Apologies in advance for the long post. Also, I am cross posting to try and get the right forums.
Construction started on a new home for my wife and me last week. We are using a custom builder who has been very accommodating of several non-standard things we want. He is, for instance, allowing me to come in after the electrical rough-in but before the insulation to run all the low-voltage wiring myself. I have enough experience pulling wire that I'm not too concerned about the job itself, but I want to make sure I've planned really well. I may only have a day or two to get the whole job done without slowing down the rest of construction.
My goal is to "future proof" the home as much as practical from a cabling stand point. I may not have the budget for whole-home automation, high dollar speakers, etc, as soon as we move in- but I will someday and don't want to have to retrofit cabling. To that end, I would appreciate any and all comments or suggestions about this plan and what I could or should add and change. I should add that most of these suggestions are based on the excellent work of David Feller and his ebook available from www.bocso.com
I have a 5' wide, 2' deep alcove near my utility room that will be my “A/V Closet.” I intend to home run all cabling to that closet. I will be working with the HVAC guys to make sure there is ventilation in that closet.
The cabling I plan to use is Cat6 and RG6 quad shield.
From the outside in:
I plan to run 6 RG6 lines to a box on the south side of the house where a satellite can tie in. I plan to run 2 RG6 and 1 Cat6 to the cable demarc, and 2 Cat6 to the telco demarc.
From the Closet through the house:
I intend to run 4 Cat6 and 2 RG6 to wall plates throughout the home. Each of the bedrooms and the study will get two wall plates located in roughly opposite corners from each other. The kitchen, dining room, utility room, and garage will each get a single wall plate. I plan to install one plate on the back porch as well, but I’m less certain of what’s needed to take it outside.
The living room, which will be the main entertaining area, will get one wall plate as well. We will be hanging a large, to-be-determined flat screen on the wall. My wife would love to hide all of the wires for that. The wall we will be hanging it on is a standard 2x4 interior wall. Can some sort of recessed box be used make sure the connections to the tv stay hidden? Also, I intend to ask the electrician to install one of the outlets at this location at switch height instead of outlet height for the same purpose.
For surround sound in the LR, I intend to wire for a 7.1 system with in-ceiling speakers for the rear and side speakers, and bookshelves for the front three. My plan is to run 14 ga, 2 conductor speaker wire from the Closet to homemade speaker boxes at the ceiling locations and to wall plates on the TV wall. I also intend to run an RG6 to a wall plate near an outlet on the TV all for the sub.
Audio in the other rooms will be provided with in-ceiling speakers. My plan is to build really simple speaker boxes by attaching short sections of 2x4 between the rafters at the appropriate location and screwing a plywood top down with 4-5 screws per side. Most of the rooms will get two ceiling speakers, but I intend to go with just one in the smaller bathrooms, the utility room, and the front porch. I’m thinking I’ll run wire for 2 speakers in the ceiling of the back porch as well, but I’m not sure that’s enough sound for outdoors. The wiring for these speakers will be 14/4 and a Cat6 to a panel location near the door of each room, then 14/2 from the panel to the speakers themselves.
Security and automation are a lot more difficult for me. It seems like I am going to need to run 22/4 to each door and window for contact sensors. I think I will have extra runs of 22/4 for motion detectors, but I’m not really sure where these should be located. As far as cameras, I’m planning to run a Cat6 and one 18/2 to several exterior corners and to the front door. I’m hoping that by having the Cat6 run to a panel location near each door, I will have done enough for most things automation wise. I have read a suggestion to include an additional 22/4 to the panel location.
I also plan to run a Cat6 to the thermostats and to the location where the sprinkler controller can go.
What did I miss? What should I do differently? If you had open walls, what would you put in them that I don't have here? I'm really grateful for any and all help and advice.