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Amerisat Prewire Guide
1. Home Audio
When we wire a home, this is where we will be the most aggressive. we’ve been known to wire in multiple rooms of free audio.
Most of the time, when you experience Home Audio, you want more of it. Showers, bathrooms, Covered Decks, Front Porch, Landscape Speakers, etc.
If you are going to spend any time at all in a room of the house, consider wiring it for Audio. We even have client’s prewire hallways and walkways for parties.
Don’t forget your Landscape Speakers
Landscape speakers are designed so that you can hear the volume as loudly as you want, but without disturbing the neighbors.
If you’re thinking about landscape speakers, you need to decide how many zones you may want and prewire accordingly.
We typically pull wire to a junction box at the side of the home. Later when the landscaping is finished, we use that as a connection point and run the rest of the wire outside.
3. Primary & Secondary Surround Sounds
Most people consider prewiring surround in their main media room or theater. You should also consider prewiring for Secondary Surrounds.
The goal here is simply to provide more volume in larger rooms where flatscreen TVs won’t have the speaker power to fill the room.
The applications are endless: Master, Covered Deck, Pool, Great Room, etc. If there’s a room where you could enjoy more sound, consider a soundbar or full surround.
You need to decide where to locate your receiver. You can ‘localize’ the receiver in the room where it will be used, but if you’re doing Video Distribution, you’ll want it in the Media Rack.
5. Surveillance Cameras
Surveillance Cameras should be prewired. A lot of clients ask about wireless cameras, but with few exceptions wireless cameras still need power.
If you’re going to run a cable for power anyway, it makes sense to run a Cat6. You can hardline it into the network, and send it power over the same wire.
7. Network & Wi-Fi
Hardwired Network – Wi-Fi is great, but you still want to hardwire into the network where you can. It’s best to hardwire TVs, and Video sources into the network. Likewise, Ethernet ports anywhere you may want a hardwired connection.
Wi-Fi Hotspots – I’ve learned that it’s best to leave yourself options for Wifi Hotspots. we usually prewire more locations than we believe we need. This gives me the option to move Hot Spots around later, and find the maximum coverage.
TVs – Traditionally you run an RG6/Coaxial cable to each TV for Satellite/Cable services. Smart TVs should be hardline into the home network, and preferably with a Cat6.
Projectors – We run flexible conduit to projectors wherever possible. When it’s not possible to run conduit, we run Cat6 and fiber to the projector. HDMI go bad or obsolete over time, and conduit allows you to change HDMI as needed.
Video Distribution – We wrote about prewiring for Video Distribution in detail here. What I’ll say here, is that even with all the cord-cutting, we still believe you should wire for Video Distribution.
A Quick word on FIBER and Conduit. There’s a case to be made for running Fiber and/or conduit. we don't believe it’s necessary for every home yet, but if you’re building your dream home or a home you plan to live in for the next 3-5 years, it’s time to seriously consider fiber.
4. Service Providers: Cable, Satellite, & Internet
Point of Demarcation (also called the Demarc) – This is a location on the exterior of the home where Cable, Phone, and Internet Service providers connect their services.
Satellite Prewire – A satellite prewire prevents the home from being ‘wrapped’ where the Satellite company staples wire around the side of your home. Sat Prewires, are usually run to a location in the soffit nearest the Satellite location.
Satellite Internet – Similar to the Satellite Prewire for TV, you can run wire to the attic or soffit if you plan to use Satellite Internet
Satellite Heaters – If you live in a colder climate, you can run a low voltage wire to power a heater that can melt snow off the satellite.
Service Providers can be very particular about the wire used for these applications. Some will even provide their cable for you to pull, and some even have approved lists of cable.
If you’re planning to prewire yourself, we highly recommend contacting your local service providers to verify their cable requirements for these applications.
6. Home Security
With Home Security, we like to prewire the keypads for power. This keeps the keypad installs clean and void of power adapters.
Beyond the keypads, you can reliably cover smaller homes with wireless sensors. Larger homes struggle with the wireless range and benefit from hardwired sensors.
Likewise, if you’re using iron or metal doors and windows, those can cause interference with the wireless signals. We take the security prewire on a case-by-case basis.
The first 7 items we wire standard in nearly every home. The items here are more optional and vary home-to-home. So, we group them in miscellaneous, but it doesn’t make them any less important.
iPad Mounts – Charging stations for your iPads are very popular.
Touchscreens – Systems like Control4, Savant, and Crestron have tablets that wall mount. We wire standard for these in common areas, and theaters, but you can wire them anywhere.
Intercom – Believe it or not intercoms are making a comeback, especially with Video Doorbells, and Touchscreens.
Voice Control – There are options for all the voice control solutions, Alexa, Josh.ai, Google, that allow you to mount a node to the wall, or ceiling for easy voice control. If you’re thinking about Voice Control, this may be worth considering for your home.
Video Doorbells – Have the electrician wire the doorbell the same way it’s always done. Then add a Cat6, and a 22/4 wire for good measure.
Fireplace – If you have a switched fireplace, you can run a 22/4 wire from the fireplace switch to your Smart Home Controller. This will allow you to control the Fireplace later.
Shades – Shades wire up differently from manufacturer to manufacturer, but we highly recommend wiring for shades, especially if you have large windows in a 2-story great room.