Costing for Cat 6a network around home.

Philw101

Well-known Member
Hello all,

I hope you are well.

We recently moved into our first home and we are looking to do things properly with cable management, networking and future proofing. I understand most things do use Wifi now and while I understand that for laptops, phones etc this is fine, however for 4K video distribution I am wanting a little more stability. Therefore I am looking at wired Cat6a connections around the home. (Crazy that even new builds don't come prepared with this in mind)!. The overall plan is eventually to use a home automation system (like Control 4 or Savant) for each room.

My DIY knowledge is practically non-existent so looking to outsource this, we have received a quote from a networking company (rather than an AV company who normally charge through the nose for this stuff) and the costings is coming out at just over £4K. The work involves installing 36 new CAT6a connections (and connection up the exisiting six cat 6 cables in the kitchen) around the home (which will involve routing cables throughout the house and ceilings into a central location (cupboard near the front door)), testing, commissioning into a patch panel and providing a 15U rack. Each room will have at least 3 CAT6 connections, with the lounge having six and the study 4.

Being fairly new to the networking side, I am not completely au fait with the pricing here and whether this is on point or extraordinary expensive. Some advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

muppetman74

Active Member
A network company I use for work prices at approx. £50 per network drop in an unfinished property and between £75- £100 per drop in a finished property, depending on routing so the quote you've got doesn't seem unreasonable. As is everything, value really depends on their ability to do a good job!
 
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Deleted member 24354

Guest
We charge £50 (plus materials) per lobe terminated end to end and tested assuming first fix access. If it’s not first fix then it’s day rate for cable install plus £50 per lobe. Without seeing the install it’s hard to know if your price is good or not. So assume £1800 for the Lobes; £300 for cheap comms cab installed; £50 for a 48 Port Cat6 Patch Panel; 20m per lobe of cat 6 - 720m (3 boxes of U/UTP) £300 that is £2500 so £1500, 2 blokes 2 days to drag cable. Quote seems bang on
 
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Deleted member 24354

Guest
That price would not be for HDBaseT or HDMI overIP but normal TCP/IP traffic up to 1Gig. If you wanted certification for AV distribution then add another £200 per lobe you want to run AV over as it can be much harder to install and warranty. prices would assume that you would be responsible to make good any chases. We would patch with thistle / browning at best.

4k video distribution cannot be terminated into patch panels or sockets, it will have to be terminated into STP RJ45s at either end. It will also need S/FTP Cable which is over double the price and much harder to work with. If you have been quoted £4K on the basis that you wish to distribute 4K then it’s an absolute steal. Assuming you wanted 6 of those lobes for 4K and certified we would be looking at £6k for that install.
 
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Philw101

Well-known Member
A network company I use for work prices at approx. £50 per network drop in an unfinished property and between £75- £100 per drop in a finished property, depending on routing so the quote you've got doesn't seem unreasonable. As is everything, value really depends on their ability to do a good job!
Thank you for the quick reply. This really helps! :)
 

Philw101

Well-known Member
That price would not be for HDBaseT or HDMI overIP but normal TCP/IP traffic up to 1Gig. If you wanted certification for AV distribution then add another £200 per lobe you want to run AV over as it can be much harder to install and warranty. prices would assume that you would be responsible to make good any chases. We would patch with thistle / browning at best.

4k video distribution cannot be terminated into patch panels or sockets, it will have to be terminated into STP RJ45s at either end. It will also need S/FTP Cable which is over double the price and much harder to work with. If you have been quoted £4K on the basis that you wish to distribute 4K then it’s an absolute steal. Assuming you wanted 6 of those lobes for 4K and certified we would be looking at £6k for that install.

Thank you this really helps! :) Firstly I wasn't aware that the cables required terminating directly with RJ45s, although on thinking about this more it does make sense since my switch is only 1 gbps (but does have SFP and SFP + ports).

The team noted the following within the the quote " Provide a future-resilient,fast home network utilizing a CAT6A U/FTP network cabling system. Cat6A provides connection speeds at 1 Gigabit, 2.5 Gigabit, 5 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit. It is rated up to 500Mhz and is shielded to reduce crosstalk and interference".

"Fit flush mounted wall cavity back boxes and beveled faceplates. Terminate cabling on a patch panel in the cupboard and on modules. Fit galvanized steel capping over the chased walls to protect the cables. Test and label each cable".

From my brief understanding would the S/FTP require grounding to prevent becoming an antenna? If so, where do they normally ground too? I was hoping the team could install the cables within a conduit with pull lines, so I could replace any cables in the future without having to redo the ceiling/floor boards.

As mentioned I am looking to do this correctly, so if I am spending this kind of money, a certified install would be essential with at least one certified connection in each room in the house. (5 x bedrooms, study, lounge, kitchen, dining room etc and maybe one in the garage (for our garage gym conversion).

I forgot to mention that 3 connections will be WAP (ubiquiti AC-PROs or the new Wifi 6 Long range ones).
 
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Deleted member 24354

Guest
The AC Pros really aren’t worth the money any more. Lawrence Systems reviewed the AC Pro against the AC6 Lite, which is nearly x2 faster. Unless you need high density WiFi I would use the AC6 Lites and save money.

That quote seems a little ambiguous to me. Are they certifying the install to 10GBit ?

The cables that need direct termination I am presuming are going into some sort of matrix as you were talking about 4k distribution.You probably need to budget another £4K- £5k. In all honesty this is a very old fashioned approach. Given the size and cost of modern media devices, it’s easier and cheaper to have local media.
The drain wire of the shield in S/FTP is normally connected at the distribution end as it is easier to find a common ground.

I honestly think you would have been better paying for an Integrator or AV installer to advise you on your network as you could easily over/under pay for things that you don’t / do need.
As you have said you wanted future proofing. Unless you install conduit you will have future ready but not future proof as we really don’t know what networking will look like in 10 years time. My guess is fibre will be much more common, but who knows. I know my next upgrades will be building a fibre backbone through my whole house, between all 3 floors.
 

Philw101

Well-known Member
In all honesty this is a very old fashioned approach. Given the size and cost of modern media devices, it’s easier and cheaper to have local media.

Thanks for this @mushii. When you noted local media, what did you mean? I have a NAS storage with my blu-rays etc but I understand most things now are streamed.
 
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Deleted member 24354

Guest
This is why more detail is needed, If you are talking about streaming from a NAS then it all makes sense. I thought that you were talking about 4k distribution say from a SkyQ box to multiple TVs. Nether do thise end points needed certifying if all you are looking to do is stream rather than distribute HDBaseT or HDMI over IP which are far more stressful on your network.

Your original quote will be fine and the terminations are good into sockets / patch panels.
 

Seb Briggs

Distinguished Member
Just a couple of my own observations

no need for cat6a stick with cat6

if distribution is to be via hdmi over IP then patch panels, wall sockets are fine but generally you will need a network switch that supports jumbo frames, igmp and is at least layer 2 .however one of the beauties of hdmi over IP systems is that many support video scaling so easier to mix different resolution tvs

hdbaset doesn’t work over a network as such just uses the same catx cable as networks do so technically wouldn’t be catx certified anyway
 

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