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post #1 of 14 Old 01-26-2013, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,
I am finalizing the architectual plans for our new home. It is 3 floors (including basement) and a total of 4300 sq ft finished.

Can you all please give me some ideas on what I should include in the design? Once the home is drywalled, my options are limited by cost.

One thing that comes to mind is a whole home AV distribution system whereby I could have 1 DVR (maybe HTPC) and 3 cable boxes in the basement and distribute AV to the 5 bedrooms, 2 living spaces and 1 theater (8 TVs). What are the smart/cheap options in pre-construction? Cheap cabling options? Cheap remote control options?

Maybe incorporate a video monitoring system for the front, rear and a couple strategic places inside the house.

I'm also thinking about running CAT5 to all the bedrooms and office space. But then again...WIFI is certainly a cheaper alternative to that. I may just run CAT5 from the AV closet in the basement to the office and the Master Bedroom upstairs. This would allow me to install addtional WIFI devices for complete home coverage (that is what I have in my current home).

What else?

Thanks everyone!
Sully
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-26-2013, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt_Sully View Post

Can you all please give me some ideas on what I should include in the design? Once the home is drywalled, my options are limited by cost.

Wire. Lots of it.

http://www.cocoontech.com/wiki/Wiring_Your_New_House_101
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One thing that comes to mind is a whole home AV distribution system whereby I could have 1 DVR (maybe HTPC) and 3 cable boxes in the basement and distribute AV to the 5 bedrooms, 2 living spaces and 1 theater (8 TVs). What are the smart/cheap options in pre-construction? Cheap cabling options? Cheap remote control options?

Cheap and distributed HDTV don't go together. Don't worry about equipment now, focus on the wiring. Lots of cat5e/cat6, enough RG6 to at least be 'normal'. Start looking at HDMI Matrix switch solutions, especially regarding the limitations and the 'common denominator' problems with sharing 2-channel and surround-sound zones.
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I'm also thinking about running CAT5 to all the bedrooms and office space.

Don't think about that. Do it. Lots of it.
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But then again...WIFI is certainly a cheaper alternative to that. I may just run CAT5 from the AV closet in the basement to the office and the Master Bedroom upstairs.

Used wired Ethernet whenever you can. Handheld / portable devices, obviously wireless. Everything else you should try to run wired. Cat5e cable is extremely cheap. Run what you think is way too much, then add some more.

Jeff


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post #3 of 14 Old 01-27-2013, 03:20 PM
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Find a good residential systems integrstor in your area and set up a consultation with them. They can give you some good ideas and most all will do a no cost consultation.

I agree with Jeff, though. Lots and lots of wire. You get one chance to wire a house. Do it the right way.

Travis Leo
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Residential Systems, Inc.

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post #4 of 14 Old 01-27-2013, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there an actual professional name for a residential systems integrator? Or is that it?

Thanks
Sully
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-27-2013, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Lt_Sully View Post

Is there an actual professional name for a residential systems integrator? Or is that it?

They'll go by lots of names - put your location in your profile and you might get someone here that knows a local guy...

Otherwise, look for A/V, Home Theater or Security firms that talk about "low voltage pre-wiring" or "integration". If you've got a builder, ask them - they'll most likely have a subcontractor that they normally use (or a few) for this work.

Jeff


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post #6 of 14 Old 01-27-2013, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help.....I updated my location as well.
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-28-2013, 10:53 PM
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One thing I can't suggest enough is conduit It is impossible to determine exactly where and what you will need regarding cabling 5+ years down the road.. If your installing a Structured Wiring Panel, make certain you have a decent size conduit going from it to your attic as well as crawl space. I specialize in retrofit wiring and have found I can almost always get conductors from the crawl space to needed locations on the first floor and from the top floor to the attic with little to no sheet rock openings / repair. Getting conductors from upstairs to downstairs locations are typically not so lucky. By simply having conduits that link the attic to crawl can drastically reduce the trouble / labor charges when adding conductors down the road.
When prewiring homes, I will run 2" SMURF conduit from the Structured Wiring Panel both attic and crawl. I will even find a stacking wall and run cheap central vac pipe linking those two locations. I cap both ends so to not provide a rodent highway.

