5 More Ways to Prewire Your Home


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)

Obviously you need to wire appropriately for your audio/video gear, but where else should you run your wires before the walls go up?

May. 30, 2009 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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.

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