Modern Electrical Installations

Mastering Modern Electrical Installations in Coastal Homes: A Deep Dive

Coastal Electrical Installations

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

In today’s video Matt gets excited about the cutting-edge electrical installation and meticulous workmanship required behind one spectacular coastal home build that is exposed to the elements.

Join your host Matt Risinger with CJ and Mike Barnard as they guide us through the unique challenges and innovative solutions required for waterfront construction

Gain insights into combating the corrosive seaside elements through strategic material choices like fly ash siding with exposed hardware that defies rusting. Unpack the great cedar versus stainless steel nailing debate – and which prevails on the coast.

Dive into the intricate pre-wiring for battery backups and Tesla charging setups that deliver power resiliency. See how Mike interprets NEC codes to integrate efficient electric vehicle hookups seamlessly.

Appreciate the refined craftsmanship on display in meticulously installed modern trims from framing to door jambs. Marvel at ingenious floor spacer blocks that enable flawless wood fits.

This isn’t just construction – it’s an architectural ballet blending resilience and timeless style. Let Mike expose the electrical installation artistry required to tame the harsh maritime environment in eye-catching fashion.

Over to you, Matt.

Mastering Modern Electrical Installations in Coastal Homes: A Deep Dive

Video Transcript

Build show is on the road. We snuck up on you in our electric F-150. We’re visiting Mike Barnard construction here in Bodega Bay, California, and I’ve got with me CJ with CNC Electric, a super cool contractor. We’ve got a lot of wind going on. It’s a beautiful day. Let’s get going.

Alright, guys, let me introduce you to Mike Barnard of Barnard construction here in Bodega Bay, and then, of course, you know CJ with CNC Electric shooting videos over on Build Show Network. CJ, you’re doing the wiring on this house or did already, right?

Yep, you’ve been working with Mike for a while, a while, yeah. We’ve done a few homes together, and Mike, talk to me about this coastal house. I mean, it looks to me like we are not very far at all from the ocean on this project, are we?

No, no, maybe a couple hundred feet, best. Yeah, so brutal conditions, get yeah? The marine influence is rough, so we’re talking wind, water, and salt, right?

Correct. So much so that I saw in the house next door, it looked like there’s a couple of rusty things here and there on the outside of the house. Yes, if you don’t do things correctly, you’re going to have a few issues for sure.

Now, this is not cedar on the outside of the house though, is it? I thought it was maybe when I pulled up. Correct, it’s Borealite, it’s nickel gap siding. It’s 100% fly ash. Okay, so this is from Westlake Royal. Now, is the owner of this product, and it looks like a cedar 1×6, and this is a shiplap profile, right, that you’re running vertically?

Here’s a little sample of it. Am I looking at the right thing? Yes, and it looks like you ran it with the smooth side in, so you’ve got kind of the textured side out, textured side? Yeah, yeah, I like that. So, I guess you’re not nailing on the blind, though. You’re actually nailing where you can see the fasteners, correct?

The specifications are, yeah, to not blind nail it, to expose the fasteners, so yes. And what are you using for nails on the outside here? I suspect you’re worried about those nails rusting on you, aren’t you? Correct, correct. Yeah, that’s that. Yeah, so these are stainless steel ring shank, grade 316, yeah, stainless nails.

And how does this compare to cedar in terms of cost or workability, longevity? It’s cost is very similar to clear cedar, um, longevity. I mean, this is only my second project with it, but looking the way it’s constructed, I got to believe it’s going to last nearly forever.

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Yeah, a long time, a long time. So, pretty cost-comparative to cedar, about the same price, same, same price as clear cedar, okay, expensive, but you know, you end up with a very similar finish. You, you know, still have both clear. I like that.

And is this jam also the same material for your garage here? It is. This is a 2×10, I believe, that was ripped down, and yes, this is the same exact material. It comes up to, I believe, a 2×2. I like that. CJ, when I walk into the garage, I’m noticing a couple of like weird double gang outlets on either side of the door.

What are these bad boys with big wires into them, big wires? Standard issue, it’s a level two charger. In California, so they require actually that we have a 50 amp circuit by code or a 1-inch empty conduit going back to the load center. Both will comply with code, but most of our clients are going to want a charger. So, these are getting them, you know, from right out of the box.