In your case with having a second story in a three story home, That is where I really wish I had a Crystal Ball Service to provide for my customers.

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post #8 of 14 Old 01-29-2013, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt_Sully View Post

What are the smart/cheap options in pre-construction? Cheap cabling options? Cheap remote control options?

Cheap is cheap.

Don't build anything "on the cheap". The issue you'll have building a house is running over budget. And if you're like all of the members on this website you enjoy your technology, so be sure to stick with your intial plan of equipment once it is determined. As jautor stated cheap distributed audio isn't an option. You're better off going with local video zones to save budget. Just be sure to run the necessary wiring to each TV location. Also most all of our AV gear will eventually live on the network so be sure to run Cat-6 to every location where a TV will reside and where you may have an audio component. A robust wireless network is one of the most important apsects of building a tech home correctly. So wire commercial grade WAPs to closets and locations that are accessible but out of sight. You'll have the ability to walk through your house with a phone or tablet and control the devices that live on your home network.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-30-2013, 10:49 AM
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Not trying to hijack here, but I'm in a similar situation. Getting ready to start construction in a few months and want structured wiring, A/V distribution, WHA, automation and security. I want something that's at a minimum user configurable and preferable DIY. I've done a ton of reading and obviously in each of these areas these no one "best" solution. Does anyone know an integrations expert in the Madison, WI area? I'd like to get some face to face feedback and potentially tips on installers. I've contacted a couple local business who specialize in this kind of thing, but their recommendations are not necessarily unbiased and DIY tends to be mutually exclusive to their model. Thanks in advance.

-Scott
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 02:08 AM
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I wrote this a little while back, but it still applies - http://www.avsforum.com/t/1273786/20-tips-from-a-first-time-whole-house-wiring-veteran

Since I wrote it I have run four new sets of wire inside my conduit. If you can do it, run conduit to every room. But read the post for my self-help wiring tips
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post #11 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archbid View Post

I wrote this a little while back, but it still applies - http://www.avsforum.com/t/1273786/20-tips-from-a-first-time-whole-house-wiring-veteran

Since I wrote it I have run four new sets of wire inside my conduit. If you can do it, run conduit to every room. But read the post for my self-help wiring tips


Thanks a lot for the reply and link. I've been all around this forum and don't recall seeing it before.
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post #12 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 11:48 AM
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archbid, great overview of considerations for new construction.

 

Boneyard, what level of automation are you looking to achieve?

Are you simply looking to hide equipment, or integrated control from an automation system?

 

I'd agree with jautor on finding a local 'Audio Video Integrator' in your area.

Try and find an independent consultant, as design/build shops tend to favor their dealer relationships.

 

I offer services like this, as a liaison between installation company and client.

It helps to have general documentation, and be well-educated of your needs prior to hiring a contractor.

 

callcharles.com for a phonecall

 

hope your project is successful!
 

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post #13 of 14 Old 01-31-2013, 04:02 PM
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archbid, great overview of considerations for new construction.

Boneyard, what level of automation are you looking to achieve?
Are you simply looking to hide equipment, or integrated control from an automation system?

I'd agree with jautor on finding a local 'Audio Video Integrator' in your area.
Try and find an independent consultant, as design/build shops tend to favor their dealer relationships.

I offer services like this, as a liaison between installation company and client.
It helps to have general documentation, and be well-educated of your needs prior to hiring a contractor.

callcharles.com for a phonecall

hope your project is successful!

A little of both. I want the equipment in a central, hidden area. Also would like to control the A/V, WHA, lighting...
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-01-2013, 05:38 PM
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MInimum of 2x CAT-6 and 2x RG-6, probably better with 4x CAT and 2x RG-6. And that's in EVERY room. Including the Kitchen. And if there's multiple potential room configurations, run one to each side of the room so that you won't end up with jacks on the "wrong" side of the room.
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