A custom home is the measure of your success. It’s a statement regarding your beliefs and aspirations and it needs to be an expression of its time as much as it is an expression of you. As such it’s crucial that the electrical system installed in your new custom home provide effortless support for whatever electrical devices and features you, your architect, your interior designer and your family have in mind. It makes no sense to approach wiring a custom home today in the typical fashion and it makes no sense to hire electrical contractors with little or no experience in the field of custom homes. So before you go and hire just any old electrician to wire your new abode take the time to read the following.
Table Of Contents
- Why we need Custom Homes Electricians?
- Lighting Design for Today’s Custom Home by Hotwire-Electric
- About That Home Theatre
- Choosing the Right Equipment
- Questions to ask your Custom Homes Electricians
- The Gold Standard of Custom Homes Electricians
Why we need Custom Homes Electricians?
Wiring a custom home today entails far more than it did a generation ago. That’s one of the main reasons you need to hire custom homes electricians to do the job right. They’re versed in the fine points of today’s technology, the unique requirements of the smart home and how to wire for the present while carving out space for the future. Here are just some of the considerations that go into wiring the 21st century custom home:
Lighting Design for Today’s Custom Home by Hotwire-Electric
Hotwire Electrical contractor provides state of the art wiring for all your 21st century home electronic needs. We work closely with you, your architect and designer to fashion a lighting scheme for you that generates the atmosphere you’re after while embracing the best of today’s leading edge technologies. Wiring considerations for your custom home start with lighting and we can design and install a custom lighting system for you that includes track lights, accent lights, task lighting, lighting for your home office and home theatre as well as a peerless home sound studio that will let you get more out of your movies, music, video games and VR experience.
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Wiring the Smart Home
There’s more wiring than ever in today’s most advanced custom homes. Wiring for automation, security, lighting, Internet cables and connectors, IP network cameras, phone and fax lines, cable and satellite TV, home audio systems, automated blinds, motorized skylights, Toronto landscaping lighting, radiant heating systems under the driveway and walkways, outdoor kitchen wiring, pool wiring and more. In addition a growing number of homeowners want some form of “smart” central control over all or nearly all of their systems and that takes a good deal of planning and an experienced licensed electrician to bring it all together in a way that’s both dependable and scalable to accommodate future needs.
Smart Wiring for the Smart Home
With so many different electronic considerations in play these days your custom home needs a system of wiring that will enable each component to play nice with all the other ones while maintaining its individual integrity. The electrical contractor calls this “smart wiring”. Smart wiring utilizes a single platform which is more than a simple fuse box or standard electrical panel. Think of it not as a bus station but as more of a transportation hub where buses, commuter trains, intercity trains, taxis, subway lines, car rentals and more all come together at a single location. Each is different with its own particular technical and logistical requirements and yet they complement each other and facilitate the smooth operation of the city as a whole. In this case your custom home is the city and the single, smart wiring platform is the transportation hub.
The Type of Electrical Wiring You Need
If you want to enjoy optimal performance of Electrical wiring from all the electronic components of your Toronto home, including all the integrated smart components, it’s recommended your electrician install Category 5 twisted-pair wire, (otherwise known as Cat-5 wiring) for all your data and voice transmissions and for video you’re going to want RG6 quadshielded coaxial cable. These types of wire are more expensive than traditional wiring, there’s no doubt about that, but the state of the art features of your custom home will call for nothing less. Both are able to handle the incredible demands of today’s high speed transmissions better than standard wiring and will ensure all your G4 communications are smooth and stutter free.
The following are some of the other wiring options and considerations that will likely play a part in the wiring of your custom home. Even if all of these don’t wind up being a part of your homes electrical nervous system it can be helpful to know the lingo so that you’re not at a loss when the master electrician is attempting to explain some aspect of his or her work to you.
POTS stands for Plain Old Telephone Service and refers to the old fashioned, four wires in a plastic sheath that was the standard for many years for carrying voice communications. While it is simply incapable of keeping of with the demands of today’s high speed broadband transmissions there may in fact be applications for which it will be the appropriate choice.
Cat 5 vs Cat 1 wire
As we stated above Cat 5 wire is the standard today for high speed data transmissions. It comes in what are called “twisted pairs” – 2 solid core fully insulated wires that are twisted together in order to reduce interference. Cat 1 wire on the other hand is the POTS wire that is perfectly suitable for voice only communications but comes up well short when it comes to today’s data intensive applications. Typically Cat 1 wire will be able to handle less than 4 megabit per second of data, while Cat 5 wire is good for 100 megabits per second and is also available in an enhanced form capable of carrying up to 350 megabits per second.
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Daisy chain vs Home run wiring
Daisy chain wiring is when a single cable or wire is run from the panel to a number of outlets ala traditional electric or plumbing services. Home run wiring by contrast (also called “star” wiring) runs a single cable or wire from a distribution panel to a single outlet box. Your new construction electrical wiring will likely feature home run as opposed to daisy chain wiring.
RG6 vs RG59 cable
RG59 is the type of coaxial cable you’ll find in most homes at present. But many new homes are choosing RG6 coaxial cable because it’s better shielded than RG59 thus making for less signal loss. RG59 signal loss is 7.1 decibels per 100 feet, while RG6 is only 5.9 decibels over 100 feet.
RG45 vs RJ11 connectors
RJ11 plugs and jacks are the standard connectors for plugging a telephone into a wall outlet. They either have 2 or 4 connectors, mostly 4. RG45s are used for data installations. They’re bigger than your typical RJ11 and have as many as 8 conductors.
When you’re still in the planning stages of your home it’s important to sit down and discuss exactly what everyone in the family wants and needs when it comes to electrical devices and features. You may be surprised when the kids tell you about some new tech you never heard of that they want incorporated into the new custom home. You’ll also likely want to consider some or all of the following:
- A home theatre installation.
