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New Construction - Prewire Prices

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi, We have signed a new construction home in VA. WE are now in the process of deciding the prewiring for the house and got some quotes from a company which tied to the builder. I'm a new to these stuff and would like to get some opinions on pricing, do it now or later.

The house has an open kitchen, breakfast, living, formal dining and small bed room in first floor. THe second floor has the master bed room, two other bed rooms and a bonus room. I'm planning to make the bonus room as a media room in future.

So far I have decided to take 3 cable points, one phone outlet and 3 Cat5. four out of these 7 are included and I have to pay for the additional three ($120 each).

Apart from this I got prewire estimates for speaker wires, HDMI and Cat6 to central location like a closet. This is where I'm trying to decide weather the prices makes sense now or can save by doing it later. If someone can look at the estimates and throw some light, I really appreciate it.

Cat6 Run to a central Location : $175 each
5.1 Speaker Prewire to a central location : $500 per setup
7.1 Speaker Prewire to a central location : $680 per setup
HDMI Runs to a central location 2 shielded Cat5e cables and 1 Regular Cat5e and HDMI baluns : 330 each run

I'm thinking of doing the speaker setup, HDMI runs for the living and bonus room and place my equipment in the pantry area in first floor. I'm planning to have a Coax in the pantry area so that I can feed Comcast to both Living and Bonus room. I'm not planning to have Coax in those rooms since I can feed them from the central location.

Please let me know what you think. Thanks in advance!!
post #2 of 24
Honestly, sounds a tad high. I used to do prewiring, and my bills were no where near that
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeworkstoohard View Post

Honestly, sounds a tad high. I used to do prewiring, and my bills were no where near that

Thanks! The prices are fixed and all I can do is do it or skip it. Is it possible to get these things done for less cost after the house is completely built.
post #4 of 24
The 5.1 and 7.1 are just about the same price as what we were quoted when we bought our new house, $500 and $700 respectively.

You may be able to do it later, but will you? Could be a bit hard with the house being 2 stories. We didn't add it and now wish we did, but it's too late.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajbsn View Post

This is where I'm trying to decide weather the prices makes sense now or can save by doing it later. If someone can look at the estimates and throw some light, I really appreciate it.
!!

Do it now before the walls go up.

B.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
It looks like bite the bullet now and get all these done even the prices are little high.

Thanks for the replies!!

Any issue in having the coax in central av location only and not having it at the living room and theater room?
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajbsn View Post

Any issue in having the coax in central av location only and not having it at the living room and theater room?

Yes, you should absolutely run coax to those locations as well - even if you're planning on using a video distribution system now, you might change your mind in the future.

At a minimum these days you should make sure to run at least one cat5e and a coax to most rooms. Video distribution would want more wire than that...

Jeff
post #8 of 24
The Dish Hopper gives you receivers that support two TVs, one through HDMI (IR remote) and the other through Coax (RF remote). I believe DirecTV is doing something similar with the Genie stuff. Its worth having the coax at each location even if you dont choose to use it yourself.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok. I'm convinced that coax is needed in every room and will add them. I will also consider the cat5 to ever room.
post #10 of 24
Basic wiring now calls for one rg6 and one cat5e in at least two locations in each bedroom. One at the headend of the bed and one at the foot wall of the bed. For tv, ethernet and telephone. Also runs to the tv locations in the living room, kitchen, etc.
All should go to a central structured wiring panel located in a central location.

Figure out where you want your equipment location and wire speakers and video distribution to this point.
Wire 16/4 (or better) and cat5e to each keypad location for your distributed music system and at least 2 cat5e for your video distribution needs.
post #11 of 24
And don't forget the demarcation point run. Rg6 and Cat5e.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajbsn View Post

Hi, We have signed a new construction home in VA. WE are now in the process of deciding the prewiring for the house and got some quotes from a company which tied to the builder. I'm a new to these stuff and would like to get some opinions on pricing, do it now or later.

The house has an open kitchen, breakfast, living, formal dining and small bed room in first floor. THe second floor has the master bed room, two other bed rooms and a bonus room. I'm planning to make the bonus room as a media room in future.

So far I have decided to take 3 cable points, one phone outlet and 3 Cat5. four out of these 7 are included and I have to pay for the additional three ($120 each).

Apart from this I got prewire estimates for speaker wires, HDMI and Cat6 to central location like a closet. This is where I'm trying to decide weather the prices makes sense now or can save by doing it later. If someone can look at the estimates and throw some light, I really appreciate it.

