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need a little guidance on home security system selection

ross

New Member
Hello,
 
As part of a remodel I'm doing of my home, I want to include any wiring that may be required for home security system, as half the house is currently gutted. I'd like to purchase the system now, to use during the construction phase, then it to full time use as the remodel is complete.
 
Can someone guide me to some good resources to help me determine an appropriate system? 
 
I would be performing the work myself, and work in IT and have an engineering background, such that I am not shy of installing a professional type system on my own.
 
In my case, I would be looking for a full-featured, modern system with expansion/upgrade/integration capabilities. While it does not have to be the same system, I would be including video, etc. as part of the overall solution.
 
To give a sense of the size/expandability of system I would be considering, the home is large, around 100' from one end to the end of the attached garage. I have 6 exterior doors, 56 windows (around 26 ground accessible). I am not looking for a $200 'security system in a box' type solution, as this will be a somewhat complex house to implement a system.
 
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
 
Ross
 

sic0048

Senior Member
Although it is best to lock down a system choice before you start installing it (so you can use the correct resistors to "monitor" your lines), it is not necessarily required. Most (all?) alarm systems use the same contact closure set up and therefore most hardwired sensors will work with any system.  
 
It's great that you want to wire the system while the walls are open.  It is certainly the best time to do it.  My recommendation however is that you wire the system including the actual sensors on the doors and windows.  When my parent's house was being remodeled, we installed the wire for sensors, but because my parents didn't want an alarm system at the time, we didn't actually put the sensors on each door and window.  Now it is actually going to be easier to use wireless than it will be to pull trim off to find the wires and install the sensors. We should have taken the extra step of installing the actual sensors at the time, even though they were not going to install an alarm system at that time.
 
As far as system recommendations, you will find a lot of people on this forum use the ELK M1 gold alarm/automation panel.  It is expensive if all you want is a basic alarm system and I would not recommend it for that use, but it definitely leaves the option open for other future automation.  You can tie lighting systems, HVAC system, etc into the overall setup if you want.
 
I honestly haven't looked at basic alarm systems in probably a decade of more, but something from the company DSC will be a great choice.  They are a very big player in the alarm industry.
 

keepersg

Active Member
I really agree with putting the sensors in at the same time as the wiring.  During a remodel of the house, I wired doors, windows etc.  It has been a pain to install those sensors after everything was finished.  I was smarter about larger devices like smoke alarms that go on the ceiling and prewire for surround sound and used these  http://www.skywalker.com/Products/EZ-Cap-Universal-In-Ceiling-Pre-Construction-Speaker-Bracket-(Each)__EZC1000.aspx . These allow you to place the wire in a protected cavity that is drywalled around and then capped before texturing and painting.  The caps blend in and are not obtrusive and you can then wire in devices at your leisure with no issue with finding the wires.  I have an Elk M1G which is a great choice if you're into automation and not just security.  Integrates with my ISY, has its own automation and programming.  There's a device you can get that will integrate it directly with Alexa, Google etc.  On the other hand, its overkill if all you want is security.
 

keepersg

Active Member
Here's a picture.
 
 
EZC1000_add4.jpg
 

bbrendon

Member
I would second the DSC recommendation. I personally believe with Home Automation options moving so fast that Elk/HAI systems just hold you back. I think it's better to add that functionality with software instead of embedded/firmware type systems.
 

rumb

Member
Wires, wires, wires.
Run all the security wires, in each room have multiple cat5/6, RG, and speaker wires. home run everything. put in goof tubes from central to your AV system locations for future proof. Run HDMI where needed. most all AV is now IP so have lots of Cat cables there. run cat 5 to all thermostat locations. Run cat 5 for security cams. wires for lots of motion sensors inside house. intercom system with extra wires for door locks.  You cant run too many wires.  hardwire is always better than wireless.
 

pete_c

Guru
Guessing you have picked a central location for centralizing your labeled wires
 
Here have two centralized locations interconnected.
 
One has the Alarm panel wiring / ISP / firewall / telco and the other one is servers and zoned audio amplifiers.
 
For outside stuff here wired for satellite TV on one side of the home and cable / fiber on the other side plus IP POE cameras.
 
For irrigation wired Ethernet to the irrigation box located in the attached garage.
 

lanbrown

Active Member
Run conduit down the wall instead of wiring.  Drill a hole in the header and then use flexible fiber duct to go down the wall and into the attic where you can get access to it.  This way if you ever need to run something new, you can with ease.
 
In places where there is a TV, I have one conduit that comes from the attic to the lower portion on the wall.  Then there is a second that goes from the lower portion to behind where the TV will be.  This way you can run HDMI cables from the bottom to the top or audio cables, etc.
 
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