If you rush through planning your basement floorplan and don’t think about wiring — past just how many electrical outlets to put in, you might end up having thoughts kind of like these…

“I really hate that wire running along the wall there.”

“The TV would look so much better over there, but I can’t do that because there is no outlet in that corner”

Getting the most out of your finished basement means thinking about possibilities. How the space will be used, where things are going to be placed, and so on.

Wiring is something that is ridiculously simple to change before you add the drywall. After its been added, it is a messy, labor-intensive job to run cables through walls in a lot of cases.

It’s best to plan out the wiring of your basement as well as possible before you start on it. Having a clear picture of what equipment you want to have is a good place to start. This will cut down on changes and the resulting costs.

panel networking

Think about the future

With the low cost of bulk CAT5 cable, it is a really good idea to run at least 2-3 lines to each room. These will all connect to a Switch near your router, or the router itself. This is usually located out of site in a furnace room.

Wireless routers for the home have become faster in the last few years. You may still have to use many routers/access points to get good reliable signal in each room. For the best download speeds, the best option is still to use a wired line when you need good bandwidth. This also reduces the complexity of running multiple networks and signal repeaters.

If you do things like online gaming or stream HD services like Netflix, there is no better option than wired internet. 4K signal is beginning to come onto the market and it has high requirements for data bandwidth as well.

hmdi cat5 converter

Wiring for HDMI

You can get converters that will let two CAT5 or CAT6 cables work as a long-run HDMI cable to deliver HD signal to any TV you wish. This is usually cheaper than running long HDMI cables which can be pricey especially with longer lengths. Cat 5/6 cable is fairly easy to add the clear plastic ends to (terminate) with a crimping tool, and you can’t do that with HDMI.

Think about the Electrician

Renovation and extensive changes to existing wiring can be difficult work for an electrician. Cutting access holes, fishing wires or removing drywall are some of these tasks. They also have to figure out what is already there. Some contractors will even refuse this type of work if their plate is full with other jobs. Rest assured, it will not be cheap.

Taking time to consider all pre-wiring needs will reduce this. Here are some things to think about.

wire in ceiling

Taking time to consider all pre-wiring needs will reduce this. Here are some things to think about.

  • Will you need Phone, cable or internet wiring in multiple locations?
  • Will you need additional lighting such as pot lights or wall sconces?
  • Do you wish to have additional wiring for security systems, home automation, or for speakers?

By taking all of this into consideration when wiring in advance, you will be ahead of the game.

You won’t have to say “I should have done that” and live with something like a wire running across the floor in your new basement.