• You've been granted Beta access to this site, allowing you to explore some of the new features while they're still under construction. More information can be found in the Beta forum.

Home automation wiring - good?

vikramjatt11

New Member
I am in the processing of building a new home, and I still have time to change any wiring I need to change. Are there any additions that I look be looking at that I might of missed?
 
The home is 4000 sq. ft. for the first and second floor (what I will be discussing in this post), with a unfinished basement (which I will not be discussing, as this wiring can be done in the future.
 
The structure box is in the basement.
The media center is in the family room.
 
For Media Center in corner of family room (to connect to TV over fireplace in family room):
- Two (2) HDMI from media center to Flat Panel.
- One (1) CAT5e.
 
For 5.1 Surround Sound in family room:
- Two (2) prewires for side speakers at ear level.
- Two (2) prewires for back speakers at ear level.
- One (1) prewire for under TV bar.
- Two (2) prewires for sub-woofer, one (1) at media center, one (1) at back of family room [option to change sub-woofer location].
 
Audio System:
- Left/Right speakers prewire in kitchen ceiling.
- Left/Right speakers prewire in guest suite.
- In wall audio controls and audio input at media center.
 
For satellite TV: I plan to put a TV in three (3) locations: family room, first floor guest suite, master bedroom. All on Dish Network
Current wiring:
- Four (4) RG60 from south side outside of home to structure box for Dish installer to hookup their Dish.
- Two (2) RG60 from structure to family room dual tuner, one (1) for tuner/DVR, one (1) for signal back to structure box for second TV in guest suite.
- One (1) RG60 from structure box to guest suite, this will work off the dual tuner in family room.
- Two (2) RG60 from structure box to master bedroom.
 
For Wired Internet/Access Points:
- One (1) CAT6 from structure box to family room media center for entertainment there (Access Point, Smart TV, Wii, XBox)
- One (1) CAT6 from structure box to guest suite (Smart TV, maybe future desktop).
- One (1) CAT6 from structure box to master bedroom (Smart TV, maybe future desktop).
- One (1) CAT6 from structure box to mid house ceiling of first floor (Access Point).
- Two (2) CAT6 from structure box to opposite ceiling locations on second floor (Access Point).
 
For Security System:
- One (1) CAT6 in ceiling at front door for future POE security camera.
- One (1) CAT6 ten feet up at garage area for future POE security camera.
- One (1) CAT6 14 feet up at backyard area for future POE security camera.
- Doorbell CAT5e wired to the speaker.
- All exits hardwired for security system.
- One (1) motion detector hardwired.
- One (1) glass breaker hardwired.
- Two (2) keypads hardwired, one (1) downstairs, one (1) master bedroom.
- Two (2) smoke and carbon monoxide detectors hardwired.
 
There is a conduit from the basement structure box to the attic, to make future wiring a bit easier from the structure box.
 
Questions:
1. There are no additional CAT6 or RG60 in the study/living room, and bedroom 2, 3, or 4 upstairs. Is there a need for these with future Gigabit Access Points giving WiFi coverage throughout the house?
2. At some point in the future, I want to install a doorbell system, so when rung, displays the camera on the TV as PIP (Picture in picture). Also want to add a future doorbell speaker to basement when it is finished. Do I need prewiring from front door(bell) to structure box or anywhere else for this?
3. Afterwards, I want to be able to install motion sensors in some rooms so the lights turn on/off as a person walks-in, and be able to control lights from a phone, any prewiring needed for this?
4. Want to be able to control thermostat from phone in future, prewiring for this?
5. The internet provider in the area is Time Warner High Speed Internet. Should I get prewiring for this from outside of home to structure box? I don't know what I need. Reminder: the basement is UNfinished, so any wiring can be run through the ceiling of basement still.
6. Do I need to get some kind of ground for the Dish Network antenna outside from my ground box outside the house?
7. I only ran one (1) CAT6 from structure box to most locations because a switch can be used on both ends to create more connections if needed. Am I correct in assuming this?
 
If there are any additions things you can suggest/recommend, I would be happy to read them all.
 
Thank you.
 

LabPaddy

Member
Seems like a good plan. 100% good? You always find stuff to wire. For example, I have a TV in my kitchen. Now I want to hook up my TV to my kitchen ceiling speakers (Sonos). So I'm going to run audio from TV to closet where the Sonos Connect Amps live. That run could be Toslink or audio over cat5. etc.
 
I have more (10 and growing) IP cameras on the perimeter of the house, so you may look to see where you might want to add them in the future. 
 
1. Sounds good. We use wifi to watch tv on personal devices.
2. Run a CAT5E and 22/4 to future proof doorbell to structured box
3. Run 22/4 for occupancy sensors. Look at http://www.visonic.com/Products/Wired-Detectors/Disc-et-energy. These behave different than security motion sensors, quicker to trigger. 
4. NEST will use just standard thermostat wiring
5. Yes, run RG and CAT for your services to exterior panel
6. Donno
7. Yes, as long as you don't mind having a switch there. 
 
