PREWIRE AUSTIN TEXAS
“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.” ~Dale Carnegie
Pre-Wiring your Austin home is the most crucial step and we are here to help you get it as close to perfect as possible. There are a lot of considerations when it comes to "smart home wiring" and we have the patience and understanding to help you through it. Below you will find Simple AV's systematic approach to making sure your home is Future-Ready. Without a proper plan it is easy to overlook your "structured wiring" needs and will result in more costs and frustration. There is no short cut once the sheet-rock is up and painted. Below are the initial considerations and then we can discuss your homes unique pre-wire needs.
SMART HOME PREWIRE CONSIDERATIONS
WHO LIVES AT HOME?
The first step to a successful pre-wire is understanding who will be living in the home. Some families are minimalist's with out the need for a TV or speaker in every room while many others enjoy movies and music everywhere. Everyone's age is also considered, do you need a dedicated wire for a baby monitor in the nursery or a call button in the powder room for an elderly resident? Simple AV has years of experience and We look at every detail.
HOW MANY RESIDENTS?
In early 2020 many things changed and very few (if any) families were prepared with a robust network. Due to the pandemic home networks are now strained because we are
Spending more time at home.
Working from home
So knowing how many people and their bandwidth habits matter, and this has to include how they watch TV. It Can be through traditional cable, Satellite or streaming. It is very difficult for a WiFi network to keep up with multiple video streaming services. Add in home devices like a ring video doorbell, Nest thermostat or Sonos streaming music and your WiFi bandwidth really deteriorates. We know investing in a great network is difficult since you cant touch or taste it, but with out it nothing is reliable. You can expect Dropped calls, Netflix pausing, music server delay and slow web / social app experiences. You also lose the "energy" of what you were engaged in, having to restart Hulu in the middle of a great scene or getting cut off from a loved one long distance only adds to our frustration.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
With technology rapidly changing we look for the most flexible connectivity solutions emerging for tomorrow. A thorough pre-wire should be completed to satisfy needs over the next 10 - 20 - 30 years. In many homes today there are only high voltage electric cables, some obsolete RJ11 Telephone Jacks and hopefully an RG6 for your cable signal, that may be running up the exterior of your home. Simple AV suggests a minimum of two conduits that run from your lowest floor to the highest (basement to attic) for future wire runs. These should be accessible at the head - end (rack area) and an opposite point of the dwelling. These conduits should also be accessible on all floors via a closet or hidden panel. You should also take into consideration the value of a proper wiring job when selling your home, it will be an attractive selling feature to technologists.
DEPENDING ON WiFi
Everything that can be hard wired in the home should absolutely have its own dedicated wire. Counting on Wireless connectivity for WiFi enabled devices will cause an unnecessary strain on your entire WiFi Network. Overloading your WiFi Network due to a negligent smart home pre-wire will lead to lag, which results in poor audio and video experiences, especially for your video gamers'.
SMART HOME DEVICES PRE-WIRING GUIDE
TV Back Box
Today's Smart TV's have everything built in and extremely thin but to get it close to the wall as design you will need a back box. The back box allows for the TV power plug to be recessed . It also gives room for surge protectors, power conditioners and other TV accessories that can be hidden including small cable boxes. We recommend running two or three cat6 or cat7 cables, an rg6 and a twisted pair for IR connectivity. Remember to hard wire your TV to the home network and not use the WiFi option, you will thank us later.
In-Ceiling and In-Wall Speakers
Flush mount speakers or invisible speakers need wire and its important to pre-plan for these. How many and the exact location need to be determined. Using a pre-wire speaker bracket takes away all the guess work as pictured here. Origin Speaker brackets allow you to change the size of the speaker at anytime. Simple AV Recommends using at least a 16 gauge wire for these speakers but you may need a 14 or 12 gauge depending on the length of the run. If you were considering or were recommended volume control knobs please call us to discuss this older technology.
Many people over look the cable modem location or leave it to their cable service provider. A great pre-wire plan will keep this utility hidden but accessible. This is the device that brings intenet and cable into your home from the pole outside. The modem then connects to your TV and router.
As mentioned above your router receives a network signal from the modem and then "routes" it to other devices through your home. This creates a LAN (Local Area Network) enabling devices to communicate through cat5 / cat6 wires. The router is also responsible for your WiFi traffic with optional WAP's (Wireless Access Points) throughout your home.
WAP Wireless Access Point
Most routers are unable to cover your entire home and need a little help. You will need to pre-wire for WAP's with a Cat6 / Cat7 cable that connects to the router (or network switch). WAP's give you a stronger signal in the local area away from the router. Power is provided through the Ethernet cable as well.
Cable / Satellite boxes, media players and video games should all be hard wired as we have cautioned before. Remember, you can also hide smaller units in the back box behind the TV. Most of these units require a cat6 or cat7 connection that goes back to the router or network switch.
Home Theater Receiver
Pre-wiring for your home theater receiver is a task all in its own. Speaker wires, video signal wires, network cable and other signal wires need to be planned well ahead. We always recommend wiring for a 9.2 speaker system so you leave room to grow over the years. Dolby Atmos is still in its infancy and as we spend more time at home its probably better to prepared for easy upgrades.
There are plenty of outdoor cameras that connect via WiFi but pre-wiring for security cameras will save WiFi bandwidth for devices that do not have a direct copper wire connection. There are two typical wires used for cameras, cat6 / cat7 or coaxial with a twisted pair. Cameras that use POE (Power Over Ethernet) need a cat 6 / Cat 7 that will provide power, video and adio if available. The coaxial and twisted pair wire are used for powering the camera and video signal.
Window Sensors, Door Sensors, Water Sensors and other security sensors all play a critical part in your home security system and these should be pre-wired when building your home. The more wireless devices you have the more susceptible you are to hackers. You can learn more about our Austin Home Security Systems here.
You may have heard the buzz words, smart fridge, smart over or smart washer and dryer but they have not hit main stream yet. We recommend running a Cat 6 / Cat 7 cable to each appliance, its inexpensive enough now while your pre-wiring your home but once the kitchen or Landry room is complete it will be pretty costly to add those connections via copper wire.
Smart Home Keypads
Lighitng dimmers and switches are pre-wired by your electrician but smart home keypads / touch screens may need a Cat 6 / Cat 7 connection as well as 110v. We can help you understand the role of smart home keypads and touchscreens so you know where they should be located for optimal use. Learn more about Savant Systems Here.
Motorized shades are one of the most missed or underrated devices on the pre-wire schedule. Smart shades can be either 110v or low voltage but a majority of today's popular motorized shades are pre-wired with a cat 6 / cat 7 cable and a low voltage power wire. Even if you are not immediately looking for motorized window coverings its best to run the wire for future use because battery shades over time cost a lot more. Learn more about motorized shades here.
Have you ever walked out of your home in the morning and realized the holiday lights were left on all night? Simple AV can pre-wire for your holiday lights and put them on an automated schedule to turn on 30 minutes after sunset and turn off at midnight. This is done with Lutron lighting and can save you a lot of time, money and frustration.
Simple AV Provides Prewire Design and Installation In:
Bee Cave, Texas
Cedar Park, Texas
Lago Vista, Texas
Mustang Ridge, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Sunset Valley, Texas
West Lake Hills, Texas
Cedar Park, Texas
Liberty Hill, Texas
Round Rock, Texas