Building & Wiring New House

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dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
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I'd put your server rack...in that little nook in the garage.

View attachment 17411

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.
Garage might get too hot in summer time for the HW, no?
 

Rand__

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2014
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Given that the OP was from Feb '21 I hope this was built in the meantime;)
But maybe @ramblinreck47 can provide feedback how well it went with his plan and whether he would do anything different in retrospective;)
 
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coxhaus

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Jul 7, 2020
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I am using pfsense on a low wattage Dell small form factor with a 35 watt cpu, i3-6100T. I think the high clocking rate is key to pfsense. I am running a Cisco small business L3 switch with POE+ and 3 Cisco 150ax APs. It runs well. I added an AP to my wife's sewing room because she spends lots of time there and the signal was degrading going through 2 walls. 5GHz kind of degrades after passing through walls. I recommend an AP in all heavily used rooms. I think it works much better that way.

Windows 11 works much better with WiFi 6 than Windows 10. I now have 9 ax devices on my network and growing.
You can add a 10gig NIC to the Dell pfsense PC if you want to. I had it set up that way for a while, but the heat and fans on the 10 gig switch are a little bit noisy. AT&T is within blocks of me but I still cannot get the higher internet speeds, so I see no reason to run it that way.
 
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ziggygt

Member
Jul 23, 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 doneView attachment 17397

    • 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?
Use the "keystone" style jacks. What Is a Keystone Jack? (cablematters.com) They come with a plastic punch down tool. If you are not color blind they are easy to connect. You can test with this tool.
Amazon.com: iMBAPrice - RJ45 Network Cable Tester for Lan Phone RJ45/RJ11/RJ12/CAT5/CAT6/CAT7 UTP Wire Test Tool : Industrial & Scientific

Amazon.com: CableCreation Cat6 Keystone Jack RJ45 Keystone Jack, 20-Pack Keystone Cat6 Modular Female Connectors UL Listed, White : Electronics

Amazon.com: trueCABLE 3 Port Single Gang Keystone Wall Plate, UL Listed, Low Profile Design, Universally Compatible with Modular Ethernet, A/V, Coaxial, and Optical Fiber Keystones, 5 Pack, White : Electronics

When I built a house 20 years ago I used Cat5e and it handles 1Gb/s perfectly. I installed them in every room and in laundry room and a couple of closets. I installed a switch on each end of the house. All jacks are tied to the switches on each end, those tied to a central switch that my servers are tied to. My builder agreed to drywall around any boxes I installed (for free), and I could do the low voltage wiring as long as it did not delay the building inspection. A blue plastic box is $1, You can buy the keystone connectors in bulk, so this can be done very cost effectively. Local fire inspector would not let me have a cable run that was not caulked shut between floors. I had stuff the wire runs full on insulation but that was not good enough. they had to be caulked. There is no way to run an extra wire later. Where my server was located, I could not have room for expansion. Later I added 10Gb/s fiber but it took me a long time get the courage to drill a new run. My suggestion is put in a central vac run to your probable server locations. You can bluff that that if for future vac addition to appease the inspector. Somehow a pipe for a central vac is OK with the inspector, but a wire run is not allowed. The central vac is easily repurposed for a cable run.
My builder had some of the bedroom light switches in bizzarro places and in rooms without overhead lights there were not enough switched outlets. You don't want a lot of extension cords. You should be able to review the blueprints to see where the electrical outlets and switches are. It will also show which outlets are switched. You can then layout where the hardware will be. Make sure you have power. The builder asked for $10 for every additional electrical outlet. Inflation will put that higher.

I installed now useless RF and a phone lines. My multi room speakers/intercom is Alexa wireless devices. I ran speaker wires to many spots as well that I have gotten good use. I have 7.1 Stereo in the living room and in the basement rec room. All the speaker wires feed to a terminal strip so the speakers can be reconfigured easily. This was handy when the TV screen grew and the wall the entertainment center was on had to change. In some rooms I suggest installing multiple Cat6 of cat5e wires. There are balun designs that allow video or other signals all over the Cat5e wiring. With 2.5Gb/s wires and future proofing perhaps Cat6 is best, but it is more expensive and harder to deal with than Cat5e IMO.