Other things to consider
A. Run alarm wiring (22/2 or 22/4) to the following: all exterior panels (electrical, catv, etc). Alarms can be defeated by shutting off house power, cutting your cable data lines, etc). You want to know when those are opened.
B. Run CAT and 22/4 from alarm panel to high location for alarm cellular backup
C. Run alarm wires to garage door(s) sensors (22/2) and garage door openers (22/2) 
D. Run alarm wires to all windows (22/2)
E. Run wires to all windows for motorized shutters (22/4 or 22/6 ?)
F. Alarm Siren (22/4)
G. Driveway sensor? (22/4)
H. Outdoor motion sensors? (22/4)
I. Prewire any ceiling speakers you want to add in the future. Kitchen, patio, bathroom, garage, etc 16/2?
 
I also think you want to have more than one interior motion sensor. 4000 sq-ft is a lot of ground to cover. And 2 smokes is not enough either. Recommend smokes that work with alarm panels (4-wire).
 
Also consider conduit, so you can pull more wire in the future. 
 
While the statement above has some good ideas, the AWG and conductor counts should NOT be taken as gospel as they are woefully undersized for many applications.
 

Sparkman1

Active Member
vikramjatt11 said:
7. I only ran one (1) CAT6 from structure box to most locations because a switch can be used on both ends to create more connections if needed. Am I correct in assuming this?
 
A switch would only work if you are running Ethernet over the CAT6.  There are other uses for CAT6 besides Ethernet such as HDMI over CAT6.  A switch would take up space, an additional outlet as well which may not be easily available.  Using a remote switch heat gets dissipated elsewhere as well which may be an advantage to help keep media cabinets cooler.  I would run at least 2 CAT6 to every location and in some case like media centers, I would run at least 6 or 8 CAT6 cables.  Here are examples of typical media devices that all may require an Ethernet connection (TV, blu-ray player, receiver, streaming media player, game console(s), Slingbox, IR controller, etc. etc.).  Most of these can typically run on wi-fi as well, but that may not work well in enclosed cabinets and with a high density of devices all close together (i.e. noisy environment).  My motto is cable if you can and use wireless if you must.
 
Cheers
Al
 

vikramjatt11

New Member
LabPaddy said:
Other things to consider
A. Run alarm wiring (22/2 or 22/4) to the following: all exterior panels (electrical, catv, etc). Alarms can be defeated by shutting off house power, cutting your cable data lines, etc). You want to know when those are opened.
B. Run CAT and 22/4 from alarm panel to high location for alarm cellular backup
C. Run alarm wires to garage door(s) sensors (22/2) and garage door openers (22/2) 
D. Run alarm wires to all windows (22/2)
E. Run wires to all windows for motorized shutters (22/4 or 22/6 ?)
F. Alarm Siren (22/4)
G. Driveway sensor? (22/4)
H. Outdoor motion sensors? (22/4)
I. Prewire any ceiling speakers you want to add in the future. Kitchen, patio, bathroom, garage, etc 16/2?
 
I also think you want to have more than one interior motion sensor. 4000 sq-ft is a lot of ground to cover. And 2 smokes is not enough either. Recommend smokes that work with alarm panels (4-wire).
 
Also consider conduit, so you can pull more wire in the future. 
Thank you for your input. I like the driveway sensor and the motorized shutters idea. Probably won't be able to much more because the company building the house wont let me do the wiring, it has to be done by their contractor, and thus is very expensive, even for just the pre-wiring.
 
Sparkman1 said:
A switch would only work if you are running Ethernet over the CAT6.  There are other uses for CAT6 besides Ethernet such as HDMI over CAT6.  A switch would take up space, an additional outlet as well which may not be easily available.  Using a remote switch heat gets dissipated elsewhere as well which may be an advantage to help keep media cabinets cooler.  I would run at least 2 CAT6 to every location and in some case like media centers, I would run at least 6 or 8 CAT6 cables.  Here are examples of typical media devices that all may require an Ethernet connection (TV, blu-ray player, receiver, streaming media player, game console(s), Slingbox, IR controller, etc. etc.).  Most of these can typically run on wi-fi as well, but that may not work well in enclosed cabinets and with a high density of devices all close together (i.e. noisy environment).  My motto is cable if you can and use wireless if you must.
 
Cheers
Al
Thanks for this. Unfortunately, they won't let me put the wires in myself, and they charge $130 per CAT6 cable, so for 6-8 CAT6 in the media room, I'm looking at a cost of at least $780 just for one location. I could buy a lot of switches for that kind of money, lol, and that is why I've only pulled one to each location.
 
Would the Ethernet for (TV, blu-ray player, receiver, streaming media player, game console(s), Slingbox, IR controller, etc. etc.) work over one CAT-6 connection with a switch?
 

Sparkman1

Active Member
vikramjatt11 said:
Thanks for this. Unfortunately, they won't let me put the wires in myself, and they charge $130 per CAT6 cable, so for 6-8 CAT6 in the media room, I'm looking at a cost of at least $780 just for one location. I could buy a lot of switches for that kind of money, lol, and that is why I've only pulled one to each location.
 
