builder would even take the chance of encapsulating the inside without having the shell complete? He's putting your house at risk. Clearly he must not be worried about liability or correcting problems if he's fine with taking that kind of chance. Have City inspectors been out?
If you are having these kinds of issues you need to hire a good inspector or project manager. If the builder is willing to do the things you mention, I hate to think what else he's doing you don't know about.
It's fine to ask questions. In your case though you seem to be relying on this forum to help build your home 'better' than what the builder is attempting, this is not in your best interest. You need to hire someone to be your eyes on the job or hire another contractor.

Garry Sorrells
08-01-2011, 06:21 AM
Mark is right in that what you need is a project manager/inspector that will deal with the your builder. It is my experience that unless your are very conversant with building a house you need someone that is experienced. In both the actual building requirements and also dealing with the builder and subcontractors on the job. You will not be able to develop the needed knowledge quickly enough to prevent a problem and or realize that there is a problem and how to deal with that problem.

To often it is a mater of minutes to hours that a problem has to be recognized and corrective action initiated, not days or weeks. That is where experience comes into play. Catching a big mistake or problem at its inception is what smooths out the whole process.

You have seemed to have ongoing issues with the builder. In the long run it would be wise to invest in someone that will assure your needs are met. Remember : "Penny wise and dollar foolish." You do not want to be there.

Julia Tang
08-01-2011, 09:26 AM
Dear Gary and Mark,

Thank you very much for your notes. We are very frustrated by this builder's nonsense practices. I never saw any other builders to put insulation first which is so easy to absorb water before putting brick to the house…… Last Thursday when they told me that they would install insulation on 8/1. We saw a lot of holes on plywood (you know, how thin and how weak the plywood is) around the house. I called the Township building Dept. since I could not think of another ways. The township inspector went to check the house and asked them to fix holes and the house need be weather proof. But the township told me that they do not have authorities to direct them to put brick first. How can I ask the Township inspectors to inspect this house closely? Any thoughts from you?

Gary is right. If this builder can do such kind of things, my husband and I are afraid that they did something or are going to do something which we do not know about.

Mark is right that we are trying to prevent some big problems to the house. But you are absolutely right, we are not knowledgeable about building house, it takes time to learn and catch up, and pinpoint the building problems.

I would like get your recommendations or advice on how to find a reliable and expert inspector for my house. We are in Metro Detroit area. Do you know any of your peers who are responsible and capable to inspect house? Once this house is done, we need a good inspector. In the building process, the township inspectors are in charge of it. The builder told us that we should not intervene their process. So how can we hire expert and get into their building process as Gary mentioned to prevent big problems?

Thank you all for the great advice and sincere help.


Garry Sorrells
08-01-2011, 11:14 AM
I do not know any one in your area.
Hope someone else can refer someone to you.

Until you do get someone on the job site to protect your interests you should make every effort to document every aspect of the construction process. Pictures, pictures and more pictures. Be glad we are in the digital age. Take pictures in a uniform structures way. Document every wall, ceiling and floor as they are constructed and at every stage along the way. Document all pluming, HVAC, electrical, window installation, ect.

Be proactive and put an attorney on retainer.

Having some one perform an Infra Red Inspection of the home will help detect any water and insulation issues that may occur.

If the house is wrapped correctly there will not be water penetration prior to the brick going up. The caveat is correctly. There are established rules for the correct installation and taping of the house wrap. Just stapling it up is not the way.

Do not become frustrated. The building process can be a tedious one depending on the builder. Every builder has their own standards of quality and performance. If you contracted for a price that was low balled, you will have a real problem getting the builder to do anything minimally extra or different than the way that they want to do it. Much less correcting an obvious problem.

Builders work on a profit concept, where every dollar spent on the construction is a dollar out of their pocket. Profit on completion is about what was not spent during construction. Hope you get the concept.

Some builders take the requests of the client as a minor inconvenience, others not. Minor alteration or changes are done without a charge and charged off to customer relations. Typicaly with a good builder they will build into the contract an account to charge these items off to. The customer does not know about the account but it is there and the client enjoys not having to fight with the builder. There is nothing like hearing " no problem, I will take care of that".

