My wife and I are doing an extension and renovation of our home soon and I'm thinking that it might be the time to add some structured wiring. Unfortunately the budget is such that I'll have to do the work myself and even after all my research I still have some unanswered questions, and need some clarification on some things.
Some quick info:
Single story weatherboard home with under house access on a gently sloped section going from standing height at the back to lying (40-50cm) at front. Small roof space with trusses everywhere but I could get in there if need be :)
OK, here goes:
Is it OK to put a distribution panel under the house? It's not a lined basement, just concrete block foundations and only has a concrete pad about 2mx3m near one end (with standing room), with the rest of the area being dirt. It doesn't get muddy under the house (It's actually dry for most) but the dirt near where the panel would go does get noticeably damp. I will be installing a damp barrier (polythene) on the ground eventually but I'm not sure when. It reall would be the most convenient place for the panel for us otherwise I have to put it inside a linen cupboard, which means less storage and general ugliness. I'll be putting patch bay, switch, fibre box (??) maybe coax distribution and phone distro in there.
Assuming I want network, video, audio and phone in the long term, can this all be done with just RJ45's (cat6) and adapters for versatility or should I ensure I have some coax as well for the AV?
Also, what type of connector is typically used for coax at the wall plate? PDL (What the rest of the house is so I'll be matching it) seem to only make "old style RF" modules as opposed to F connectors. Does this matter?
In reality our needs will likely be met with just office and media room wiring, but I'm trying to limit the cost/effort required in the future if we decide to add to places like the bedroom or speakers in the living area but I'm not sure of the best approach.
Would you recommend prewiring everything and just leaving it in the wall; or Flush boxes + pull up cords and no cables; or just drill through the floor (the trickiest part to do later??) and leave it at that, or nothing? If I can avoid the time/cost of running cables I might never use then I'd prefer that but if it's a complete nightmare to drill floor holes later, or pull cables I'll do it up front.
All I've read suggests if you have more than one unit (or a power point already there) that they are not put opposite sides of a stud due to difficulties in cutting the gib that narrow. What do you typically do in this case? Is it OK to add a bit of timber to the side of the stud to basically make it a 2 stud spacing or alternatively place them horizontally under each other with a good spacing between? What should this spacing be?
Will have to be moved from where it is so is this typically in the panel too?
Flush Box Choice
I see there are essentially enclosed (metal) boxes with pop-out holes, open backed plastic ones and even just simple plates with nothing behind them at all. Is there any particular (dis)advantage of either? Is there any major issue with thermal-properties and how they affect insulation or future wiring?
Sorry for the long post but I guessed it was better to throw it all in together as opposed to make a bunch of threads.