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Getting a home builder to put in structured wiring?

Discussion in 'Smart Home, Climate Control & Security Forum' started by thebrain, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. thebrain

    thebrain
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    Just about to buy a house, its got foundations but little else at the moment. I want to use Comfort and C-bus, but don't want the wiring nightmare after I get my nice shiny new house.

    I've asked the home builder to put in CAT5E to all wall switches and power sockets, and to leave the connections unterminated (on the basis that I can do that bit easily and better than builders). They have been sitting on the question for a week or so now, but want 2-3K to do the wiring - only if I supply the cable.

    Has anyone managed to persuade the home builder (in this case Barratt's) to add structured wiring to a house yet?
     
  2. ntslik

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    Thats way over the top!!! as the electrician is already wiring the house there is no reason to charge any where near that, we do a number of installations where builders & electricians put the cat5 in while wiring for the house.
     
  3. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    see if you can t get your own guy on site to do it, they may let, and they are taking the **** at 2-3k!
     
  4. KW1816

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    You'll probably find that most of the big house builders treat things like this as a profit centre - I know ours did :mad:

    Have a word with the site manager, not any of the sales/admin people, to see if you can sort it out directlry with the sparky (may involve brown envelopes & cash :) ) or try to get your own electrician on site. (may also involve brown envelopes etc.)
     
  5. thebrain

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    I've asked to see if I can get my own people in, but they claim that this will invalidate their site insurance, and may impact the NHBC guaruntee. I can understand why they dont want to do it ('cos they all build copy book houses these days), but it's just a damn cool opportunity to do it while it's being built.

    ntslik - who have you worked with before? 'cos if they have done this they should be applauded!
    KW1816 - good idea I will try that and let you know!

    Also, just realised for c-bus I need them to run a 3core main cable from my c-bus cupboard to each of the lights. Wonder if I can get them to just leave one end of the wire in the ceiling void and the other in the c-bus cabinet.
     
  6. Brogan

    Brogan
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    That's true.
    About the only way to do it on the cheap will be to get the on site sparky to do it for you.
    Usually though, they are prohibited from doing private jobs for 3 reasons:
    1. Deviation from the standard build plan can cause problems for the other tradespersons - especially if there are loads of extra wires and wall warts which aren't on the plan.
    2. It's against their terms of employment to do jobs on the side and they can/will get fired if they do.
    3. The builder isn't able to fleece you for extortionate amounts for what is a quite simple and relatively cheap job.

    It's standard practice these days.
    Our neighbours wanted a radiator moved 1 metre along the wall, before the foundations had even been laid and they were still charged £250 to have it done!

    Even if you do get the sparky to do it, don't forget the site manager will inspect the property all through the build so it will be fairly obvious if any additional work has been carried out.
     
  7. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    its difficult but barret have in the past put in multiroom systems. Get a sit down meeting with the site manager and if possible a representative from the electrical contractor. get a proper wiring diagram drawn up andget all technical documents ready.
     
  8. elliot330

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    The Brain,

    Have you reserved the house yet, if not, use it a bargaining point, no cabling, no house deposit. I've just purchased a new house, and the builder included a full smart home package (EIB) The combined package retailed at over 10k in the showroom (I doubt it cost the builder that much) but after some negotiating they included it. House sales are slowing right down and I doubt the builder would want to loose you.

    Good luck
    Elliot
     
  9. thebrain

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    They are being very stubborn on the costs, but have reduced them to 1.5K. I was also given a hint by the showroom that they are looking for the deposit by the end of Q3 (as they have a sales target to meet).

    Thanks Elloit, if you got 10K ish retail cost free then I'm certainly not pushing them hard enough. I think your right though, I should push them for as much as possible!
     
  10. C h a z II

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    How do you know that £2-3k is unreasonable, you don't know how big the house is ;)

    The last house we did was 14,000 sqft!
     
