January 12, 2020
A pre-wired or ‘connected’ home can support a wide range of technologies, including high-speed internet service, digital television, direct broadcast satellite service, local computer networks within the home, an efficient home office, home entertainment centres, environmental and energy management systems and home security networks.
Most new home builders include some pre-wiring in their homes, such as multiple cable TV and telephone outlets run in series. On request, builders can install more comprehensive pre-wiring to suit your communication and automation needs. While there are a number of different systems in the market, the telecommunications industry is rapidly moving towards a standardised home wiring system, with ‘minimum’ and ‘recommended’ wiring options. This system includes a service centre, or a central hub, where telecommunications services enter your home, and a network of dedicated conduits for high-performance cables and wires that distributes services to locations throughout your home.
When you are ready to buy your new home, sit down with your builder and discuss your pre-wiring needs. Here are some of the things you should consider before you make your final decisions.
- Think long term. Technologies will undoubtedly continue to change and improve. Your own needs may also grow and change with time. You want to make sure your system is flexible enough to accommodate future demands.
- Pre-wire and connect the entire house, not just selected rooms or areas. That way, you will be able to plug into your network of wires and cables from any room in the house, including the kitchen and the laundry.
- Personal computer use in the home is likely to increase in the future. Multiple outlets and high-speed internet connections throughout the house is key to easy use. An internal computer network can link everyone in the household and provide access to shared printers.
- Consider your entertainment needs. If you are planning a home entertainment centre, you’ll want to plan for speakers, outlets, cable and internet connections. You may want to be able to re-route a video from one television screen to another – great for the kids as they move from their play area to lunch in the kitchen, for instance. You may also want to pre-wire for sound throughout the house, with the ability to turn speakers on and off with a simple flick of a conveniently located switch.
- Think about personal security. What are your needs now? Are they likely to change in the future? It is easy to install wiring and motion sensors for doors and windows at the time of construction. Perhaps you want to incorporate a camera in the front door linked to your television, so you can see who is ringing your door bell without getting up. Or connect an alarm to the back door so you always know when it is opened. Or have a video camera in an upstairs bedroom for baby monitoring. The options are unlimited.
It makes sense to consider pre-wiring when you are buying a new home. Not only does it ensure that you’ll get the most out of your home, it could also pay off in the future by increasing your home’s resale value. Talk to your builder about pre-wiring options and possibilities.