How to pre-wire without wires?????

charliedawgFebruary 12, 2009

I want to finish our basement. Whats holding us back is the cost of pre-wiring and installing all of the electronics my dh wants down there. About $10,000.00 worth. We want all of the home theater wires behind the walls.

I'm trying to come up with a way to plan for those wires but not actually install them yet.

My only idea is somehow install conduit in the studs with little access panels where the speakers, tv, recievers etc would be. That way, once we have the cash for those items we could run the wires through the conduit system.

What do you all think about this? If we planned really well do you think this is a workable solution?

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$10K for theater wiring? Are you putting in a Multiplex? It's all low voltage. Do it yourself with cables from monoprice. Sorry, unless we're talking a couple of thousand square feet of basement, there's no way the price is right.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 9:10AM
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I understand, the entire system is going to run into those $$$'s, not just the cables. You certainly can place your cables before finishing the basement. I suggest purchasing shielded cables though so that you do not get interference from electricity. Speak with a reputable home theatre shoppe, they're know.

If you select to install conduit, use PVC as it is non-metallic.

If you simply place the wire, then carefully measure and keep a record so they can be located when needed. That's what I did in our basement.

Are you going to have a projection TV? You'll need HDMI cables for it.

Had a similar situation for our Family Room where the components are on the opposite wall from the TV. I ran a 1 1/2" PVC in the basement rafters for feeding the wires across the room. 2" would have been better. Make certain to use wide sweep corners.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 10:55AM
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A 50ft roll of 12AWG CL2 rated 2 conductor speaker wire is only $135. 1000 ft roll of cat5e is $50. 25ft hdmi cable is $33 and finally a 50ft coax line for a subwoofer is $7.

Considering all of the other costs in finishing a basement, that's nothing. It would be just as esay to pull the wire as it would be to run conduit.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 11:16AM
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Oh no, the 10,000 was not just for the wire. It's for everything TV, surround, other misc electronic purchases to complete the Home theater. Thanks for looking out for me tho. :)

Roberts, thats a great idea about bigger conduit and big corners. The wire would have to be threaded through a couple 90 degree corners so I can see where the bigger the better would be best.

My husband installed all of our entertainment wiring while our house was being built but we already had the TV, subwoofers, recievers, dvds, speakers. I'm a little worried about preinstalling wire this time because we aren't 100% sure of exactly what we will be buying for the basement.

Thanks for all of the info. It's been very helpful.

Oh and we will check into Monoprice. We went through Home Theater Direct the first time but it never hurts to shop around.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 7:37AM
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Actually the wire in the walls will be standard for any speakers and components. What I did was install terminals for the sound before drywalling. You can sort of see them behind the sub-woofer in this photo. There is also provision for a second sub-woofer near the small red table behind the sofa. I have no plans to "build-in" the components or have a projection system.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 11:14AM
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That's exactly my point. Even if you're not sure of all your needs, it's still easier to run the wires before putting up the rock. Not being 100% sure when I wired my basement, I did hdmi and composite from where the electronics will go to the tv/projector locations.

If you're going to run pvc, you have to have an idea of where you are going to put things. It's easier to run wire through studs than it is to keep breaking up sections of pvc.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 11:46AM
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"If you select to install conduit, use PVC as it is non-metallic. "

And provides ZERO shielding, that being one of its major drawbacks for audio use were interference may be present.

EMT provides much better shielding and is not very hard to use (it can be bent by hand in sizes up to at least an inch).

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 2:31PM
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