Inspected a really nice home today. Was to be the final inspection but the electrician wasn't done. I wanted to leave but I drove there so I inspected what I could. That dwelling has 7 bathrooms and two laundry rooms. The general contractor said they spent close to $30grand on appliances. A six burner range, two pairs of front loading washers and dryers, the biggest fridge I've seen in a home. warmer drawers, wine fridge.... of course it had a dishwasher... to go with the TWO kitchen sinks. Lots of room for dirty dishes!
Downstairs in one of their two utility rooms were the two 200Amp electrical panels. (don't send me the electric bill... ) I'm sure the electrician was the low bidder. I've run into him before.
Did I tell you about the beautiful grand piano they had in their great room? Made me wish I could play piano.... chopsticks or anything.. I didn't touch the piano, it was just too awesome... Beautiful wood. I have no idea how they got it in the house, they must have brought it through the double doors even though it looked wider than the doors.
The electrical panels are another story. Many folk do not realize the differences in panels. Some have copper innards, some have tin plated copper innards and some have aluminum and plastic innards. Yes I'm sure aluminum alloys have improved over the years but that panel and panels of similar construction are the less expensive panels. Plastic brackets hold the breakers in and... well they figured out how to compete with other cheap panels even though that manufacturer's name makes some of the best electrical equipment around and always has.... but they caved into building a cheaper competitive panel because other companies do. That electrical breaker panel is like comparing that grand piano to one made out of particle board...
The panels were cheaper, all the breakers were cheaper, and the electrician no doubt pocketed the difference. And the GEC was not installed to Code.....
Sure the panels are all UL approved but a Yugo was a car too. You do remember the Yugo don't you? Wikipedia it if you don't know what a Yugo is. You could buy a Yugo for a list price of $3990.
Folks planning on building need to ask which panel model is being used. For the electrician to reply Square D or Cutler Hammer or Siemens does not tell the whole story. Find out which "line" of panel they are buying. Ask questions and Google to get the details or call their customer service line.
The same goes for windows, floor plywood, roofing, siding, plumbing fixtures.... just about everything. If one quote is the low bidder and they are using the "Vega" or "Pinto" of a company's product line ask the next closest bidder to quote the same material. They may do it for you or they may tell you they won't install the less expensive product. Ask them why.
And check and make sure they install what they quoted. The inspector just makes sure it meets Code and has no clue of what was quoted.
And a Yugo was really a car.... as was the Vega. Both were small cars but nothing close to the VW Golf or Rabbit from the same year. Rabbits are still running around out there, try to find a Yugo. ..