Building & Wiring New House

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ramblinreck47

Active Member
Aug 3, 2019
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My wife and I have finally gotten to a point where we can buy a house near Athens, AL! With all our student loan debt gone, we're in position to build a new house. We've figured out a housing plan we love, but we need some help figuring out how to wire it all up. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Background:
  • Will be getting 1Gb/s AT&T Fiber
  • We don't plan to be in this house longer than 6 years but need to be prepared to stay here long term in case the market crashes
  • The homebuilder does CAT6 (I don't know if he does CAT6A, but I'll go with that if the price isn't too much higher)
  • Right now, he only does 2 drops...One at the Fireplace/TV in the Living Room and one in the Master Bedroom (RED SQUARES)
  • Adding a drop is $90 (what that entails I'm not sure)
  • I don't want to add optical fiber...I'd much rather have CAT6A where I can use POE
  • I'm thinking of going with 2 possible setups for router and AP's
    • Ubiquiti Setup
      • Ubiquiti Unifi Dream Machine Pro
      • Ubiquiti U6-Lite-US (BLUE CIRCLE on 1st Floor)
      • Ubiquiti U6-LR-US (BLUE CIRCLE on 2nd Floor)
      • Ubiquiti USW-24-POE
    • DIY Setup
      • 1U Pfsense Build
      • Ruckus R510 (BLUE CIRCLE on 1st Floor)
      • Ruckus R610 (BLUE CIRLCE on 2nd Floor)
      • MikroTik CRS328-24P-4S+RM
  • I want to have all the cables to lead back to either Bedroom #3 or Bedroom#4 (PURPLE STARS)
    • Whichever room they lead back to will be where my office and server rack is so I won't need an additional in-wall drop
  • I would like to have a drop point in every single bedroom and in the Game Room
    • My wife is hesitant about the additional cost, so that might not be possible; I still need to talk to the builder to see what can be donePossible Layout.png

    • Questions:
      • Is the $90/drop fair? Do you think I have any wiggle room to do it myself or help with the cost?
      • Is the bigger/more powerful AP on the 2nd Floor going to be enough coverage for the area beneath it on the 1st Floor?
      • Does it make sense to have a drop in every room?
      • Any anything I should ask the builder in particular?
 

Falloutboy

Member
Oct 23, 2011
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I don't know if that pricing is fair or not, does it include labour?, Termination of the Jack points, Testing? Securing the cable to the studs inside the walls? Also while I know you are building are you at the pre lining or post lining stage? How much cable will be required both vertically and horizontaly? What I can tell you is the one price I found for cable which seemed reasonable was Cat 6A at .83 per metre for lengths of 50 to 499 metres. Future proofing is always a good idea and I would suggest 6A if you can afford to do it. To many variables to be able to answer yes do it or no it's not cost effective with the info provided.
 
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Terry Wallace

PsyOps SysOp
Aug 13, 2018
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Couple of Items.
1.Think Long term.. the 90$ drops in the $100,000+ of the house being paid over XX years is miniscule compared to the costs of trying to run after the fact.
2. Bedroom 4 has a shallow closet. Bedroom 3 has more room for a decent office and rack.
3. A drop in each room is a good plan. I've lost track of how many people have run into "Neighbors all use same WIFI channels.. no bandwidth in garage on my laptop" The more things you can hardwire (TV,s Game systems, Etc.) the less stuff using your WIFI bandwidth.
4. Don't do fiber for the drops (very few GC's can do that right.. and the ones that do are very expensive)
5. Cat 6 or cat6a will both probably do 1 gig just fine for the distances involved. (regardless of what the advertising says)
6. You still want an in wall drop in bedroom 3. In 6 years when you want to sell the house.. Some tech savvy buyer will wonder why your desk has to be cabled across the floor to the closet. And trust me.. after awhile you'll want to close the closet some days for peace and quiet.
7. you may want to consider a few other style drops for newer things. Like the drop in Bedroom 4 could be mirrored into the Foyer.. why you ask.. maybe one day you'll have the "hallway mirror / video briefing / smart assistant right at the door as you walk in and out.
8. WIFI (lots of people will have opinions)… pick the solution that works best for you that your comfortable supporting.. Nothing worse than wife standing over you asking why she cant watch Netflix cause the Wi-Fi is down

Just my quick thoughts. After building a few.

p.s. Very important.. make sure there's a plug in the closet.. most closets don't have power and it looks crappy in a new house to run a heavy gauge extension cord under the closet door.

p.p.s Props for question. Questions with clearly labeled diagrams and goals are so much easier to answer than the "how do i make this better ?" kind.
 
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Rychek

New Member
Jul 28, 2020
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Between adding a addition onto my house and building an office space/visitors abode in my shop (both self wired), I can tell you this: if you think you need one drop/port, put in two!

