Beyond Cookie Cutter: The Benefits of Full Customization in Your MDU Design Phase

The phrase “one size fits all” can be both a positive and a negative. It’s a positive when you’re shopping for hats for a lot of people, or ordering shirts for an office party. It allows you to avoid mistakes and not hurt people’s feelings. What it doesn’t allow for is individuality. When shopping for your own hat, you want something that fits your head, not just heads in general.

For a long time, a lot of American industries followed the one-size fits all program, and it made sense: a standard design that could be used anywhere, not quite prefabricated homes but not that far off either (not that there is anything wrong with pre-fab homes; they helped a lot of WWII vets settle into peaceful lives). There was even a derisory term for this style of construction: McMansions, where everything looked the same. And while these were never as bad as people tried to make them seem–after all, what’s wrong with affordable luxury?–now people are clamoring for something new and distinct in their properties, especially if they live in an MDU. They don’t want it to be the same as everything else.

Full customization

People are looking for townhouses and other MDUs with character and style–but you need to know how to build them right. Image from

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Beyond Smoke Detectors: What to Know When Installing Fire Alarm Systems

There are few things people resent more than a fire alarm. If one goes off in an office, everyone groans and immediately starts thinking about everything they’d rather do than listen to the alarm. People would literally rather sit inside and work then get a chance to go outside: that’s how ingrained the dislike and mistrust of fire alarms are. Residents of multi-family and multi-dwelling units tend to be even more annoyed. The instincts that come with danger to your home are more than balanced out by being comfortable or in pajamas or in the middle of Law & Order (yeah, you’ve seen this episode before, but it’s so close to the twist! Dun-Dun!).

So it is tempting to call them a necessary evil, but the reality is they are just a necessity. They are an important part of your MDU and need to have the same attention paid to them by your electrical specialists as they would pay toward any other lighting or HVAC jobs. Taking into consideration local regulations, needs of the building, and proper installation is the best way to keep your residents safe and your building up to code.

Fire in an MDU

You don’t want your dreams, and those of your residents, to go up in smoke. Image from

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Spotting Problems Beforehand: Reduce Electrical Costs During Your MDU Design Phase

Of all the categories of cliches, those about preparation might be the most numerous. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” “success depends upon previous preparation,” and, more earthily, the carpenter mantra of “measure twice, cut once.” That’s applicable in nearly everything you do as a contractor or builder, especially when building a multi-dwelling unit. You’re dealing with a multi-million dollar project that could potentially make-or-break your company. There’s a reason “Aw, let’s just wing it” never became a cliche in the contracting trades.

This kind of preparation starts in the design phase. Before the first board is cut, or stone is laid down, the building already exists in the minds of its architects and designers. A smart firm will make sure that it isn’t just a vision–every wire will have been diagrammed, and every light bulb turned on. From plumbing to window placement and type, the building should be fully-rendered. Failure to do so leads to multiplying problems and spiraling costs. Getting an assist from electrical experts during the design phase can help you in significant ways.


Success starts at the blueprint stage. Image from


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