Self Build Networking

Currently over 13,000 people self build there own homes in the UK each year. This allows them total control of what goes in to that home and therefore is the perfect time to add a WiFi or Ethernet network which will future proof that home for the ever increasing amount of data we need and the devices around our house need. Also increasing the value of the property and giving it that extra something that the next house on the street may lack.

A plan of a house for planning network

Planning

When you are building your own home planning is the key and this extends to planning your network. Listing the items that need data and if they accept a wired or a wireless connection, or both is key to understanding how much and where you need to run wires.

a diagram of a  simple home network
A very simple home network

When we initally think of a network it might look like the diagram above but in reality the modern home needs more and more connections and almost any device can now be “smart” to some extent.

Some of the things that need a connection are

  • TV’s
  • Games consoles
  • Home cinema equipment
  • Wireless Speakers
  • Virtual assistant like Alexa and Google Nest
  • iPads
  • Mobile Phones
  • Smart doorbells
  • CCTV cameras
  • Baby Monitors
  • Fridges
  • Washing Machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Network storage Hard drives
  • Printers
  • Smart locks
  • Thermostats
  • Smart Lights
  • Zoned heating controllers
  • Smoke alarms
  • Smart plugs
  • Smart blinds and curtains

This list is not exhaustive and could already be well over a 100 items that need access to the internet and each other in todays modern home

A diagram of a  complicated home network
What a modern home network is more likely to look like in reality

What to install

Now we have a list of what we are going to connect and where these items will live in the home we can start to decide what we need to install to give us those connections. The diagram above will give you an idea of a typical installation in a home and show some of the devices needed to reliably give coverage.

The internet that comes into your home needs to be split up and shared around all the devices that need it and to do this we use a switch. The internet comes into your house and into your internet router (which is often provided by your internet provider), this then feeds a switch which we re going to use to send data all around your house.

Each house is different and therefore each network is too but it is often useful to have more than one switch in a house. For example if we have 5 items on the top floor of your home that would benefit from a wired connection then we can either run 5 wires straight from the main switch or we can run 1 wire from the switch to the top floor and then add a second switch and connect the 5 items to this switch. They will then share the single wire running downstairs.

When to install

The ideal time to install a network is along with the electrical first fix. This is the best time to hide all the wires internally under plaster work just like hiding electrical cables.

Once all the plaster work is complete and then straight after the second fix electrics it is time to install the second fix networks. This will often be before the house actually has an internet connection to the outside world so it may require some configuration once that connection has been made.

Other things to think about

  • You may only need 2 connections behind your TV now but you can bet your bottom dollar that in a years time you will realise you need 3. Always think about some redundancy even if it just means putting in the cable but not terminating it. Cable is relatively cheap to install at the first fix stage.
  • Carefully look at the data rates that the types of cable can transmit and choose the grade of cable carefully. Nearly always over specify the cable.
Speeds of Ethernet cables Cat5 Cat6  Cat6a Cat7
Speeds of category’s of network cables
  • Why not give us a call to help you with the design or installation of your self build network. Have a look at our contact page and send us a message or give Paul a call on 07958792048

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