Are you building a new home, remodeling or adding a new room? If you are involved with new construction then prewiring is important to the success of your media room or home theater.
Prewiring is the process of wiring your room while the room is still in the stage of framing and prior to applying sheetrock to the walls.
Thinking Ahead for Your Media Room
Prewiring will provide concealment for your wiring and make your final audio and visual installation very cleanand “spaghetti” free. Trying to install wires after the walls are up is very difficult and in some cases near impossible. This drives the cost of wiring up significantly. It is important to think ahead and plan on prewiring your new home theater.
With prewiring, not only can you conceal the wiring, you can install boxes in the framing to later flush mount your TV and speakers. This makes for a super clean, beautiful final result in your media room. Flush mounts can also save space or prevent tripping over the speaker on the floor.
Also, consider home automation. You may want to add motorized curtains or blinds or utilize a smart pad that controls your TV as well as the temperature, security, lighting, and more. You may desire to have an in-wall iPad that controls everything and would need an in-wall docking station with charging supply. These are important things to consider when planning on your media room.
What Type of Wiring Do I Need?
The first question to ask is: “What devices will I have in my media room?” The wiring requirements of these devices will dictate what type of wiring you need to have installed in your media room.
However, considering technology constantly evolves and that wire is relatively cheap – one should consider pulling more wires than required. You may not be able to plan for a new technology that comes out in 10 years or more, but you should easily be able to plan for the next 5-10 years. Remember, it is easier to install the wiring now than later – so it’s ok to go a bit overboard.
Minimally, you should install the following types of wires:
- CAT6 wiring (for computers and networked devices)
- Electrical power – Most devices, even wireless require power.
- Speaker Cable
Coordinating with Your Builder
It is important to have a professional AV installer that has experience working with builders. Builders are often paid bonuses based on schedules and many feel that Do It Yourselfer’s just get in the way or cause problems that will waste their time. An incompetent or inexperienced installer could jeopardize the builder’s pocketbook – and that will result in problems.
Most wiring for a media room or home theater is low voltage, requires no license, and there are no stringent building codes to follow. However, electrical power requires a licensed electrician (EPIC AVI has a licensed electrician). Most builders will not work with unlicensed individuals.
Many builders will want to complete the work themselves, but at an extra charge. Though they are very competent builders, they are usually not audio / visual experts. Most do not understand the importance of speaker placement or the needs of the products that will be installed.
Prewiring is a cost effective, clean solution to your new media room or home theater. The results are visually pleasing and if planned properly can be flexible and adaptive in the future.
Additionally, contract a professional who understands media rooms and will make your builder feel comfortable and will not cause any problems with failing inspections.
Plan ahead, and enjoy later!
EPIC AVI installs media rooms and home theaters throughout Dallas / Ft. Worth. Located in Plano, TX, EPIC also provides home automation solutions, outdoor media and speakers, as well as commercial and business AV solutions – including conference room installation. EPIC proudly serves Southlake, Frisco, Plano, and more.