With structured wiring being the lifeline of home network systems, it is important for dealers to as
Ask people what the most-impressive feature in their homes is and you’ll get different answers from each. For some, it’s the hardwood floors or Corian countertops; but increasingly, homeowners are responding that it’s the wiring system within the walls that’s their favorite attribute.
Structured wiring systems are designed specifically for uses such as home networks, high-speed Internet connections and internal video networks. Wiring systems are also surprisingly affordable. According to Parks Associates, the estimated value a structured wiring system adds to the home can be from $700 to $2,000. In 10 years, a home without such a system will be a substandard offering.
More homeowners are discovering the value of home networks. Today’s homebuyers are increasingly considering automated control of lighting, security systems, surveillance cameras and other amenities. As a result, each of these electronic additions requires a robust wiring system.
Cat-5 Wiring Allows for a Wide Range of Operations
The fastest communications take place over Cat-5 wiring. With this wiring behind the walls, a home can have up to four phone lines, and like businesses, homeowners can use the phone as an intercom for paging or to put callers on hold.
Additionally, Cat-5 wiring allows the homeowner to set up a basic home network. Rather than buying separate printers, scanners, Zip drives and other expensive equipment for each computer in the home, the homeowner can set up a home network to share a single printer or scanner.
Low-Voltage Wiring Precedes Drywall Process
An enclosure similar to the breaker box houses distribution modules that route telephone and video signals from outside the house to the various service locations throughout the home. High-end structured wiring and security systems are best installed by trained specialists who are aware of the special considerations necessary to ensure system integrity and performance.
Low-voltage wiring should be the last system installed before the drywall goes up in a new home. The cables are more easily routed than ventilation ducts and plumbing, and they should be run at least 12 inches from electrical lines. The distribution center should be located away from the electrical power circuit breakers. Some builders include a “wiring closet” near the center of the home.
In a basic wiring system, a single Cat-5 telecommunications cable and one RG6 coaxial video cable are run from the distribution center to each service outlet, commonly called jacks. Most basic packages allow for up to six outlet locations. An upgraded package will include more home-runs for service at more locations.
For minimal additional costs, a better solution is to run two Cat-5 and two RG6 coaxial cables to each location.
Fiber-Optic, Advanced Wiring Eliminates EMI
Some builders offer advanced wiring packages that may include fiber-optic cabling. Fiber-optic systems are ultra-high bandwidth, and when properly installed, can virtually eliminate electromagnetic interference (EMI).
The electronics necessary to take advantage of these capabilities are much more expensive than copper wire-based systems. However, all but the most demanding homeowners will find that traditional systems meet their needs.
Home Value, Flexibility Outweigh Wiring Costs
The benefits of installing structure wiring are clear; homeowners get more reliable, more efficient distribution of information and entertainment, and faster Internet access.
A properly wired house is more flexible, so, as you add capabilities or equipment, you are not limited by the wiring in the walls. Todd R. Regar is the director of marketing for OnQ Technologies Inc. in Middletown, Pa. He can be reached at (717) 702-2532, ext. 239, or email@example.com.
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