New construction - What to ask for OnQ is the installer

PAPutzback

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Phillip
I am building a new KB 2 story home with a basement. NExt week I talk with the OnQ contractor to order my jacks. I'm doing my best to get over the high expense they charge for running cable.

The standard setup I get is two cable jacks and two phone jacks. The cable gets run to the Mbdrm and family room. The phone jacks get run 1 to the kitchen and 1 to the MBdrm. For a measly 800 some bucks I get 4 more jacks of my choice and the network box installed where I want it. So I was going to add Ethernet jacks to the 4 bedrooms.

Then it is 100 bucks for each additional jack (cable, phoen, Cat5). So I was going to run cable to all the bedrooms 300 bucks and cat5 to the family room 100 bucks. And then have the box put in the basement where I eventaully plan to have my office and all the media hardware and the office will back up to the theater.

My question is is this two much. I imagine it is'nt. I'd prefer two cat5, and two cable outlets for all the rooms mentioned. But I am on a budget and would like to keep it under 1200. That doesn't include the 500 bucks to have surround sound - the speakers installed in the family room.

OR can I save some dollars by running the cables only to the locations I can not access via the basement and attic. I've run cat5 in my current house and cable and I know how much the wire and equipment and the amount of time it takes. Which is nowhere near 100 bucks a jack.

Ultimately I'd like speakers in all the rooms and setup whole house audio and video.

One person mentioned having them run a cable to the attic. But I can't see putting an 8 way splitter in my attic and getting a good signal off of that.

If anyone can suggest the core setup that will get me closest to being future proofed let me know. Or any other suggestions.

Thanks.
 

homthtr

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Steve
Best best for "future proofing" would be daul coax and dual cat5 to all locations. Except major equipment locations I would have 3 coax plus the dual cat5

All wires should run to your central distribution point in the basement next to where the rest of your services are. (electric circut break box area).

You should be looking at about $120 per location, including the trim plates and the Junction panel in the basement.

Additional charges for final connections, additional Phone, data, and cable amplifiers would be additional for the Junction panel.

If you want audio added to that figure about another $200 per room and about $500 for a surround room just for the prewire. That's not including speakers or equipment.

I'm just going on what we charge, depending on who you are working with and where you are located prices will vary.

Round figures 10 rooms Audio speakers and basic volume controls,with dual coax dual cat5 locations in each room, a surround room, antenna runs to the attic and antenna's, with speakers and volume controls in each room. Basement patch panel with all the proper modules installed and terminated to your services, and Network/Router setup.

I'd give you a rough estimate of about $10,000-$15,000 installed. Speakers and volume controls included.

That's just a rough estimate given the fact I don't know your blueprints, lengh of runs needed and basic speakers and volume controls. Start upgrading speakers and change volume controls to Keypads ( which require an additional cat5) and prices can go up fast.

typical job with 12 zones of audio and a surround room ( not a deticated home theater) Start to finish with all equipment and Mid grade speakers and Keypads could go $25,000-$40,000 Start to finish. Again Just a Rough estimate.

So the answer to your question.. No that's not too much...
 

drobbins

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Dave
WOW!
I am currently building a house also. My phone company installed 8 phone wires, 6 coax wires & 3 CAT5 wires for free. They are all run to a central point in the garage. I told them that I was going to run more CAT5 to the other rooms and they gave me 1000' of wire for free. They said that most of their troubles were from people using the wrong wires. I had them run all their wires first, and then ran my wires through all the holes that they already drilled. They did all the hard work! It only took me 1 hour to pull all the other wires myself. Now all the rooms except the bathrooms have a phone jack, CAT5 & coax. The only cost to me will be the cover plates and I will do the terminations. If you are somewhat handy, have them run only one wire to the least accessible locations, then you could pull the other wires yourself and save a few $100s
Why have 2 CAT5 and 2 coax per room? I could understand the living room that would be rearranged from time to time, but I don't see the other rooms layout changing that much.
 

Adam Gregorich

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2 cat5 per jack: 1 voice, 1 data
2coax per jack: 1 cable/sat 1 future (composite video, HD antenna, lots of other things).

In my bedrooms I put in 2 2x2 jacks that way if the bedroom is rearranged wires don't have to be run across the room.

You may want more cat 5 in some locations. Where I have A/V gear I put a minimum of 4: phone, data, audio, video. Plus extra coax as well.

You can never have too much wire!

On a side note I know $100/pull sounds like a lot, but the cost of copper has been going through the roof. less than a year ago a box of cat 5 was around $45. It is now $88. Dealer cost using quality materials to terminate a 2x2 plate using decora inserts is around $15, plusfor every jack you add in the house you have to add capacity in the panel, plus labor. Additionally some permits are based on the number of jacks as well. The $100 might seem like a lot, but the installer (if he is good and doing it right) isn't making much money off you, especially because KB is taking a cut too.
 

Adam Gregorich

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Philip-
This may sound crazy, but if you have a nice deck or patio put a cableTV jack outside. People always think I am nuts when I tell them this, but I have had several come back and tell me it was the best thing they did.
 

homthtr

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Steve
That's not uncommon Adam!... I'd say 20-30% of houses I've done have put one on the patio.... and lets not forget the coax and phone in the Garage... and Speakers!!! Can't be working on the car without music!... It's becoming the norm rather then the exception! (and the wife doesn't care what's going in the garage besides her car)
 

drobbins

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I thought you were talking about 2 data per room


I second the speakers in the garage. Here are a few other ideas I am doing:
  • Coax & outlet up on the wall where I plan on mounting the TV.That way I don't see these wires.
  • I ran wires from the location in the kitchen where my computer will be to my living room where my sound system will be. That way I can listen to my mp3 collection in the living room.
  • Intercom system
  • On the back deck I am planning on using low voltage lighting mounted under the railings. I had an electrician put a switch by the door to the outlet these will be plugged into.
  • I didn't put any lights right next to any outside door. They attract bugs that come into the house when the door is opened.
If you really want to go all out: http://www.hometheaternetwork.com/pics/Home_Theater_Network_large_Connection_diagram_1.jp g
 

PAPutzback

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Phillip
Holy cow. I hope to win the lottery between now and the wiring job. I think I'll do the 2x2 in the main rooms. Then 1Cat5 and 1 cable in the bedrooms. But if they let me run my own cable after they run run there's I'll be run 2 x2 everywhere and run cables to locations like the pation and such.
 

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