Cat6 Run to a central Location : $175 each
5.1 Speaker Prewire to a central location : $500 per setup
7.1 Speaker Prewire to a central location : $680 per setup
HDMI Runs to a central location 2 shielded Cat5e cables and 1 Regular Cat5e and HDMI baluns : 330 each run

I'm thinking of doing the speaker setup, HDMI runs for the living and bonus room and place my equipment in the pantry area in first floor. I'm planning to have a Coax in the pantry area so that I can feed Comcast to both Living and Bonus room. I'm not planning to have Coax in those rooms since I can feed them from the central location.

Please let me know what you think. Thanks in advance!!
post #13 of 24
I just bought a new place in NoVA (new construction) and got completely taken to the cleaners on the prewire prices as well. Those prices you quoted are actually less than what I paid. The company our builder went with charged 1100$ for a 7.1 prewire. 300$ for prewire for in ceiling speakers plus volume control (no speakers or volume control included). etc etc.

I ended up just justifying it to myself by saying this is the house I'm going to live in for at least 10 years, so I might as well wire it for the future and for what I would get enjoyment out of. I ended up pulling 1 RG6 (we have FIOS here) and 2 cat6 to each room and prewired for 6 zones of audio. In the HT I ended up prewiring 7.1 but now I wish I had just saved my money and not gotten the room finished and building my own theater on my own but too late now.

Either way I'd just say do it now because it rolls into your mortgage and will cost you more in the long run once drywall goes up.
post #14 of 24
Whatever happened to using smurf tubing and skipping the bulk of the wiring initially? If you have a home with a basement and an attic that would pretty much futureproof your setup. Either run up or down as needed.

Not being in the prewire business honestly those prices seem ridiculous. The materials are not all that expensive, and the bulk of the work in the framing stage could be done in a couple of afternoons by most competent DIYers. I can understand builders not wanting to give up their kickbacks/profits by allowing the future homeowner to do it, but in the end it's your home, try an negotiate a better price if you feel it's too high. Also doing it after the fact takes a little ingenuity and skill but it can be done.
post #15 of 24
Wow. This post is so apropos to my situation. I'm also building in DC metro area and the wiring co. chosen by my builder has set prices without the option for me to shop around. They do all A/V prewire as well as telecom AND security system. 4 plates are included in the home price, but each plate is single, either coax or cat5. I have to pay $350 to upgrade to dual plates for the first four included, coax and cat5, which I'm doing. Each additional dual plate is $250, and will have to do it for 2 more bedrooms. I am adding an advanced home office plate (3 cat5, 2 coax) for $450.

I have the option to prewire satellite feed from the roof, which means that the attic will house 6 coax and one cat5 for $500, which I'm seriously considering because if I don't use satellite (likely not since I've been told FIOS is available), I can use it to patch into the basement main panel and drop more cat5 or coax with a hub in the attic when I move in.

Prewire 7.1 surround is $1150 and this is so hefty that I am probably not going to do it for the family room, unless members here convince me otherwise. My reasoning is that the family room is so big anyway (9 ft ceiling and 17'x27' dimensions) I'm not going to be using it as the primary media room (will be reserved for a room in the basement, which will not be finished and I can wire myself later when we decide to finish the basement).

This is not including the security system, which I will probably go for and will cost up to $2500 for the security system with all the windows wired into the panel and 2 motion detectors, 3 keypads.


I've not had my "meeting" which is probably just a sales pitch with them yet, but is the cost rolled into your mortgage or paid separately or cash prepaid a portion first, etc? How is it financed for you? I am so peeved at these prices, and really wish I have the option to do it myself, which I can knock out with help from another person in a weekend. But technically, the home is not mine until close and I cannot do anything to it while it's being built. Would appreciate any other forum members who went through new construction. Thanks.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
I've not had my "meeting" which is probably just a sales pitch with them yet, but is the cost rolled into your mortgage or paid separately or cash prepaid a portion first, etc? How is it financed for you?

Most often, you'll pay for upgrades upfront in cash. But, on the back end, when you're getting your mortgage, you can roll your upgrades into the final purchase price.

So, for example, let's say you're buying a $90,000 home and elect for $10,000 in upgrades. You pay 10k upfront for the upgrades and, when you get financing, you'll finance a $100,000 home and have already put down a 10k down payment.
post #17 of 24
Related to several posts above, I would suggest pushing hard on the builder to let you use a third party. My developer was going to charge $3,000 for 5.1 to my LR and speakers to my three bedrooms. I passed on that and then pushed hard to let them have me bring in my own contractor. They agreed, and gave me a two day window for the work. For about $2,500, my contractor ran 5.1 to my living room, two speakers to each of my three bedrooms, one speaker to each of my three bathrooms, four speakers down my very long hallway, two speakers to my kitchen and four runs of Cat6 to every bedroom. This is on top of the Cat and RG6 that was already included as standard from the builder.

