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$2500 to pre-wire house, worth it?


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39 replies to this topic

#1 of 40 OFFLINE   Frank.Ch

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Posted July 18 2004 - 03:25 PM

My friend is getting his house built, and the builder is offering to pre-wire the family room area for $2,500. I've never personally liked in-wall / in-ceiling speakers, and I think that is awfully expensive. My friend is leaning away from pre-wire. What do you guys think? Is $2,500 to pre-wire 6.1 too much? If looks didn't matter, are floor-standing speakers and externally mounted surrounds far superior to in-wall speakers in you opinion?

#2 of 40 OFFLINE   MikeNg

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Posted July 18 2004 - 03:35 PM

How big is the room (I.E is having speakers sitting around the room going to be an issue)? Will they pull other wire along with it (CAT5, coax, video, etc.)? I think that's a little steep for pulling just one room. If he's going to do it - I say do it right and pull wire for the whole house - whether he currently plans to use it or not. He can also see if the builder will allow a third party to do it, which may cost him substantially less plus he may get more out of it. IMO, it's considered an upgrade to the home and should be treated as such. And now would be the time to do it while the walls are open (I presume they still are!).

#3 of 40 OFFLINE   Greg-ST

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Posted July 18 2004 - 03:38 PM

Depending on the size of the room that seems pretty expensive. The wiring may not be for in-wall/in-ceiling speakers. He might put terminals in the wall where you can connect external speakers.

#4 of 40 OFFLINE   Robert Cowan

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Posted July 18 2004 - 04:25 PM

thats insane. tell the builder to go fu** himself. we do pre-wires, and are generally considered expensive (we are a higher end store), and we charge around $2k for a whole house (medium-sized), bigger ones can run up to $4k, but thats for the HOUSE. if we use premium wire (audioquest inwall), and do wiring for remote pads, etc... it can be more. but that is really insane.

#5 of 40 OFFLINE   Kenneth Harden

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Posted July 18 2004 - 04:41 PM

$2,500 is INSANE for a HT system like that! Figure, if the sheetrock is not up (I assume), it might take a few hours and MAYBE cost $50 for wire if they use really good stuff. $500 would be more like it.

#6 of 40 OFFLINE   Brad_See

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Posted July 18 2004 - 05:07 PM

ripoff. Tell him to do it himself before the walls go up. It's not hard. brad cook

#7 of 40 OFFLINE   Frank.Ch

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Posted July 18 2004 - 05:09 PM

Thanks for the replies. I don't have the dimensions of the room and specifics of the offer, but I felt $2,500 was way too high (it's more expensive than my Klipsch Synergy series sounds sytem with the Yamaha 5760 altogether!). Thanks for confirming that.

#8 of 40 OFFLINE   Joey_V

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Posted July 18 2004 - 09:25 PM

tell him to screw himself.

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#9 of 40 OFFLINE   DavidNighorn

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Posted July 19 2004 - 02:46 AM

Get a qualified HT installer to do the job before the walls are insulated. For $2,500 you should be able to do the entire house. Plus, a good installer will be aware of emerging technologies such as whole-home A/V distribution and can guide you toward an expandable system.

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#10 of 40 OFFLINE   gregD

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Posted July 19 2004 - 03:07 AM

I personally wouldn't pay $25 to pre-wire... I refuse to live with in-wall speakers... no wife, no WAF. But seriously... your friend really should take the opportunity to wire the house while in construction... it will add considerably to its value... include computer networking as well as AV, while you're at it... prohibitively expensive to do it later. Dunno if $2500 is a good value in your area... it will have much to do with how extensive your wiring needs are... at the very least get competitive bids from 3 or 4 subcontractors... your general contractor may not be the best source for this specialty work; they may well bid it out to those same subcontractors and mark it up considerably.

#11 of 40 OFFLINE   Lee Distad

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Posted July 19 2004 - 03:38 AM

I concur with the responses above. Up here $2500 will do a HUGE house for audio/video, and data. Did I mention that for us, that would be CANADIAN money? Also, never let your builder do it. Electricians are very good at what they do, which is wiring in your 120-220 grid. But most of them approach A/V wiring as an afterthought, and unless the homeowner is actively dictating his needs, they may or may not be passant on the latest and greatest in structured wiring. Not to shamelessly plug my industry, but for god's sake, get a specialist to do the pre-wire.

#12 of 40 OFFLINE   Richard Beckman

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Posted July 19 2004 - 04:23 AM

Outrageous! For that investment you should get everything you want in a structured wiring system for the whole house - including speakers in a couple of rooms.

#13 of 40 OFFLINE   Mike_Gr

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Posted July 19 2004 - 05:48 PM

Have you exhausted all networking efforts? Call all your friends and ask them if they know any electricians or maybe some do-it-yourselfers that know how to wire. Ask your co-workers. Call anybody you can think of. Odds are there is somebody out there that one of your friends/relatives/co-workers/etc. knows who can do that type of work and needs some extra cash. Start making phone calls. Nothing will save you more money than some aggresive networking.
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#14 of 40 OFFLINE   DorianBryant

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Posted July 20 2004 - 01:56 AM

If you have the interest, buy a book or access some DIY sites. It is very easy to do. $2,500 is way too much. They would be making huge profit. $2,500 is about what I paid for my audio equipment!

#15 of 40 OFFLINE   Jason Brent

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Posted July 20 2004 - 02:12 AM

I concur that it's too much $$ for just that room. But, definitely pre wire the WHOLE house. cat 5, rg6, and fiber at least. Wire is cheap, especially when taken in on new construction. There are some really cool whole house audio, and lighting controls from Vantage and OnQ, that if he/she wanted to integrate, the whole house pre wire would really help.

#16 of 40 OFFLINE   ChrisPATT

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Posted July 20 2004 - 03:03 AM

Is there any reason you can't do it yourself? When my house was being built, I was able to run the wire myself. I didn't do inwall speakers, just ran the wire and installed the terminals for external speakers. It was the first time I had ever done it, and it took me about 1 hour.

#17 of 40 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted July 20 2004 - 03:06 AM

This is essential. I wish I'd done it 8 years ago when I was having our place rewired. M.
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#18 of 40 OFFLINE   Brad_See

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Posted July 20 2004 - 04:12 AM

I think it's just as easy to go wireless. brad cook

#19 of 40 OFFLINE   Kwang Suh

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Posted July 20 2004 - 04:36 AM

$2500 is a total rip-off. I got some prewiring done (surround speakers, outside deck) for $180!!!

#20 of 40 OFFLINE   John Kilroy

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Posted July 20 2004 - 05:26 AM

I did all the wiring in our house before the drywall went up. It is not hard if you are keeping it simple. In addition, if you roll that $2500 into your 30-year mortgage, it ends up costing more like 10K for a day's work and a couple hundred feet of lamp cable in your walls. JK
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