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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am starting to build a house soon so I was just wondering what are the must haves as far as technology is concerned these days? Alarm system ? Cameras? I don't want to go overboard with things especially prices, but what should I consider. Is there any way I can future proof this house ?
 

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Future proofing primarily is running as much wiring as you can while it is cheap and accessible. You don't need to buy all the hardware to do everything now, but at least you'll have the right wire (hopefully) if you want to add things in the future.


The only way to really future proof is to run conduit pipe everywhere with pull cords that will allow you to run wire in the future that may not have even been invented yet. This is generally cost prohibitive, but there may be a couple of key locations that you do want to run conduit.


Here are some basic devices or systems that could be/ should be wired for now.


Phones (best to run cat5e)

Computers (run at least cat5e - some will argue that Cat6 is money well spent)

A/V distribution - going to be a combination of cat5e, RG-6 and speaker wires

Security - includes window and door contacts, glass break sensors, motion sensors, smoke detectors, heat detectors, CO detectors, keypads, speakers or sirens, stobe lights, etc

Cameras - cat5, power and RG-59 (or RG-6)

Intercoms - wire differently depending on the system

HVAC - thermostats that network using cat5, multiple thermometers, potential for muti-zone controllers, etc

Lighting control - many options, but some require Cat5 wire to every switch or load

Home automation - ties all of these and many other systems together - requires wiring (generally cat5) to do this. Might have touch screens around the house, etc


There are many, many post on this subject. Both here and other sites like www.cocoontech.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tips. I don't want to go overboard with this. What are the minimal features a large home should have? I am thinking a few video cameras on the outside might be a good idea since the house is in the country on a large lot.
 

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I would think security, phones and computers with some A/V at a minimum.


However, the idea is that wire is cheap. Run EVERYTHING now. You'll never know what you might want in the future. For example - run all of the alarm wire now, even if you don't install the alarm system. Run wire for a zoned whole house A/V system now, even if you don't think you will ever install one. Run power and several cat5e runs to strategic locations where you might want a touch pad to control your house (perhaps kitchen, den, and master bedroom). It might be $500-1000 in wiring, but that is cheap when looking at the overall price of a house. If you don't wire it now and end up wanting it in the future, you'll be looking at a much more expensive situation that wiring it now.


Personally I would run 2 cat5e and 2 RG-6 to every wall in major rooms in the house. If you know that a particular spot is going to have a TV, then I would run 3 cat5e and 5 RG-6 at a min. For a computer location I would run 5 cat5e and 3 RG-6.


All wires should be "homerun" in nature. All wires should only go to one location (ie no daisy chaining), and every wire should end up in a single point that will be your wiring and distribution center. It doesn't have to be in the center of the house obviously, but some "central" location where it is easy to access.
 

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I agree with Brian as far as conduit is concerned. I wired my own house as it was being built and I went overboard with the cat5e and RG6, but I regret not running conduit to a few key locations. I would run conduit to any location which will have a TV. This would allow for any kind of wiring to be added later to handle A/V distribution. I would also recommend running conduit from the crawlspace/basement to the attic for future use if necessary.
 

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conduit, conduit, conduit ....


Wired security system, home run the lines for your phones, cameras are a good idea and conduit anyplace that might be hard to get to in the future.


Mike
 

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Don't forget running at least 1 CAT5 to your irrigation controller, also running CAT5, 18/2 to each touchpanel location.


Check out the screenshots in my sig if you want to see what I do with HA/HT automation.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sic0048 /forum/post/0


I would think security, phones and computers with some A/V at a minimum.


However, the idea is that wire is cheap. Run EVERYTHING now. You'll never know what you might want in the future. For example - run all of the alarm wire now, even if you don't install the alarm system. Run wire for a zoned whole house A/V system now, even if you don't think you will ever install one. Run power and several cat5e runs to strategic locations where you might want a touch pad to control your house (perhaps kitchen, den, and master bedroom). It might be $500-1000 in wiring, but that is cheap when looking at the overall price of a house. If you don't wire it now and end up wanting it in the future, you'll be looking at a much more expensive situation that wiring it now.


Personally I would run 2 cat5e and 2 RG-6 to every wall in major rooms in the house. If you know that a particular spot is going to have a TV, then I would run 3 cat5e and 5 RG-6 at a min. For a computer location I would run 5 cat5e and 3 RG-6.


All wires should be "homerun" in nature. All wires should only go to one location (ie no daisy chaining), and every wire should end up in a single point that will be your wiring and distribution center. It doesn't have to be in the center of the house obviously, but some "central" location where it is easy to access.

I read your forum, I am in the same situation. Why the need for 5 cat 5 regarding the computer. And 3 RG 6??

Can you give me a scenario??

IN addition the 3 Cat 5 and 5 RG 6 where the TV is. so far in my wiring I have not ran a cat 5 to the tv locations. I am new at this but trying to cover my bases for future stuff.

ANy reply would be appreciated

Thanks
 

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Well, it's hopefully overkill, but better to have too much than not enough


A lot of computers now have dual ethernet connections, 10/100/1000+10/100/1000. Add a networked printer and a phone line and I can already account for 4 out of 5 wires. I can't even imagine what might come down the road.


RG-6 for tuner cards in the computer, or perhaps there will be a need to send component video from the computer back to the wiring closet for distribution elsewhere. That would require all three RG-6 wires just to do that. So even 3 might be too few.


