Cat6 over Cat5e for a New Home?

Retsam

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Hello.

Just need some help from someone experienced here.

To make a long story short, I bought a new home which I get to pick everything for. One of the wiring options is deciding what rooms to put Ethernet cable in and whether or not to upgrade the whole house to Cat6. They are charging $266 to upgrade cables to cat6. I just want to know if this is worth it to do? Halp!

I am considering installing POE Security cameras which would use power over ethernet as well, so that is part of my thoughts. Past that I dont see myself really "needing" the features of cat6 but maybe better for future proofing to do it now?
 

THUMPer

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As someone who is also building a new house, they offered cat6 as standard to me. But, here is what I would do. Upgrade to cat6 and pay the upgrade cost upfront if you can, don't roll it into your home price. The Data ports in my house were $160 per port. Whether it was data or cable. They also have an included "networking closet". I can't remember what they call it. But all cables run there. $266 for an upgrade and to have them run it, is a deal to me.
 

Retsam

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As someone who is also building a new house, they offered cat6 as standard to me. But, here is what I would do. Upgrade to cat6 and pay the upgrade cost upfront if you can, don't roll it into your home price. The Data ports in my house were $160 per port. Whether it was data or cable. They also have an included "networking closet". I can't remember what they call it. But all cables run there. $266 for an upgrade and to have them run it, is a deal to me.

Yeah, I am in so-Cal and everything is super expensive here. Anyways, they have whats called a 4 Drop Sun Upgrade, the home doesnt come with any ethernet ports whatsoever, so this builder kinda sucks and they charge for everything... The 4 Drop Sun upgrade is $400 to add a ethernet cat5e to 4 places of my choosing. Then the upgrade for cat6 is $266 from that. So its $400 + $266 to upgrade cat6 for the whole house. ( I think I am doing 8 drop locations, so it will be $800 + $266)

Thanks for the input. They way I did it is, the price is rolled into the house cost for everything normally unfortunately. However I did do a $20,000 incentive with the lender, so I am using home design center costs (which this counts as) towards upgrades so it wont be rolled into the house price for that reason, otherwise it would be. They dont have options of paying costs upfront.
 

slavie

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Cat 5e can only do 1Gbps. Cat 6 can do 10-40 Gbps depending on application, length, and other factors. The catch is, edit:Cat6 10G equipment is considerably more expensive and not as widespread. There is also little use for 10G at the moment for most. The only place I use Cat6 bandwidth is in my 4k HDMI over Cat extenders, as those supposedly need 18Gbps.
However, it will be more expensive to upgrade to Cat6 once all your walls are closed up and finished. $268 is really steep if you just do 4 cables. The difference in price b/w 1000ft of Cat 5e and Cat6 is $40 or so, and I doubt they'll use more than half the box. You're paying $268 for $20 worth of material (labor is practically same), plus a few cents on upgraded receptacles. But such is life I guess. If you do just 4 cables, I would try to negotiate and have then upgrade it for free if that's at all possible.
If you were doing 16 runs, then $268 starts to make more sense.
Finally, $160 per drop is kind of a standard price, unfortunately. Similar to how each electrical outlet is $200 or so. It's spendy if you consider that it takes no more than 30m to install each, but that's the building industry for ya.
 
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Nicklebon

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This is a touchy subject but the facts are that in most residential use cases cat 6 has nothing to offer over cat 5e. Both will run up to 5Gbps at 100M. Both will run 10Gbps to 55M. That said, I run cat 6 everywhere as the price difference should be negligible. In your case you getting raped anyway you look at it but, that's builders for you. Builders, and electricians especially so, are not cable installers I would insist on the runs being rung out and tested for compliance with a report for each run provided to confirm they do in fact conform to the standard you paid for. I highly doubt they even have a cable analyzer much less know how to use it.
 

MrGuvernment

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Make sure you can get Cat6a , this has the higher frequency of 500 which allows 10Gb (officially supported)

slavie what equipment costs so much more for Cat 5 vs 6? the cost of cabling is really a non issue and anything past that they all use the same equipment when it comes to switches and such.
 

Retsam

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Well, if I had some installer try and upgrade cables later after the home is built, is that even possible? Wouldnt that big more than $266 later? And ya, this builder sucks balls. Its so-cal so they are getting me for all kinds of shit here.

I like the suggestion to try and ask them to upgrade the cables to cat6 for free, but the chances of this are slim I think.

And this should be cat6e? Ill have to ask about that. I think it may be cat6e, but they didnt really say.
 

Nicklebon

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Make sure you can get Cat6a , this has the higher frequency of 500 which allows 10Gb (officially supported)

slavie what equipment costs so much more for Cat 5 vs 6? the cost of cabling is really a non issue and anything past that they all use the same equipment when it comes to switches and such.

