Two aspects of design and construction in log homes that often generate questions involve electrical and plumbing. Questions like, ‘how is electricity run?’ and ‘where do plumbing pipes go?’ are common queries we receive. Many often believe that the installation of these two features becomes complicated with a wood home, but in actuality, the installation isn’t much different from that of a conventional home. Today we asked Construction Services Manager, Matt Carmer, to tell us about how these two necessities are added to a wood home.

When does the planning for electrical and plumbing begin?
Matt: Planning for both electrical and plumbing begins in the design phase. As far as the electrical goes, within the construction drawings the architectural designer provides, there is a set of basic electrical plans that they have designed in accordance to the area’s codes and regulations. The exact location of fixtures, outlets, and switches will be determined right before the timber is installed. While the design set will not include plumbing drawings, the architectural designer will always take the location of pipes into consideration as they design the layout.Electric Outlet Cut in Log Wall

Where will my electrical and plumbing go?
Matt: Log homes have included electricity and plumbing for decades. Depending on the design of a home, there really are very few differences between where these fixtures will go in comparison to a conventional home. With electrical planning, if a project will include full exterior log walls, the electrical contractor will need to know as soon as possible so they can plan to have their electrical chases drilled into the log. Many homes include interior log walls as well as exterior. By consulting your architectural designer, you can determine where and how your electrical chases will need to go before installation. On the other hand, plumbing is something that will generally not be affected by your wall’s composition as pipes are not built inside your exterior walls. Even with spaces like the kitchen that can often times include log walls; the plumbing will typically be contained within a cabinet or cupboard. The pipes will run down into your septic system like they normally do in conventional housing.

What other electrical and plumbing considerations should I make?
Matt: By having electrical plans drawn based on your home’s layout and considering where plumbing will go during the design process, your general contractor will be prepared to move forward with construction. However, remember to consider the less obvious places where electrical chases are needed. For example, you may choose to have a fan installed in a ceiling truss, or wall sconces in a bathroom or bedroom. There are all kinds of lighting schemes that can be coordinated. By speaking with your architectural designer, interior designer, and contractor, you can rest assured that your design is accurate, and your project is ready for a seamless transition into the construction phase.

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