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The Little Stuff

March 1, 2013 |

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We are DIYing our moms a Duplex in Alaska! Check out our progress so far as we owner build a home, step by step. Read the Momplex blog here.

posted by Ana White

You know how when you buy a new phone or a new tv, or any electronic for the matter, you have this nagging feeling that whatever it is, it's already outdated and there's something new coming along that's faster, easier, cheaper, better?

After we finished up the water supply lines, there's just a few things left before we can start putting drywall up. We've got to get the small electrical stuff run in the walls, things like thermostats and phone lines and networking cables and tv jacks.

The Little Stuff

First up, we'll do the thermostats boxes and the controller for the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) System.

The Little Stuff

There's no box for these guys,

The Little Stuff

just a mud ring that you screw to the studs

The Little Stuff

I'm kinda weird, I notice things like crooked thermostats or control boxes, so we are really careful to make sure the boxes are installed level

The Little Stuff

When you do something for Mom, you just put that extra effort in to make sure it's done right. It's like having a boss that can spank you.

The Little Stuff

Ready for wire!

The Little Stuff

Once we have the controller boxes (sorry spoiler alert .... yes that's drywall) up and wired we can move on to the boost boxes

The Little Stuff

These boxes are in the bathroom for the boost switch. Because we built a super insulated air tight house, poured in concrete, moisture becomes a problem. So in the baths, we have boost buttons that you can turn on while showering to pull moisture from the air.

The Little Stuff

Those just get wired down to the the HRV units that will be installed in the garages.

The Little Stuff

Next up is fire alarms. What's more annoying than a fire alarm with a dead battery? Well, these fire alarms will be hard wired right into the electrical so no battery is required. Ever.

The Little Stuff

All of the fire alarms are wired together and brought into the panel for hook up to the electrical supply.

It's a busy day of taking care of the little things, but we've got lots more to do!

The Little Stuff

Against all common sense, we ignored the little voice in our heads saying phone lines and network lines are going to be obsolete in no time, and we went ahead and wired the entire Momplex for network and phone lines.

The Little Stuff

We even put one in the downstairs, just outside the garage, just in case someone called while you were in the garage or downstairs. Crazy, I know.

The Little Stuff

And then in the main living room, on the wall we've designated the "tv wall" we put phone, network and satellite hookups.

Grandma does love YouTube.

The Little Stuff

By the time we were done with the electrical, there's a box everywhere you look.  You can no longer walk through walls with the amount of wire and tubes and pipes pulled through the walls.

So where do all those wires go?

Well, just like the plumbing where we have a main plumbing manifold, and just like the electrical, where we have the main electrical panels, we pull all the network, tv and phone lines to a media center box.

The media center box is mounted on a downstairs central wall

And then all of the wires are brought down through the floors

And into the top of the box

Where they are neatly labeled

Just ready to be hooked up.

Let's hope they get used at least for a few years!!!!

The low voltage electrical was perhaps the most stressful part of the mechanical systems because it required much more thinking and planning.  And head scratching.  We are pretty darn excited it's done and we can move on.

So how is your home wired?  Do you have a network in your walls?  Phone lines everywhere that you never use?  What do you think - will there still be phone lines in ten years?

PS - For those of you building away, Jaime from That's My Letter has made up Ornaments to decorate your masterpieces!  Check them out!

Have a great weekend!!!

clips
JenWoodhouse.com's picture

It's coming along!

You never cease to amaze me, Ana!

"It's like having a boss that can spank you."
This made me literally LOL!

posted by JenWoodhouse.com | on Fri, 2013-03-01 23:12
clips

smoke detectors...

I would get smoke detectors that are hard wired AND battery operated -- in case of an electrical fire. You can get 10 year batteries now, so changing them isn't so onerous.

posted by Sue_McL | on Sat, 2013-03-02 12:59
clips

Phone wires and Internet

One comment on hard-wired telephones -- They can degrade the quality of your Internet hookup under certain circumstances. It has to do with the way the signals are bounced around in wiring.

IF you are getting Internet through your phone lines,
AND IF you are using that connection for a wireless modem,
AND IF you have a boatload of phone jacks all over the house
... your speed will probably be degraded.

We had to disconnect all but two phone jacks in an old house to get the wireless Internet to work well. You have to disconnecting them at the place the phone line enters the house, not at the jack.

If you go from the phone line to a modem that can connect various fiberoptic computer connections, there's no problem.

==========
This house has a full network of "twisted pair" ... SO Guessed and guessed wrong on which way the technology was going. He's added fiberoptic so each bedroom (except the master) has at least one Internet jack, plus one for the computer that is the file server.

No TV cables! No TV!!!

posted by Tsu Dho Nimh | on Sun, 2013-03-03 13:09

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