6a becomes an even bigger problem with builders/electricians as it is shielded and improperly installed stp can become a huge problem and is an absolute nightmare to troubleshoot. The job would have to analyzed and certified to standards with a warranty stating as much.
 

Nicklebon

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Well, if I had some installer try and upgrade cables later after the home is built, is that even possible? Wouldnt that big more than $266 later? And ya, this builder sucks balls. Its so-cal so they are getting me for all kinds of shit here.

I like the suggestion to try and ask them to upgrade the cables to cat6 for free, but the chances of this are slim I think.
Assuming you actually already own the house ie construction loan skip the GC/builder and pay to have an actual cable installer come and do the job and have it inspected. If you're not doing a construction loan then you're likely at the mercy of the builder and a such you don't even get lube.
 

Retsam

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Assuming you actually already own the house ie construction loan skip the GC/builder and pay to have an actual cable installer come and do the job and have it inspected. If you're not doing a construction loan then you're likely at the mercy of the builder and a such you don't even get lube.

Its the builder, its not a construction loan. I am at their mercy.....


Anyways, from the comments I think I will just have them do it for $266..... I will probably have 8 drops around the house, so it will be $800 + $266 for the cat6 upgrade. This isnt really something I want to mess with after the home is built.
 

toast0

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I would probably pay to get the Cat6 at this point. The price is meh, but it'll be nicer not to worry if you have enough cats in the walls later; and it would be more expensive to add the 6th cat later.

Officially, 10GbaseT works on Cat6 to 55m and Cat6a to 100m, and not on Cat5e; but many people say it works up to 45m on Cat5e. 10G seems like it could get mainstream soon.

That said, my current house has Cat5e, and when I wired my previous house in 2009, I bought a partial reel of Cat5e cause it was cheaper (but that house was super easy to wire, ancient construction meant you could poke wires up from the unfinished basement and have someone reach into the wall to grab it... sometimes the wire would just stay by friction and I could do it without help)
 

THUMPer

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Yeah, I am in so-Cal and everything is super expensive here. Anyways, they have whats called a 4 Drop Sun Upgrade, the home doesnt come with any ethernet ports whatsoever, so this builder kinda sucks and they charge for everything... The 4 Drop Sun upgrade is $400 to add a ethernet cat5e to 4 places of my choosing. Then the upgrade for cat6 is $266 from that. So its $400 + $266 to upgrade cat6 for the whole house. ( I think I am doing 8 drop locations, so it will be $800 + $266)

Thanks for the input. They way I did it is, the price is rolled into the house cost for everything normally unfortunately. However I did do a $20,000 incentive with the lender, so I am using home design center costs (which this counts as) towards upgrades so it wont be rolled into the house price for that reason, otherwise it would be. They dont have options of paying costs upfront.
A 20k Incentive is nice. We weren't offered anything like that. Everything was extra. Most builders around here are doing Spec homes, and controlling the features. Only a couple builders are doing anything semi custom.
 

Retsam

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A 20k Incentive is nice. We weren't offered anything like that. Everything was extra. Most builders around here are doing Spec homes, and controlling the features. Only a couple builders are doing anything semi custom.

Ya but upgrades for countertops in kitchen, cabinets, flooring(they are putting in some garbage low quality carpet), electrical, lights, wiring, etc the $20k will go fast. Then after that is done, everything rolls into the house price. And property taxes here are 1.7%. And this is a 700k+ home. Youre also forced into solar here, which in my case does not at all save me money. You can buy solar for $15,000 or lease for $100 a month which is already more than I normally pay in electricity per month(in off-summer months) So I have to be careful.
 

THUMPer

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Ya but upgrades for countertops in kitchen, cabinets, flooring(they are putting in some garbage low quality carpet), electrical, lights, wiring, etc the $20k will go fast. Then after that is done, everything rolls into the house price. And property taxes here are 1.7%. And this is a 700k+ home. Youre also forced into solar here, which in my case does not at all save me money. You can buy solar for $15,000 or lease for $100 a month which is already more than I normally pay in electricity per month(in off-summer months) So I have to be careful.
Ya those upgrades go quick. I'd still like to take 20k off my home though. HAHA
Our homes base price was 349k +15k premium lot cost + upgrades. Made it to just under 412k. You have to upgrade the kitchen, if you don't you get some shit cabinets that look orange, and sheet vinyl instead of LVP or wood. I understand that though, those are all things I would want in the future anyway. Interesting about the solar, we don't even have an option here in the Midwest.
 

cjcox

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Tale of two house builds.

