Conclusion: Great Results that Exceeded Our Expectations
Once we finished moving, we were finally able to set up our computers and start testing the network. Needless to say, we are thrilled with what our newly installed infrastructure offers. The locations of the wall plates are right where they need to be, and the careful pre-planning we gave to placement was worth the time involved.
Doug stands in front of the closed Command Center
While we are overjoyed with our network installation, an installation like this one isn't for everyone. We tend to be early adopters of technology and generally ahead of the curve as far as home networking products and innovations go. While we sprinkled some corporate style networking infrastructure into our mix, this isn't necessary to incorporate your own networking ideas into your home.
The decision to use a contractor (or not) will be dictated by the complexity of the project and your comfort level regarding handling a project like this by yourself. That said, however, if you opt for an entire house wiring as we did and want professional-looking results, you will likely achieve better results if you choose an experienced contractor to help with your design and install the network as you have customized it.
An important factor to consider is the level of pre-planning and flexibility that can be incorporated into your design. For example, if you are going to have more than two or three wired network jacks, the use of a patch panel can add flexibility. Another example is the use of a termination point housing, such as the Siemon Command Center that we used for the phones and coaxial cable in our design. This allows maximum flexibillity in allowing the configuration to meet your needs.
Having a professional-looking installation that is well designed is obviously a big plus if and when you plan to sell your home. While network installations aren't "commonplace" yet, we predict they will become more in vogue and in demand as more people become technology-enamored and discover what it really can do for them. This will add to the resale value of your home if you find a buyer who recognizes the value of this networking.