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.