Question New construction ethernet runs

tonyeezy

Honorable
Sep 3, 2014
19
0
10,510
0
Having a new construction home built and want to make sure I'm heading in the right direction with how I want it wired. The house is a 2 story colonial with ~1100 sq feet each level. Right now I have 1 ethernet running to all 4 bedrooms upstairs and 1 in the ceiling of the center of the upstairs and same with the downstairs. Everything will run back to the basement where I'll have the fiber connection coming in.

The idea is to have ethernet to all the rooms upstairs which could have PCs, other devices, etc. If I have multiple hardwired devices in 1 room I planned on just using a network switch. Should that be suitable or is it necessary to run more than 1 cable to each room? I see a lot of people recommending that but if I can just use a switch is it really a big deal? Downstairs the ceiling AP should handle all TVs, laptops, phones, etc.

I get 5 runs included and the builder is charging $125 for extra runs which seems extremely high from looking around but not sure if there's much I can do about that.
 

DeauteratedDog

Honorable
Dec 11, 2013
712
88
11,440
125
I think that $125 per drop is a very good price - I usually expect to pay ~$300 per drop, sometimes more.

I would add a drop for each TV/AV Equipment location too. Maybe one for your boiler/HVAC/utility room too. What about security cameras? With Ethernet hard wired to them you can use PoE cameras and not need to run power to them.

SO much cheaper/easier to do it while the walls are still open.
 

tonyeezy

Honorable
Sep 3, 2014
19
0
10,510
0
I think that $125 per drop is a very good price - I usually expect to pay ~$300 per drop, sometimes more.

I would add a drop for each TV/AV Equipment location too. Maybe one for your boiler/HVAC/utility room too. What about security cameras? With Ethernet hard wired to them you can use PoE cameras and not need to run power to them.

SO much cheaper/easier to do it while the walls are still open.
Thanks for the feedback. Ethernet drop to TV location you mean? The basement is where all the ethernet will run to and it's unfinished and open. So adding connections down there should be no issue. I've thought about cameras before and I'm not sure if or where I would want them. I do plan on using PoE for the APs, probably Ubiquiti APs.

I'm trying to make sure it's going to be Cat6a as well vs Cat5e. I think 6a can support 10gig over 100M. This way in the future in case I get multi gig etc I should be able to pull that in any of my rooms. I've had Verizon FIOS in my area for a long time now I'm guessing they'll eventually go multi gig at some point.
 

DeauteratedDog

Honorable
Dec 11, 2013
712
88
11,440
125
Thanks for the feedback. Ethernet drop to TV location you mean? The basement is where all the ethernet will run to and it's unfinished and open. So adding connections down there should be no issue. I've thought about cameras before and I'm not sure if or where I would want them. I do plan on using PoE for the APs, probably Ubiquiti APs.

I'm trying to make sure it's going to be Cat6a as well vs Cat5e. I think 6a can support 10gig over 100M. This way in the future in case I get multi gig etc I should be able to pull that in any of my rooms. I've had Verizon FIOS in my area for a long time now I'm guessing they'll eventually go multi gig at some point.
Yes, TV locations, but also to any 'stereo' equipment that isn't co-located with a TV, or any other media/entertainment equipment that might be high-bandwidth, but that I'm not thinking of.

Yes, for sure, Cat6a for new construction. And, yes - cat6a is 10Gbit/sec up to 100 meters.

I have observed that lots of ISPs are already provisioning 10 Gbit/sec capable hardware for their business customers, even if the business only wants 1 gig. So, I expect multi-gig home service to become pretty common before too long.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Thanks for the feedback. Ethernet drop to TV location you mean? The basement is where all the ethernet will run to and it's unfinished and open. So adding connections down there should be no issue. I've thought about cameras before and I'm not sure if or where I would want them. I do plan on using PoE for the APs, probably Ubiquiti APs.

I'm trying to make sure it's going to be Cat6a as well vs Cat5e. I think 6a can support 10gig over 100M. This way in the future in case I get multi gig etc I should be able to pull that in any of my rooms. I've had Verizon FIOS in my area for a long time now I'm guessing they'll eventually go multi gig at some point.
Cat5e is good for 1Gb. Cat6a is good for 10Gb. You don't have to worry about 100Mbit with Cat5e.
Cable locations: To every wall mounted TV point, just like coax. Two to every room. Cameras generally on mounted on the soffits. Above the front door, at the corners, over the drive way, inside the garage. I have 9 cameras on my house.
A single ceiling mount access point is not guaranteed to give you great WIFI. You want access points where there are devices. The living room/family room should have an AP. The master suite should have an AP. The kids rooms should have an AP. You probably want an outdoor unit to cover the patio/back yard/pool. All those APs need to be managed. You need to TURN DOWN the power on them so that the overlap is minimal. That is what will allow a device to roam from AP to AP.
I recommend Ubiquiti UniFI APs and managed switches. A large POE switch can power your APs and your cameras.
 