While the workers were away on the 1st build, I did my own cabling while at the studs. The contractors boxed everything in.

2nd build, they were going to wire all the rooms with CAT-5, I asked for CAT-6A, they refused, even if I bought the spool.
 

Retsam

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Ya those upgrades go quick. I'd still like to take 20k off my home though. HAHA
Our homes base price was 349k +15k premium lot cost + upgrades. Made it to just under 412k. You have to upgrade the kitchen, if you don't you get some shit cabinets that look orange, and sheet vinyl instead of LVP or wood. I understand that though, those are all things I would want in the future anyway. Interesting about the solar, we don't even have an option here in the Midwest.

Not to get off topic but, I am pretty much probably going to go the least expensive route and only upgrade things that are difficult to do after the home is built. Maybe cabinets and countertops, flooring I am doing after the home is built and I am just going to rip it out and hire someone which would be like half the cost and not added to home price. Ya here in California, solar is required now. You have no choice... So I either buy it for $15k (rolled into house price) or lease for $100 /m.
 

SamirD

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Yeah, I am in so-Cal and everything is super expensive here. Anyways, they have whats called a 4 Drop Sun Upgrade, the home doesnt come with any ethernet ports whatsoever, so this builder kinda sucks and they charge for everything... The 4 Drop Sun upgrade is $400 to add a ethernet cat5e to 4 places of my choosing. Then the upgrade for cat6 is $266 from that. So its $400 + $266 to upgrade cat6 for the whole house. ( I think I am doing 8 drop locations, so it will be $800 + $266)
Yeah, building in CA sucks. Are the builders chinese? That's a pretty engrish name for an upgrade.

For 8x drops, the cable cost is worth it imo, but you will need to make sure they run the cable they say they will and make sure it is a good quality cable by commscope, et al and not some fake or rip off chinese special. Same for the termination.
 

SamirD

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It's spendy if you consider that it takes no more than 30m to install each, but that's the building industry for ya.
Yep, shady AF too since most are using illegal labor to do the work. I would pay that price for legal American labor, but not when someone is trying to double-dip.
 

SamirD

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Builders, and electricians especially so, are not cable installers I would insist on the runs being rung out and tested for compliance with a report for each run provided to confirm they do in fact conform to the standard you paid for. I highly doubt they even have a cable analyzer much less know how to use it.
THIS is the most important thing. For my parent's house built in 1995, there were over 50 ethernet runs and one person knew how to terminate correctly and the other didn't--all the ones done by the other moron are running only 100Mb and I have to redo it when I can figure out how to work with 3" of stripped insulation and no service loop. :mad::mad::mad::mad: We spent some serious MF money on this and still it wasn't done right.

Fast forward to today and all the networking forums I still see the same shoddy work on a regular basis. Even in our own apartment complex, they terminated ethernet down to a telephone punch block even though the wall jacks were proper eia ethernet terminations (wtf!). I replaced the block in the apartment and we were the only one in the entire complex with working ethernet jacks.

Bottom line is that builders and their cronies don't know jack about ethernet wiring and it makes more sense to have your own contractor to do that work. If you can't them to supply ring them out and the compliance reports as noted above, and if you have to deal with their nonsense--supply them the cable and have them run your cable to boxes and tell them not to terminate it, and let them know that if they nick the wire, they re-run it.
 

SamirD

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Well, if I had some installer try and upgrade cables later after the home is built, is that even possible? Wouldnt that big more than $266 later? And ya, this builder sucks balls. Its so-cal so they are getting me for all kinds of shit here.

I like the suggestion to try and ask them to upgrade the cables to cat6 for free, but the chances of this are slim I think.

And this should be cat6e? Ill have to ask about that. I think it may be cat6e, but they didnt really say.
Oh no, an upgrade will likely be much, much more. Especially if they have to do anything like fire stops or staple the wire.

I'd rather focus on getting everything toned out and compliance reports vs the cable upgrade. Because if they install it wrong, you're still screwed.

No such thing as 6e afaik, just 5, 5e, 6, and 6a.
 

SamirD

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6a becomes an even bigger problem with builders/electricians as it is shielded and improperly installed stp can become a huge problem and is an absolute nightmare to troubleshoot. The job would have to analyzed and certified to standards with a warranty stating as much.
Yeah, these idiots can't even do cat5 correctly. 6a is hard to do even for pros. Hence why I didn't recommend upgrading the cabling to 6a.
 

THUMPer

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CAT6 being ran in my house will be done by Guardian Security. Not the builder. Just a thought.
 

