Your low voltage systems, just like many of the other systems in your home, need to be done in two stages. These include installation and rough-in. The rough-ins happen with all of the pre-wiring, conduits, boxes, piping, fixtures, and vapor barriers. It is all of the stuff you should get done before insulating and adding drywall to your new home.
There is also the installation stage, which is the final part of the process. This allows you to connect all of the components and get everything set up. You will often finish this after you finish painting the home but before you do the flooring. You will need to complete the rough-in part to get everything set up for your low voltage system later on.
When Should I Rough-In a Low Voltage System?
It is crucial to choose the right timing of a rough-in for your home. This can impact how long it takes to get the project done and how much you will end up paying. For example, if you’re interested in installing a central vacuum system, all the vacuum pipes must go in when the framing is still exposed. Once the plumbing and mechanical rough-in is complete, vacuum pipes should be installed. Once the vacuum rough-in is finished, the electrical wires should get pulled. Always install an outlet next to your vacuum hose outlet, as most vacuums will need to operate on high voltage for vacuuming rugs.
It is easier to pull these lines around the central vac components, but it is hard to route it around if you have already pulled in the electrical wires.
Some other systems, like lighting, networking, automation, audio and video, and security systems, will also need to be done in the framing stage for a clean install. Doing them after you finish the electrical wiring is the best as your lighting and outlets require priority as to where they should go. Whether low voltage or high, wires should never crisscross or intersect each other. An excellent electrical and low voltage plan will designate proper and efficient routes for each item without contacting one another.
The Benefits of Having Low Voltage Rough Wires Ran
There are several benefits to choosing to do a rough-in for your low voltage wires in your home. You can use these to help you turn on different systems like a whole home vacuum and even a security system. Some of these benefits include:
● It is less expensive: If you do the rough-in when the framing is still exposed, you will save money as it’s much easier for tradespeople to run these wires in open walls than to fish lines through the attic and cut-up drywall. There is also less mess as the rough work will be done when it is supposed to.
● Saves time later: You can do the roughing-in later, but doing it right away when the home is being built can save you a lot of time and hassle, and the end product will be a much cleaner job. Once the rough work is done, finishing will be much easier, cleaner, and faster.
● Easy setup later: Once all the wires are roughed-in, you can quickly hook up your television, audio system, internet, speakers, and everything else without any hassle.