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Hi all:

 

First time poster. My father is purchasing a new home, and unfortunately, pre-wiring for ethernet is not included. We are looking to wire the house with ethernet for both internet, and home automation.

 

He will be using Directv for tv, but he wants to purchase high speed internet (I'm not sure if fiber optic is available in his area) separately and have direct connections to ethernet in each room. The house is a 4 bedroom home, and he wants to wire all bedrooms and the living room with ethernet cables, separate from the cable line and phone lines.

 

I would like to have a central location for the ethernet switches and router, and then feed the ethernet cables (Cat6) throughout the house, so that each room has a direct connection for internet connectivity. We also want wireless for home automation and convenience purposes as well, and I anticipate we will have wifi repeater/extenders? in a few rooms throughout the home. My father wants to install a security system throughout the house as well. My father also wants to wire the rooms for future speaker systems and a/v systems.

 

Do you guys have any recommendations on certain products to purchase (I'm thinking monoprice for some of the wires, etc.)? Do you also have any tips on potential issues that we could encounter, and tips on how to accomplish this? This is our first time trying to create a wired house for internet that feeds throughout the house by direct connection, and we just want to begin getting an idea of how it is done.

 

We will also be using a nest for thermostat. 

 

Thanks for the help. We don't have any photos as I'm halfway across the country and they are still in the process of purchasing the house. 
 

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I'm not one of the experts here but thought I'd offer my feedback. The first major question is: If the house is finished and drywall is up, and assuming there's no conduit in the walls, this is probably a huge job. Optimally you have a basement either totally unfinished or with drop ceiling. Second best would be a single-story house with an attic you can get to. You'll need some way to get wires into the cavities between the walls, from either above or below. Anything else is probably not a DIY job, but that's my opinion and I don't have the experience that most here do.


How big is the house? Unless it is huge (big footprint or several stories), you may be able to get by with one strategically-placed wireless AP. With this setup, you'd probably be looking at having the cable/dsl modem, a firewall/router device, and a gigabit switch (say, 24-port) all in a centralized location. And then your AP connected at its strategic place via Cat 6. I've heard great things about the Ubiquiti AP's for range and performance.


For the Audio, AV, and Security... I think you'll want a plan for each before beginning, but it would be a lot easier to discuss if the drywall wasn't up.
 

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The CAT6 stuff is easy, I'd put at least 2 outlets in each room, you do not want wires running around the room to get to equipment. Simply home run them to a central location, marking each one with a identifying location. I have no issue with adding a switch at various locations to accommodate AV equipment, some freak out at the thought. Do what makes sense.


As for home automation, exactly what does that entail? There are so many various forms of it out there I think you need to do some quick research to see which systems are viable long term. I'm using very long in the tooth X10 throughout my home and for me it works well. But, it is not what I would use in a new setup. X10 has been around for about 20 years and is still sort of available, I'd be hard pressed to guess which of the new systems will be around in 20 years. As for security that often now falls into the home automation area now.


With the scope of the project it sounds like it should have been started long ago. The networking aspect is a no brainer, and can easily be done, the automation aspect not so much.
 

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Hopefully with the purchase of a new home, wiring is available. It would be horrendous for you to build the home then have to tear it apart to add the wiring.


Realistically, you need to put down a complete set of goals to determine the needs that are desired.


Network is easy, as already said. But, a plan for the network may not be. You want hard wired networking at ALL A/V points in the house. Gear, displays, computer locations, etc. should all have hardwired network connections.


I always shoot for a WAP location in a closet on the main floor that is centrally located. My home right now has one in the basement which is doing a remarkably good job (standard FIOS Actiontec unit) in our 3-level 6,000 square foot home. So, your results may vary.


The rest is all about serious planning. Wireless 'controls' are a crap shoot. If that's the plan, then I wish you luck. But, I would pull 1-2 pieces of extra cat cabling (5e or 6) to any and all locations that may need to be automated in the future. Lighting being a bit of an exception since it is hard-wired into the lighting of the home already and solutions such as Insteon and others certainly provide future options for control via IP or serial. The Nest thermostat offers basically zero automation, but is a nice iControllable device and most people don't need a home automation system for once a month thermostat control. It's things like shade control which just seems to be much better addressed with a hard wire at each shade location.


The first major hurdle is the 'goal'. Then determine the wiring needs, then wire appropriately, then get the gear. It's an intense process, but if building is in progress and not done yet, it is certainly one of the most useful up-front costs in home building. Unlike the kitchen countertop which can be switched to granite at ANY time, this wiring can really only be done to perfection once.
 

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When you say, "new home," do you mean a brand new home that's still under construction? If so, I recently did something very similar to what your father is looking to do. If he hasn't hit the electrical job cutoff date yet, many new home builders offer something called a "structured wiring package." Usually this includes a structured wiring box installed somewhere in the house where all the wiring "homeruns" to. This would include Ethernet cables, satellite or cable TV wiring, telephone wiring, security system wiring, etc.


For the A/V system/speakers, have your father carefully consider where he wants the speakers located; whether he wants floor standing speakers, ceiling mount, wall mount, or some combination thereof. He can tell the A/V contractor that the home builder is working with where he wants the speaker pre-wiring to be. They will install wall cover plates at each speaker location and at the A/V source location. Once your father decides to move forward with the A/V systems, if he decides on surface mount or floor standing speaker instead of in-wall/ceiling, he can go to Monoprice and purchase speaker wall plates and surround sound distribution wall plates to replace the cover plates. I had my new home pre-wired this way and it was well worth it.


For the wired networking, think carefully about where the jacks should be located. Like Matt mentioned, strongly consider running at least two data cables to each room. This gives you flexibility and comes in handy if you decide to use one of the connectors for a land line phone.


This is a bit off-topic but since the A/V and network wiring installation schedule is probably closely related to the electrical wiring schedule have your dad consider having them install an extra 220V plug in the garage for possible future electric vehicle/plug-in hybrid use. Anything you can do before they put the dry wall up is usually a good thing.


I hope this helps.

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=104&cp_id=10425&cs_id=1042503&p_id=3324&seq=1&format=2

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=109&cp_id=10425&cs_id=1042503&p_id=6707&seq=1&format=2
 
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