Buying A Home

New Home construction - Prewire for surround sound

G'morning.  We're in the middle of our home purchase.  It is a planned community with lots.  We have our appt with the builder's contracted tech/wiring firm.  They are pricey.

Is it worth having them wire & install or just prewire for a surround sound system?

 Advice, please!

Re: New Home construction - Prewire for surround sound

  • I don't have specific info on wiring for surround sound. However, I can tell you, that in general ,builders jack up the prices of extras a ton as compared to what you could do them for yourself or hire your own professional to take care of. The fli[ side is that the wiring would be move-in ready and you wouldn't have to rip into walls after the house is totally built.
  • If you are going to want surround sound then I say go for it as it will be easier to do when before the walls are up.  However, if you don't really need it I would pass. 

    We aren't big fans of having speakers in our walls because I think it looks dated after a while but if you are going to want them eventually it might be best to get them done right away.

  • My BF's DH owns his own biz in VA. They do custom sound and image systems in homes. These days, high $$$ speakers are actually hid in the walls...as in, you cannot see them at all! I was at their home in Richmond and I asked him...so this TV is putting out great sound, is it just coing out of the TV? He said, "No. There's actually speakers all around this room. See that clock over there on the wall? There's a speaker above it." I was so shocked. Amazed. You couldn't even tell! Maybe you want to wait and do this type of project so the speakers don't show.
  • image MommyLiberty5013:
    My BF's DH owns his own biz in VA. They do custom sound and image systems in homes. These days, high $$$ speakers are actually hid in the walls...as in, you cannot see them at all! I was at their home in Richmond and I asked him...so this TV is putting out great sound, is it just coing out of the TV? He said, "No. There's actually speakers all around this room. See that clock over there on the wall? There's a speaker above it." I was so shocked. Amazed. You couldn't even tell! Maybe you want to wait and do this type of project so the speakers don't show.

    Now that sounds neat!  We are not nearly techy enough to justify but that's very cool.

  • I'm very excited about the in wall option.  I was looking into those as we have limited walls around our area and were probably going to have to put some of the speakers in the ceiling (which are then covered to blend with the ceiling. 

    We'll see what they quote us, I guess!

  • We're also building and we passed on both the full installation and pre-wiring for the family room. Instead we're getting a sound bar to help project the sound due to the open floor plan. Our basement isn't finished and we know we're going to have a media room downstairs so we'll get at least the rough ins at that time. I'm not sure if you had your meeting with the electrician, but if you haven't I would suggest doing all rough ins for the first floor even if you won't need it for a few years. My father was an electrician and both he and our project manager say its a PITA to add additional electrical outlets, lights, etc to the first floor after a house is built.
  • We're building too... and I have found that it's cheaper to have the builders do it now.  It's much easier for them to do wiring when the walls are open - which saves you a lot of labor/materials/time.

    DH did not want under cabinet lighting - but when I priced out what it would cost to do it after we completed building - it was obvious that now was the time to do it, if we wanted it.

    We're of the mind set "if we are going to eventually HAVE to have it... do it now".  We added a window, under cabinet lighting, a larger shower because those are all things we can save money by having the builders do now.  

  • We had a SS system installed in our new construction and OUCH it is very $$$ but it was even more $$$ to contract it out after construction.

    The material is expensive there are no 2 ways around it, it is the labor that is the varience and finding tech. skilled is not easy.

    We had the speakers mounted on the ceiling. NOTE: if you do this make certain "sound proof" behind the speaker or the noise travels to the second floor !!!!! 

    FWIW we also had them install the wiring for a tv above the fireplace - no wires to look at.

    Good luck!

  • My DH owns his own business doing this.  I agree with PP it can be pricey but it will be a lot cheaper to do it before walls or up.  

     If you do just do the prewire make sure you have information on where ALL the wires are.  I know DH has run into several situations where someone prewired for sound, but then didn't tell the owners where the wires were.  This causes problems for the installers. 

    It is also important to do it before hand because there are some types of installation (foam)  that make adding surround sound difficult.  

    I know that a lot of people like sound bars but they don't sounds as high quality IMO. I agree with PP, they can hide speakers in just about anything anymore. 

    Also, are you required to use this specific wiring company?  If you have the option, look around.  

    Overall, knowing what I know about my DH's business, I always recommend people at least pre-wire if they want surround sound.  

    Hope that helps! 

  • We just finished building and went with prewire only except on the covered patio.  We wanted them to be liable if there were electrical issues outside.  As for the inside, the speakers were very marked up and not that great so we will be adding our own down the road.  As pp suggested, make sure you know where the prewire is.  In our first house, it wasn't capped and we never found it.  In this house there is a 'cap' or blank outlet cover over where the speaker will go.  I did read to NOT buy the pre installed housing for speakers through the builder as that will severely limit which speakers you can add later.  Another tip.. we had the master prewired to add speakers later and they originally had the wires come down really close to the wall.  By the time we added blinds and curtains the speaker would be aiming at the curtain.. make sure any prewire in the ceiling is in the place you want it to go!
  • image MommyLiberty5013:
    My BF's DH owns his own biz in VA. They do custom sound and image systems in homes. These days, high $$$ speakers are actually hid in the walls...as in, you cannot see them at all! I was at their home in Richmond and I asked him...so this TV is putting out great sound, is it just coing out of the TV? He said, "No. There's actually speakers all around this room. See that clock over there on the wall? There's a speaker above it." I was so shocked. Amazed. You couldn't even tell! Maybe you want to wait and do this type of project so the speakers don't show.

     That is really freakin cool, and I am going to tell DH about it!  He is going to be excited, he has some speakers burning a hole in storage...

Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards