IVB\’s Home Theater and Home Automation

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How much time to run wiring?

Posted by IVB on May 1, 2006

Got some questions about how long this is taking me, here goes:

After taking 1 hr just for the runs for each of the first 2, I did the next 4 in 2 hours. This was primarily due to two main factors:
1) I learned how my attic was physically constructed, where the existing wiring was that I had to work around [it's hidden under the blown-in insulation], and the most efficient path for the run.
2) Learning what equipment I need to have handy to run cable in the attic vs the crawlspace vs the 1st floor void that I use to go between the two. (Elk boards are in crawlspace, wiring runs through attic and down to that location). I know this sounds stupid, but I had to go up & down the ladder all the time for the first 2 cuz I kept realizing I didn't have the right tools within reach.

There is a downside to this story: I got so cocky (shocker) that I totally messed up the next 2 runs. I spent 45mins to run both of them, and another 45 minutes fixing my mess.

Finally, by the 9th and final run of the day yesterday, I was so tired that I was moving at 1/4 speed, so that took me 1 hour. I wasn't going to do it, but it enabled me to declare 5 rooms done. I've got 4 rooms/9-ish runs left to go for phase 1, plus phase 2 adds 12 window sensors which is another 12 runs, so I won't be bored anytime soon.

Of course, I haven't actually done anything with the wiring – right now i've got these 2' lengths of wire just sticking out of my ceiling and hanging into the Elk Cabinet. I can do a few of these every night while the wife watches one of her infinite reality show recordings on SageTV, but that's easy to do.

In the future, for me, who has to do everything solo with no assistants on the other side helping me, i'm going to budget for 1.5 hours/device for easy runs for both pulling the wiring and mounting everything, and (2?) hours/run for the difficult stuff.

If I was a pro, I'd have an apprentice with me to cut the time, plus, well, i'd be a pro at it and would have more than 5 hours of experience. Hence, I think folks should seperate tehir stuff into "crap that's easy", figure an hour per, and "crap that's hard", and figure 1.5 hours per. In the SF Bay area, electricians are ~$80/hr, if that helps folks estimate their workload/estimate labor cost for the job.
Most "regular" size jobs for 1700-2000-sqft homes have 30-odd runs of wire [not counting audio], so if you're looking to get into the HA world, plan on at least 50-75 hours of work installing & mounting sensors. There's more when it comes to getting the Elk all up & running, adding rules & programming, this is just the initial physical labor part.

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6 Responses to “How much time to run wiring?”

  1. Wesley J said

    I recently did an install during new home construction. 8 hours for 12 in ceiling speakers, 4 volume controls, 8 cat5e, 8 RG6. All pulled back to the furnace room. New construction sure makes things faster!

    Wes

  2. IVB said

    8 hours for 36 runs? That’s

  3. kwoodrow said

    Nice blog, Vivek! I had no idea you had started a blog. Great minds think alike. Definitely put me on your blogroll at http://www.leveragatech.info!
    – Ken

  4. kwoodrow said

    Oops, better make that http://www.leveragetech.info.
    – Ken

  5. kwoodrow said

    Well, that didn’t work either. One more time. It’s http://leveragetech.info.

  6. IVB said

    Et Voila. You’re on the list, Ken.

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