Several of my customers over the years have suffered through lengthy delays trying to complete the turnkey on their home due to problems scheduling electrical power to their site. For the most part, these customers were acting as their own general contractor or had hired an independent GC. But my company has also experienced these delays in scheduling electrical power when serving as the GC.
Scheduling Electrical Power to Your Home
The delays in scheduling electrical power usually happened because the utility company needed additional electrical poles or a new transformer, which typically required one to three months lead time. The delays in scheduling electrical power were sometimes compounded because the approval of the poles required a public hearing, which itself took a month or more from scheduling to approval. On a couple of occasions when things were particularly busy, the overall delay in scheduling electrical power was over four months. In these cases, the GC completed as much of the work as he could. But he was then stopped in his tracks for a couple of months, which delayed the customer’s move in by the same amount.
In other cases a delay in scheduling electrical power was used by the GC has a reasonable excuse for postponing the start of the work. As the GC pointed out to the customer, the subcontractors need electricity to operate their power tools. Although the subs could use a portable generator temporarily, this would be an inefficient and expensive way to operate.
These delays in scheduling electrical power can be minimized, however, if your GC asks the electrician to contact the utility company several weeks before your home is delivered. If the electrician discovers that you need additional poles, you can have him file an immediate request to avoid substantial delays. Another option for minimizing the impact of delays in scheduling electrical power, when possible, is to ask the electrician to set up a temporary service to your home.
Scheduling Electrical Power Weeks Before Beginning Construction
The most important thing you can do to avoid delays in scheduling electrical power to your site is to ask the electrician to request service to your home several weeks before the modules are to arrive. At the very least, you and your GC will know what to expect and can plan accordingly.
For more information about scheduling electrical power, see The General Contractor’s Responsibilities for Building a Modular Home and Building a Modular Home on Schedule in my book The Modular Home.