If walls could talk, they would reveal the secret inner workings of a house.
“What’s behind the walls isn’t very glamorous, but it’s what makes the house work,” said Dave Pedigo, senior director of technology with Custom, Electronic Design and Installation Association, based in Indianapolis.
“Most people don’t think about the things inside a home’s walls until there’s a problem and you have to fix it,” Pedigo said.
The web of a home’s mechanical workings can include plumbing and venting, cable television wiring, in-wall speakers for surround-sound, central vacuum, alarm and surveillance, electrical outlets, Internet and telephone wiring, thermostat/humidifier controls, motorized window treatments, electrical heating and ductwork, natural gas pipes, exhaust fan ductwork, lighting, and framing for doors and windows.
“It can be crowded behind the walls of a home,” Pedigo said. “That’s why it’s imperative to run conduit that contain the wires, with an access point at which to get to them, should you ever need to.”
A homeowner can aspire to build a top-of-the-line “smart” home, one in which lighting, heating/cooling, computers, entertainment systems and security alarms and/or cameras are automated. That means those systems can be controlled by one or more keypads in the house or remotely through the use of cellphones or the Internet.
But homeowners can also install wiring for automated systems, whether or not they buy the equipment right away.