I am kinda surprised that they won't cut you a better deal on new construction. You can have ethernet run in existing houses for about that price for some simpler runs. When the walls are open with no drywall to cut you would think it would be cheaper.

In any case put in more than you think you will need. Especially in areas where you can't simply drill though from the attic or basement.

A year or two ago I would not have recommended cat6a because of the costs. Lately there is not a lot of extra costs. I think what is happening is the cat5e is getting more expensive because of the cost of the copper and the cat6a is not increasing as much so it all just costs more.

It will likely still be cheaper to run cat6a wire but use cat5e jacks and replace them when/if you need 10gbit.
 
Reactions: tonyeezy
Cat6a is harder to terminate correctly so unless you're absolutely sure you need 10Gbit in the future, I wouldn't run it everywhere and just run a conduit for pre-terminated fibre where you think you might need a 10Gb run.

Now that being said, I wouldn't let your contractor gouge you for the additional runs. I'd go to the site after hours and run your own wire where you want it since the walls are open and just have the contractor terminate their own runs and leave yours alone. Be sure to put boxes and run the wire to the boxes and they can put blank plates on them. Later on you can come back and terminate everything.

I would most definitely have more than one run to each location. Back in 1995 we ran 400Mhz rated wire in my parent's custom home. This predated the 5e standard and today we're able to get pretty decent gigabit over it. We also had multiple runs per room (at least 2x) and that was a good idea since some cables were damaged or not terminated correctly. This WILL happen with those idiot subcontractors that don't know the difference between a phone jack and an ethernet jack. Another reason to stay away from cat6a.

I would run 2x runs to each wall of each room, and run 2x rg6 coax while you're at it in the same locations. The main cost of all this is the wire if you're running it yourself. And the boxes are cheap (use double gang to have enough of a service loop), and so is your labor if you have a helper friend for the cost a meal or some beers.

My brother and I when we were in high school (my brother was actually in middle school) wired an entire hotel's cable and phone jacks, including the termination. When it was all said and done, 4x runs had shorted out on the then 'new' metal studs that were being used in commercial construction. The contractor ran those, but we saved a couple of thousand dollars with our own wire and some time. Took my brother and I, I believe a week between working on it after school and the weekend.
 

tonyeezy

Honorable
Sep 3, 2014
19
0
10,510
0
Cat5e is good for 1Gb. Cat6a is good for 10Gb. You don't have to worry about 100Mbit with Cat5e.
Cable locations: To every wall mounted TV point, just like coax. Two to every room. Cameras generally on mounted on the soffits. Above the front door, at the corners, over the drive way, inside the garage. I have 9 cameras on my house.
A single ceiling mount access point is not guaranteed to give you great WIFI. You want access points where there are devices. The living room/family room should have an AP. The master suite should have an AP. The kids rooms should have an AP. You probably want an outdoor unit to cover the patio/back yard/pool. All those APs need to be managed. You need to TURN DOWN the power on them so that the overlap is minimal. That is what will allow a device to roam from AP to AP.
I recommend Ubiquiti UniFI APs and managed switches. A large POE switch can power your APs and your cameras.
Was told that they run Cat6 instead of Cat6a. It seems the 10Gb support is up to 55 meters vs 100 with Cat6a. Should that be suitable? A bit unsure on where I would place cameras. Not sure if I still have time to place those they started siding already and electric is starting today. Will look into it. Might do front door/over garage.

For the APs I agree with you but I think with the setup of the house I think I can get away with one on each ceiling for both levels with how the layout of my house is. I'll attach the floor plans. I will have ethernet in every bedroom too and could add more APs.



The red Xs are where I plan to have the wireless APs. Blue X is where TV is going which I'd have just wireless right now. Every bedroom upstairs will have 1 ethernet.
 

tonyeezy

Honorable
Sep 3, 2014
19
0
10,510
0
I am kinda surprised that they won't cut you a better deal on new construction. You can have ethernet run in existing houses for about that price for some simpler runs. When the walls are open with no drywall to cut you would think it would be cheaper.

In any case put in more than you think you will need. Especially in areas where you can't simply drill though from the attic or basement.

A year or two ago I would not have recommended cat6a because of the costs. Lately there is not a lot of extra costs. I think what is happening is the cat5e is getting more expensive because of the cost of the copper and the cat6a is not increasing as much so it all just costs more.

It will likely still be cheaper to run cat6a wire but use cat5e jacks and replace them when/if you need 10gbit.
Yeah me too. They seem to be charging pretty standard prices even though all the walls are down lol. My builder said they are using Cat6, not Cat6a and said it would be much higher (shocker lol). I posted photos of my layout in another reply here but should I be okay with Cat6 cable hopefully not exceeding 55 meter runs to support 10Gb?
 

tonyeezy

Honorable
Sep 3, 2014
19
0
10,510
0
Cat6a is harder to terminate correctly so unless you're absolutely sure you need 10Gbit in the future, I wouldn't run it everywhere and just run a conduit for pre-terminated fibre where you think you might need a 10Gb run.

