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Advice for pre-wiring house desired

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by DaveF, May 14, 2012.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I planning a new house build -- maybe sign the contract this week -- and I could use some suggestions and ideas for pre-wiring. I'll be talking with the electrical team to get options and costs; hopefully it's affordable.

    Attached are the floor plans.

    My thoughts for additional (non standard) wiring are:
    Cat5 in Living Room, Study, all Bedrooms, Bonus Room, and Basement.
    Rear Speaker wiring for Great Room (inputs and outputs)
    Rear Speaker wiring for Basement space (thinking long-term, screen up front and speakers floating in back near stairs).
    Cable TV in all rooms, and Kitchen.

    I appreciate any thoughts and ideas. I don't know anything about home networking on this scale, or if there are other high-value pre-wiring jobs I should ask about.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    That's pretty close to what I did. Except I added whole house stereo on top of that. I heartily recommend HHS.
    If I was to do it again I would pay the couple hundred extra dollars and go to 6 rooms whole house stereo including one set of outdoor speakers.
    Cat 5 is over rated. Look to put wifi access points in strategic locations. I have my FIOS box with its REALLY CRAPPY Actiontec router in the basement and an Apple Airport Extreme in my bedroom, set as a bridge to the router (kind of slaved to it, letting the AT assign the NATs).
    Remember that even 802.11N will fade and soon enough we will be on to the next. Your CAT 5 will cover that transition regardless of if it is 100 base t or gig ethernet. Don't freak if they tell you it's 100, you wont notice the difference for 20 years.
    Run the speedtests and make sure your wifi APs arent slowing you down. Try a few different ones. Keep an eye on them for the first few months.
    Consider having the brackets for rear speakers mounted pre construction if they will do that.
    HAVE FUN~!
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Thanks.
    HHS would be nice, but I'm bumping into my budget ceiling without even thinking of that :) I'm just hoping wiring isn't stupidly priced.
    And for wiring:
    I'm seeing overcrowded wifi in suburbia and apartment ,complexes, and reduced performance even on-n on my five wireless devices. With a view towards more home media, I think wired Ethernet is a safe bet.
     
  4. Bobofbone

    Bobofbone Well-Known Member

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    Nice design.
    A suggestion that is pretty budget neutral. Figure out where your equipment is going, and have a dedicated home run type power line going there. By that, I mean a line going from your circuit box that only goes there, and doesn't have other stuff like a furnace or washing machine on the same circuit. I'm not an electrician-didn't even sleep in a Holiday Inn last night-but I'm told this may reduce or eliminate some forms of interference. It costs next to nothing more.
    Concerning the area in the basement that might be a theater later; now is the time to think about what you might want to do for noise control, both in and out. It looks like a good location in terms of light and noise control. You might want to think about what can be done to ventillate the area without transmitting noise throught the HVAC system through the rest of the house. Separate lines using flex duct to the area, with several turns can help. They should not have direct (or if possible, any) connections to ventillation ducts going elsewhere. Any duct work should, preferably not be in the area used for a theater that can transmit sound. If it has to be there, don't have it suspended below the floor joists-that takes up vertical space you have to build around. Keep an eye on what the HVAC contractor is doing as the building goes on. I found more than one subcontractor had no idea what I wanted, and just wanted to do things the fast and/or easy way. Have it done your way-you're paying for it.
    Consider having the contractor do the framing in the area. If you are going to finish things off later, it makes it easier. And having the above wiring done and HVAC system set up to reduce sound transmission at this point should cost little, it any more.
    Have fun.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Thanks for the ideas. I'll inquire into those.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Contract signed on house. Will have more questions later, I'm sure.
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Actually think I sent kind of a mixed message: CAT5 is over rated as far as going to every room, but absolutely critical to allow you to get Wireless Access Points throughout the house. You need both. So don't think you will just pop CAT5 in and be done.
     
  8. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

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    CATV, CAT5, Phone --> all bedrooms, family room
    4 Zone Speaker Wire with CAT5 --> first floor in rooms of your choice
    in general just WIRE FOR EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE. It's so inexpensive in the grand scheme of things and can only happen once!
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    My intention is Cat5 in all rooms that might get a computer or Tivo (which is mainly Office, Living Room, Master, and Basement). And I expect to get a second wireless router to expand the network upstairs.

    I haven't used a wired phone in a decade :) but I'll keep that in mind.

    What is Cat5 speaker wire?
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Met with the wiring and security guy today. The house comes with four Cat 5e and Coax outlets standard and a junction in the basement. I upgraded to quad connector (4x Cat5e and a coax) in the living room and in the office. I also added a Cat5e / Coax port to all bedrooms, bonus room and basement. I added rear speaker wire runs to living room and basement. And I'm doing an HDMI run from basement wall to ceiling drop 14' from the wall.
    No whole house audio or intercom: it's a $6k minimum upgrade, which is too much for me for that feature.
    Probably no security system: it's $35/mo for 3 yr min.
    no TV in the bathroom either ;)
     

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