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House update [Mar. 12th, 2004|01:01 pm]
[Current Mood |frustratedfrustrated]

Today is every-other-Friday, meaning that it's my day off from work. On my day off willowisp and I always go over to the house to see what progress has been made. This has just become rather more critical than it was.

See, we're getting cat6 run to a few rooms in our house. This is one of the options we could go for: actually the wiring contractor will only run cat5e, but I went and handed them a spool of cat6 and said 'here, use this instead'. So far so good.

Today I went through the house and did a fairly thorough inspection of all the wiring. I found that yes, they had run cat6 to all the appropriate outlets, and beyond that, they used it for the phone wiring - why, I don't know, but whatever. So far so good. Then they took all of these blue wires and ran them to the phone connection point in the garage next to the circuit breakers.


See, the phone wires are supposed to go there, but the network wires are supposed to go to a punchdown block or a hub (noone has given me a clear answer) in the master closet, right next to where the alarm box will go.

I called Pam, our build mangler, and told her about that as well as a few other problems I'd found. She said "Can you hang on a few minutes? I'll come over." (Pam gets lots of points for responsiveness when something is wrong.) Ten minutes later she pulls up in her truck, and five minutes after that she's on the phone with Prewire asking them what's going on. Prewire is awfully confused about this. It takes them ten or fifteen minutes of frantic calling around to find someone who knows what's supposed to be happening.

It turns out that they did indeed misroute all those cables. They will be rerouting them into the master closet on Monday. Moreover, they will be putting another electrical outlet into the closet to have room for the transformer for the switch. This has to happen on Monday because late Monday is frame inspection, Tuesday is insulation, and drywall starts on Wednesday. If all that happens on schedule , all the miscellaneous "fix this" items on the punch list get fixed today and Monday, the large oil stain in the garage gets cleaned up, and there are no other huge hangups we will probably close the first week in May.

At the moment I'm pretty skeptical. Pam is pretty ambitious about her schedules, which is good, but doesn't admit that they've slipped and she's going to miss a deadline until it's blindingly obvious. Right now the clock is ticking, too... since we locked in our interest rate yesterday, we have until 11 May to close without having to pay a $530 extension fee. Susan, our saleswoman, hemmed and hawed a little bit before saying "Well... if that happens I think Construction would have to pay that. You shouldn't be the one being penalized if they can't keep their schedules." I was much assured to hear that... but I want it in writing. The next time I can get hold of her, I'm going to ask for it.

[User Picture]From: echoweaver
2004-03-12 12:50 pm (UTC)
Wow. Good thing you have a clear idea of what your network wiring should look like. I don't know if I'd have done such an inspection. I'd be entirely too likely to believe the contractors know what they're doing.

I'd absolutely push for construction to pay your extension fee if it comes to that, but $530 is small in comparison to what you'd end up paying if interest rates go up even a quarter point before closing.
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[User Picture]From: merlinofchaos
2004-03-12 05:43 pm (UTC)
It's my guess that it'll run to a punchdown block and/or a patch panel. While it's possible a hub will be installed in the house, you honestly don't want that, because it'll be a pain to upgrade if you ever want to. Also, since they don't grok cat6 it won't be a GigE hub and that's what you really want.

A patch panel is pretty much what you ideally want. Then you put whatever switch you want there.
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[User Picture]From: clubjuggler
2004-03-12 09:49 pm (UTC)
For our wires, they actually put RJ-45 plugs on them after they ran into the wiring box in the closet. That's ideal because now to switch a plug from phone to network all I have to do is unplug it from the phone distribution block and plug it into the network switch.

Of course, each Centex neighborhood contracts out their wiring stuff, so who knows what you'll end up with. Good luck!
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