Now that being said, I wouldn't let your contractor gouge you for the additional runs. I'd go to the site after hours and run your own wire where you want it since the walls are open and just have the contractor terminate their own runs and leave yours alone. Be sure to put boxes and run the wire to the boxes and they can put blank plates on them. Later on you can come back and terminate everything.

I would most definitely have more than one run to each location. Back in 1995 we ran 400Mhz rated wire in my parent's custom home. This predated the 5e standard and today we're able to get pretty decent gigabit over it. We also had multiple runs per room (at least 2x) and that was a good idea since some cables were damaged or not terminated correctly. This WILL happen with those idiot subcontractors that don't know the difference between a phone jack and an ethernet jack. Another reason to stay away from cat6a.

I would run 2x runs to each wall of each room, and run 2x rg6 coax while you're at it in the same locations. The main cost of all this is the wire if you're running it yourself. And the boxes are cheap (use double gang to have enough of a service loop), and so is your labor if you have a helper friend for the cost a meal or some beers.

My brother and I when we were in high school (my brother was actually in middle school) wired an entire hotel's cable and phone jacks, including the termination. When it was all said and done, 4x runs had shorted out on the then 'new' metal studs that were being used in commercial construction. The contractor ran those, but we saved a couple of thousand dollars with our own wire and some time. Took my brother and I, I believe a week between working on it after school and the weekend.
Got ya. The builder told me they are using Cat6, not Cat6a. With the size of my house hopefully that wouldn't go over 55 meter runs to support 10Gb.

I'm very much considering this. My father in law is an electrician and has done this stuff before. I'm sure how it would work but I'd really like to go in and add more ethernet to each bedroom. They give me 5 locations which I picked each bedroom and a ceiling location on each level so I paid for 1 extra. I posted the floor plan layout for my wireless AP locations I plan on having.

So the reason for running more than 1 to each location is primarily in case of failure of the cables? I figured 1 would be suitable since I could just use a switch in each room and chances are I will just have 1 PC or device I want hardwired in rooms for now.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
So the reason for running more than 1 to each location is primarily in case of failure of the cables? I figured 1 would be suitable since I could just use a switch in each room and chances are I will just have 1 PC or device I want hardwired in rooms for now.
No, it is really because you never know what will be needed in the future. You might have something in room "A" that you want to run back to the central switch or have IP TV that requires independent hardware back at the central closet. Wire is cheap. It is the labor to run it that is expensive. Getting two wires run just provides flexibility.
 
Reactions: SamirD

tonyeezy

Honorable
Sep 3, 2014
19
0
10,510
0
It is hard to tell for sure from your pictures, but your two APs are almost above each other. I would move the bottom floor to one in the living room and one in the family room.
Yeah they are pretty close to being on top of each other. I'd say the top floor AP is more to the front of the house. I figured that AP should hit all bedrooms and master still. Downstairs is pretty open and up on the ceiling should hit the whole level. Did it in the center to avoid having to add another AP.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Will add the suggestion that you bear in mind the potential need for additional electrical outlets to power network devices (or other appliances) that may end up not being immediately close to an electrical outlet.

Get the additional outlets in place as well....
 
Got ya. The builder told me they are using Cat6, not Cat6a. With the size of my house hopefully that wouldn't go over 55 meter runs to support 10Gb.

I'm very much considering this. My father in law is an electrician and has done this stuff before. I'm sure how it would work but I'd really like to go in and add more ethernet to each bedroom. They give me 5 locations which I picked each bedroom and a ceiling location on each level so I paid for 1 extra. I posted the floor plan layout for my wireless AP locations I plan on having.

So the reason for running more than 1 to each location is primarily in case of failure of the cables? I figured 1 would be suitable since I could just use a switch in each room and chances are I will just have 1 PC or device I want hardwired in rooms for now.
Cat6 will be plenty--run conduit where you think you'll need 10G and then put in some fibre when the time comes. :D

I would definitely do it. I wish I could have done the runs at my parents house--certain things would have worked a lot better because I know the usage. Leaving that up to people who are running the cable isn't the best idea.

With your floorplan, I would anticipate needing 2x APs in the future as the frequencies get higher and walls create more interference. It is super-easy to do it now compared to later.

It's actually not just for failures, but comes in handy say if you want to put a router in a particular room--you can actually do this versus having to figure out a way to run a second connection to a particular room. Because we had a minimum of 2x in each room (some have more), we were able to move our router to the attic without an issue or put it in any room we want. It also makes it handy since if you just need 2x things like one hardwired one AP, you can do this without adding switches everywhere which become another point of failure. We still have switches all over the place, but that's because we've got computing gear all over the place after selling off businesses and bringing the equipment home.
 
Will add the suggestion that you bear in mind the potential need for additional electrical outlets to power network devices (or other appliances) that may end up not being immediately close to an electrical outlet.

Get the additional outlets in place as well....
Definitely think of specialty outlets like for the ceiling APs (even with poe), wall mounted televisions, etc. These tend to be a real pita later.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY