5 More Ways to Prewire Your Home
Obviously you need to wire appropriately for your audio/video gear, but where else should you run your wires before the walls go up?
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You never know when you might want to add an electric gate to your home. Make sure you’re wired for it! (Image from http://www.hoobly.com)
May 30, 2009 by Julie Jacobson

By now it may be a little obvious that you should prewire your home with lots of low-voltage cabling before the Sheetrock goes up.

In particular, experts recommend running Cat 5 (or better) cabling to each entertainment area in the house – and lots of it to A/V-intensive locales like the home’s media center.

Beyond the usual, where else should you run wiring before it’s too late.

Scott Fuelling of Memphis-based Phoenix Unequaled Home Entertainment recommends the following:

  • We prewire for drapery control systems. Depending on the manufacturer you select, there are some specific wiring types needed. We typically pull a special wire for Lutron motorized shades. We also run a 14/4 (speaker wire) and a Cat-5e to provide flexibility if the manufacturer is unknown at the time of the prewire.
  • Providing a quad RJ-45 Cat-5e jack for the master bed location allows for touchscreens, telephones, iPod docks and computers to be docked bedside. It’s also a great way to enable Bluetooth wireless headphones, allowing one person to watch and listen to the television without disturbing the other.
  • We provide a Cat-5e at every exterior entry location to the home. This can be used for a standard doorbell as well as door intercom call boxes, custom sound system interfaces, telephone system call boxes or any other type of annunciation system desired by the homeowner.
  • We typically “stub out” wiring in a weatherproof junction box allowing exterior speakers and control devices to be added to the landscaping as needed. Simply providing a 16/4 or 14/4 speaker wire along with several Cat-5e cables is useful in allowing additional exterior options in the future.
  • In case there is a home entrance gate in your future, “stub out” an appropriate location with multiple Cat-5e, RG-6 coax and two alarm contact wires. This wiring provides the ability for a call box, gate status monitoring, gate motor operation/control and security cameras. Additional wiring can be included to allow a driveway vehicle detection probe to be connected to the system for automatic annunciation when a visitor arrives at your home.

Want more tips for prewiring? Look for the “Ultimate Prewire” feature in the September issue of Electronic House magazine.

Follow Electronic House on Facebook and Twitter.


Julie Jacobson - Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

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