Bath Fans in the Sales Models

Bath ceiling fans in the sales models should not be hooked up to the bathroom light switches…while the units are sales models.

The builder does not want the bathroom fan motors running all day and night simply because people turned the switch on while walking through the sales models.

By having the switch to the bath fans dead…but the electrical wiring hot…the builder exclusively controls the interior lighting and fans…not prospective homebuyers.

When the sales models are converted to livable units…the builder can plug the bathroom ceiling fans back in when the electrical wiring is changed over into normal wiring.

Electrical Wiring in the Sales Models

In the sales models, light switches should be wired so that the lights are always on to prevent people from turning lights on and off as they walk through the models.

This approach accomplishes two things.

First, it prevents people from inadvertently leaving dark pockets behind them as they tamper with light switches while walking through the sales models.  The builder wants the sales models bright, cheerful, safe, and inviting…by having all interior areas of the models well lighted.

Second, the sales people do not need to constantly walk through the models turning lights back on.  The best approach is to have a master switch located in the sales office…whereby sales staff can turn on all of the designated lights in the models at the beginning of the day…and turn off these lights from the sales office at the end of the day without having to physically walk through the models turning off lights.

Allow Enough Time for the Sales Models Grand Opening

            The grand opening of the sales models and the sales office…which can be very exciting for the people from the main office…can also be a major setback for morale in the field if everything is handled in the last-minute, rushed atmosphere typical of most new project grand openings.

The standard protocol is for the main office to set a date, order all of the brochures and promotional literature, start the advertising, but fail to anticipate all of the small details that must be taken care of at the last minute.  The construction people in the field are then locked into a date that might not be realistic in terms of pulling everything together in a smooth and orderly manner.

In one particular case, the builder had trouble deciding whether the sales office should be in one of the condominium units…or in a separate structure.  The homebuilder procrastinated to the point of having two unfinished double-wide trailers delivered to the jobsite for a sales office…only 10 calendar days before the grand opening.

The jobsite superintendents were forced to schedule most of the subcontractors on top of each other…with landscaping, masonry block work, finish carpentry, and painting all occurring simultaneously down to the last minute before the opening on a Saturday morning.

When people from the main office came out to the jobsite two days before the grand opening to view the progress and to help in the last-minute preparations…they thought as construction novices that all of the tradespeople running around bumping into one another was normal for building construction.  They saw all of this frenzied activity as exciting compared to the mundane routines of the office.

What the people from the main office did not realize was the damage done to the reputation of the jobsite superintendents among the various subcontractors and tradespeople involved.  Tradespeople commented that this company was just as disorganized as all the other homebuilders in their past experience…and that everything being done in preparation for the grand opening of the sales models complex was a last-minute panic…as usual.

It took the jobsite superintendents months of orderly and organized construction…after the sales models grand opening…to regain the confidence of many of the tradespeople and subcontractors who participated in the sales models work.

The point here is that the main office should plan and schedule the grand opening date with the assistance of the construction department, and then abide by their own activity milestone dates in finalizing decisions, selections, and the ordering of various materials and furniture for the sales models and sales office.

If the grand opening date is unrealistic…or if the main office cannot themselves stay on schedule…then after the promotional literature has been printed and advertisements published in the newspaper and on the internet…the construction must hold to that date…forcing it into almost impossible situations and working conditions that are adversely characterized by the tradespeople involved…potentially damaging the building construction for months after the sales models grand opening.

Generator for the Sales Models Opening

Electrical power is needed for the interior lighting, air-conditioning, audio-music, video presentations and vocal narrative, and office equipment and telephones in the sales models and the sales office.

If there is a chance that final inspection and occupancy approval might not be given by the city building department in enough time for the electrical utility company to set the meters and turn on the electricity…the builder should plan to use a generator in the interim.

The builder should plan ahead for this temporary generator…so there is no last-minute rush trying to obtain electrical power.

A location for the generator must be found that is out of sight behind a building, wind-screened fence, or trees to minimize noise and to not detract from the sales models and sales office campus.

The builder must also arrange for periodic refueling of the generator.  The generator must also be large enough to handle the required electrical load.

Air-Conditioning for Sales Models Plants

In scheduling for the sales models opening for production tract housing and condominiums…the builder should consider that electricity must be on for air-conditioning to be operating at the time that indoor plants are placed in the interior of the sales models.

To turn the electricity on…the final electrical inspection must be passed by the city building department…the electrical utility released, and the electrical meters set.  The air-conditioning units can then be fired-up and tested.

If the grand opening occurs in the summer, for example, the indoor plants must be protected from the heat.  Because installing indoor plants is not a normal construction activity…and therefore not thought of during construction scheduling…it can be easily overlooked when planning for the sales models grand opening.

The mistake to avoid here is not allowing enough lead-time for the air-conditioning to be up and running for the installation of sales models furniture which includes indoor plants.  These indoor plants must be in place to complete the interior decorating…for the promotional photography shoot…which typically takes place several weeks before the actual sales models grand opening date.

Electricity for the Photo Shoot


One requirement sometimes not considered in scheduling the grand opening of the sales models for a multi-unit production tract housing or condominium project…is that electricity must be on for the interior and exterior photography shoot.

Photographs are typically taken two or three weeks before the opening date…so as to be included in the sales brochures and promotional adds that run in the real estate sections of local newspaper…and on the internet.

Electricity must be on so that dining room chandeliers, hanging light fixtures in stairways, kitchen florescent lights, bathroom bar light fixtures and sconce light fixtures, and bedroom table lamps can provide lighting for the photography.

Providing electricity two or three weeks earlier than the grand opening date can throw the sales models construction into panic mode if this requirement was not anticipated.  Normally, the approval to allow electricity to be provided for a project is not released by the city building department until construction is complete.  If the project is scheduled to continue construction right up to the grand opening date…the construction will not be far enough along at the time of the photo shoot to have a final building inspection…much less allow time for the utility company to set meters and turn on the electricity.

Some city or county building departments will make an exception for sales models and give a separate electrical inspection before the building final inspection.  This process allows the builder to get electrical power earlier than normal.

This approach must be planned for ahead of time, however, so that the electrical inspection, the setting of the meters, the release by the city building department, and the bureaucratic process between the building department and the utility company all transpire to coordinate in time for the grand opening.

The fallback position is for the homebuilder to rent a generator to power the electricity to the sales models…with the project electrical contractor making the temporary connections at the electrical breakers panels.

The mistake to avoid here is in thinking that the construction completion date and the sales model grand opening date can be the same day…unless the builder is planning on renting a generator.

The construction completion date should be about three to four weeks before the the opening so that electricity, as well as furniture and indoor plants…can be in place for the promotional photography shoot.