Courts look at a concept of "in a workman like fashion", where the level of expectation is at a minimal level. If you want better you will have to work at it.

Julia Tang
08-01-2011, 01:16 PM
Dear Garry,

Thank you very much. We will keep your great advice in our mind and take care of the building progress carefully.

You mentioned "Having some one perform an Infra Red Inspection of the home will help detect any water and insulation issues that may occur." - When can this type of inspection be done? Can this be done before house is finished, or need be done after the entire house is finished? During the construction process, we are not allowed to hire third party (inspector) to inspect house. The builder works with Township inspector directly to go through standard inspection. Should I ask builder to run this kind of inspection and show us the results if it need be done before house is finished? I am afraid they will not take our request. Otherwise, we can hire inspector after closing but I worry it is too late if the wet is captured too long ( 3+ months).

Thank you for your advice and your time.


Garry Sorrells
08-02-2011, 03:55 PM
Is this a custom house?
Or a house being built as part of a tract/development, where you have a contract on it when it is finished?

Most often the test is used to evaluate areas that can not be readily accessed. There for after completion.

I do not think that the builder will get involved in any testing since they have no obligated to test.

Since you are prohibited from bring a third party onto the job site you may be just "s.o.l.".
I recommend to anyone that is involved in a house to be built to have a clause added to the contract to allow for the buyer to bring anyone onto the site for any type of inspection that they want at anytime.

Julia Tang
08-02-2011, 05:54 PM

Yes, it is a custom home. I have asked the builder for whether he can do Infrared Inspection due to their take-chance practice and the answer is they do not need do it. I do plan to get this test done right after closing. I did google search and found one in Michigan: http://www.infraredinspectionmichigan.com/ (http://www.infraredinspectionmichigan.com/) .

Thank you so much for this information. It is a great education to me! Otherwise I would not know such powerful testing. I cannot persuade the builder to put brick on first so far. This special test will help us to make sure this shaky process will not cause problem of moisture or mold. If there are problem, we can find it earlier and fix it, etc. So this information you provided is the key for us!

Thank you for your time and sincere expert advice, help.

I will let everyone know the outcome of the inspection test in the next a few months once this house is done.

Thanks again.


Garry Sorrells
08-03-2011, 10:55 AM
You will need to do two follow up inspections after the original. One at 6 months and another before the builder warranty, if any required by the state, expires (maybe 11 months.

It would be wise to have the entire house closely inspected at 11 months or builder warranty expiration date for defects. That way you can have the builder forced to correct.

Good luck

Julia Tang
08-10-2011, 09:05 PM
Dear Garry,

Thank you so much for the great advice. I should pay you for consulting fee ;) We will take your advice and remember to hire inspector to do three inspections: right after closing, at 6 months, and at 11 months.

We went to the house today when the contractor was doing insulation installation. We found over 8 pieces of wet insulations between frames. We asked contractor why they put wet ones. What they told us was that the insulation materials was put outside. The summer storm came unexpectedly. We asked them to change to dry ones. I wonder why the contractor put wet damaged ones onto house? They knew it was wet.

Thank you again and I will keep everyone posted for the progress. Very appreciate for all the great help and advice which really helped our house project so much........


Harry Janssen
08-10-2011, 09:28 PM
Julia,you seem to have many issues with your builder,is that because he/she does not know what they are doing,or is it maybe,because you have unrealalistic expectations of what you expected. Many of the issues you mentioned ,should be in your schedule,provided by the builder.
The few pieces of wet insulation,if fiberglass will dry out and not be an issue.
If the bricks or siding is not yet installed,I would not have a concern,as long as there is some type of exterior protection to protect the interior finishes.
As others have stated,you need to hire some one to protect your interests and to explain,why and how builders do what they do.
Good luck

Stuart Brooks
08-11-2011, 09:23 AM
If the exterior is covered with sheathing and WRB, roof is on, windows and exterior doors are installed, the finish exterior coverings do not need to be up before the insulation and drywall. Not a state I would like to leave for very long but it is acceptable building practice.