SamirD

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Assuming you actually already own the house ie construction loan skip the GC/builder and pay to have an actual cable installer come and do the job and have it inspected. If you're not doing a construction loan then you're likely at the mercy of the builder and a such you don't even get lube.
I haven't dealt with this in residential construction (just commercial), but can't the OP just run wires and put boxes if they want to--assuming it is all up code?
 

SamirD

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...nicer not to worry if you have enough cats in the walls later; and it would be more expensive to add the 6th cat later.
wall.jpg
 

slavie

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Make sure you can get Cat6a , this has the higher frequency of 500 which allows 10Gb (officially supported)

slavie what equipment costs so much more for Cat 5 vs 6? the cost of cabling is really a non issue and anything past that they all use the same equipment when it comes to switches and such.
My bad, meant 10G network equipment, not Cat6.
 

SamirD

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Ya but upgrades for countertops in kitchen, cabinets, flooring(they are putting in some garbage low quality carpet), electrical, lights, wiring, etc the $20k will go fast. Then after that is done, everything rolls into the house price. And property taxes here are 1.7%. And this is a 700k+ home. Youre also forced into solar here, which in my case does not at all save me money. You can buy solar for $15,000 or lease for $100 a month which is already more than I normally pay in electricity per month(in off-summer months) So I have to be careful.
Try the Bay Area where you can't touch anything decent for over $1.5M. :eek: This is crazy when profitable businesses sell for that in most other parts of the country.

The forced solar is a bit ridiculous, and in the Bay Area, it's basically a plot to remove the generation burden from the utility company and then they just play middle man making money off other people's excess capacity--a total ripoff any way you look at it and one more step towards becoming third world since there you pretty much have to be your own utility if you want reliability. Can't wait until they require everyone to do their own sewage--that will be a real ^%#% show! :ROFLMAO:

And the worst part is pge still doesn't know how to handle solar even as recently as 6 months ago. My cousin's father in law has a 5M+ house in the bay area (startup guy) and they had all sorts of back and forth before they could get their solar connected right.
 

SamirD

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CAT6 being ran in my house will be done by Guardian Security. Not the builder. Just a thought.
I'd have mixed feelings about this as most security installers I've seen didn't know ethernet either.
 

Nicklebon

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I haven't dealt with this in residential construction (just commercial), but can't the OP just run wires and put boxes if they want to--assuming it is all up code?
Depends on the builder. Some are cool with it others less so. Years ago I helped a friend do this very thing ... after he bought the general contractor a couple cases of beer. :) The underlying issue in non construction loan houses is that until you close you don't actually own the house the builder does.
 

THUMPer

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I'd have mixed feelings about this as most security installers I've seen didn't know ethernet either.
Once they break ground, I will be breathing down their necks everyday. If he can't run cat6 I'll say something. haha
 

Nicklebon

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Once they break ground, I will be breathing down their necks everyday. If he can't run cat6 I'll say something. haha
Just remember cat6 cable needs cat 6 connectors terminated to spec. Otherwise, what you have at the end will not actually meet cat6 standards.
 

pendragon1

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I would insist on the runs being rung out and tested for compliance with a report for each run provided to confirm they do in fact conform to the standard you paid for. I highly doubt they even have a cable analyzer much less know how to use it.
^^^ this. if you going to have them do it for that much money, insist on testing.
edit: if you were paying that much to an actual installer, itd be tested.
 
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THUMPer

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Just remember cat6 cable needs cat 6 connectors terminated to spec. Otherwise, what you have at the end will not actually meet cat6 standards.
I would have a hard time telling the difference between a cat5e and cat6 termination. They both are 8P8C right?
 

toast0

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Can't wait until they require everyone to do their own sewage--that will be a real ^%#% show!
You're not going to be able to fit modern septic requirements on bay area lots. My former 1907 house near San Jose had septic at one point, but I don't think you could fit an appropriate sized tank and drain field since the house was expanded, a garage was added, and people figured out it's good to build more drain lines than the minimum, in case some get blocked over time. Municipal sewers are much nicer, as long as you're not at the bottom of a hill.
 

ND40oz

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My builder did cat 6 to every room and then cat 6a to my 3 APs for the POE requirements. Have all 10GbE equipment (mix of ubiquiti, ruckus and qnap) and everything runs at spec. If they'll run 6a to your ceiling drops for POE APs it makes things nice and easy.
 

THUMPer

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My builder did cat 6 to every room and then cat 6a to my 3 APs for the POE requirements. Have all 10GbE equipment (mix of ubiquiti, ruckus and qnap) and everything runs at spec. If they'll run 6a to your ceiling drops for POE APs it makes things nice and easy.
yeah, my builder is doing an AP drop for me. that's a good standard to have.
 
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