- A whole-house audio system.
- Satellite or cable TV.
- Networking several computing devices.
- Broadband Internet connection.
- State of the art security system.
- Full automation of all the home’s core functions.
In addition, if you have a home office you need to think about the future. What happens if the best case scenario comes to pass and you experience explosive growth? How will that impact your electrical infrastructure needs?
While there are plenty of electricians in Toronto, Richmond Hill and Vaughan who can wire any of the above features for you, specialized custom homes electricians will have experience putting the entire scheme together in the most logical, most cost effective manner. In the end they’ll save you all kinds of time, trouble and of course, money.
About That Home Theatre
Some 25 million homes in North America currently have a home theatre system and the number grows by several million every year. The increase is driven by a number of factors including price reductions on large scale flat screen HD and Ultra-HDTVs, the exploding popularity of streaming content providers like Netflix and more. If you want a home theatre installed in your new custom home (and who doesn’t) then you’re going to want it done right. Again, electricians that specialize in custom home wiring are your best bet to ensure your home theatre is the talk of the town and not the butt of neighbourhood jokes.
Choosing the Right Equipment
When planning the home theatre for your new custom home it’s important you keep in mind the 3 fundamental components of such a system: The screen, the sound system and the controller. You may want to get a custom home electrician involved at this point because they can give you pinpoint advice on what type of TV, audio system and control equipment will be right for your home and your family.
Questions to ask your Custom Homes Electricians
Finally we get down to the nitty gritty of interviewing potential electricians for your building project. It should be noted that the earlier you get the specialized electrician involved in the process of designing the home the better. It will save time and trouble down the line. That said, here are the questions you’re going to want to ask any prospective custom home electrician:
Can Anyone Install Smart Wiring?
In theory any fully licensed commercial electrician or residential electrician in Toronto, Richmond Hill or Vaughan should be able to install smart wiring. But that’s a bit like saying any baseball player should be able to pitch, catch, play the outfield, play any of the bases or shortstop and bat like Joe Dimaggio. The fact is that most electricians are specialists of one sort or another so if you want an electrician who is going to do the best possible job with your smart wiring you should hire a specialized custom homes electrician who is fully versed in the vagaries of smart wiring and has both the specialized training and the experience in the field that will ensure your custom home is wired for today and tomorrow.
Do you specialize in custom home wiring?
As we’ve been trying to stress throughout this guide it’s crucial to have an electrician on your custom home build who is up to date on all the latest technology, has extensive experience with smart wiring and extensive experience wiring custom homes in general. If they’re the kind of all-purpose licensed electrician that does electrical panel upgrade and the like you should take a pass, not because they can’t figure out what has to be done, but because you don’t want to be paying them while they’re learning on the job.
Are you insured?
This is the same question you’re going to want to ask every contractor that ever does work on your Toronto home. You’re going to have to ask it here right up front because if they’re not fully insured (and that means they’re paying into the workman’s comp system for their employees too) your conversation with them is over. Why? Because if they don’t have proper liability or workman’s comp coverage for their workers and one of those workers gets hurt on your property you are then responsible. If it’s a serious injury the amount of money it could wind up costing you could change the course of your life for years. So, no insurance, no deal. Period.
How long have you been wiring custom homes?
Custom home wiring is not something you can pick up on in a week or a month. It takes training and experience. You want your licensed electrician to have as much of both as possible in order to ensure a satisfactory outcome. If they can’t provide some proof that they’ve been in the business for some time along with references then you’re wasting your time.
Speaking of references
References are like insurance; if the electrician doesn’t have any then the conversation is over. You need to be able to talk to custom homeowners the electrician has previously worked with. There’s no buts. And more than one as well. An experienced pro will be expecting you to ask and will have a number of references ready to give you. If they say they don’t have a list of references with them but they’ll get them to you tomorrow, that should be fine. If however what you get ‘tomorrow’ is another excuse and no references then it’s time to move on to someone else.
Who will be taking the lead on-site?
Is your electrician a solo act or part of a larger company? And if they are part of a larger company who exactly will be handling onsite affairs on a daily basis? Sometimes a large company will send their most personable face to a customer sit down. The customer then assumes the person they talked to and had a great rapport with will be the one performing the work, and then someone else shows up. Nail down who will be doing the actual work. If it’s someone you haven’t met arrange a meeting with them before signing anything.
Do you use subcontractors?
Sometimes the lead electrician hires subcontractors to do the bulk of the work and acts as a kind of general contractor within the electrical sphere of the construction process. If they’re bringing in subcontractors are they ones with specific knowledge of wiring custom homes? Can he prove that? The point after all is to make sure you hire the most qualified specialized custom homes electricians for your project. If the lead electrician just brings in inexperienced subcontractors to do the work it defeats the purpose.
Do you guarantee your work?
A proper professional will guarantee their workmanship for 6 months or a year just because things happen. The parts they install should also come with warranties. Ask about that as well. If they don’t guarantee their work you should take a pass.
The Gold Standard of Custom Homes Electricians
Hotwire Electric has more experience wiring custom homes than any other company in Toronto, Vaughan and Richmond Hill. We provide the highest quality personalized wiring solutions for custom homes of every imaginable size, style and configuration. We take great pride in every custom home wiring project we have the privilege to work on and with every one we extend the boundaries of what is possible by just a bit, which is something every craftsperson will tell you is one of the greatest satisfactions.
To learn more about the job of specialized custom homes electricians or to schedule an appointment to discuss your Toronto custom home wiring project give Hotwire Electric a call today. Your new custom home deserves nothing less than the best.
Give us call today to know more about Custom Homes Electricians @ 416-553-5533