High Time for Low Voltage

Run wire now to accommodate for all the bells and whistles later

It may be relatively quiet at Custom Design & Construction's Sheldon Street project today—just one contractor on site—but it isn’t lacking in crucial activity: Today begins the installation of low-voltage electrical.

Jeff Dorman, of Electric Cat AV custom multi-room audio/video and home theater systems, is busy laying wiring runs for everything needed for a modern home. That includes Wi-Fi, Cat 5 ethernet, a home entertainment set-up in the Great Room upstairs (including big-screen TV with surround sound), whole-house stereo with speakers and volume control inside and out, security alarm and camera wiring, and even a good ol’ landline.

“In a situation like this, when you have some new construction, I like to over-install rather than under-install, if the budget allows for it,” says Jeff. “When everything’s open and accessible, it’s so much easier and more cost-effective to install, and it’s better to allow for everything—even things like a landline and stereo volume controls that you may or may not be using right now—so that they’re there for future applications and owners.”

Case in point: alarm wiring. “I don’t install alarms themselves,” says Jeff, “but if I’m here and doing three other runs, why not do a fourth for an alarm, so the wiring is in and ready to go if or when sensors are added?”

The same goes for volume controls. “Some clients want wireless systems, like Sonos," Jeff continues, "but if they’re undecided, or it’s a spec job and it’s unknown who the buyer will be or what they'll want, it’s good to give them options.”


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