Building New Home Wiring?


I am designing a new modest home with one main living space and two bedrooms. It is deep in the woods and I will be adding monitoring for that as well. Strangely there will be high-speed cable internet.

I am looking for any design advise. I would like to add motion sensors throughout but with hard lines and battery backup. I like the Samsung pir sensor, but hate that I have to change batteries.

Lighting, blinds, power monitoring, door/garage lock conditions, etc… If anyone has a comprehensive list of must haves that would help me greatly.

Thank you and I will keep reading/searching as much as possible.


Congratulations on the new house! That’s always an exciting project. (Speaking of which, I’ve moved your thread to “projects” so you can get individualized responses based on your own needs and interests.)

There have been a number of wiring discussions in the past. I suggest you start with the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki and look under project reports for the lists for “get started” and “whole house projects.” You should find a lot of interesting stuff there. :sunglasses: For example, the “get started” list includes a thread on “top 10 things to do with SmartThings” which should be helpful.

It will help if we know what country you are in, as the device selection does vary.

If I was doing a new build I would lay 3vdc power to all the places I wanted a motion sensor and back this up with my UPS supplying the power via a beefy transformer/psu
I have had very few problems with the samsung pir and find them to be the fastest that I have used
They can easily be modified to run from external power so no batteries.

But then again… I am a geek and can run my whole house for a number of hours on UPS power :slight_smile:

There is so much to choose from and everyone has different ideas & needs from their HA
The only thing I would say which I consider important:
If you loose internet connection then you can loose most, if not all, automation.
So, make sure you have alternative means of controlling devices

I’m sure lots of people will be along to help with specific devices they can’t live without.

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Thank you very much. I will dig through all your info. I have a brain injury that complicates things. Luckily advanced electronic based thought still works well most all of the time. But memory recall is damaged. I’ll do my best.


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All great points. Both you guys have really helped me. I’m taking notes of everything since my memory fails often.

Forgot to mention that I also have my house nerded out. All ups backup for even my poe lines to my cameras.

Thank you,


No problem, many people in this community have chosen home automation to help overcome various challenges in their lives. I myself am quadriparetic, use a wheelchair, and have limited use of my hands. Other people have cognitive challenges or household members who do and use automation to help fill some of those gaps.

we had one community member who was working with the veterans administration on pilot projects using home automation for people with traumatic brain injury. You might find some of his threads interesting as well. They are available on the quick browse list for “accessibility.” :sunglasses:

If this is already on your must-have list, I’ll mention it anyway :smile: — make sure you have neutrals going to EVERY switch box and outlet and other house orifices (LOL) … and you can’t have enough power outlets per wall/ceiling/outdoor-wall, in my opinion, LOL.

As for door locks, I’ve been using Yale Z-wave deadbolts for a while, with no problems.


Two things I would do…

  • internet backup
  • connect the hub to a Wi-Fi controlled switch/outlet that is not controlled via the st hub. This allows you to manually reboot the hub after a power outage, hub update, our it just decides to stop responding

Here is what I would do if I could do it all over: Think about voice control and speakers - and where you want the power plugs for these devices. Even with Echo and multi-room wireless speakers it would often be great if the distance from the power plug to the best device location was shorter and you don’t have to go through great length to hide the cable. Similar to how in newer homes the power plugs for TV screens are now 5ft high behind the screen.

Also, instead of regular power plugs, consider power plugs with USB built-in where needed for cleaner installations:

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Personally I would have a hard wired alarm system installed. It will be up to you whether it is monitored or not by an alarm company however you can integrate all the wired sensors to SmartThings. I integrated my alarm several years ago and I have been extremely happy ever since. I was able to remove several battery powered and duplicate sensors as a result too. Less batteries to change the better!

We just added on to our house this past year and I did all the low voltage wiring. I would highly recommend running speaker wire for ceiling speakers in places like the bedroom and bathrooms, kitchen and dining areas. I would also run HDMI for TVs and many Cat5/6 runs to TVs as well. Cat5/6 wire can pretty much be used for anything as there are tons of baluns available to run various technologies over Category wire. I am old school where I hard wire everything where possible because there is so much wireless interference in neighborhoods. its much cheaper and easier to run wires now than fishing wires later. Before the drywall goes up take lots of pictures and/or video of all the wires and studs so you know where everything is.