On thing I wish I had done was switched, under the eaves outside power for Christmas lights. If you want outside power make sure to have it run before concrete deck or sidewalks are poured. I put PVC pipe under the sidewalks. Later I ran power in them and a hose for irrigation of flower beds.
 

piranha32

Active Member
Mar 4, 2023
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I used tool-less CAT6 keystone jacks for my network (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KM75W67/, they were much cheaper back then). Most of them I could mount without using any tools, and pliers were helpful on the stubborn ones. For fiber I used these couplers: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B5AG0TI/
I also ran coax cables between patch panels in the server room in the basement and the distribution panel in the attic, and I use them for various antennas to deliver signal to receivers in the rack cabinet (75 and 50ohm, for GPS, 433MHz for sensors, ADS-B, OTA TV through networked receiver, etc).
 
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ziggygt

Member
Jul 23, 2019
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I recently installed some patch panels using a keystone with both in and out RJ45. I found installing the RJ45 jacks on the cable was easier than the punch down tools. I had a few I messed up on but my skills improved. I needed a RJ45 crimp tool to make the patch cables anyway. If I had to wire my house again, I'd probably use those or the ones piranah32 suggested. Amazon.com: VCE UL Listed CAT6 RJ45 Keystone Jack Inline Coupler 25-Pack, Female to Female Ethernet Cable Extender-Black : Electronics
 

piranha32

Active Member
Mar 4, 2023
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I used the straight-through keystone rj45 connectors for routing cables from the back of the rack, but I really would not like to use them on cables in the walls. Mounting keystone jacks is much easier than crimping rj45 plugs.
 
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ziggygt

Member
Jul 23, 2019
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I used the straight-through keystone rj45 connectors for routing cables from the back of the rack, but I really would not like to use them on cables in the walls. Mounting keystone jacks is much easier than crimping rj45 plugs.
CAT6 is a lot stiffer than CAT5e so you are probably right. It is a pain to install a jack with a short cable kneeling/sitting on the floor. I think these are the easiest crimp on as you are not pushing the cable into a dead stop, but I don't have experience with the punchless. The strain relief featured on the punchless is interesting. Probably the best route.
 

piranha32

Active Member
Mar 4, 2023
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The punchless jacks are very easy to install: strip the cable, push into the jack, spread and route the wires, close the lid, and trim the ends. With zero prior experience, after 5-10 jacks it was taking me less than a minute from bare to fully terminated cable.
I would not choose them for a big install with 100+ jacks, but they work perfectly for a small home network.
 

sic0048

Active Member
Dec 24, 2018
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I missed this post originally..... Obviously it is an old thread and the house has already been built (or it's not going to be built at all).

That being said, this would have been my advice to the OP....... (the concepts hold true from anyone else looking to buy/build however).

Personally I would focus on getting conduit/access to all of the attic/crawl spaces that I could. For the first floor, this appears to be pretty easy since the the 2nd floor only covers the middle section of the house. As long as you have easy access to run wires from one side of the house to the other, you can add these wires after the house is built. Honestly it doesn't even look like conduit would be needed for this because it appears that wires can be run from one side of the house to the other above the foyer/bedroom #4 portion of the house and then front to back along the sides where there is no second floor.

You'll also want to ensure you have conduit/access to the second floor's attic space. This will make running wires to those upper rooms very easy as well. Putting conduit from the 1st floor attic into one of the closets and then up to the 2nd floor attic looks like the easiest solution.

Once that "access" is established, then spend your money on the 1st floor "drops" that are in the area covered by the 2nd floor. This is the only area of the house where running future wires is going to be a problem. So make sure you run every potential wire that you could ever imagine needing while the house is being built. Basically this is the living room and covered porch. You should be able to pull wires to just about any other location after the house is built without much trouble.