horizontal vent 'roughed-in' improperly
The rough-in phase starts with any framing changes: adding full or half walls, framing in openings & adding blocking for ceiling or wall mount vents, etc. All the framing must allow for the rough in of the electrical, gas, and mechanical. Sometimes it takes some creativity as is demonstrated by the pony wall framing at the left. This wall had to contain the vent, gas, and elect for a downdraft slide in range. There is little room for error on the placement of the exhaust duct as the range slides into the opening with 1/16" gap at sides.
After the framing is in, I feel the mechanical (vents and ducts) should be installed next; it is the largest and hardest to bend around obstacles. Next, install all gas and water lines then finish up with electrical.. In addition to the list of problems on the "Ordering" page, here are some additional commonly overlooked requirements that need to be addressed during the rough-in phase of construction.
Most factory cabinets have a top mounting rail, and (on upper cabinets) a lower rail. These will mount at 32"-34", 54"-56", 82"-84", and 94"-96" from the floor. Keep all new wire and plumbing out of these areas. With metal nail stops on the studs at these locations, cabinets can not be mounted. Some cabinets brands, such as "Diamond", and ThomasVille, have 3/8" or greater back panels, thus accomidating mounting anywhere through the back panel.
Ceiling and wall mount range hoods require special blocking in the walls or ceilings. (most others mount to upper cab). If you are using a rear (wall) exhaust for your range vent pay special attention to the roughin. The picture above is an example of really getting it wrong. Yet, even if the duct in the wall was off by only one inch - it would not hook up to the microwave or hood.
Some appliances and kitchen configurations need extra special attention to mechaninal rough-in. The peninsula framing shown here is a perfect example. The kitchen was designed with a slide-in downdraft gas range. The manufacturer specifications must be consulted in situations like this to make sure all necessary components are in their proper locations. Tearing out finished walls to re-route gas pipes or exhaust ducts is an added expense no one needs - not to mention the lost time and headache.
outlet under counter
Kitchen counters are required by building code to be serviced with outlets placed so that no point is more than 24" horizontally from an outlet (except behind the range or sink).
Outlets can not be located beneath a countertop which extends more than 6" beyond its support base. Usually found on islands and peninsulas. UPdate: There have been changes to the NEC and this may no longer be enforced (07-2009).
If you add an extra hot water angle stop in the sink base, the dishwasher can be serviced independently of the sink. If recessed lights have been added. Verify that they will clear any pantry cabinets, which extend out 12" beyond regular upper cabinets. Check that ceiling fans clear upper cabinet doors when they are open.
There is a window of oportunity for getting it right: before walls are closed up, drywalled, and painted. I have only touched on some of the more common problems I have encountered. Even if you are doing it yourself, there is a time to utilize the services of a professional who specializes in kitchen remodeling. The cost of a consultation is usually much less than retrofitting electrical and plumbing or mechanical after the fact.