Many consumers give little thought to in-home wiring when they purchase a new home and assume that the builder will install whatever is needed for telephone and TV while the home is being built. Some builders will specify how many jacks or outlets they will provide to you and you can choose were they will be installed.
There are many more new home design issues when it comes to pre-wiring a new home and if you plan and install your wiring before the walls are finished, you will find it much easier than if you try to add wiring after the home is built. What other pre-wiring should a consumer consider when they are planning to pre-wire their home? There are several ways to approach this question. One is to consider what you will want while you are living in the home. Another approach is to consider re-sale value and install all possible wiring to make your home more attractive for future buyers!
A shopping list of potential pre-wiring considerations follows:
- TV Cable / Satellite TV solutions
- Telephone wiring
- Alarm system wiring
- Video system monitoring – front door, back door, etc
- Intercom to various rooms
- Music distribution to various parts of the home
- Local Area Networking (LAN) for computer communications
- Wireless Data in the home
- Amplification of Cellular/PCS signals in the home
- Home office wiring requirements
With so many possibilities you may want to consider hiring an expert to assist you as well as do some basic research concerning each area. We have included some general references through out this articles that you may refer to obtain addition information.
Some Useful Links:
Home Wiring Guide
Home Owner Solutions
Layout and Architecture
Installing all of your homes wiring during the initial construction is the ideal time to do it since all of the wires can be hidden and you can easily wire each and every room. Most people will want to hire an expert to install the cabling for you, however there are a few basic things that you need to know before you hire someone.
The basic layout and the architecture of the wring is very dependent on the home and the type of services that you will be planning to install. Of course if you are also planning for resale purposes, you will hopefully anticipate everyone’s needs. In the vast majority of homes, the electrical cables, TV cable, and Telephone cables all enter the home at the same place and this then becomes the natural location to become the hub for all of your connections.
Wiring for TV, Telephone, alarm wires, LAN etc can all be homed on this location and terminated on appropriate hardware for each service. For example, if you have placed a Cable TV connection in every bedroom, family room, den and even the kitchen, you can terminate all of the cables at this hub location and then using splitters connect all or some of the cables to the main service as you require the connections.
Whether you or the next person that owns the home need Cable TV in one or another room, you will be able to easily access the connections from this central site. Alarm panels, TV Cables, telephone wiring, video cables, intercom wiring, connections to your internal music distribution, LAN cables can all be routed and terminated at this central location.
Finally, all techies will appreciate a nice neat installation. Mounting all of your terminating gear on a 4 foot by 4 foot backboard and routing all cables in an organized manner will make your installation easy to use and easy to find the right cables. Label all cables with the location in the home were they are terminated.
Some useful links to check out
The Right Connections: Wiring Your New Home for the Net
New Home Wiring
Cable TV vs. Satellite
The market is pretty much divided between the traditional Cable TV companies and satellite companies. Regardless of which service you decide to use, you will still require an entrance cable into your home which either connects to either the Cable TV system or to your satellite dish located on the roof or some where outside you home. At the entrance point or hub location that we talked about earlier, you will then want to connect to any room. If you plan to use digital TV, or satellite, you will also have a set top box or digital receiver for each TV that you want to display digital TV channels. Bottom line is you still need to have a coax cable connected to every room that you might want to have a TV set.
If you also are using high-speed services from your cable company, a separate coax cable is required for this connection to wherever you have your computer located.
Useful Web Links
Home Networking: Understanding Coaxial Cable
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Telephone, Alarm, & Intercom Systems
Similar to cable TV systems, all telephone, alarm and intercom systems should home to a central hub location to allow interconnection as required. Larger homes and consumers with home offices may also want to have larger cables installed to accommodate multiple lines for private, business, fax, and 2 nd lines for the kids. By bringing all connections from every room back to a central location, you will be able to cross connect the incoming lines to the appropriate room in your home. Same goes for alarm systems and intercoms. Your alarm controller can be located at your hub location and then connected to all alarm points in your home using the wiring that has been installed. If you have your home alarm system monitored by an outside company, locating your controller at this central location will also simplify connecting to the telephone line for monitoring purposes.
Telephone wiring has been normally installed using category 3 wire, however with the introduction of data communications and in home computer systems, many builders are opting for Category 5 wiring.
Useful Web Links
Residential Telecommunications Wiring
Hardwired Security Systems
Wireless Home Communications and Networks
Many consumers are opting for wireless in home distribution systems for a number of reasons. Wireless LANs are very flexible allowing consumers to locate their computers anywhere in the home and connect to their high-speed connection located in a central location.
Wireless alarm systems are also available, which can be plugged into any electrical outlet and a wireless signal is transmitted to the controller indicating the state of the alarm at the location of the alarm trigger point.
There are also wireless music distribution systems that can be installed for customers as well, again with a central antenna.
The common denominator of all of these systems is electricity and if you have a power failure, nothing works. Your alarm is off, your computers, even if they are laptops cannot communicate etc.
Some consumers rely heavily on their cellular service for communications. In fact more and more people are using only their cell phone for communications and they do not have what is called a traditional land line. Consumers now can use their wireless phones to make calls, chat via msn etc. and send emails.
In some locations the cellular signal is sufficiently strong enough outside the home, yet too weak for wireless devices to work properly inside. There is a solution to this situation as well which requires wiring to be considered. Essentially a repeater can be provided that takes a signal received from outside on an outdoor antenna and connects to an indoor transmitter or repeater antenna by coax cable and then rebroadcasts a stronger amplified signal to guarantee improved cellular service.
Useful Web Links
Wired vs. Wireless Home networks
Indoor Wireless Coverage
Install Internet / Ethernet cabling in Your Home
Computer communications in new homes is becoming more and more important and most new home customers are selecting to go hardwired instead of wireless for reasons of security as well as throughput. If you intend to connect multiple computers, printers, routers and Ethernet hubs together, you may want to use Ethernet category 5 cable and install a cable to every room in your home were you may want to have a computer.
Usually this means the home office, all of the bedrooms and perhaps even the family room were you will have a game computer for the kids should have Ethernet or category 5 cable installed. Again these can all be run back to a central location and terminated so that connection and distribution is easily accomplished.
There is a great deal of information available on the Internet and we have included several links for your information. Customers who need these sorts of connections may want to hire a company to complete the installation in a professional manner properly designed to accommodate the latest technology.
Useful Web Links
Installing a home Ethernet
The theme of this newsletter has been focused on planning for new home wiring to accommodate current and future requirements for all communications requirements.
In summary, select a central location to terminate all of your wiring and bring all cables back to this location. Install a minimum 4 foot by 4 foot sheet to terminate and route all cables to the appropriate hardware that you will be using e.g. alarm panels etc. Mark each cable with the location were it is terminated e.g. bedroom#3 etc. Design for all future requirements. This will be a great selling feature for your home.
Finally utilize an installation company who has experience in designing and installing all wiring properly. For example a crimped or kinked coax cable will attenuate signals for both cable TV service, Satellite Service and high speed data over coax. Even category 5 cable, if not installed properly will not provide the same data throughput if not installed appropriately.
Remember that is much cheaper to install your wiring for all applications while your home is under construction compared to trying to do the same thing after your home is completed!
Thought For The Day
Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die. --G.K. Chesterton
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