What Does “Rough In” Mean?

By Marie Flounoy

Rough In” is a term that is frequently used in the construction business. When a new house or building is to be constructed or re-modeled, the immediate structure is outlined and built. This is the basic structure of the house before it is dry-walled or connected.

In this stage, every nook and corner of the newly constructed building is accessible and is checked for possible construction flaws. Once the structure is approved, the rough-in phase starts. In this phase, a rough electrical frame is installed which includes switch boxes, breaker panels, subpanels and fixture mounts. Also, all the plumbing lines and connections are laid. This ensures that the electrical and plumbing lines in the house are properly laid. The absence of dry walls makes it possible to have a transparent view of all the specifications mentioned. The rough in phase mainly comprises two areas of application:

Plumbing rough in

Before the floorboards are fixed, the plumbing rough in is executed. In this phase, studs are connected to pipes and the plumbing infrastructure is determined. All water connections are tested as per specifications and any non-conformance is rectified in this phase. Simply put, consider a plumbing rough in as a rough draft of your intended plumbing installation, which indicates where drainages and vent lines will be placed, the sizes that will be used, and how they will be connected.

Electrical rough in

Typically an electrician or contractor conducts an electrical rough in by the installation of electrical wirings, boxes, fixture mounts, breaker panels, sub-panels, etc while switches, outlets, and fixture installations are not attached. It helps to get an electrical map drawn by a professional if you plan on doing it yourself.

Overview of the rough in process 

As a part of the building process, inspection is a necessary process that should determine the next course of action. Here is typically how the process is carried out from start to finish:

  1. First, the beams for the walls, floors, and ceiling are erected in place and are left open without fitting in the dry wall.
  2. Electricians install the electrical connections running from the main panel to all the service endpoints. This includes switch points, broadband lines, telephone lines and other power receptacles. Inside of each switch box, the wire is left open-ended without any connections.
  3.  Simultaneously, the plumber can install the plumbing lines. The entire flow of water in the house must be controlled and the plumber must lay the water connections under the sinks, bathroom water pipes, drain pipes for washing, etc. accurately.
  4. The most crucial part of after the rough in is the inspection of the work. Inspection is done before installing the drywall to allow for modifications where necessary. If the work passes their approval, the contractor can begin installing the drywalls and external shields. Else, the problem area is identified and needs to be rectified.
  5. Post the drywall installation, the contractor, electrician, and plumber need to return to install the endpoint devices that are directly used by people living in the house or building. (i.e. sinks or outlets)
  6. Once the endpoint installations are completed, a second inspection is made.
  7. Once the inspectors have given their final approval, the building or house permit is issued. The inspector will continue visiting the house or building until the work completed is satisfactory and meets approval.

Modifications to the rough in are allowed, but not really preferred

A rough in is a crude draft of a building that ensures that its physics are accurate. All the beams that are constructed are a necessary part of the building and usually cannot be changed. A rough in is expected to conform to the specifications to the dot and changes are not expected to be done at all. If at all it needs to be modified, it can be done so with additional approval and the rough in makes the building accessible enough to make the changes.

 

 

 

  

 

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