And is that copper or aluminum in there, copper 63? So, we’re running 50 amps with a level two charger. We’ll give you a 40 amp charge. That’s an expensive piece of wire in there too, isn’t it? You know, and copper, big, it’s only gone up. And what you’ll run that back to, a 2230, 50 amp, 2250, 50? So 50 amp circuit.

A lot of the vehicles are actually coming with a NEMA 14-50, 4 wire, or in this case, you know, the Ford charger, Tesla charger. We can hook right onto these without plugging in. Ideally, we’re avoiding a plug connection if we can and going straight hard wire, but it just depends on the charger. Gotcha.

And is that your first electric vehicle, by the way, your F-150, Mike? No, second, second. How do you like it so far as a builder? Excellent, excellent, love it, worked well for you, quite well for you. Quite well and do most of your clients pre- wire for this like CJ did on this one or you guys putting conduit in sometimes no um it’s actually required.

It’s a code requirement to be prepped for at least one car charger okay at least. One you have to in this case we did two cuz they’re going to have two vehicles but um we again we have to at least prep for it. Gotcha and I’m seeing a giant gutter on the ceiling over here with a bunch of very thick aluminum wires.

What am I seeing over there so power outages common but but also battery backups a real common one. Oh so this house out of the box will have um aTesla Gateway ah and inverter. So what we’re doing is pre-wiring our load Center and we have every load in the house backed up.

That’s going to be in this load Center anything that we don’t want backed up and I think in this house it might only be a hot tub that we’re not backing up. Is pulled out of the main so non protected loads will come out of the main and then all protected loads will come out of the sub panel. Holy cow and so the power outage transfer switch closes 

Backs up this and it’ll run on batteries, and we have prep for batteries on the wall behind us. Wow, have you done a bunch of those, Mike? No, not a lot, not yet, okay. So it’s not like it’s an everyday occurrence. In the last 3 to 4 years, this has become more of a thing for sure, and the technology is catching up, so more affordable. Yeah.

That load center looks really tall. What size is that? You want to see, you want to see what is that? It’s a 60/120, so 60 full-size breakers or 120 slims. So we just run these instead of running 2 40 load centers, 2 40 space load centers. I mean, in a house this size, I think we’re at like 3,500 square feet, three bedrooms. I mean, it’s really easy to fill up a 40 space load center for us. I mean, we dedicate galore, but again, it’s just a few extra spaces. That’s really nice.

I like how you label these too. I love it, they label everything, makes my life very easy. That’s nice, saves a lot of questions. Very cool, let’s go inside. I wanted to show these guys some of your modern trim details. I’ll meet y’all in there.

Man, we got some nice looking modern details over here, Mike. It’s not often in the drywall phase that you see door jambs in place already. I’m assuming this is because this is a trim-less detail, correct? Right, and so how are you doing this? You’re installing jambs during the framing stage, right before sheetrock gets installed, correct?

And I’m not crazy about it either. It’s, it’s, it’s a tough detail, but it’s a great look, but yeah, you’re correct. In the very early on, as the framing finishes, we have to install these jambs and prep them. They have a curf in them to accept the drywall metal, and then more importantly, we have to nail it right here so that wood flooring slides under there perfectly because there is no adjustment here. So we have to be very careful.

So in other words, your trim carpenter has a piece of 3/4″ flooring sample that he’s dropping this on, and are your finished carpenters, are the drywall guys putting this corner bead on? The drywall guys are putting this on, but in terms of the spacer and the jamb and so forth, the carpenters, but yeah, the critical is here.

We gave them a spacer block that they used to keep this off a perfect distance to allow that wood flooring to slide right under there, and then later, the wood flooring guys can cut this with a jamb saw probably, or correct around here, but they cannot cut that metal. So that metal’s got to be set. It’s got to be just right, just perfect. There is no forgiveness. Do you have one of these in process that maybe doesn’t have the mud on yet that we can see? Yes, I have one upstairs. We can take a look at, let’s go upstairs.

There’s not a square corner in this whole house, is there, Mike? No, not a single one, pretty interesting design. I like it, man. Look at this view before, before I show that detail, look at this view, guys. Wow, I mean, the ocean is right there. This is pretty terrific, what a cool custom home. Okay, but this is the detail we were talking about.

