Structured Wiring FAQ
What is Structured Wiring and why should I have it in my home?
Structured Wiring is simply an advanced wiring system roughed into your new home that allows the homeowner to take advantage of new technologies and services that are available now and in the future. Examples of this are home office, high speed Internet via telephone company or cable provider. Video on demand services, Digital cable and high definition satellite and cable TV as well as in home CCTV cameras and many automation and security features. The structured wiring system sets the stage for you to share a single Internet, telephone, or digital cable TV connection with multiple computers, Televisions and peripherals all at no extra charges from the service provider. You can also choose wiring upgrades such as home theatre and whole house music to complete the integration. It is worth noting that only a few years previously, virtually no new home had these capabilities and many current homes will need to under go costly retrofits in order to take advantage of the present and future conveniences.
What do the terms “rough in”, “trim” and “final” mean to me?
“Rough in” or pre wiring is the term used to describe the stage in which the selected low voltage wiring is run through out the home. Think of it as electronic plumbing. “Trim” is actually three smaller stages further along the building cycle after painting has occurred. The first step is to complete the phone, cable and network locations in the home with all necessary plates and connectors. The second step is to install the connection center panel (if applicable) and make the necessary connections from the locations to the panel. The third step is the installation of your security system. The “Final” step in the process is the completion of all electronic and entertainment systems that were part of project scope with. It also includes the activation and personal onsite tutorial for your electronics and security systems. Generally this final stage can take from as little as two days to three weeks depending on the complexity of the project. Generally speaking electronics systems are not finished and working before your possession date.
At what point in the construction of my new home will the “rough in” “trim” and “final” happen?
“Rough in” will occur after the electricians have completed their wiring. “Trim” will occur just before you take possession of your home. “Final” will take place after you have moved into your new home. Your Project Manager will arrange a suitable time with you to complete the final phase.
What does my Structured Wiring Package not do for me?
Although your new home comes complete with a very comprehensive structured wiring system it should be noted that additional equipment may be required to setup such items as computer networks, whole house music systems, satellite systems, surveillance cameras and internet connection sharing to name a few. There are almost endless options for you to choose from and you’re Project Manager is there to make recommendations and provide information for you to make an informed decision. Many of the show homes are equipped with working hands on demonstrations that better illustrate what your structured wiring system can really do.
Is Structured Wiring something that I could “do myself”?
In theory structured wiring could be classified as a “do it yourself” project. There are reasons why that may prove more difficult than anyone would first expect. There are building and safety code issues that must be met. You would need a technically sound design and specialized skills and tools to accomplish the rough in and terminations required. In addition because of our buying power it would just not make good financial sense to attempt this yourself. It would most likely end up costing you more money with no support afterward.
Why does structured wiring cost “extra” when my old telephone and cable were free?
In the past, your local service providers would undertake the expense of providing you very basic wiring for telephone and cable TV. Much of that cost was just never identified as part of the purchase price of a new home. In addition you were required to use an exclusive service and pay monthly charges for “extra outlets” and “connection fees”. It should be noted that the service providers retained “ownership” of the wire in your home and in essence dictated who delivered and what you paid for services. You own the wire in your home and it can be configured to work for you. There are no extra outlet fees or hidden charges, not to mention that there is likely 5 to 6 times the amount of wiring in your new home as your previous residence.
What is a “Connection Center” and what does it do for me?
The connection center is the metal housing located adjacent to your electrical breaker panel. It offers a convenient and logical point of distribution for all your incoming services. It also comes equipped with the hardware required to send your digital television and telephone signals throughout the home. It can also house any other upgrades to your homes capability like a computer network hub, satellite distribution, additional cable or telephone outlets and even a closed circuit camera system. In a sense it’s the centerpoint of the homes technology features.
What is the role of the Digital Lifestyles Project Manager?