If you know you want a smart sensor like the Aeon Multisensor in a room, install a receptacle in the ceiling near it so you van power it via USB. Point is think about where you want sensors and have power or a wire run to power it.

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Hard Wire for Sensors! Door, Windows and places where you know you will need motions.

Power where you know you will need it!

Make sure neutrals are in every box.

Chase from downstairs to upstairs or from Network closet to crawlspace or attic.

Speaker wire for Atmos Audio for entertainment areas (including ceilings).

Speaker wire for whole house audio.


Chase for audio specific things so when technology changes, you can just pull new cable.

I agree with making considerations for voice. I would look at the upcoming release of the ecobee decora style light switches which have alexa built in to them for a whole house voice experience. I also would make sure to wire the home with plenty of Cat 6 cabling as well. In doing that if you think you need two Cat 6 cables in a room double it. You can never have enough network cabling. Keep in mind that HDMI can run on Cat 6 as well so it provides a clean way to network and future proof the home.

Everyone this is so great! Thank you all for taking the time. These ideas are all being recorded and will be added to house. I greatly needed this help.

Low voltage hard lines are one route I considered. If I can find the money, a solar backup just for the low voltage side is in the plan.

I will continue to watch this thread closely. As someone mention my injuries are from service. To me this thread really helps overcome them.

Thank you all!


One specific that hasn’t been mentioned yet is to install deep back boxes for your outlets and light switches. At least 40 mm deep and 65 if you can. This gives you room in the future to add radio control devices, maybe even two, Which gives you a lot more flexibility in future device selection. It’s one of those things that’s really easy to do at the time of construction, and much harder later. :sunglasses:


I would have a 12Vdc wired alarm system installed and then you can use standard open/closed sensors and also standard 12VDC smoke/CO detectors.These are also generally more reliable. Go with a Honeywell Vista 20p system and this can be integrated with smarthings so you can monitor the system when not home. Also I have mine setup like this so when everyone leaves the house it automatically arms the alarm and then disarms when a person returns. The Alarm box would also have its own 12VDC batteries and you can use a UPS for your router/modem so internet does not go down.

The neutrals for switches and USB outlets are defiantly a must as others have also stated.

I would also run multiple cat6 lines around the house that you can use for connecting devices including access points and media devices like TVs. In my house I was able to actually wire everything thankfully without ripping down walls and I had it all terminate in the basement to a patch panel that was housed in a nice network rack mounted to the basement wall. So my router, switches, modem etc are all in one nice central location.

VIsta 20 Alarm System (Make sure to get the 6160RF Keypad which supports RF devices also)

Alarm Decoder For smarthings

Network Rack

One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post is run PVC conduit where you have a bunch of wires for TVs or it can also provide a way to get wires from a crawl to an attic. Much easier to push wires through a pipe than not! Here is an example how I ran wires to my bedroom TV that is mounted on the wall. Make sure you take pictures with measurements too so you know where to cut holes.


Yes conduit makes a lot of sense, I would do the same thing if building! You can then run HDMI and other cables if needed in the future.

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Yes absolutely, especially when you have the horizontal boards when your ceiling is 9 feet or higher line mine pictured! Really tough to fish wires with those.

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Wow! Definitely loving all the supportive posts! Thank you all and Happy 4th for those that celebrate.

I am wondering what would be everyone’s thoughts on a hardline sensor for the gate at the front of my road? It will be around 800 ft from the house with total road length about 1000 ft. I would like a gate open/close detection sensor and a motion based sensor. What would be the best way to go for such distance?

Thank you all,

You’ll probably have to use a Dakota for the driveway if you want to detect cars coming in. It’s expensive, but reliable and can handle the range. Take a look at the following thread, in particular the video in the last post.

If you just want a gate open/close sensor, I would look at the Kumo sensors which can probably handle that range and they are nicely weatherproofed. You can integrate them with SmartThings through IFTTT or through a cloud to cloud integration. In either case, you need to buy your ethernet bridge, which cost about $40 and then each individual sensor is about another $40. One Bridge can handle several dozen sensors.