Now, this isn’t a door, this is a, well, actually, this is a sliding glass door maybe, but not a curf, but interesting trimless. So we’ve got a corner bead going on here. You’ve got a tear-away bead. This looks to be like a Trim-Tex tear-away, correct? And that’s been stapled on, and then your guys come in with a fiberglass tape, and then they mud that all in, that’s correct.

And then when it’s all done, which is a nice little detail, is this tear-away is torn. When it’s torn off, there’s about a 16th to an 1/8 inch little shadow line because inevitably that’s always a rough detail, how the drywall finishes up against the frame.

And this just leaves a nice little reveal there. So whenever we have a condition like this, we use tear-away. So if we had an exposed beam, we would run this around or whatever it may be, so it’s a, it’s a nice little detail. And the same issue at the bottom too, keeping it up off the floor, allow the floor to come underneath.

I like that. I also like that your carpenters look like they added some blue tape on there as a double safety. That was pretty smart, yes, that’s a good call.

Now let’s look at a jam on the door so here’s a door right here. So now we can see you’ve got the curve cut in your jam and you’ve got I don’t know maybe 38 or so of wood in that jam before the curve and then this looks like just a standard metal corner be right. It is just a standard metal Corner beam that’s correct.

Just slides into the curf there and uh yeah fiberglass tape. You know what’s cool about this mik is there’s nothing fabulously expensive. It’s just a sequencing detail right right and in the risk of uh damage to these so when all this is done uh the drywall is done. Then these will all be covered and protected but until that moment they’re at risk. They’re at risk yeah but these are going to be painted.

I’m assuming right this is not a stain grade and I’m also noticing that these are not your final doors. These are just some DNA doors correct. Those are temp doors so we the proper weight and size that we can hang and get these set prob because the part I have not brought up yet is once these are set there, there’s no adjustment it’s just much as at the bottom there’s no adjustment so these are not set properly or they’re not square or they’re out of plum or there may be a whoop in them.

There’s no fixing it other than tearing it out, so that’s why we use temporary doors and uh get them set properly. Looks great Mike, well done sir. Let’s go check out the kitchen. Uh, CJ, talk to me about the lighting that we’re seeing here. Are these just standard trim rings that you’ll put on at the final stage?

So just like Mike has all these other details that are mud flush or trim, L we’re doing the same thing on the recess cans, oo and so what we have is actually a standard Nora 4-inch aperture, okay? But what I like about these Noras is that you’re not married to a housing before you decide if you want to go trimless.

Most of the times you’re trimless, you got to have the right housing in place before drywall, Y. And so in this application, we’re able to use the tri the same housing uh that will accept the normal flanged recess or if you opt to go trimless, which isn’t too much more expensive, all you’re doing is buying a ring.

And so I got a couple, o cool. And so really all it is, is this, check it out. So if you decide to go trimless, I’ll pop it open for you. We’re literally just screwing this up and it’s got a drywall flange around it, it accepts four screws and we’ll put a couple extra in for nail pops.

And then this pops out after and then that’s going to be the actual aperture of the recess. So same lumin output, but what they’re calling these, instead of mud flush, is trimless, trimless. So mud flush will allow a normal flange trim to sit flush, but this is actually trimless. So it’s really a nice finish, same lumin output, same same can, just a lot smaller.

And and any rough idea on what these things cost? Uh, I always do, it’s about 50 bucks for the housing, 50 bucks for the trim. And then when you’re going trim list, you’re adding about 15 to $25 depending on um. So those are the round apertures and another thing that I really like is normally when you’re going uh round or square, you have to know before you actually install the recess.

Most manufacturers when you’re going square, you have to to choose uh square housing before you go square. In this application, we could decide now. We could ask the customer, you want to go square or you want to go round? How about that, pretty neat?

Now if I were the electrician, I would be praying that they chose round personally in this house, rounds the case cuz we have so many tapered rooms, corers, anywh. So the the laser or the uh the square requires us to lay out so many times. So when we’re going square, we’re not only lasering the housings on rough, we’re lasering the trims and we’re lasering again during final install. But you got to, you got to be square, you’re going to see it.

And when will your guys come back to put these on or is this something the Mike’s guys will put on? Nope, so that’s us and it’s actually happening tomorrow. So you can see we’re mid tape, we could have done it before they started, um, and they just happen to be scheduled tomorrow.

