Trapped with New Home - Help - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-16-2010, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a question re: how best to set-up wiring for whole home automation/audio for a new house I am building.

I am planning to add whole home automation and audio, video, networking to house.

The builder requires I use Guardian home technologies for wiring audio.

Guardian only support installing OnQLegrande's LyriQ. I do not want to LyriQ system. I prefer the Control-4 system but could also be talked out of it too.

Guardian plans to install CAT5e to all rooms in house. Pre-wire a Media room for 7.1 audio system I already have.

and pre-wire a 4-zone (4-room) speakers back to an amplified keypad set-up (no equip since not needed except for with Lyriq).

For Control-4 I need audio I think run back from each room also to the central enclosure box to hook into audio amplifier but not sure.

I want to pre-wire as much as possible while under contrction but I do not want to waste money on wiring and I want to make sure I am not boxed into any one system like Lyriq.

Anyone have experience with adding on a Control-4 system into a new home and how best to wire for this?

Would I be best to just have Guardian Run Cat5s and no audio?

If I run large conduits from Enclosure box to attic and from behind fireplace in living room to cut out and in media room to where media equip will go - would that suffice.

I'm really frustrated by this process. Getting a new home and not being able to get what I want for the system I really want. I'd like to minimze Guardian as much as possible but it might not be econimcal to do a bunch of common wiring after the house is built.
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-16-2010, 02:04 PM
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You can get what you want from your builder, you just have to know what you want and give them the proper documentation.

What I recommend (and this is currently what I'm doing on the house I'm having built) is to find an outside dealer/installer that you trust who can help guide you in the right direction. Many installers, will be willing to draw up a low-voltage wiring spec that you can give to your builder.

You will work with the outside installer to figure out what you want to pre-wire for (ie: how many audio zones, what level of automation, etc.) and provide them with a copy of the blueprints for them to work up the spec. They should also be able to include a separate drawing of where conduit runs should go.

Then provide the spec to your builder as early as possible (at pre-construction meeting if possible).

Getting the spec done will cost between $300 and $500 depending on the size of the house. You can also hire the installer to come and do an inspection of the low-voltage wiring to make sure it meets the spec that they drew up. To do the inspection will be anywhere from $100 to $200, but it will be worth it if you're new at this. You will learn a ton from following the installer/inspector around and asking questions as you are going through the wiring plan. This is also a great time to take pictures before the drywall goes up.

If you're pretty sure about wanting a control 4 system, then use their website to find dealers/installers in your area.

By the way... who is your builder?

David
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-16-2010, 03:43 PM
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For Control4 with distributed audio, you will generally need:

- Cat5e/Cat6 from a central network location (i.e. the "head end") to all TV locations. This is for the controllers that manage your TV and other A/V equip

- Cat5e/Cat6 from head end to any location where you want a wall mounted touchpanel

- Speaker wiring from the head end to all listening zones. This is to connect your speakers back to a central distribution amplifier

Then, of course, you need Cat5e/Cat6 for all other data and I would suggest using the same for telecom.

If video distribution is somethine you might be interested in, then you need additional cable from the head end to the displays. This can be in one of several forms (i.e. 2 x Cat6, 5 x RG-59, etc.)

Wall mounted keypads and dimmers can be used for lighting control, additional A/V control, etc. In the Control4 world, you just need to provide them with straight AC.
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-16-2010, 06:54 PM
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Make them wire the multi zone audio to the CEA standards, speaker wire and cat 5 to each control location and then the speaker wire goes to the speaker locations, so even if you decide to do something other C4 you have options. Its extra wire they have to run and they are going to charge you for it so there shouldn't be a big deal about them not wanting to do it, and make sure they run Cat 5 to all TV locations, not a big deal either.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-16-2010, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcdd View Post


I want to pre-wire as much as possible while under contrction but I do not want to waste money on wiring and I want to make sure I am not boxed into any one system like Lyriq.

I guess the problem is that the builder wants to charge $$ for each drop? The wire itself is cheap. You can buy 1000' of cat5e for $100 and less. But if the builder is charging $100 per drop, then that can add up really quick.

But if you are going to have limited access to run new wire in the future (2 story house, etc), then it will never be cheaper to run wire than when it is being built - even if you have to pay the contractor to run it.

- Brian

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post #6 of 11 Old 03-17-2010, 09:37 PM
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i just bought a new home and had the same issue..... they wanted me to use a local company for wiring that was not a home automation company but just a general electrical company....

I ended up doing everything, and still working, myself... all my own drops and audio wiring after it was built.... it has been a lot of work, but will save me a lot of $$.

I have time during the summer to work on it and did not have the $$ to pay for the price they wanted per drop
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi - you mentioned in your post to mine "Trapped with New Home - Help" that I should specificy the wiring people "wire the multi zone audio to the CEA standards, speaker wire and cat 5 to each control location and then the speaker wire goes to the speaker locations," What are CEA standards. I'm worried they might not be able to do what I want and feel trapped.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 01:22 PM
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The other option is to talk with the builder about installing conduit instead of actual wiring. This will allow you to pull your own wire in the future and change it with your needs. Of course conduit and the labor isn't going to be cheap either, but at least it give you the most flexibility going forward.

- Brian

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post #9 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcdd View Post

Hi - you mentioned in your post to mine "Trapped with New Home - Help" that I should specificy the wiring people "wire the multi zone audio to the CEA standards, speaker wire and cat 5 to each control location and then the speaker wire goes to the speaker locations," What are CEA standards. I'm worried they might not be able to do what I want and feel trapped.

Get a spec sheet made for you by a legitimate low voltage company that specializes in home theater and automation. Tell the builder to follow that spec and get it in writing... if they don't, back out of your contract.

David
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 02:40 PM
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Almost 3 years ago I was about where are you. My builder required me to use Brinks. Brinks wanted $75 a drop (phone, cable, or ethernet) and wouldn't even offer a patch panel (I was only interested in ethernet for computer networking).

I said no thanks, paid the builder some overpriced amount (~$200) to install a fairly large diameter low voltage conduit from the basement to the attic and then ran my 22 CAT6 runs after I closed on the house myself. For the first floor I went into the walls through the basement, and on the 2nd floor I dropped down into the walls through the attic.


If / when I ever build again, I will insist on a provision in the original contract that allows me to do my own low voltage wiring or I'm walking.
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-18-2010, 02:46 PM
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You need to know what you want first and then decide on what kind of cables you need. For example, do you want to send audio / video from a central location to all rooms; which rooms do you want to put your TV, DVR, computers... Then I would add extra cables for future needs. Cable is cheap when compare to the work required to the installation cost after the house is built.

I came across an e-book at bocsco.com a few weeks ago and it may help you.

Also make sure that your builder knows what you are doing. Someone installed the wiring without notifying the builder, who then ripped them off just before installing the walls.

~ MusicBee ~
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