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Fair Price for inner wall drops?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by mjlepak, Jul 25, 2007.

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  1. mjlepak

    mjlepak AllStar

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    Dec 19, 2006
    Hey all,

    I will be calling to get my 5 lnb dish and zinwell multiswitch installed. Of course when I built the house 5 years ago I had no idea that I should have ran multitudes of cable, phone lines, and cat 5 throughout.

    Anyway, I am dealing with having to have some inner wall drops done. In these locations there is already one drop and I am wanting to add to more rg drops and a cat 5 drop.

    What is the typical/fair charge per drop?

    Does the price double if 2 cables are being dropped in the same hole?

    Should I use an electrician to make the drops as I also need some electrical work done?

    My attic and getting to the drop location is no problem. I have a staiwell into the attic and all drops are open and easy to get to locations in the attic.
     
  2. davring

    davring Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 13, 2007
    I have no idea what the labor would be, two cables or one per drop I wouldn't think would matter much. I sure am envious of your attic, nasty, hot crawl on your belly attic here.
     
  3. VeniceDre

    VeniceDre Hall Of Fame

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    Aug 16, 2006
    It should be time and material... The cost of the material plus whatever the hourly charge of the tech.

    An electrician could handle it if he is experienced with cat 5e and rg lines... A communications guy should be able to do it also...

    The overall cost will be influenced on how hard the project is... ie where the lines are all going.
     
  4. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    Jun 9, 2006
    We charge up to $60 per wall. Doesn't really matter how many cables are being dropped.

    Who should do it? Depends. If its just coax and/or cat5/phone then the D* installer should* be able to do it. If its anything electrical, I'd go with a real electrician.

    *Not all installers are comfortable or competent enough to do wall fishes.
     
  5. zinger1457

    zinger1457 Mentor

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    Sep 24, 2006
    I had an install recently and was told that only certain installers run cable to internal walls. Wanted $70/hr so I decided to do it myself. They did provide me with the cable.
     
  6. SDizzle

    SDizzle Hall Of Fame

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    Roseville, CA
    In my last house I paid $50 a drop, including the plates and cable. It didn't matter if it was 1 or 2 cables. In this case I hired a guy as I was going from Crapcast to D* and got tired of seeing hundreds of feet of cable on my new stucco house, and this was 10 foot ceilings with fire blocks on all walls, internal as well!! I think a low voltage guy like a D* installer sure would be cheaper than a licensed electrician??
     
  7. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Here Ironwood charges $65/hour, IIRC.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  8. PoitNarf

    PoitNarf New Member

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    Aug 19, 2006
    Nothing more satisfying and cost effective than doing it yourself I say. It's easier than you think.
     
  9. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    I can think of some things more satisfying, but I agree that doing oneself is satisfying and I do prefer the results.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  10. code4code5

    code4code5 Godfather

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    Aug 29, 2006
    Really, it's not hard at all with an interior wall. I need to get off my butt and drop a new line for my OTA. It had to go away when I got the HR20 as the D* installer cannabalized that line for the second sat tuner.
     
  11. TigersFanJJ

    TigersFanJJ Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 17, 2006
    Some can be easy. Others can be a royal pain. Even for someone that does it on a regular basis.

    I charge $30 for first line in the wall, $50 for two lines (phone or cable) in the same drop. I once had a customer that flat out refused to pay $30 for the fish, saying how easy it is and he could do it himself while I finished the rest of his install. Being a nice guy, I let him borrow my tools. After I finished installing his other three receivers an hour and a half later, he finally gave up and paid me the $30 to get the cable out of his wall.

    I'd say anything less than $100 per wall would be a fair price. $50 or less per wall is a good price.
     
  12. Dolly

    Dolly Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 30, 2007
    The first time I had wall fishing done with Skylink the price was $65 per
    drop and I only needed one drop. The next time they came out the installer said it was usually $60 to $65 per drop. However, he was in a good mood and I got 3 drops for $100 :)
     
  13. captain_video

    captain_video Icon

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    Nov 21, 2005
    I hate to ask, but does it have anything to do with your avatar?:D

    mjlepak - if you have easy access to your inner walls then my question is, why don't you do the drops yourself? Dropping a coax line from the attic is about as easy as it gets. If you can see the 2x4 headers for the interior walls underneath the insulation, you can locate the top of each wall and determine where the drop should go. It's a simply matter to drill a hole through the header and drop a cable into the wall. Measure the distance along the header to the next wall it intersects with and use that to determine the spot on the wall where you can put your box.

