Discover Copper Online

Winter 2003

Structured Wiring Benefits Homeowners and Others

Category 5e wiring and coaxial cable Category 5e wiring and coaxial cable travel behind the alls to connect each outlet to a central distribution device (inset). End-use devices are then plugged into the outlet (above).

Structured wiring is one of those rare advances in which all participants benefit. Homeowners can enjoy more music and relaxing entertainment. It's easier for them to communicate within their homes and to the outside. And, there's greater security. At the same time, homeowners can add about five percent to the resale value of their residences, according to cable manufacturer, Jim Sheridan of Superior Essex, Atlanta.

Communications consultant Bill Lane of Raleigh, N.C., says developers gain another marketing ploy - half of all new homes now are built with structured wiring. Remodelers, also, have an added market, often with repeat business, as homeowners discover the advantages and their friends want the same, according to Eddie Casanave of Distinctive Remodeling in Raleigh, who reports many sales based on referrals.

Manufacturers of the recommended wiring, Category 5e and RG-6 quad-shielded coaxial cable, are enjoying growing sales, according to Bill Duckworth of Belden Communications Division, Phoenix. Similarly, use of cable-provided services has increased.

Real-estate agent Carol Dick with the Atlanta office of Coldwell Banker reports many homebuyers want the option of home offices. Employers gain when employees have home offices because they have the option of permitting them to work at home when weather conditions make it difficult to commute.

Consultant Mark Peden, Broadband Partners, Aloha, Oregon, emphasizes that structured wiring permits "integration of functions". Thus, those viewing TV in their home theaters can easily check on who's at their entrance doors and look in on playing or sleeping children by using inexpensive TV cameras installed where needed.

Advantages Over Wireless

Are wireless communications a viable competitor to structured wiring? According to Ralph Burrell of Convergent Media, St. Paul, the latter offers far greater capacity versus wireless, more flexibility in adding functions, plus the assurance of confidentiality. Structured wiring is also safer, neater and not subject to damage compared to running visible interconnection wiring along baseboards.

Remodeling Tools Available

In existing homes, structured wiring can be installed with specialized tools. In existing homes, structured wiring can be installed with specialized tools.

Structured wiring is installed with less effort at the time of construction. However, the tools to snake the required wiring through the walls of existing homes are available, and they are easy to learn to use (see photo). They are available from Bill Bergman's B.E.S. Manufacturing in Deposit, New York, and Roy Bowling's Labor Saving Devices in Commerce City, Colorado.

To stimulate even wider understanding and use of structured wiring, the Copper Development Association is aiding remodelers, homebuilders and installers with well-illustrated CD-ROMs that reveal what they need to know to enter this expanding market. CDA also offers two 2-hour videos detailing infrastructure wiring, one for new construction and one for the far-larger market, existing homes.

CDA also has brochures that installers can distribute to homeowners and prospective homeowners to help introduce them to structured wiring. The brochures, to which installers can add their names and addresses, are free in quantities of 200 to professionals.

B.E.S. Mfg: 888-467-3976
Labor Saving Devices: 800-648-4714

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