Making a house "future proof" during a renovation

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by 230K, May 23, 2009.

  1. 230K

    230K MB Enthusiast

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    Hi

    I am renovating an old house and have put in new sewers, subfloors, new plumbing, Insulating & Dry lining some of the exterior solid brick walls, new windows & doors, wiring alteration and was wanting to future proof it as much as possible.

    At present i am thinking co-axial, Cat 5 and telephone cable to each habitable room all going back to the study/office.

    My very basic wants are kids being able to print to a central printer, internet in each bedroom and living rooms and television in each room with telephone in each room. Would like to be able to call kids for dinner on internal phone its a big house!!!!! Thinking maybe Sonus in a few rooms too

    Anybody know anything about this????

    Help appreciated, would be nice to have cables there whilst its easy and plumber has boards lifted in each room and house is empty. Anyone know of simple heating controls house will be split into 4 heating zones. Want it simple!!!!!


    230k
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
  2. WLeg

    WLeg MB Enthusiast

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    Cat 6 (at least 2 cables per room, in separate runs to the power), decent quality co-axial, lots of power sockets. HDMI if you're feeling rich, otherwise RGB to a central point.

    Put power in the loft as well, and some Cat 6 (wireless transmitter), the co-axial should also go here, or to a central distribution board. Make sure your arial amp will feed all rooms, with spare capacity, and also be able to take a SD sky feed, CCTV feed and maybe door entry system. With the co-axial, put in 2 per room, as this is necessary for sky HD/Sky+ back to the distribution board. Stick on the roof a decent sat dish, with an 8-way LNB, cabled back down to the co-axial distribution board.

    Pre-wire all windows and doors for alarm.

    Cry when you realise you have spent £1k on wire. Sonus needs certified installers (I think). Upgrade the mains feed to the house from the street......
     
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  3. Benzowner

    Benzowner MB Enthusiast

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    Now try and think back if you were asking this question say 10 years ago, how out of date would your system be now? Just a thought.
     
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  4. WLeg

    WLeg MB Enthusiast

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    look on flea-bay for a small office PABX system, or go with a Voip one..... (we use VoiP)
     
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  5. fyonn

    fyonn Active Member

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    not that out of date.

    well, 10 years ago cat5 and coax would have been good ideas then, and still now. okay now you might as well do cat6, but cat5 is perfectly serviceable.

    10 years ago, you might have also wired in component video rather than something digital, but component is still good, if not as good as HDMI can be.

    I wouldn't worry about it, wire in the best that's available now and it should give years, of great use, and another decade or so of serviceable use.

    of course, the wise man might build in cable ducts so that the cabling can be changed in the future if required...

    dave
     
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  6. A-AvantGarde

    A-AvantGarde MB Enthusiast

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    I've always thought that would make perfect sense, especially in new builds. Surprised that it doesn't seem to be done. When I get the chance to self build it's on my wish list. It's a pain to retro-fit wiring especially to have it hidden...
     
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  7. Will

    Will Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    As is normally the case when building/renovating houses for profit, watch the pennies - they add up to thousands in the end!!

    Will
     
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  8. Meldrew2

    Meldrew2 MB Enthusiast

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    I would bury some 25mm pvc conduit (very cheap from any electrical wholesaler) in runs from the loft to a 2 gang steel pattress box at a strategic point in each room. A blank plate finishes the job... materials cost about £2 total per run.

    While it would need sinking into the blockwork of the walls before plastering, it's only a few hours with an SDS drill & chisel bits. Anything you need to add in the future can run down the conduit.

    Trust me, I'm a (retired) sparky.
     
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  9. MrT

    MrT Active Member

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    Very good advice. Always thought it would be good to have hollow skirting boards too so you can run cables around the same room easily... :)
     
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  10. RoseTattoo

    RoseTattoo Active Member

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    and in the blank cable duct would it be wise to have some light cables to use as pull-throughs for any new type cable that might come along?
     
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  11. EDZ649

    EDZ649 MB Enthusiast

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    I wouldn't pre-wire all windows and doors for an alarm, just pre-wire each room and the garage for a passive detector, the main entry/exit door for a contact and a remote keypad in you main bedroom. Window and door contacts can be used downstairs if you have pets of course. Don't forget mains smoke alarms connected to the alarm system, saves mucking about changing batteries all the time and stops it being forgotten.

