High technology has become a part of our every day life - with
computers, cellular phones, faxes, digital TV, all vying for our
attention. Gone are the days when a house only came pre-wired with
three telephone jacks and two TV outlets. Now every room needs telephone,
computer and TV connections.
Buyers aren't looking for a "SmartHouse" system of the
recent past - where all appliances were supposedly capable of talking
to each other, and you could run hot water for your bath from your
cell phone on the way home from work. It was too complicated, too
expensive, and a bit silly. (And what would a microwave say to a
"Why are you being so cold to me?")
What we do want, however, are rooms that are pre-wired for telephone,
computer, stereo and television (including eventual high-speed access).
We may not need it all right now, but we certainly don't want to
have to rewire in a few years. We want better lighting and power
controls, and a built-in security system. And we want technology
that's easy to use, and doesn't require an advanced degree to decipher
Fortunately, it's not all that expensive or difficult to anticipate
those technology needs. Many builders and electrical contractors
offer something called a structured wiring system to address all
those needs, which includes the cables, the outlets and the junction
boxes to handle most computer, television, and telephone needs.
At the minimum, insist on Cat 5 telephone cable and RG6 co-ax wiring.
It may cost a little bit more to do structured wiring now - but
it's a lot less than retrofitting the house later. Besides, would
you really want a house that's technologically obsolete before you