So what we’ll do is come in with a box of 131, I think is in this house, and they’ll come through and they’ll install each one, making sure that we will shoot a laser cuz you have a little wiggle room this way. But other than that, we’ll be in here for a few hours and then drywall guys take it from there. That’s pretty sweet, yeah it’s really awesome.

Now we were talking earlier about a trick that you and Mike came up with, CJ, for uh kind of getting an outlet into a rough spot. Talk to me about that. So in almost all of these homes, obviously the view is insane, window heavy, so we got windows everywhere.

And in this application, center of this wall is a sink, okay, right here in the center of this triple bank of windows. And so the challenge is, you know design wise, the countertops flowing right into the window, so we have no backplash, we’re 36-inch countertop finish. And it actually finishes flush out with this, okay?

And so per code, we need a receptacle within 24-in of the edge of the sink. So within 24-in of the edge of the sink, you got to have an outlet, but there’s no outlet to be seen here, nothing, we got no wall space. But we got a good idea, uh, Mike came up with this one. We actually have a solid post here and we, approve with structural, we didn’t go in very far. We got an inch and a half box which will accept a normal device, oh a shallow box, yeah. And if you keep one wire in it, you got plenty of room for your device.

So we’re going to just have a nice Lutron receptacle in there and it got um mortised out and we recess that box in an inch, it sticks out a/ inch, they’ll trim this just like a normal window and when you’re looking, but in this case it gets stone, this will be stone, stone to the ceiling, so all be stone stone, yep.

And how awesome, I mean wrapped in stone and we’ll have a nice receptacle on the side of this, functional. I mean there are other ways to go about it, you could go pop up, they’re a pain, they’re not very useful, you’re having to push it, they’re hard to clean. This is actually a functional receptacle and it looks good, you can just pop your crock pot right in there.

And so all we did is angle drill into the wall cavity before framing, just like a normal you know routing, and we got in. So so we got one on each side, it’s really kind of a neat detail. I like that, they, Mike, before we get out of the kitchen, I want to mention it looks like you’ve got a pantry space with a pocket door in here. Is this cavity slider?

Yes, oh man, I like these, I’ve got these in my house, the soft close, yeah, oh is this the soft Clos unit too? Y, did you just do a Dage door to make sure that the spacing everything work?

So we had to preset uh the cam inside of here so that it was so as it opens, it’s preset for perfectly for a 3/4 inch piece of trim to be accepted on top here, so this will flush out perfectly. And then to also get the cam proper so for the soft closed portion set just right. I like that, that’s really cool.

Anything that we miss from a builder’s perspective on those uh on those trimless that, right? Yes trimless, um, I think is as CJ mentioned, a hidden cost is is for the drywaller, um it’s a $100 per can to float out each light.

So that adds up, we have3 cans I believe, so there’s $133,000. And I’m assuming that’s because they end up basically solid floating these ceilings correct? Because they’re really trying to make sure that there’s no issues.

And are you normally doing a level four or a level five on your houses? Uh it’s a it’s a level five, but this particular home, it’s it’s called a cottage texture imperfect smooth, some people call it. But it’s very close and similar to a smooth wall, but it just has minor imperfections, okay. But then they’re basically floating from can to can to try to get that all totally, they are floating can to can. That’s pretty cool.

Yeah, CJ I wanted to uh have you tell these guys about a really cool way to hide your uh recess or actually I should wait, should say to recess your bathroom exhaust. Would you show us that downstairs? Yep, let’s go check it out, we’ll meet you down there.

Alright, check this one out Matt, I don’t know if you’ve seen, I know you’ve seen, but have you seen them in the flesh? I haven’t, so this is an ARA Vents and that looks like just a standard Panasonic exhaust fan, right? Yeah, so now what, why is it recessed back up there?

So these are mud flesh, so just like we did with the recess lights and the door trims and stuff, they wanted a sleek look. So this comes in a box like this, yeah, which isn’t you know too bad, they’re definitely heavy duty, it’s a lot thicker.

When I first opened these, they definitely may come out of a really decent um steel um. But you can see it’s got the flange like you’d see on any drywall, so this is going to get drywalled up to there, yep. And all you’re going to see is this flat panel, right?