The Project Manager is responsible for making sure your Structured Wiring, A/V Systems, alarm systems and other electronic technology requirements are properly designed and installed, on time and on budget. This is a large task as they are your single contact for information, quotations; scheduling, installation requirements, customer tutorials and warranty follow up service for all of the above. They work behind the scenes with your builder to arrange scheduling, solve issues as they happen and execute any requested changes you may require. Many times changes can impact other areas such as electrical, framing and drywall to name a few. You may not even know it but your Project Manager is working with your builder daily to make sure everything happens. In addition to all that you’re Project Manager is usually one of the first contacts you would make in the home building process and then very likely you will continue that relationship after you take possession as they make sure everything is functional and you are comfortable with its use. We have a saying the Project Manager is “first in and last out”. A Project Manager will spend upwards of 40 hours on smaller projects and several hundred on larger projects. This service is included free of charge as a part of your structured wiring or upgrade packages They are salaried employees of Digital Lifestyles and their entire focus is to make your home building experience a positive one.
Why do I need to meet with them before my home has started construction?
When considering any electronic or entertainment systems for your home it is imperative that a proper design and documentation be done as early in the process as possible. Any changes or additions to your Structured Wiring can have an impact in other areas of your home that would need to be identified and documented. Our goal is to provide you with full written and accurate documentation throughout the process. It makes good sense and allows us to control costs better when we can get a “head start”.
What role do the telephone company and cable company play in the construction of my home?
In the past the local service providers would actually wire your home for their services. At the present time they have no role in the pre wire phase of your home. They will no longer be “activating” your services inside your home. Think of them as only the provider of the content to the outside of your house. Everything inside is now the consumer’s responsibility and has addressed that via the Structured Wiring package. You not only get the rough in wiring but your in home connections are completed and tested by the time you move in.
What do I do if I want to change or add wiring or jack locations?
This is a simple request that can be dealt with by your Digital Lifestyles Project Manager. Remember the earlier you address this, the better. It is recommended that any changes of this type should be addressed prior to framing stage.
Should I pre wire for a Whole House Audio system or Home Theatre?
The ideal time to wire your home for any future needs would be at the construction stage. After construction it can sometimes be impossible or very costly to retrofit the necessary cabling to the correct locations. A properly wired home theatre and whole house music system would allow you to integrate each one at your own time as your schedule or budget permits. It makes good sense to allow for these popular items as they are fast becoming “standard” to our lifestyle and falling prices reflect that reality.
If I choose to have a sound system, home theatre, computer network, CCTV or other upgrades installed when should I expect them to be installed and working?
You would not expect that the above systems should be in working order by the time you move in. Configuration and installation occurs after a move in date for several reasons. The first is that each of the systems contains “hardware” components that can be removed. The second reason is that your telephone and cable services should be working at the time of install to verify correct operation. Third main reason is that we like to have the customers input as to their personal preferences and this usually is easier to obtain after you are settled into your new home. We always try to accommodate your timelines although we do not like to compromise quality for the sake of a few days. These are items, which will provide years of service and our goal is to make that as trouble free as possible.
Who do I call to have my telephone number, cable service and Internet service activated?
You would call your service provider directly and have them activate your accounts and services at the new address. Neither your homebuilder nor the can facilitate this for you.
Do the cable and phone company need to enter my home to activate my services?
Yes, because the place of activation is normally located near your electrical panel, this is called you “Demarcation point” (Defined as the point where your phone and cable lines enter your home).
Will I need equipment to make my services work?
Depending on the service you are talking about, if it is just phone or basic cable TV, then all designated locations in your house will work once your service provider has activated your services. Other services, such as high speed Internet, will require additional equipment and configuration. Your Project manager can assist you in who is responsible for each service.
If my phone or cable doesn’t work in a specified room in my house whom do I contact?
You would contact you’re Digital Lifestyles Project Manager and they will arrange for a timely service call to rectify the problem.
(Note: This will be only after your “Service Provider” which in this case is defined as phone and cable has been to your house to hook up your services)
Why do my phone jacks look different?
This is because one standard computer type RJ 11 port is now used for your telephone and computer network jacks. These are easily configured to perform either function.
Why are there blank plates on my walls and ceilings?
Blank plates are located in certain areas of the home to cover up any unused rough-in wire locations that could be used for future hardware.