New Home Pre-Wiring
Vaughan Electronic Contractor
New Home Construction? Prewiring can save you a world of hassles and not to mention Money.
Don’t believe it when people tell you that everything will be wireless in a few years. The best way to integrate electronics into your home at any time is to install cables that are dedicated to the data transfer required, whether you are talking about audio, video, cameras, intercom or security. There is no one best way to pre-wire; it depends on what you want to allow for. This quick point-form guide tells you what to think about first when considering the pre-wiring of a project. Today’s homeowners expect their new homes to be fully integrated with the newest of technologies. Ensure that conduit piping and structure cabling (think of it as plumbing) is pre-wired when your home is under construction and is by far, the most effective way to plan for the future. It’s less expensive to pre-wire before drywalling then it will be for technology once the drywall is in place.
Remember that just because it is wired for it doesn’t mean you need to spring for the cost of all the electronics at the start. As long as the correct cables are in place before you close up the walls and ceilings, the house will be ready for electronic upgrades at any time in the future. What you want is to be able to easily access whatever cables may be required to meet future needs as they arise. You can never put in too much Cat 5e (or Cat 6, if you want to spend the little extra) and if you pre-wire with fibre optics, even without connections on the end, you’ll be up to speed for most of what’s coming.
What exactly should you prewire for?
Structured cabling means feeds for telephone, televisions and networking are home run from each room to a central hub (usually installed near the basement electrical panel). Service providers feeds for services are brought to a demarcation point, where the hub panel contains splitters, amplifiers and modems. With your cables clearly labelled, it’s a neat installation easy to access for future changes or troubleshooting. You need to make sure that you have adequate access from wherever you need it, and you don’t want routers sitting on your kitchen counter or on a dresser. Rather than having routers and other controllers sitting around, it’s nice to have everything easily accessible from a structured wiring panel. You can even install more than one panel for even greater convenience.
(Data-Cat5e/Cat6) is one of the first things people think about when they consider pre-wiring, and for good reason. The Internet is evolving toward becoming the main road in the delivery of entertainment. Wireless transmission works for short distances but to ensure enough bandwidth for future needs pre-wire a web of data cables from a central location, specifically to entertainment centers. Networks of Cat 5E, Cat 6 cables or fibre optics provide the capacity for future needs. Prewiring will help provide a strong foundation for your WI-FI connection through-out the entire home. By wiring for data, reliability and security are increased dramatically.
Pre-wire to suit the intercom you want. Some systems interface with multi-room audio, to mute the music when the intercom rings or play your sources through keypads. Others have proprietary cabling requirements. Cable runs from the doorbell locations to the central hub allow for a video intercom using your TV’s and phones. Add a wire run for an electric door latch.
The best protection is a monitored system including smoke and gas detectors. A variety of sensors are available, including flood, glass break, power outage, motion detectors. You can prewire entire security systems or, if you’re going wireless, just the keypads. (It’s nice to have access to a keypad with wireless systems, rather than needing to hunt for your smartphone A properly designed system goes beyond intrusion detection to interact with other systems to control basic operations, provide personal safety and future monitoring for independent living.
Increase your security even more with video surveillance. As with your security alarm system, you can either prewire the entire system or go wireless and prewire the power supply. With high resolution cameras, wiring is preferred choice.
Outside cameras provide a view from TV screen, computer and smartphones. Interior cameras let you check on your pet or see the house on your laptop when you’re away. Link cameras to your security system. Digital cameras provide better resolution and flexibility. Specific cabling is required by each so decide before you build.
Multi-room audio allows you to enjoy music and other audio content all over the house. You can prewire as many rooms as you like. You can pre-wire for surround sound, individual speakers, and Soundbar for home cinemas.
Consider your gardens, yards and drives when you pre-wire. Run conduit with speaker wire for rock speakers in the garden, or cables to include outdoor dimmable lights as part of your lighting system. Cat 5 cables to the front gate can be used in the future for a gate opener, intercom, video or automated lights.
Ethernet cables at every location where you’ll want a TV will keep your Smart TV connected to your favorite shows, movies, and other content.
This means you can put a satellite or cable receiver in each room, locate just one receiver centrally and distribute its output to each room, or connect your TV to the Internet to receive IP delivered content such as Netflix or Apple TV.
A lighting system responds to sensors, timers or push buttons and can control security, heating, and window coverings. Attractive keypads with programmable buttons multiple light switches. Pre-programmed buttons set lighting scenes for different moods. Different systems use different cabling so it’s best to decide on the system before prewiring.
Blinds or draperies powered by quiet motors can be tied into a lighting system, respond to light sensors, timers or a remote. In addition to addressing privacy issues they save energy by governing the sun’s access. Advance planning ensures that the necessary power and control wires will be in place at each window.
Home automation is changing the landscape. From smart doorbells to a centralized lighting system, many automation features require functions that are easier to assemble during a prewiring period. Not only does it save you time, but the products will have more efficiency as well.
Prewiring helps to prepare your home for the smart home technology of tomorrow. While you may be tempted to go all wireless in your new home. Wireless certainly has its place, but it just isn't as fast as wired connections.
Preparing for the future:
Installing conduits will save you both time and mess in the long run. Conduit prevents the need to tear out drywall for installing new types of cables that may be necessary for future technology. Using conduit allows you to run different cables at a later point in time. Such as TV Conduits and or Future Proof type Conduiting.
Why not wireless?
Wireless works great for some applications, such as printers, but itdoesn’t work very well with high-definition and ultra-high definition video and speakers. Video bandwidth is accelerating at a much faster pace than wireless capabilities.
Prewiring takes a lot of planning and consideration during the building process. Not sure where to start? Give us a call, we offer security systems, video surveillance and home automation systems that will make your life safer, more functional, and more enjoyable.