Best Installation Tips for New Construction

Hello and thank you upfront for kind tips and suggestions.

I have been studying much about Z-Wave for my new home construction and plan to use the technology for assortment of locks, lights, fans, shades, skylights, and cameras. Settling on Vera Light for control and I am seeking a “best practices” for new construction as framing is finishing up next week. Most of what I’ve read on this forum is straight forward but I wanted to reach out and hear suggestions from others as to what you would do with a clean slate. For example I’ll have at least 20 light switches (mix of technologies) in the Great room and hearing some heat issues for ganging all the Z-Wave switches together. Perhaps even pointing me to links in this forum where good suggestions (and documentation) have already been made.

Thanks again!

My first is to stay do not look at z-wave or using a Vera in isolation. Detail your final requirements up front and then look at best fit, value and longevity.

I would recommend you get an dedicated alarm and intergrate it with Vera. You should not just look at the alarm system as a security device but where the alarm and provide function for your home automation scenarios. If it is at frame stage you have the perfect time to run wire to sensors, windows, doors, cupboards, outside; where ever you want to utilise this for another function.

The other thing that you may consider is where to run you Ethernet (cat 5e, utp, cat6) and where this fits for your home av equipment. Eg distributed Hdmi via an Switch or over cat5. It is best to do it up front as it will save in the long run. There are comments about this on the forum look for monoprice hdmi matrix as there is a plugin already.

See thread below which addresses question about z-wave alarms.,10763.15.html

If you are then considering an alarm there are factors or configuration questions that may assist you in your decision found here. Ignore the location and brand for the point is what you may consider.,10307.0.html

Another tip: like pretty much all electronic switches, Z-wave switches require both live and neutral wires to operate. In most homes however, you’ll find only the live wire and switching wire behind light switches, making it hard to replace existing switches with Z-wave ones. If you’re building a new home, get the electrician to run both live and neutral to every patress box intended for wall switches.

Neutral in switch boxes became an electrical code requirement in the NEC in 2011. Not sure who else has the requirement now, but it’s for this reason exactly.


[ul][li]Use motion sensors in rooms where you don’t want to turn on/off the lights.
[/li][li]Pull network cables for cameras also outside.[/li][/ul]

Another thing, not really Z-wave related. These days pretty much everything is charged by USB chargers, so consider installing these nice new-fangled in-wall USB power sockets. Near the night stand, in the office, the den, etc, everywhere you expect to want to charge devices. You can install them later but that’ll involve installing an extra pattress box, or giving up a wall socket.

  1. I would definitely use plastic boxes instead of metal boxes. The plastic boxes have much better RF characteristics.

  2. I would definitely use as deep of boxes you can use. This prevents a possible cable fill violation. Keep in mind that the Zwave modules are thicker than the regular switches and outlets. Obviously, you are limited by the thickness of the wall.

  3. A 2008 U.S. Department of Energy study, before the One Watt Initiative, found that standby power accounted for around 10% of total residential energy consumption. I would wire all outlets in the room to a “vampire” switch that allows you to turn off all phantom loads such as TVs, Stereos, cellphone chargers, laptop chargers, etc. that consume electricity without providing any sort of functionality. The vampire switch controls the bottom outlet of a duplex outlet and
    sits in a double-gang box next to the light switch.

  4. I would wire outside outlets to a box that is inside the house that can house Evolve LFM-20 relays. If you can’t afford the relays immediately, then simply have the electrician pre-wire a box in which you can later on install the relays. This makes the outside outlets switched for all sorts of applications - Halloween decorations, Christmas lights and summer decorative patio light strings. I hate having extension cords down to

  5. If you plan on installing remote-controlled shades in the future, definitely put in a power outlet.

  6. If you think you will need occupancy sensors, pre-wire an outlet near where you might need them.

  7. I am thinking about having a bracket for a tablet in the kitchen so I can work on shopping lists and use an android app to control the house from. It might be worthwhile to plan a USB outlet there.

  8. Prewire ethernet from your router and vera to cameras and TVs.

I am in the same situation…now I have…

  1. I will buy vera3 (I will need 4 units for whole home) each point of vera will have a outlet and network cable.

  2. I have one centered location for 1 gigabit switch 24 ports, and all cat6 cables…

  3. for my wifi I will use airport extreme from apple in the same quantity of veras

  4. in each point of tv I will have an ethernet point and a media player device like boxee box dlink, and apple tv.

  5. in the general switch I will have a time capsule hard drive to record all data

  6. each room will have a sqblaster device to control all IR devices.

  7. I think in use GE switches and dimmers because this is more easy to find in the internet and more cheap.

  8. I will use plastic wall boxes… this:

I need define now the brand of the network cameras and if that is vera3 compatible.

and the best door locks

and find a IR emitter to put on the ceiling to control in wall splits (is difficulty to cable this kind of device).

My project is a big appartment and I need have some help to define the things…if someone interest, I can pay by support and consulting, because my project is here in Brazil.

I speak about brands and references of devices because this is very important in either project…are the cars will run in the building road.

thanks for some help too…