I would definitely send a min of 2 cat5e wires to every TV location. There are several HD distribution systems that use 2 cat5e wires to send the HD and digital audio to the TV. I would not consider this an option anymore - it is really a minimum requirement at this point. Add 1 more for future proofing..
 

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Thanks

Its great to have a scenario or two. It makes sense to have the wires in place.

I am not sure what all the capabilties that are available for Cat 5 or Cat 6. At first I was going to run dedicated regular old phone cable runs for the phones. Then in separate boxes run Cat 6 of course all separate runs to the central location, for networking, etc What I am hearing is run all Cat 5 or 6 cable for the phone also.

I imagine the CAT type cable in place of the old RCA style plugs and wire for video/audio on the back of the TV to DVDs or cameras etc.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks
 

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IMHO, running conduit everywhere is not needed in most instances. If you have access to the wall space from the bottom (through a crawl space or unfinished basement) or from the top (through the attic), just mark the various locations on the header and make sure that you run a few large conduits from the crawl space/basement to the attic. Be sure to plug one end of each conduit until they are used (fire code reasons). You only need conduit to any remaining areas that can't be accessed in this manner.


CJ
 

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I am in this process right now. I can't afford to have any home automation, due to my wife building too much of a home, but that is neither here nor there. I am having a home automation company come in and do the wiring. This way I can have them come in a year from now and start doing some automation. My wiring is going to run me around $6500. This will include CAT5, RG6 and IR wire to the TV rooms and various other places. CAT5 to the doorbell, CAT5 for the HVAC system, security system, 4 camera drops, surround sound in the media and family room, wiring for a satellite antenna (probably will go fiber optic, but the satellite will be wired just in case). Also, wiring for audio zones plus speaker brackets. As you can see lots and lots of wiring. I am going to run the smurf conduit in 3-4 hotspots, media room, master bedroom, study and kitchen. I may just install the conduit myself, not that hard to run some conduit when the studs go up.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greengiant1964 /forum/post/0


Thanks

Its great to have a scenario or two. It makes sense to have the wires in place.

I am not sure what all the capabilties that are available for Cat 5 or Cat 6. At first I was going to run dedicated regular old phone cable runs for the phones. Then in separate boxes run Cat 6 of course all separate runs to the central location, for networking, etc What I am hearing is run all Cat 5 or 6 cable for the phone also.

I imagine the CAT type cable in place of the old RCA style plugs and wire for video/audio on the back of the TV to DVDs or cameras etc.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks

CAt5/6 is a very universal wire. Standard functions, phone, data, control (ir/serial) of components/displays. Will also provide audio/video distribution with baluns at each end. HDTV distribution via CAT5 (usually 2 CAT5's) is also possible, even HDMI/HDCP abilities in some products. Limited on electrical transmission abilities. Use 18/2 for remote powering of devices.

While some say run many CAT5's to each location, it really depends.


Home office port for example, one each for phone, fax, data, extra. The data port expansion can be provided by adding a network switch allot less expensive than separate CAT5 for each network device.


TV locations one each for, phone (sat box), data (TV's will have data ports soon, video content via the web, control?), control, and an extra one. Keep in mind that control wires work out best if you plan ahead. I plasma on the wall without any local components only needs one CAT5. But if you hang a plasma and have local components run two or three CAT 5's for control depending on how many components you have. One wire goes to the plasma and the others to the local components.


To plan pre-wire is a challenge many find overwhelming. It just depends on your organizational skills and foresight abilities.


Depending on your home's design and depth of AV your interested in, conduit is a good idea for several key area's.
 

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Thanks,

I am running conduit in areas, I dont own a flat screen yet. But planning on hanging one on the wall. I keep thinking their is 3 wires (RCA plug Style) and two for audio. But now people are talking about this HDMI and now its getting a little confusing. For example I want to put the future satelitebox ,DVD player, etc on one wall and run wires to the flat screen on another wall. This scenario will play out in at least two locations in the house.

In short, do I also run the RG6 to the flat screen? I thought I would not have to.

Or do I run two or three cat 5s in place of?? I have not had much luck getting any sort of diagrams. I am still running blank conduits but also running some wire outside of them. Just in case..
 

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HDMI is a promising technology, although some don't really care for it currently (me), but many companies are making HDMI to CAT5 adapters compatable products/wall plates. They seem to be using two CAT5's for each HDMI wire. So in your case I'd run 2 for HDMI, not sure what your doing for audio (TV spk) or In-ceiling/wall etc.

If it was for my home between the local A/V rack and the display I'd most likely run 4 CAT5's, 1 RG6, and a 5 wire mini coax. This way your covered for control, HDMI, Component video, Right/Left audio or digital audio, and conduit for?


Keep in mind that a A/V receiver (you didn't mention) can provide up convertion of video sources to Component or HDMI. So all sources to A/V receiver, one video wire out to display.
 

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I wired my place for internet and phone everywhere. Now I am using WiFi and wireless phones everywhere. Now I am wondering why I put in all of these jacks because the wireless works fantastic. The only reason I was happy that I put jacks in on the second floor is that I was able to use one of them to add a wireless access point where the signal from the downstairs wifi wasn't that great (but I sure didn't need the rest).


Why doesn't anyone ever mention wireless phones and Wifi and why are we all focused on putting in these RJ11 and RJ45 hardwired jacks?
 

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In a new home today, especially if you are involved in the design/build process is Lighting Control. The options now as you are framing and roughing are far greater then when its already sheetrocked, especially getting rid of wallbox clutter. If a complete control system does not fit your budget, then like the AV, prewire,prewire,prewire.
 
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