WHERE is your wiring closet?


Senior Member
I may be moving soon and have been casually looking at different houses. It probably will be a "used" house rather than new construction, so I don't have a luxury of a dedicated wiring closet. I have been in this house for about 18 years and only doing HA for 14 years, therefore this house is the only one I have wired and it just evolved as needed. My wiring nest is currently a corner of my office/geek room, but that doesn't look good. so, when house shopping, I need to consider where stuff will get installed. For now, I am assuming a worst case scenario and that I will need to add all the wiring for security, A/V & networking, along with a computer(s), security panel & goodies.

The obvious locations for a Node-0 (home run point) that come to mind are:
1) garage (too hot in Florida for electronics)
2) attic (too hot in Florida for electronics)
3) basement (very rare in Florida)

4) laundry room (OK, if not in the garage)
5) a linen or hall closet (heat buildup?)
6) the closet in my geek room/office
7) on the wall of my geek room/office
8) a possible home theater equipment area

Are there any other areas in a "typical" house that I could consider?

How have these areas worked for others?

I realize that there is no typical house and what may work great from a long-term usability perspective may be horrible for fishing wires. I do want an area that is relatively easy to get access to, as I plan to keep tweaking and upgrading. This is not a picture perfect install-and-run job.
I wouldn't write off new construction yet, it usually is cheaper than buying a used home (assuming you can find the land), and it's a great investment, I found all this out when I bought this house.

As for the location, it will all depend on the layout of your house, so this is hard to guess in advance. I am building mine right now in my unfinished basement.
A basement would be ideal, imo, but they are hard to come by on the coast or in Florida (something to do with sand and water ;) ). Maybe a closet in the "guest" bedroom? Takes up a good storage area, but it may still have a better WAF than just being placed up on a wall in the "geek" room. For heat issues, I would consider putting a door up that has slats to allow air flow.


Linen closet: No way that would pass in my house. Plus, where are you gonna put all those towels and sheets?

Home theatre set-up: This is where my stuff is and it is a total pita. Not enough outlets nearby and the cables (don't get me started on that one). Looks like poo and is near impossible to change anything around (getting behind all the equipement is a trick in its own.
I actually have 2 wiring closets. The HS server and most of the interfaces are in the closet of my office "geek room ;)" The other is in a large storage closet just next to the home theater (or where it will be). Both are in the basement and are about 15 feet apart. It was easier to run all the new network, phone, TV cable to the AV closet than it was to run it back into my smaller office closet since we had gutted most of the basement to make a big family room.
So far it's working out well and with 2 smaller clusters of equipment the heat buildup is not as bad.
I also live in south Florida, and yes, there are problems with most locations in "used" houses! ;-)

Actually, I would locate the "wiring closet" at a central point in the layout of the house, if possible. That might be a closet, laundry room, or even a bathroom, but it would be the best for wiring runs and RF coverage. Second would be to locate it near utilities/entrances/power panels, etc.

In my home, I have a small pantry behind the garage which is where my alarm was housed. I used this location for the wiring for the network as well as a replacement alarm, and I brought the existing daisy-chained phone and coax cabling into it as well. Now I have the basics for a wiring closet, except that it is all on a piece of plywood on the wall, with a small UPS in the corner, while the rest of the small room is covered with shelving and food. I wired in a couple new 20-amp circuits for the computer stuff. The room already has a pretty good source of cold air, being next tot he AC unit and having louvered doors like the pic above.

However, I would like a place for some servers to be housed, and so as I remodel the main bathroom, I have sliced off a small 3x3' area for a server rack. Not in the same area, but what am I gonna do? I will have to add AC and power here, though.

So, if you're looking for some server space as well as the wiring and infrastructure, look for a room with an AC duct that might be easily be split and added to or moved to the closet, where you can put the gear you want. Another alternative would be to build a small room or area in a spare room or the garage or attic that can be cooled.

Good luck!
Most of my modules and devices are on a wall in the furnace room, in the basement. This is a pretty central location and has easy access to the floor joists and the chimney chase, allowine me access to the attic for wiring that goes to the addition in the back and things that are close to the ceiling like motion detectors. The alarm system panel is in a seperate location as is the phone equipment, which is under the stairs going to the basement.