  11. thebrain

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    elliot330 your a star! I decided to ask them for the lot free or I would back out. This didn't work, but after I did actually back out of the deal, they have decided to put all the wiring in that I want (alarm and cat5e), and to put an additional lighting cable from the wiring cupboard to each light point in the ceiling. They have also decided to pay half my deposit, and upgrade the kitchen! I'm actually starting to like Barrats (lets just hope that extends to when I move in!).

    I still have to provide the cable (which is a good thing), but I don't think that its a bad deal.

    For info, I've worked out that I need 3km of CAT5E :devil:, and 1km of 8 core alarm cable! Which is four CAT5E's to each power socket, one to each light switch, and one to each ceiling rose.

    Is the cheapest source of CAT5E still screwfix?
     
  12. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    That much you should go for some serious industrial wiring companies..... 10 x 300m reels should get decent discount
     
  13. garyc

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    screwfix are about the cheapest about £26 for 300m reel, have used tlc but their standard price is a few quid more, but as mr dragon said try the discount bulk order approach.

    Glad to hear you sorted out those barratt boys, just as a side note, developers are slowly waking upto this idea of pre-wiring houses, we offer a complete install service inc. wall/ceiling mounted speakers, storage servers, plasmas & control panels in each room etc but then we are only a small developer allowing us provide this level of service.

    out of interest where abouts in the country is your new barratt home?

    ps. NHBC generally have nothing to do with side of things, maybe if you were buying an apartment, semi etc when sound becomes more of an issue!!!!
     
  14. thebrain

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    The new house is being build in Wantage, Oxfordshire. I'll do a case study on it, and publish the results later!

    They have agreed to run a standard 240v mains lighting cable from the wiring cupboard to each ceiling rose. I was just thinking how useful it would be if that could be five core cable. Anyone know if this is possible/viable (and how much the cable is)?
     
  15. hornydragon

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    5 core? You thinking DALI????
    get them to run 2 core flex with it if you are.
    Having chatted to a sparkie with a tlc account he gets discounts on some stuff so suggest you ring the manager of your local branch explain what you need and ask him to get back with his best prices..... Are you planning on FTP or UTP cat5? or Cat6 check specs for control systems as some are funny about UTP on long runs.....
     
  16. peternorris

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    my little world is curtains & blinds. remember you have to wire the windows for this as well even if you do not use when u move in.
    barratts are fitting some Lutron grafik eye in a showhouse up ere in the north in bruckshaw village, hows that for a move forward!
     
  17. KingOfGondor

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    my mum and step dad are building a new house on their farm in the country (with a view to selling when finished)

    he asked me today what i thought was necessary in the way of wiring the house of the future as he is nearly at the wiring stage

    i said make sure you have at least 2 cat5/6 runs to each room from a central location (under the stairs in his case) but other than that i didn't really know

    what do you guys think?
     
  18. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Depends how far they want to go down this route, a lighting control system (or wiring for it) is a good idea if thats the target market
     
  19. LFCRules

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    Moved to home automation forum where you should get some more replies than the remote control forum :smashin:
     
  20. garyb9900

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    Good idea Mr Norris, with the blind/curtain wiring (i'm in the same game). But to cover it fully it would of course require a feed to each side of each window to cover it (loop from one side to other) of both 3 core and earth and Cat 5 for control.
     
  21. TTT

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    I may be alone here, but I am careful where I use Screwfix Cat5- it seems to tend to snap in screwdown connectors much more than some of the more expensive stuff. There is no issue with RJ45s but if any of your Cbus modules are bare-wire then I would be inclined to spend a little more and use something else. I use cheap and cheeful for data outlets etc where I am connecting to punchdown/RJ and then a more expensive supplier for bare wire connections (normally to Living Control keypads in my case). The impact of this extra cost on the whole job is negligible in the context of a system that drops keypads occassionally (customers seem not to like this too much :))

    Anybody have any idea why this is? After all Cat5 is supposed to be Cat5, right?
     
  22. KW1816

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    Just to turn that around a bit - perhaps it's Clipsals fault for not using IDC connectors - that's what solid core CAT 5 is designed for ;)

    Pesonally I used Minitrans cable and connectors throughout - good prices and reasonable quality.
     

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