One thing to consider on the AP upstairs: just because the AP can push a usable signal to a device downstairs does not mean the device can push a usable return signal to the AP upstairs.
 

cesmith9999

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Mar 26, 2013
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and put a drop or 2 in the garage. and a drop at the end of the kitchen counter next to the dinning room

I would want to know if you have storage space under the stairs in the garage. That is where I would put a (short) rack and network termination.

Chris
 

Terry Wallace

PsyOps SysOp
Aug 13, 2018
201
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Central Time Zone
a drop or 2 in the garage I agree with. And under stair space can be very useful.. How ever he did mention running servers and the under stairs space may get to hot/humid if its open to the garage.. but definitely a suggestion to evaluate.
 
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newabc

Active Member
Jan 20, 2019
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My idea on pfsense vs dream machine pro:

(1) If you want to use suricata as the IDS/IPS, both of them are using suricata. Dream machine doesn't need a rule subscription, but the IDS/IPS rules are only able to set as from level 1 to 5; pfsense can use snort rules on snort or suricata, non-subscription of snort rules from snort.org, will later than the subscription version for 1 month; but pfsense well categorized the snort rules and the user can select the rule sets by categories.

(2) Dream machine pro's cpu is a quad core 1.7ghz ARM cpu. It will be not so powerful to do IPS, VPN and deep packet inspection at the same time on 1Gbps up/down.

(3) pfsense's snort gui is only allow 1 process of snort(on Snort 2.9.x, that means a single process of snort will not check the packets over 200Mbps throughput.). Suricata is multi-thread. If you want to use Suricata on pfsense, don't use it together with ntopng that can make the ntopng coredumps monthly or less.
 
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newabc

Active Member
Jan 20, 2019
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By the way, if anyone considers fiber, on the fiber cable itself, without counting the transceivers, the single-mode and armored one (LC-LC) costs from a dollar/foot to a dollar/meter; the multi-mode armored one (LC-LC) will be less, but not so much.
 
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kapone

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May 23, 2015
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I'd put your server rack...in that little nook in the garage.

Possible Layout.png

Figure out a way to insulate/air/ac that little nook. That nook will be mostly useless, other than storage. Run all your drops there.

Your house isn't very big and every sq ft of interior space will count in the future. Oh, and server racks and servers are noisy... :) You'll keep pulling your hair out trying to make it quiet.
 

Spartacus

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2019
790
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Austin, TX
So not sure your square footage but I have a similar layout with just shy of 2700 sq ft, albeit the transition from the 2nd floor to the first is more open and yours has a few more walls. I'm currently using a Dream Machine Pro with a single UAP-AC-HD ~ ceiling mounted see red square on the pic (plus poe switches and such) with great wifi coverage for all my family's stuff.

So my first question is, why are you terminating to one of the spare bedrooms instead of the MBR closet?
Generally builders use that as the MDF for all of the coax, ethernet, and security runs including a pair from the exterior for your inbound ISP.
They usually install a recessed box with power and a cover behind one of the clothes rack spots for it all to terminate.

Second, figure out where your inbound is on your house, if its ATT gigapower it requires power for the fiber receiver (ours is a giant DC brick in our dining room, really annoying ~ yours likely would be in the garage or BR3)

Third, if you want additional runs (especially on the first floor), pay for them now, its not worth the headache of drywall patching and/or trying to trek through the attic. My MIL is building a house too, I think the cost for hers are $110 ea (but it includes a coax+eth drop combo).

Last drop in every room is up to you, do you have a bunch of stuff that needs wired in each room?
Kids with laptops/desktops for school? Game console, apple/android tv, wired tv, etc?
Think about where you're wanting to put things now and plan what you think might happen in the future accordingly.
 

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Mithril

Active Member
Sep 13, 2019
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So if it was me building, I'd opt for conduit runs, with enough ID to make it easy to pull more cables later (and make sure they leave pull lines in the conduit). I'd run everything to the garage if you plan on having any servers, OR plan on having 10GB+ fiber between the garage and where the "inside" runs go.


If you really really want to put the servers inside, look into sound insulation for the room, including not having the standard "barely there" interior door, and plan on the room with the servers being a "not normally for people room". Closet doors are not going to do much for the sound.

As far as what would sell better down the road, IMHO all runs going to the garage will sell better.

Also, don't forget about power! Not just for your network stuff but in general, often builders go with the "how many outlets can I get on this breaker before I violate code", and they rarely think about "how annoying will it be if this breaker trips?".
 

