Need advice on pre-wiring and in-ceiling speakers for WHA and basic automation - AVS Forum

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Home A/V Distribution

nonstopdoc1's Avatar nonstopdoc1
11:58 AM Liked: 10
post #1 of 8
01-31-2013 | Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2005
I am building a 2 story 3300 sf home. My builder has a contract with a low voltage installer and would not allow me to get any other installer until closing. I am planning to eventually have a whole house audio, some basic automation (maybe Control4) and a dedicated home theater in the basement. I do not want to do all this at once hence I asked for a quote for structured wiring, speaker wiring and in ceiling speaker installation for now. He offered me Speakercraft AIM8 ONE speakers and would not let me buy my own speakers. Here's what he has offered me broken down by room.


Room Unit Price
Family Room
In ceiling speaker 8" x 2 1160
Volume Control x1

Cat6 for Keypad x1 120
Cat6 Jacks x 2 310
RG6 x 1 95
Smurf tube for over fireplace TV install x1 300
Electric over fireplace TV install x1 90

Study
Cat6Jacks x2 310
DVC in ceiling Speaker 8' x1 720
Volume Control x1
RG6 x1 95

Kitchen
In ceiling speaker 8" x2 1160
Volume Control x1

Bonus Room
In ceiling speaker 8" x2 1160
Volume Control x1
Cat6Jacks x2 310
RG6 1 x95

Master Bedroom
In ceiling speaker 8" x2 1160
Volume Control x1
Cat6 for Keypad x1 120
Cat6Jacks x2 310
RG6 x1 95

Bathrooms x2
DVC in ceiling Speaker 8' x2 1440
Volume Control x2

Other Bedrooms x3
Cat6 x3 465
RG6 x3 285

Techtube Basement to Attic x1 280

Basement
Plate for ceiling speaker jacks x1 65

Wiring for Home theater
Speaker wire runs x9 1080
Subwoofer run and jack x1 155
2 port speaker jacks x5 325
4 port speaker jacks x2 130

Security System x1 250
WiFi Thermostat x2 500

Total 12585


I will post this in speaker section too. I will appreciate any advice. My questions are following

1. Does it cover the essential things or am I missing something?
2. Is his pricing reasonable? Is pricing with builder contracted dealer negotiable and what's the room?
3. I have seen mixed reviews for speakercraft AIM8 ONE speakers and considering that they are entry level speakers in AIM series, should I go for prewiring only and get in ceiling speakers installed later from a separate installer with me providing the speakers?

Thanks
Gramin's Avatar Gramin
12:21 PM Liked: 13
post #2 of 8
01-31-2013 | Posts: 198
Joined: Mar 2010
Quote:
1. Does it cover the essential things or am I missing something?

Looks good. Just don't forget to think about the future. If there's any location that you might want a speaker, run the wire now. Same for Cat cable. Cat cable can be used for all kinds of things, so it doesn't hurt to have a few extra runs hidden behind the walls.

Quote:
2. Is his pricing reasonable? Is pricing with builder contracted dealer negotiable and what's the room?

Hard to tell without knowing your location and the particulars. There is little negotiating you can do. You either wire now or wire post construction and pay double (or triple) the cost. He knows this.

Quote:
I have seen mixed reviews for speakercraft AIM8 ONE speakers and considering that they are entry level speakers in AIM series, should I go for prewiring only and get in ceiling speakers installed later from a separate installer with me providing the speakers?

Don't get them then. Have him run the wire and you can get the speakers later on. You can pick up a pair of speakers for under $100. Or, if you really want to go high end, you can spend over $1000. My suggestion is to start with decent 6.5" speakers and upgrade later if you want. Easy to go from 6.5 to 8... not so easy to go the other way.
nonstopdoc1's Avatar nonstopdoc1
01:15 PM Liked: 10
post #3 of 8
01-31-2013 | Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2005
Thanks! I am in St Louis metro area.
Neurorad's Avatar Neurorad
09:32 PM Liked: 86
post #4 of 8
01-31-2013 | Posts: 5,120
Joined: Sep 2007
I'd find another installer now, to keep the builder in line. New installer can ensure you have all the right cables for the future C4 (or whatever) install. He can also make sure the cables are run correctly, and to the best locations in the room. You're paying the builder a big cut, for no extra work. He doesn't know jack about LV (I bet).

The new installer can tell you how much adding the speakers and wallplates later will cost. Maybe it will be more expensive later, but I doubt it.
Travisleo's Avatar Travisleo
07:47 AM Liked: 12
post #5 of 8
02-02-2013 | Posts: 63
Joined: Nov 2012
I'd skip the volume control knobs. Everything today is controlled digitally from an iPad/iPhone so I'd avoid the wall acne if it were me.
nonstopdoc1's Avatar nonstopdoc1
09:16 AM Liked: 10
post #6 of 8
02-02-2013 | Posts: 55
Joined: Apr 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travisleo View Post

I'd skip the volume control knobs. Everything today is controlled digitally from an iPad/iPhone so I'd avoid the wall acne if it were me.

I understand your point but I think it would be easier to use a volume control knob in places like bathroom and not ipad/iphone. Also, it will be easier for my non techie parents and in-laws to use a on wall knob.

Yesterday I went to see another CI to get his opinion. He is a Control 4 dealer. First, he felt the prices above mentioned were much higher than the prevalant market prices. He said that he charges anywhere from $60 to 90 per drop where as my builder's installer quoted me $155 for a Cat6. Also, he recommended a Cat5 with every volume control as apparently Control 4 volume controls need Cat5 to communicate and control volume. Does anyone here has experience with Control 4 volume controls?
jautor's Avatar jautor
11:10 AM Liked: 417
post #7 of 8
02-02-2013 | Posts: 8,497
Joined: Jun 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travisleo View Post

I'd skip the volume control knobs. Everything today is controlled digitally from an iPad/iPhone so I'd avoid the wall acne if it were me.

Really? For pre-wiring and you're not recommend they follow the CEA standard?

If you aren't planning to use keypads, but don't want to rule out any future potential, run that cat5e wire to a keypad location anyway. If you don't want to have the blank plate acne (don't blame folks for that), secure the wire behind the drywall, document it, and when the time comes, cut out the box opening and pull the wire out. A few bucks of wire vs. a full retrofit later...


Jeff
Neurorad's Avatar Neurorad
07:29 PM Liked: 86
post #8 of 8
02-02-2013 | Posts: 5,120
Joined: Sep 2007
I dislike using my iPads and iTouches for music control. They're never where you want them and it's painful to navigate, to do anything, like turn it on, adjust the volume, power off 1 zone, and power off all zones. Each of those functions is a single tap of a Nuvo KP, which never moves.
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