But and then it turn, it turns the kind of ugly plastic grill into just a line, b your grill will hide behind this axis. F, oh that’s pretty sweet, you see that’s what we’re looking at right here, okay. And that’s up there. So how did you get that free ready to go for this?

Well, it was a little bit of a challenge, me and Mike went back and forth on you know how we were going to do this. And Arya gives you a an instruction sheet that’s for retrofit, so essentially the directions say rough in or drywall cut your square out and then slide your your trim up and then slide the fan through the trim and then how are you going to hook all the ducting up?

So what we decided to do was we took into consideration the drywall thickness, which is 5/8, and then there’s this is exactly an inch and 5/8, okay. So we spaced our fan housings up and put them in before drywall an inch, so we literally just push them up in the wall cavity like we would normally except being flush were an inch back behind finishing.

And then to expose these perfectly, um, the carpenters on site built us some of these foam, it’s just rigid foam, but it’s an inch and a half and it’s the exact dimension, oh, of this. How about that, that’s awesome.

And then we literally just taped these up to the Panasonic fan, the face of the fan, uh uh. So when the drywall crew comes in, they literally drywall right to our foam, the foam. And then after drywall, right before this got put up there, we yank these bad boys out and we have a perfect hole to put this in, to put our event in, so minus the uh minus this cover plate, right? Yeah, so we keep the cover plate off, um, see how it pops out with these little retention tabs?

We keep these off and we stash them away, nice in a box so they don’t get dinged up and I’m banging it in like I am right now, got it. But you know it’s just a piece of sheet metal, they can get textured, they can get color matched. In this case we’re going level five smooth wall, so it’s going to match perfectly. And then those get put in when we trim out and before paint. But essentially this is all you’re going to see, right there, f example way to go. I like that, that’s pretty cool.

Check this out, CJ, Mike’s a smart builder. It took me a second to realize why he had a different colored sheetrock here than the rest of the room. This isn’t sheetrock, this is cement backerboard, wall hung toilet, right? When you put those well hung toilets on, they want a solid backer like a tile backer or, you know, some other type of solid backing.

And I suspect that this wall is going to be just a smooth sheetrock wall, no tile. So what he did was he put cementboard up prior to the sheetrock guys coming, they’ll sheetrock to it, they’ll float all this when the toilet gets hung, it’s got a nice solid backer for this floating toilet. That’s a smart builder right there, it’s a good detail and he thinks about those things.

One thing I want to point out too, that I think at least in walkthroughs as a misconception on some of these toilets, these are actually the Toto washlets, so they have an automatic lid, but they also have um hot water, ah. So you need power for those, don’t you need power?

And most people will just say like oh we’ll think about it, but we’re actually not required, but you have to install a dedicated circuit for these. So these actually, if you read the specs on them, are around, 1400 watts, is that right?

Yeah, cuz they’re bringing the water temperature up from you know wherever it comes into the house up to temperature quick and it’s instant and so it’s it’s a it’s a big load.

So each one of these bathrooms actually has a dedicated circuit for each toilet on on a dedicated GFI, on a dedicated GFI that says Toto toilet because if you try to share it and you got a you know curling iron or you know even a toothbrush charging, you can pop those breakers, so dedicated circuit is absolutely crucial and often overlooked. That’s pretty awesome, what a cool house.

Let’s go meet Mike and wrap up the video. Alright Mike, thank you so much for the tour man, what a cool house. Guys, I’ll put Mike’s uh website, contact info down in the uh description below if you’re building Bodega Bay or remodeling too, you do a lot of remodels it sounds like with this harsh Coastal climate that destroys houses pretty quick.

Appreciate the tour man, and CJ, always good to see your work brother. I’m glad you got to stop by this one, it shows off a lot of the building science details. I think some really good details here and it’s awesome to work with a good builder like Mike, means a lot. If you’re not currently watching CJ’s videos, he’s shooting videos on a weekly basis over on

And oh by the way, I’ve been in California with CJ talking about his path to become an electrician, you know we need more young people to make that decision to become a trades man and woman out in the field for builders like Mike and I, building houses, we need those houses built. So stay tuned in the future for our talking trade series, won’t be too long before you see that here, uh in the meantime, follow us on Tik Tok or Instagram. Otherwise we’ll see you next time on the build [Music] show.

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