986box

Active Member
Oct 14, 2017
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Given you don’t have a basement or utility room, best is to have cable coming into the garage. Place the modem there. You can put the rest of the equipment in the garage or run 2 cat6/fiber to the location of the patch panel/switch.
 

ramblinreck47

Active Member
Aug 3, 2019
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Thanks to @Falloutboy @Terry Wallace @Rychek @cesmith9999 @newabc @kapone @klui @Spartacus @Mithril and @986box for the comments!

2/8 UPDATE after talking with Builder:
  • He's unsure if the electrician can do CAT6A over CAT6 and said he'd get back to me on the possibility and cost
  • He doesn't know if the Bedroom #3 Closet door can be changed to swing the opposite direction (out and instead of in)
    • I'm sure the server rack will be mostly out of the way but the door swinging out would be nice
  • The termination point has to be in the Master Bedroom Closet's wiring box
    • It's non-negotiable and set by the builder and not the electrician
    • I wasn't high on the suggestions here to put it in the garage but I really wanted to keep all my rack equipment together
  • Each drop costs a flat $90 and that comes with termination and testing
    • Two drops to the same point is $180...there's no combo pricing
  • The outer walls of the 2nd Floor are completely accessible from the attic
    • You can walk on plywood boards to get to most of the entire right side and step carefully to get the complete left side

With that new information, here's what I've come up with:
  • Since my wife wouldn't appreciate having my complete server rack in the Master Closet, I'm going to do a 6U wall rack with this Ubiquiti/Network equipment
    • BGW-320 Modem
    • 24 Port Keystone Patch Panel
    • Ubiquiti 24 Port POE Switch
    • Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro
    • CyberPower OR500LCDRM1U UPS
  • Bedroom #3 Closet will still contain my servers and main server rack but I'll have to add a Ubiquiti 8 Port Switch to save on lines being dropped in that location
    • This is okay to me because I can still do a direct 10Gb connection from one server to another because they're on the same rack
  • I'm going to pass on putting drop points in any rooms upstairs; I can always do it later if I want to because they're easy to get to and it's just dry wall and insulation in the way from drilling straight from inside to outside to feed the cable
  • I think a second U6-Lite-US will help with spreading the signal strength while not costing much more
    • 1 x U6-Lite-US in Bedroom #3
    • 1 x U6-Lite-US in Game Room
    • 1 x U6-LR-US in Living Room
  • I still want a drop point in the kitchen but my wife isn't high on it and I'm not going to fight that hard to get it
  • The Ubiquiti Design Center website is incredible and I know it's not 100% accurate (especially since it doesn't account for different floors) but it sure gives me an idea about AP placement

Am I missing anything that you think I should do with this new information? Will I get too much overlap or interaction with the AP in the Game Room being right above the AP in the Living Room? Should I go for an In-Wall AP instead for upstairs?

Possible Layout.pngScreen Shot 2021-02-08 at 9.52.53 PM.png
 

ramblinreck47

Active Member
Aug 3, 2019
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If it costs the same for 3/4-1" smurf tubing or conduit I would choose that and then I can run as many drops as I want.
I also forgot to mention that I asked him about putting in conduit. He said they only do it at the fireplace and won’t add it anywhere else. It’s not even an option.
 

newabc

Active Member
Jan 20, 2019
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A strange thing on the CloudKey gen 1: if all the snort rules are loaded, the alerts of a traffic from the cloudkey to a google cloud ip address will raise every few minutes. It doesn't mean it is hacked or hit by a rootkit/malware, but similar traffics should get notices.

But the problem is here, at least on pfSense and some other firewalls, if we use IDS/IPS on the same firewall, we cannot figure out which alert is caused by the firewall itself and not by the local private network. Except that there is a scheme to compare the alerts of the WAN port and LAN port(if we use LAN port with router-on-a-stick method and all the vlans on this port).

So if I am using UDM pro as the firewall/router, I will use independent unifi controller(for example, on Raspberry Pi or a VM on a hypervisor) or a cloudkey other than put all the things on UDM pro itself.
 

klui

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Feb 3, 2019
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I also forgot to mention that I asked him about putting in conduit. He said they only do it at the fireplace and won’t add it anywhere else. It’s not even an option.
But if they allow you to do it you should. Much easier when only the frames are up w/out drywall. You can choose conduit or just drops.
 
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EasyRhino

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Aug 6, 2019
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other smarter people have already chimed in, but...

have you considered multiple drops in some rooms? I'm thinking ceiling drops for ceiling mounted APs, "TV area" drops for things that may be entertainment systems, and "desk drops" near where offices (or server closets) may go.

Agree to try to figure out where AT&T will terminate. It can be unpredicable with the installer, but it's generally at the most convenient place for them near the exterior, and most inconvenient for everything else.

Also, where I'm at, AT&T already offers 5gig service. So consider that when spec'ing out equipment.
 
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