Although most enthusiasts install home automation in existing homes, many new construction homes are being wired for home automation. A little pre-planning during a new home construction can save you a lot of extra work down the road.
Ask your electrical contractor to run neutral wires to all junction boxes. Although most electricians do this as a matter of professional practice, making your preference known ensures you will always have a neutral wire available. Neutral wires are required for most powerline home automation devices.
Request deep junction boxes. Deeper junction boxes will give you more room to work, accommodate deeper in-wall devices, and in general make your life a lot easier.
Have your electrical contract install (and wire) extra junctions boxes. If you don’t have a use for them at first, simply cover them with a faceplate. It is a lot easier to install extra junction boxes during the construction phase than it is coming back later and doing it.
Install cable conduits everywhere you even could remotely anticipate a need for wires (of any kind). Cable conduits are separate from electrical conduit and are used to run speaker wire, video cable, network cable, etc. Install conduits in walls even if you don’t anticipate using them right away.
Again, it’s a lot easier to install a piece of conduit during construction than it is to fish speaker wire through a wall after the house is built. Terminate your conduits into junction boxes, cover with faceplates, and forget about them until you need them. Install at least one conduit and junction box at eye level in each room to accommodate a touch panel.
Build a small, centrally located closet for storing patch panels, distribution panels, media servers, etc. Ensure your wiring closet is big enough to accommodate a rack with extra room for moving around. Make sure you install ample cable conduits in this room because much of your wiring will terminate here.
Even if you aren’t installing a whole house audio system initially, you should plan for it in the future and wire every room for in-ceiling or in-wall speakers. Trust us, at some point in the future you’re going to want to add whole house audio to your home.