Structured Home Wiring

Future Wire your Smart Home:
From planning to installation for
audio, home theater, security,
surveillance & home automation.

Sample Structured Home Wiring Projects

I have 2 projects plans from different homes that I have built. In the first plan I made a simple mock-up of the home layout and drew the lines for each wire. This can work for simple diagrams, but as you can see below things get cluttered as you add more wires. I came up with a better method in the second wiring plan. Still this plan is definitely worthy of review as there are many good unique ideas. Please see the Wiring Plan Guide for more information or if you don't understand some of the examples below.

This first plan lays out the following:

  • RG-6 coaxial cable for satellite & cable
  • Cat-5 cable for Internet
  • Cat-3 cable for phone
  • speaker wire for some in-wall/in-ceiling speakers and for the banana jacks next to some bookshelf speakers
  • video cable for surveillance cameras
  • alarm cable for the motion detectors and keypads for the alarm system
  • component audio/video cables that ran from the computer to the family room entertainment center
  • computer cables that allowed for a second computer monitor & keyboard in a separate room
  • X10 electrical wall outlets that allowed for remote control of electrical devices

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Wiring Diagram
What's in this plan:

This plan uses the idea that too much is better than too little. For starters, every bedroom has 2 wall plates with a phone, Internet, and cable jacks. The 2 wall plates are usually at opposite ends of the room. The idea here is to determine every location a desk/table could potentially be placed (after accounting for door, windows, and closets) and then put a wall plates there.

The master bedroom/bathroom gets the royal treatment with in-wall speakers for the bedroom and in-ceiling speakers for the bath. These speakers are wired jacks behind the Armoire that holds the TV and stereo components. My A/V Receiver has A/B outputs so no special equipment was needed to run the second pair of speakers. There are also 2 coax cable connections behind the Armoire for my satellite receiver. The bedroom also has a phone, Internet, and cable jack wall plate near the bed.

I under wired the master bedroom when it came to the satellite receiver. DirecTV receivers require a phone jack to operate. I didn't have a TiVo upstairs, but if you do, the newer TiVo/DirecTV units can use the Internet to download programs. If you have a dual-tuner satellite DVR, then you need one coax connection for each tuner. If you have satellite and use an antenna for local channels, then a third coax cable is required for that.

Downstairs, the Dining Room got in-ceiling speakers and the Sun Room got outdoor wall mounted speakers. The family room had bookshelf speakers, but the wires were run through walls to plates directly behind the speakers. All of these speakers were wired to plates behind the entertainment center. The main receiver was for the Family Room and a second amp (with input from the receiver) was used for the other rooms.

Besides the speaker wire, the entertainment center had:

  • A phone line for the satellite receiver
  • Internet cable for a video game system: PlayStation or XBox
  • 3 coax cables for the TiVo Satellite receiver: 2 for the dual-tuner satellite receiver and one for local channels over antenna
  • A fourth coax cable connected directly to the Sun Room so that the output of the satellite receiver could be watched on two TVs without paying for a second receiver.
    Note: The Sun Room also had a coax cable for the antenna to watch locals and an A/B switch to select between local or satellite feed.
  • Component audio/video cables from the computer so that music or movies could be played from the computer on the TV/stereo
    Note: Another set of these cables ran to an upstairs bedroom where I used to have the computer before we had kids.

The Kitchen had the standard phone line plus Internet jacks so I could work on a laptop. I also had a computer monitor and keyboard in the Kitchen even though the computer itself was in the basement. I didn't want to go into the basement just to check my EMail, so I added a second video card to the computer and ran a 50' VGA cable to a second monitor in the kitchen. I also ran a 50' USB cable so that I could have a second USB keyboard to go with that monitor.

I also installed an alarm system that I purchased over the Internet. One alarm panel was right by the garage door entrance to the house and the other was in the Master Bedroom. Three motion detectors covered most of the first floor and a fourth covered the alarm panel itself in the basement. The horn for the alarm was also in the basement.

The security system consisted of four X10 cameras that were wired in with the antenna feed. The X10 remotes ensure that only one camera is active at a time. Therefore, I was able to combine all four camera lines into one by using Y component splitters backwards. I then used a RF modulator to convert the component into coax cable and then used a coax splitter backwards to combine the camera feed with the antenna feed. The RF modulator let me pick what channel I wanted to use and I was able to find an empty one that had no static from the antenna.

Most of the wires ran to the corner of the basement near the electrical box (not close enough to cause any interference). The cable modem, network routers, alarm panel, and all connections were all located here.

Each room in the front of the house had an X10 outlet. We used this for Christmas candle lights in the windows. For about $30 we could turn on/off the lights with a timer (controlled by the computer) or with a remote.

Next check out the second Wiring Plan example.