Call around and get a few quotes, then present them to the builder. Try to reason with them. And good luck!
post #18 of 24
Also, while the sales staff will insist that it's not possible for you to "touch" it yourself (for lots of reasons, some perfectly valid, others not so much), a conversation later with your project manager (who you should get to know and be on good terms with!) on that topic can give a very different answer. Especially if you fork over some change orders to add some things and just piggyback on that work...
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions. It looks like $680 for 7.1 speaker pre-wire home run and $330 for HDMI (2 Cat5e + 1 Cat5e + Blauns) home run looks reasonable prices after seeing some of the prices above.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have signed my pre-wire additions today and I have also added conduit drop from second floor to first floor crawl space which costed $220. I'm hoping this will help to run wires in the future easily. I have added hdmi home runs to three rooms, coax to all the rooms, two cat5 to rooms which don't have hdmi runs. I also have two 7.1 speaker home runs for the main locations.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by avsmaven View Post

Wow. This post is so apropos to my situation. I'm also building in DC metro area and the wiring co. chosen by my builder has set prices without the option for me to shop around. They do all A/V prewire as well as telecom AND security system. 4 plates are included in the home price, but each plate is single, either coax or cat5. I have to pay $350 to upgrade to dual plates for the first four included, coax and cat5, which I'm doing. Each additional dual plate is $250, and will have to do it for 2 more bedrooms. I am adding an advanced home office plate (3 cat5, 2 coax) for $450.

I have the option to prewire satellite feed from the roof, which means that the attic will house 6 coax and one cat5 for $500, which I'm seriously considering because if I don't use satellite (likely not since I've been told FIOS is available), I can use it to patch into the basement main panel and drop more cat5 or coax with a hub in the attic when I move in.

Prewire 7.1 surround is $1150 and this is so hefty that I am probably not going to do it for the family room, unless members here convince me otherwise. My reasoning is that the family room is so big anyway (9 ft ceiling and 17'x27' dimensions) I'm not going to be using it as the primary media room (will be reserved for a room in the basement, which will not be finished and I can wire myself later when we decide to finish the basement).

This is not including the security system, which I will probably go for and will cost up to $2500 for the security system with all the windows wired into the panel and 2 motion detectors, 3 keypads.

I've not had my "meeting" which is probably just a sales pitch with them yet, but is the cost rolled into your mortgage or paid separately or cash prepaid a portion first, etc? How is it financed for you? I am so peeved at these prices, and really wish I have the option to do it myself, which I can knock out with help from another person in a weekend. But technically, the home is not mine until close and I cannot do anything to it while it's being built. Would appreciate any other forum members who went through new construction. Thanks.

1150 for the 7.1 huh? Sounds like the LV company we had to use. Are you buying with NVHomes & therefore forced to use Trinity (the LV company)? I just went through this with them.. Just took ownership of our house less than two weeks ago.

The cost is rolled into your mortgage. If you wait until afterwards, you will be stuck having to pay cash or finance it outside your mortgage somehow. And it will be more expensive. This is how the builders get you. Damned of you do, damned if you don't.

My suggestion is to get to know the guy who is in charge of watching over the entire build of your house (project manager). You'll meet him a few times throughout the process. I had a nice guy and when I did the walk through with the LV company to tell them exactly where I wanted jacks, speaker prewires, etc, I mentioned that I would like to get a HDMI pulled in the ceiling of the home theater. The LV company rep came back with some stammering "oh man I can't do that, can't add anything at this point, sorry can't do it bla bla". It was literally pulling 10 feet of HDMI from one point to another.

Anyway after the LV guy left, the builder rep said "Hey, if there happens to be an HDMI routed around the outside of the room and pulled into the ceiling and its nicely tied up and out of the way, and you don't drill anything then I won't say anything".

So I took that opportunity to pull 2 HDMI, 2 CAT6 into the ceiling, and 2 HDMI into the corner of the HT for Xbox/PS3/etc. So anyway its mainly up to the project manager. Be nice to him. smile.gif
Edited by ClemsonJeeper - 4/9/13 at 6:44pm
post #22 of 24
I need to move to northern VA!!!
post #23 of 24
Why are people still recommending running Cat 5e? At Residential Systems, Inc. (www.ResidentialSystemsInc.com), we switched to all Cat6 for our prewires over a year ago and have never regretted it. Yes, it is more expensive but running Cat5e but it is the right way to go for any new construction project.
post #24 of 24
Pretty typical for builders in my neck of the woods, you can only use their contractor, you can't do anything on your own. You either pay the price or you don't get a prewire done, a large number of builders don't even offer pre-wire options.

The pricing you've been quoted is pretty much what you'll find everywhere from the builder plus or minus regional labor differences.
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