Would the Ethernet for (TV, blu-ray player, receiver, streaming media player, game console(s), Slingbox, IR controller, etc. etc.) work over one CAT-6 connection with a switch?
 
In that case I would still run at least two (or hire a different contractor).  All those would be a regular ethernet connection that could be handled by a switch.
 
Cheers
Al 
 

pete_c

Guru
Yup; here when I redid the cabling to the family room LCD TV and stuff patched in 8 catxx cables.  Geez it would be only a little bit more work to do 8 with no terminations.
 
Looks like this and used two of these for the family room.
 
ARL_TVB613-orig.jpg

 
In the same in wall LV panel also terminated all of the speaker 16/2 or 14/2 cabling.  Still using RG-6 here for cable and satellite and did find thin RG-6 cable to put in from the wall to the boxes.  It's skinny and looks nice.
 

LarrylLix

Senior Member
Oh the joys of having a house built. You don't own it and have no rights until you do own it and have no access. Wrong builder.

Try talking directly to the electrician on the job.
 

vikramjatt11

New Member
Sparkman1 said:
 
In that case I would still run at least two (or hire a different contractor).  All those would be a regular ethernet connection that could be handled by a switch.
 
Cheers
Al 
  
pete_c said:
Yup; here when I redid the cabling to the family room LCD TV and stuff patched in 8 catxx cables.  Geez it would be only a little bit more work to do 8 with no terminations.
 
Looks like this and used two of these for the family room.
 
ARL_TVB613-orig.jpg

 
In the same in wall LV panel also terminated all of the speaker 16/2 or 14/2 cabling.  Still using RG-6 here for cable and satellite and did find thin RG-6 cable to put in from the wall to the boxes.  It's skinny and looks nice.
  
LarrylLix said:
Oh the joys of having a house built. You don't own it and have no rights until you do own it and have no access. Wrong builder.

Try talking directly to the electrician on the job.
What I ended up doing is getting 2 CAT6 to media center and then I got a conduit to there, so I can put the rest of the wires myself.

But I am going to talk to the electrician to see of they let me run my wiring while the walls are open.
 

pete_c

Guru
Yeah in my personal endeavors of new home contruction both times picked a builder that would let me do my own LV cable adds.
 
Builder #2 / house # 2 construction was cancelled weeks after ground breaking due to inemptness of contracting company which didn't have anything to do with LV cabling.
 
Recently a friend built a new home on his farm.  The contractor did attempt to add major increases in the pricing just from minor changes ...ie color of ceramic tiles, type of wooden floors, infrastructure stuff (hot water heat adds) such that he was able to tell the contractor not to do it, get credit and then subcontract for the work and got better stuff.  I am thinking that worked for him a bit and against him a bit.  (IE: he went with some high end brazilian teak wood floors for the main floor of the home which looks nice; but personally here like the old fashioned wood floor installation and have a distaste for that stapled in wood floor junk - but that is me)
 
Low voltage cabling is cheaper and easier to do that electrical high voltage cabling.
 
The electrician knows this. 
 
The builder is just billing you to run a wire at the same price as any wire which will really just make him lose business in the future anyways.   It could also be the electrician charging the builder the same price for LV as HV wiring.
 
Ideally maybe subcontracting an alarm company to prewire all of your LV wires might be easier for you and the builder.
 
Well too if folks are willing to pay for this; then the market exists and the builder will have no issues charging you for it.
 

LarrylLix

Senior Member
Builders, from my experiences, are mostly about fear. Many of them d not understand the trades at all and only want to make sure nothing gets in the way of there time allotments, being most of their job.
 
The electricians don't want to get entangled in LV wiring that may be in their way for running their stuff. It's al about order of who gets there first and they come last anyway, after the framers, HVAC, plumbing.
 
The GC needs time between each trade to make sure nobody gets in another trades time slot and some dumb home buyer wants to come in and maybe drill holes in the wrong place, cut into pipe, destroy plumbing, install improperly and generally cause a rucus with other trades that will have to come back to fix things up. They don't like you. They only want your money which you have already demonstrated has no end.
 
Usually after the electrician is done there is a gap in time for a day or so until the inspections get done and the insulation people come in. That is the time and some smooth talking and reassurance with the builder may go a long way. You can sneak in but nd probably get it done but the builder probably has the house to lock-up stage and can lock you out. He can also have your charged with trespassing.
 
If you have any electrical experience offer to drill holes for the electricians in exchange for allowing you to install LV. A case of beer worked for me for the framer to upgrade the attic floor joists to regular strength in an MBR offside attic space. He also put a removable door frame above the attic hatch so I could place a door there later. He told me if he left the full opening the builder would immediately recognise it and the attic would then become chargeable floor $space$ .
 
Amazing what hanging about and buying drinks on the job can do, depending on the builder presence. careful. The builder already knows he can extort money from you.
 
Top