Save yourself time and effort: map those cables first

Remember when they used to say, “Measure twice, cut once?” It’s still a good idea. If you plan a big project that includes cables, it’s a good idea to plan things out first. Here are some things to think about:

Do you have enough room in the walls? It’s a good idea to know where the conduits are in your walls if you’re going to fish cables through. If you’re lucky there might be some room to fish cables adjacent to power or utility lines. It’s also a good idea to use a stud finder to figure out where the firebreaks in the walls are. it can be really frustrating to fish a cable halfway down the wall and not realize that you need to cut drywall to drill through a firebreak.

Plan cable lengths. There are a lot of variables that can affect whether or not you get good reception from your TV or satellite dish and one of them is cable length. We have a number of resources including amplifiers that can help, but it’s a good idea to know how many cable-feet you’re running when we try to recommend one for you.

Put accessories and splices where you can get at them. It’s a very bad idea to splice cables inside the wall, and it’s even a worse idea to wall up an antenna or amplifier. We all want the cleanest possible installation but splices are the most common failure points in a system and it’s a bad idea to put them where you can’t get to them.

It’s also a good idea to create some basic plans, either in the computer or on paper so you’re able to do some diagnosis if things do go down. Include cable lengths, types, and anything specific you had to do that might not be immediately obvious to someone looking later.