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Centralized wire closet

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm in the middle of having a new house built and made sure to setup my study closet as the centralized wiring location. Original plan was to have the low voltage cable pulled when the house was being built, but given they wanted to charge me $110 per Cat6 cable, it would have cost me in excess of $3,000 just in Cat6 cabling. Instead, I opted to pay $125 per location for a conduit to be installed and will pull the cable after I close for a fraction of the original cost.

Question for cabling to the closet - is the best option to drill holes in the wall headers and pull the cables down that way or would it be better to cut pass-thru holes in the closet ceiling and run the cables down that way? My initial thought is to go the hole in the drywall ceiling route, but would need to find a cable pass-thru device that would also help prevent heat from the attic into the closet.

Any thoughts or good options on which way to proceed?

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 6
I am in a very similar position, except I am running all the cables myself. In fact, I am doing it this weekend. I was given this link by an A/V guy as a good reference. As I am sure many here will be quick to tell you, different cities have different codes that could not be covered here. Nonetheless, this is a great place to start to make sure you are following the rules and being effective.

post #3 of 6
I've always done it inside the wall, looks cleaner and easier to keep things like the heat issue you mention at bay. Some pics of what you're dealing with would be helpful. Either way, I'd keep things tidy and tight with "great stuff" all around any holes, only conduit or wire should be coming through the hole, not air.

I'd get the conduit down into the wall, then put great stuff around the plate so it's sealed. The airflow inside the conduit will be minimal anyway and that will help you have an easier time with future wire runs.
post #4 of 6
I'd drill the headers/top plates, and bring the cables down inside the wall.

Code says to use fire rated caulk for the penetrations, and not Great Stuff, but I don't think that's done commonly, in real life.

The conduit is usually run down the wall, inside the stud bay, to the wall plate level.

Getting cable through small conduit is not easy, and the number of cables is limited.

$3K seems like a lot, but it might be worth it to many people who don't want to spend time in an attic, retrofitting cables. If there is an attic above the rooms that need cable, life is easier.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
furley11 – thanks for the link. I had read it previously, but always a good read.

TheYoshi – thanks for the thoughts – after thinking about it again last night, I have decided to go the down the wall route vice through the ceiling. Will definitely look cleaner than having the cables dropping out of the ceiling 

Neurorad – I’ll look in to the fire rated caulking. The question will end up being if I have the LV guys put the conduit in the closet prior to the drywall going up, or I wait until the house is ours and then run the cables down without the conduit. My issue with all this is the cost. I know it is a business, but to pay someone $125 to put in a 6’ piece of PVC just irritates the heck out of me. I am doing it for the 6 locations throughout the house that I am going to have TVs or computers, but to pay for 2-3 conduits in the closet wall, I have a hard time with that.

I would definitely agree that >$3K is a LOT, hence my irritation. However, as you mention, for those that aren’t willing to pull some cable or simply don’t want to, it’s their only option. They do install X number of network and phone line cables, however it’s Cat5E. I decided since I was building house and don’t plan on moving any time soon, that I wanted to go ahead and make it Cat6. So not only would they charge me $110 for each new Cat6 cable, but also $35 per Cat5E to Cat6 upgrade. It’s really no difference whether they are pulling one Cat6 to a location or 4 Cat6 to a location, but they wanted to charge me 3x $110 (new Cat6) and 1x $35 (upgrade) for those 4 cables. I opted for the 1x $35 (upgrade) + 1x $125 conduit per location. The savings from 1-2 locations alone will pay for me to run cable for the entire house smile.gif

I wouldn’t have decided to have them run the speaker wire either except I wanted the volume controls installed in the wall and didn’t want to have to worry about trying to run those later. I did opt to not run the Cat5e to each of the volume control locations since they would have charged me 5x $85 for that. Hopefully I won’t regret that later.

Building a new house is always a balancing act of getting the stuff done during the build that would be too costly or too hard to do after it is completed. Saving >$2,600 to pull some Cat6 later is a no brainer to me smile.gif


post #6 of 6
An AVS member, Wayne Pflughaupt, did a nice write-up on retrofitting cables, on another site, that may be helpful to you:


If there is attic above, you may want to skip the conduit. The stud bay is, essentially, a conduit, though insulation and fire stops may be hurdles. Take a thousand photos of the walls and ceilings before the drywall goes up, to help you later.
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