    Get yourself a stud finder to make sure you don't cut into a stud or water pipe and then cut the opening for the box using a drywall saw. Measure the height of other boxes in the room so they're all at the same level. You only need to use low voltage boxes, which are nothing more than a plastic frame with an open back that clamp onto the drywall opening. Pull the cable through the opening, attach your RG6 connector, connect it to the back of the wall plate, mount the wall plate, and you're done. Run the other end of the cable through the attic to your multiswitch and connect it there. You can simply let the coax lay on top of the insulation or you can get creative and use wire staples to attach it to the rafters.

    To simplify your coax connections, get some compression connectors and appropriate tool and a coax stripper from Rat Shack. The connectors and tools are available on ebay for a reasonable price. The money you save on just one drop will pay for all your tools, supplies, and most, if not all, of your coax cable. Just remember that if you're using the 5-LNB dish that you need to get solid copper core RG6 and not the copper-clad steel wire that is widely available.

    When you run your coax I would advise you to run two drops to each room along with some CAT5 or CAT6 ethernet cable and possibly a phone line as well. Try and organize your wiring so that everything runs to a central location that has relatively easy access, if at all possible. I have a return air dusct on my 2nd floor that has a large enough opening for me to stand up in and work. I set this up as a wiring closet for my satellite, phone, whole house alarm system, and ethernet distribution for the 2nd floor. I have an access runway from the 2nd floor to the basement so I can run everything to the 1st floor from below each room.
     
  14. JeffBowser

    JeffBowser blah blah blah

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    Dec 21, 2006
    You guys seem to be forgetting the cross braces that are between the vertical 2x4's in the wall when you talk about how easy it is. Nothing easy about smacking into a cross brace 3/4 of the way down.
     
  15. dphil9833

    dphil9833 AllStar

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    Jul 6, 2007
    When I just had my HD installed, I rearranged how my old recievers were used and this involved two inner wall drops. I went to the trouble of cutting the holes in the walls for the boxes (which I purchased) and drilling the holes in the wall headers in the attic. We have no code requirements here for fireblocks in our interior walls. When the D* installer came, I asked him for his cable reel and while he was installing the slimline dish, I ran the cable and dropped it where it was needed. By the time he was done with the dish, the cables were in place and all he had to do was put the ends on and hook it all up. Saved me money and I ran the cables the way I wanted them run. :)
     
  16. Wisegoat

    Wisegoat Icon

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    Aug 16, 2006
    Drywall is cheap and easy to repair.

    When all else fails, cut some holes and patch them later.

    I have had to do that more than once to achieve the end results that customers or myself needed.

    If you really want something somewhere, make it happen.

    With proper application of funds, anything is possible!
     
  17. JeffBowser

    JeffBowser blah blah blah

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    Dec 21, 2006
    Well, here's another problem. Not everyone has a basic, smooth finished, white painted drywall. I have plaster and lathe, textured finish, and no single wall in my house is boring contractor white. A patch job for me is neither simple nor cheap.


     
  18. mjlepak

    mjlepak AllStar

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    Dec 19, 2006
    Wow, those are some great suggestions and some great information. I would probabaly be all for doing it myself except for one thing. Every wall in my house is insulated. How much more difficult will that make it?

    Also, I have the crimping tool already as I have been crimping my own cables for a while. Someone mentioned a coax stripper? I have always just used regular wire strippers, a knife, and a little time. Does this stripper work really easily?

    I have no problem drilling the hole in the header or cutting a hole in the wall. My problem is fishing it down to the hole. What is a cable reel? Does it help with the fishing?

    I was very involved in the building of my house so I know where everything is and how every thing is ran. I came from a house with basic cable and new nothing about D or I would have ran more drops then. Would have been easier!
     
  19. JeffBowser

    JeffBowser blah blah blah

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    Dec 21, 2006
    A cable reel will be immensely valuable, and will make fishing through the insulation much easier. They are not that expensive, I would definately get one.
     
  20. ajwillys

    ajwillys Godfather

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    Jun 14, 2006
    Just take the wall plate off, tape a long string to the coax that's there, go to the attic and pull the coax. When you see the string, tape whatever you want to the string and go back to the room and pull the string. The only thing you have to worry about is if there are any unknown holes the coax is going through that are too small for that many cables. It's really simple and shouldn't take long.

    Also, make sure you tape it really well so that the string can't yank out!
     
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