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We are building a house and it is time to have the wiring done, do we want the house wired for CAT5???

It is time to have our home wired we have decided on the surround sound, TV cable-but we have been asked about CAT 5 wire??? I'm not sure what all this entails -- we have been told different things by a couple different people-- you can use this for home phone, internet, and other things. Can someone tell me how this works?

6 Replies

tipafo (author)2009-07-17

As someone in the trade, I would say, yes. Cat5E cabling isn't terribly expensive, and one box is enough for a modest house with a finished basement. Running the cable is uncomplicated, and the difficulty is largely in the route taken; framing, trussing, plumbing lines, ducting, etc, can sometimes limit the paths, but there is usually a way around. For Low-Voltage cabling (like Phone and Ethernet), stay at least 12 inches away from regular electrical cables, to avoid possible interference. First, note each Network and/or Phone location on the stud, and nail up a plastic Low-Voltage "box" (it's more of a square ring with nails; regular plastic electrical boxes are fine, too.). Next, find a central location in the house for the router and other connections; a utility room or unused corner of the basement is good. From this central location ("hub") run your cable(s) to each separate location where you would like Networking or Phone. (If you want the possibly of both hardwired Network and Phone, just run an extra Cat5E cable, and mark one of them with tape or a knot, etc. at each end.) It's also a good idea to run a Cat5E cable from your incoming telephone service to the central hub location, in case you want to share internet access (DSL, etc.) over the network. Gather all the cables in the hub location together. At each room location, fix each cable in place in the center of the stud, with staples, etc. If you'd like TV outlets, you can run RG6 coaxial cable along with the Cat5E, or to separate locations in the house. Use the same hub location for your coax splitter. Also, if you have Cable Internet service, you'll want to run a coax from your hub location to where the cable service enters the house. (Phone and Cable often enter new houses at the same location, and possibly near the Electrical meter.) When you're ready to install the Network, you'll need a router with enough ports for all of your locations, and proper connectors/covers for your type of application.

orksecurity (author)2009-06-03

Whether or not you put in cat5 now, make sure that you build in some wiring channels running from basement to attic -- PVC pipe, or an opening with a pull tape left in it to act as a preinstalled wire snake, or something of that sort. Any room on the top floor can be wired from the attic; any room on the ground floor can be wired from the basement -- so this simple bit of preparation ensures that, should the need arise, you will be able to run wires from any room to any room fairly easily. Cat5 wire can also be used as telephone wire, should you need to run another phone line somewhere. I've gone mostly wireless, with hardwired network drops only in the study. 802.11g is arguably faster than my broadband connection. If I really needed faster connections between machines at home, I'd certainly run cat5 -- but I'd do it because I wanted it for myself, not because I had any expectation that it would pay for itself if/when I sold the place.

paganwonder (author)2009-06-03

If it fits in the budget I would put it in- if you don't use it now you may want it later- retro-fitting later is expensive and problematic.

gmxx (author)2009-06-03

i would say that wiring for cat5 would be worth it. it will handle sending internet, voice over ip, video over ip, some home automation hardware, and can even be used to wire cross house DIY projects if you wire an adapter.

ry25920 (author)2009-06-03

Well, NachoMahma is right. Networking your house will raise it's value, but do you really know how? I just want internet, wireless is the way to go. If you have some skill, some time, and effort, do it.

NachoMahma (author)2009-06-03

. Cat5 cable is commonly called Ethernet cable and is for networking. Think of it as your own little Internet. If your home network is connected to the Internet, you will have access where you have cables and can use VoIP (eg, Vonage). . Whether it's worthwhile or not depends on whether or not you need a networked home. It might increase the resale value of the house.