Originally Posted by avichayil
Hi all. I am building a new townhome and the builder specified 16 gauge wiring for the pre-wired 7.1 in the living room. I was quoted $225 to upgrade the wiring to 12 gauge and am looking on opinions if it makes sense. I will be able to run my own wires outside the walls for the front 3, which would be significantly cheaper, so this would only really effect the back 4 permanently (other than potentially unsightly wires for the front 3). Unfortunately I cannot provide my own wires pre-build.
As Chris said, you can buy a lot of 12ga speaker for that price, however I can see your problem. I built my home a few years ago and my builder was similar to yours in that they would not let me run my own wires pre-build and anything I purchased through them was way over priced. At the time I decided to not have the builder run the wires and just opted to do it myself later on. I made sure I video taped the entire house before they put the drywall up so I could use the video as a reference later on. Glad I did because I have used it a handful of times installing lighting and stuff.
Fast-forward to last weekend when I ran all of my in wall speaker wires. On one hand it would have just been easier to have the builder run all of the wires and on the other I did save a lot of money. I purchased a 100' spool of 16ga for $18 shipped from Monoprice. I think 12ga was only a little more. The only down side is it took my Dad and I a little over 3 hours, but that is because I have vaulted ceilings and had to run one side through the basement.
If you are pretty handy, I say save some money and do it your self assuming you can access the space above your living room easily. If not then it may be worth the extra money to have them do it. However, I think 16ga will be fine over the 12ga as long as the runs are not over 50' at least you will save $225
Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to share my experience since I was in a similar situation.