    You could always add a dialer to the system too, rings your mobile when the alarm is activated or go the whole hog and have it monitored!
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2009
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  12. Meldrew2

    Meldrew2 MB Enthusiast

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    They are made... "skirting trunking"... but at about £3-£5 a metre they are much dearer than softwood skirting.

    Mainly used for office installations... they have 3 compartments, for power, data and telecomms.

    It would be a nice idea to fit them, but price is a factor on most builds. The conduit I mentioned is "cheap as chips" by comparison. :thumb:
     
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  13. Piff

    Piff MB Enthusiast

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    For coax cable, use the best with the foam core rather than the open cell type. We found we needed 5 runs to the main tv - 2 for sky+, 1 for analogue tv, 1 for return to distribution position & 1 for new tv which has freesat built in
    For network cabling, again you need more points than you think. I recently discovered for some av applications 2 x cat 5 is needed. Again at my lounge tv I only have 2 points which are used for new tv & kids x-box. If i want to use network for av I need more points.
    If you are able to do the work yourself, extra points (coax, network, power) are cheap. Best to put in as many as you can to allow her indoors to change her mind on furniture positions!!!
    As an aside, with lighting, many of my rooms have dimmer switches which aren't compatible with low energy lighting. I saw in a weekend paper that "candle" & "golf ball" bulbs are to be phased out soon. Consider your lighting scheme to suit low energy bulbs.

    edit: probably the best possible future proofing is some sort of trunking/conduit system so you can update with minimum disturbance in the future
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
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  14. clk_greg

    clk_greg Member

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    How is the house heated?
     
  15. crockers

    crockers MB Enthusiast

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    Why wire for central printer etc ? Surely this can be covered by Wifi...As for telephones - a good system - say B&O and again no pre-wiring needed.
     
  16. mapleleaf

    mapleleaf MB Enthusiast

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    Just my two penneth .. For whole house audio Sonos ( Sonos - Home) is definately the way forward - I have it in my place and its a breeze to install - anyone can do it as there is no need for specialist installers .

    I have a combination of hardwired networked units and wireless ones - it works flawlessley all wirelss but if you wire a couple using cat 5/6 then the units have spare ports into which you can connect any other non wireless network device. I also added a ripserver to my system to burn & store my entire cd collection. add to that a napster subscription and you have unlimited music choices for every occasion.

    I have most of my sonos amps on a shelf in the basement / mechanical room where I also have my central AV feeds, I have a zone bridge connected to the internet upstairs in my study. I have installed in-wall & in-ceiling speakers in most rooms ie Dining room, living room, master bedroom & just for the hell of it the master ensuite as well ( piggy backed from the main bedroom speakers as each amp can run 2 pairs of speakers in paralell) , basement bedroom, basement recreation / excercise area, outside patio, Kitchen, Kitchen dining area and I have a ZP90 preamp connected to my bose system in the family room. I have three wireless controllers - 1 for each floor.

    Its not a cheap system but its so flexible and easly to install and so easy to set up & use - its well worth it- you dont have to home run the speaker wires - you can have a sonos amp & decicated speakers in each room which actually makes the networking between units & the range much better especially in a large house. I bought 3 additional sonos amps and a controller off ebay.

    I'm a total Sonos addict and the best thing is my wife loves it too & knows how to work it all - belive me if she didnt like it it would not be in place !

    one nil to boys toys !
     
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  17. OP
    OP
    230K

    230K MB Enthusiast

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    Oil system being installed at the minute, 39 rads and 240,000Btu Condensing boiler.

    Thanks,

    230K
     
  18. OP
    OP
    230K

    230K MB Enthusiast

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    Hi

    Wifi will struggle to cover the whole house i think, and any time i have seen multiple boxes they seem to give problems???

    230K
     
  19. MrT

    MrT Active Member

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    I have more than one WiFi point, although not just for coverage - one for N speed and the other just G for the older devices that don't support N. Essential to have a good base of ethernet through the building as well though as I have to use mains ethernet to link my WiFi/AV/network switches to the main router.
     
  20. clk_greg

    clk_greg Member

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    Huh, big system!

    Did you look at AC/Climate?
     

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