Technology is changing the way that people wire their homes. Data transmission and internet connectivity are becoming a central part of most houses, so it makes sense to have your home hardwired with something like Cat6 cabling. This cable, also known as Category-6 cable, was first outlined for commercial and residential use in 2001, but it is just now beginning to become popular in everyday home construction and renovation projects.
Cat6 cabling is a great upgrade because it allows for data transfer of up to 10 Gbps in short distances. Longer distances will be a little slower, but even the longest runs can still transmit about 1Gbps, which is far more than standard cable, ethernet, and other wiring solutions. The biggest factor in determining the cost of upgrading to Cat6 cabling is determining how much cable you need and how many connections you plan to make throughout the home. For example, if you have an office with a desktop computer, a home hub that’s wired through Ethernet, and a smart TV with wireless integration, you will need at least three Cat6 connections throughout the house.
Cat6 cables are backward compatible, so you won’t have to include costs for system upgrades or retrofits. You may, however, want to factor in cabling for future upgrades while you’re already doing this project. Cabling is a time-consuming and expensive process, so many homeowners will consider their future technology needs and have all the cables installed so that they are set up for anything that they decide to do.
Cat6 cabling installation: 200 feet of cable per connection, 10 lines installed throughout the home.
|Cat6 cable - 2,000 linear feet||$200|
|Labor - $50 per line||$500|
|Retrofit box for each line - $2 each||$20|
|Central Hub or Ethernet switch||$20|
|Total Cat6 Installation||$740|
Other considerations and costs
- You can choose to install a patch panel for managing more lines than a switch or hub. These panels start around $30 each and go up from there.
- If your ISP doesn’t supply a router, or if you prefer to buy your own, make sure that you calculate about $100 into your budget for that.
- Most homes are going wireless, but having a solid hardwired cat6 system in your home can guarantee that you will always have strong Ethernet signals in all areas of the home, despite how well the WiFi is working. Especially for home automation, the reliability of Ethernet is a must.
- You may be able to run your own cables, which would save you $50 per line for the installation.
- If you are not familiar with electrical wiring, Ethernet cabling, or similar projects, it is best to let a professional electrician or cable installer wire your home to make sure connections are installed correctly and avoid a lot of troubleshooting.
- Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2019.
- Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
- Literature review of DIY Web sites.