New Home Wiring


New Member
I'm about 6 months away from breaking ground on a new single family residence. I'm a little concerned about wiring the home so it is easily updated with new wiring/cables with new technologies that are soon to be provided. For example, verizon is starting to offer fiber-optic service around the USA for phone/internet/televison. I'm in verizon's service area and want to make sure that the home has all of the wiring in place so the walls do not need to be opened up to install the new wiring. Since the current "norm" is cat5 & rg6 I'm trying to firgure out if there is a smart solution which would allow me to build the home and be able to install the new fiber-optic wiring when the service becomes available (if ever?) with out opening up the walls? I would plan on the fiber-optic lines to have outlets where ever there is a cat5 or rg6 outlet. I think that running conduit for each and every outlet would be expensive and take up too much space. Thanks
A compromise might be to just run conduit stubs into the attic and basement. You could have a conduit stub run from a room box into the attic and stick up about a foot so it doesn't get covered with insulation. Wire is run normally in the attic but it is easy to get something new down to the box in the room if you need to. In most cases the conduit would not require any bends so there is not much additional cost or labor required to do this.
I don't know if it is the same everywhere, but my understanding is that the fiber only goes to your wiring closet.

From there, they provide a router/bridge to Ethernet to distribute throughout the house. I think that cat6 would be all you would need to distribute gigabit-Ethernet (and maybe even 10-gig).
But fiber to the desktop (or set top box) is probably not that many years away. Not a good investment now but allowing a way to add it is not such a bad idea.
I decided against running conduit because cat5e/cat6 is just so flexible, it should do the job for a long time. You can run gigabit speeds now, and I believe some companies have 10 gigabit running over cat5e as well. Fiber is pretty expensive to run/terminate, so I would just make sure that it's easy to run the fiber into your data closet, and go to copper as suggested earlier.
I'd steer you towards installing some conduit. The material and labor cost to install it during construction is quite minimal.

There's so much changing right now especially in the area of video that we will usually install conduit to TV and or home theater locations. If you plan to have a home office, this is another good spot to get some conduit as well as between floors if you'll be building multi-story.

Carlon makes a product called Resi-Gard which is inexpensive and easy to work with... I wouldn't recommend installing it "everywhere", but it will be a good improvement for future proofing certain areas:

Resi-Gard Intro

Resi-Gard Brochure

That does look like a nice affordable solution, something I would probably consider myself for my next house.