Where should an outlet be placed for Plug-n-Play Motorized Treatments?
Motorized Treatments of any kind, be it Motorized Drapery, Motorized Roller Shades or even Motorized Roman Shade, can be fantastic choices for guestrooms. They act as an easy solution for ADA rooms and really add a sense of class and sophistication to normal guestrooms as well. We’ve discussed motorized drapery before (check out the Blogs ‘Motorized Drapery – the Skinny, & Somfy Systems Roller Shade Motors to get some more basic information and be sure to download the resource card ‘Motorized Window Treatments’ for daily use), but this week we are drilling into a specific question; Where should a GC place an outlet for a Plug-n-Play motorized treatment?
This question is usually asked by Owners and General Contractors because it is in their scope of work to install new outlets in guestrooms. The most important point to make on this question is that it depends and should be talked through in detail with the drapery project manager in charge of the project. Based upon the exact treatments being installed as well as the site conditions there is not a simple one size fits all solution.
That being said there is an easy solution and there is an ideal solution. First, we will start with the easy solution. The easy solution is the solution with the least amount of work and may in certain situations be possible without any work from the General Contractor at all. If there is an available outlet on the window wall and within a reasonable distance from the drapery motor location then the cord may be specified to reach this plug. Usually this option occurs when the plug is located directly below and to the right or left of the window edge or similarly close on the adjoining wall (Please see pictures below for reference). If the plug is in a ‘reachable’ distance (less than 10 ft.) from the motor and the cord would not hang in an undesirable place then this is definitely an incredibly simple solution. Usually if there are stationary side panels or the cord can be tacked/hung down behind the drapery panels it will not be seen by guests.
The Ideal solution is to have the span between outlet and motor to be the least distance possible. This solution is especially ideal when motorized drapery is installed inside a pocket or top treatment such as a cornice or valance. In this situation an outlet can be installed at the exact height of the drapery hardware or on the side of a pocket so that the cord can run directly from motor to outlet without any wiring being seen by a guest. Please see the picture below as a real-life example of a junction box being installed on the side of a drapery pocket. While this example is particularly for a hardwired treatment the principal of placement is the same. We’ve also drawn some images for you to reference.
Again the placement of new outlets or the ability to use existing outlets to install Plug-n-Play Motorized treatments is a topic that you should be discussed with the drapery manufacturer, the general contractor and the purchasing agent/designer. While motorized treatments can solve many issues and accentuate the design of a room they come with a few extra considerations, such as this. Therefore making sure the placement of outlets and where cords will hang is important to the overall integrity of a rooms design.
It is important to note that although the above images all show motorized drapery hardware these same concepts apply to motorized roller shades and roman shades.
We hope this comes in handy the next time you are thinking of specifying Plug-n-Play motorized treatments. Download our motorized treatment resource card for further more basic information and an understanding of other motorized options.