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What's the perfect Pre-wire?
Dean Roddey Wrote:Maybe we should move it to the How To section?

oh right, yeah, good idea.
Some of my devices: Sonos, Aeotec zWave, Nest, Rain8Net, Various H/T
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FYI, given the # of times this question comes up on various forums (avsforum, remotecentral, here, etc), its my intention to have that first post be repeated in all of them. I'll manually keep them in sync, and add whatever suggestions in any one to all of them.

If anyone has concerns with that approach, please let me know. My only goal is to make sure newbies get the information they need, in the forum that they prefer to frequent.
Some of my devices: Sonos, Aeotec zWave, Nest, Rain8Net, Various H/T
What's next: CQC-Voice, Brultech GEM
My vlogs:
For #22 - what about two cat5s

One mistake I made was only run 1 cat5 to keypad locations. I would recommend two if you think you might want to use a intercom.

I bought a russound intercom system which can use overhead speakers. It is logical to run the speaker wire past the nuvo keypad location because that is how it is done for systems that support 'dumb' volume controls. That made it the place to put the intercom keypads also. they need their own cat5
1) You should only need 22/4 for motions (I have 9 running on 22/4)
2) Same as above, 22/4 (mine= Gas-22/4; 3xCO2-22/4; 5xHeat-22-2) Heat sensors are a cimple contact closure, so they only require 2 wire.
5) Water sensors should be on 22/4; 2 for contact, 2 for power...they do have a very low power draw so Cat 5 would work, but 22/4 is cheaper.
11) Door access will depend on yoru system. 18/2 for all for power. Usually you have 5 wires, 2 to the lock, and 3 to the reader...some systems take 4 to the reader.
24) Some subs will have their own power, and require 1 or 2 RCA connections; you can use RG59 ro RG6 for this and crimp down RCA jacks, or use RCA keystones.
30) Run 3 to any place that will have a computer..might want to hook up a networked printer there. Also, run a BUNCH to your HT. I am using 4 there: Sage, LG BD player, Pioneer TV, and wireless access point.
31) Might want to consider a 22/2 to your touchscreens as well, to power speakers...depending on the touchscreen.
32) 18/2 to power the valve, 22/2 for the signal. Most valves will connect to a relay back at your panel.
40) I ran a Cat5 and Mic cable above 4 rooms that I woudl use this you said, if it ever works well.

In my experience, run more wire than you think you need. Yes, it will cost more at the outset, and you may never use some of it, but it is a PITA to run most wire after the fact.

Also, you should add wiring for garage door control...that is one button on the TS that gets used A LOT.
One thing I have done that's not mentioned. I have an above ground hot tube that needs a water change ever month. I have two valves one solenoid valve for input and one ball valve for gravity feed drainage.

I ran a 18/8 one pair for each valve and one pair to disable the hot tube while the water takes place and an extra pair.

One more thing I'm looking into but don't know what wiring is needing yet is an outdoor misting system. If anyone knows whats needed for a low pressure and(or) a high pressure system. The low pressure I think all that's needed is a a 18/2 for each valve but I'm not sure about the high pressure.
First, thanks to everyone here -- I've been reading all the old posts (including all 127 pages of your autobiography, Vivek Smile -- as well as many other sites around the net.

We've been planning the construction a new home for about two years -- almost started construction before our loan fell through as all the banks imploded in 2008. Now it looks like me might be close to getting our loan though a slightly reduced amount as the banks are being super-cautious.

So, if you'll permit a slight tangent... what's the perfect "pre-wire on a budget"? (Planning to be in this house forever basically, not worried about reselling it if that factors into your advice.)

The exterior is going to be insulated concrete forms so I definitely don't want to have to drill holes in 6" concrete walls. The two-story interior will be more accessible with a full basement and attic but still not having gypsum wallboard in the way is so much easier.

Where would you run wires now vs. just put in conduit for later? Where wouldn't you worry about it and just fish wires later?
I'll give my 2 cents. First, I'd run as much as possible now - I think that is a given. However, if you cannot run everything now due to budget concerns then this would be my priority:

1) Conduit between the basement and the attic. Runs several as large as you can make them. Also, if the central wiring location is not going to be in the basement, then you need to run lots of conduit from the basement or the attic to that spot (depends on which floor the location will be on).

2) All alarm wires. Reasoning - most of the wires are going to be run in exterior walls which are a real pain to run after the fact. Also, smoke detectors, PIRs, etc, etc, on the main floor will be really hard to run after the fact because those wires are located in between the two floors. If you wanted to cut corners, you could forgo the smoke detectors, PIRs, etc, etc, in the basement and upper floor since you will have relatively easy access via the conduit.

3) Any other wire located in the exterior walls. This might be for exterior CCTV, PIRs, sirens, etc, but also wiring for the interior that are located inside exterior walls such as contacts, lights, network/phone, video, etc. Again, these wires will be a real pain to run in the future.

4) Wires (cat5e, coaxial, component, etc) to all locations on the floor farthest from the central wiring location. In other words, if the central wiring location is going to be in the basement or the 1st main level, then run the wires for the upper floor during construction. If the central wiring location is going to be on the upper living floor, then run all the wires for the basement and main living floor during construction.

5) Wires for locations on the same floor as the central wiring location. These wires will be the easiest to retro fit, so they should be the last ones you install.

So there is my generic priority list.

"Really dear, it was too good of a deal to pass up. Besides, look at what it does now...."
I think my wife is getting a little tired of hearing this :-)
If you haven't seen it yet, go and take a look at the Wiring your House 101 on

Another helpful link there:

How to install a security system:

My two cents: I woudl try to worry little about budget for wiring now, as you will pay a lot more in time later. Put off getting the new TV, or something else, so that you can pull as much wire as you will ever need. It will be worth it later!
Sorry Apu, just noticed your post. Life has been crazy nuts, and my boss just got a gigantic promotion out of our division today so it's about to get even nuttier.

sic0048 had a pretty good response. Spend literally as much as you can on the pre-wire now; i guarantee that you won't regret anything except "didn't run as much to this room as I needed". But if you ran too much to another room nearby, all is not lost. If you don't have enough per floor, you're really screwed.

I personally have something like 120 runs in a 1600sqft house. If I was buying a 2500 sqft house, I'd make sure I had at least that many, ideally a lot more to have contingency.
Some of my devices: Sonos, Aeotec zWave, Nest, Rain8Net, Various H/T
What's next: CQC-Voice, Brultech GEM
My vlogs:
One of the problems with pre-wire with only wire is that many folks don't move in and move on in a few years, therefore, room layout and use can change thus requiring changes in wiring. When I started my retro wiring project, I replaced a single phone wire in select places with 3 Cat5 on opposing walls in most living spaces. I replaced antenna wiring with RG6 in those same wallplates. To date, that has served most functions well. The same approach did not work near as well when I put on an addition. This is primarily because the lack dropped ceiling and attic access have left me making due with what I had. While I'm the type that doesn't consider wireless equal to wired, wireless has filled some of those voids. Just to give you an idea how I thought, I even pulled Cat5 and RG6 to the master bath and garage.

In the long run, I'm a firm believer that pulling every kind of wire you need is not possible therefore, I believe you're best bet is to provide access in some fashion for future pulls. The only exclusion to this would be security wiring where the windows just don't move or change function. Conduit, conduit, conduit.


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