Estimating IP Camera Cabling Costs

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 29, 2012

Cabling is a fundamental, yet often overlooked, component of any surveillance project. Indeed, often estimating cabling costs can be more difficult than camera pricing as cabling frequently faces difficult to detect challenges. In this report, we explain how to estimate cabling costs and recognize various issues in surveying cabling layouts. This report is targeted at the introductory level, focusing on basic and intermediate level issues.

For users seeking expertise in cabling design and expertise, we recommend BICSI's TDMM (and associated RCDD credential program). In the cabling industry, BICSI is practically the only source for standards and certification.

Estimating Approaches

To start with, one must choose an estimation approach. Common approaches include: square footage, unit and detailed estimates. Inside, we focus on the detailed approach.

Costing Information

Since millions of cables are installed each year, significant historical information exists on typical labor expenditures. Inside, we explain how to use labor and material factors to estimate larger projects in a straightforward manner.

Cable Runs

Clearly, a fundamental component of estimating cable installs is the length of the run. A number of important factors impact the length beyond the obvious one of point to point distances. We examine these factors and provide guidance on how to estimate them.

Cable Types

Even when using UTP, the most common type for IP cameras, a number of options exist including Cat 5e and Cat 6 as well as plenum vs non plenum cabling. Inside we provide guidance and estimates on cost and choice with these options.

Advanced Issues

Cable runs can be very difficult and be impacted by numerous factors including wall construction, ceiling construction, height of ceilings, building accessibility, safety concerns and local regulations. Any of these can turn a simple pull into a significant project.

Inside, we provide guidance on each of these issues.

******* ** * ***********, *** ***** **********, ********* ** *** surveillance *******. ******, ***** ********** ******* ***** *** ** **** difficult **** ****** ******* ** ******* ********** ***** ********* ** detect **********. ** **** ******, ** ******* *** ** ******** cabling ***** *** ********* ******* ****** ** ********* ******* *******. This ****** ** ******** ** *** ************ *****, ******** ** basic *** ************ ***** ******.

*** ***** ******* ********* ** ******* ****** *** *********, ** recommend*****'* ****(*** ********** **** ********** *******). ** *** ******* ********, ***** is *********** *** **** ****** *** ********* *** *************.

Estimating **********

** ***** ****, *** **** ****** ** ********** ********. ****** approaches *******: ****** *******, **** *** ******** *********. ******, ** focus ** *** ******** ********.

Costing ***********

***** ******** ** ****** *** ********* **** ****, *********** ********** information ****** ** ******* ***** ************. ******, ** ******* *** to *** ***** *** ******** ******* ** ******** ****** ******** in * *************** ******.

Cable ****

*******, * *********** ********* ** ********** ***** ******** ** *** length ** *** ***. * ****** ** ********* ******* ****** the ****** ****** *** ******* *** ** ***** ** ***** distances. ** ******* ***** ******* *** ******* ******** ** *** to ******** ****.

Cable *****

**** **** ***** ***, *** **** ****** **** *** ** cameras, * ****** ** ******* ***** ********* *** ** *** Cat * ** **** ** ****** ** *** ****** *******. Inside ** ******* ******** *** ********* ** **** *** ****** with ***** *******.

Advanced ******

***** **** *** ** **** ********* *** ** ******** ** numerous ******* ********* **** ************, ******* ************, ****** ** ********, building *************, ****** ******** *** ***** ***********. *** ** ***** can **** * ****** **** **** * *********** *******.

******, ** ******* ******** ** **** ** ***** ******.

[***************]

Types ** *********

*****, **** *********** ********* ********** *****. ***** *** ***** ******* ways ** ***** ********* ** *** ************ ******** (***** ******** all ******) *** *******:

  • ****** ******* - *** ***** ******* *** *** *** ** least *********
  • **** - **** *** *********** '********' ***** ***** ** ********** experience
  • ******** - *** **** ******* *** **** **** *********

****** *******: **** **** ** ******** ** ******* ** ******* *** total ****** ******* ** * ********, *** *********** ** * specific ****** ****** *** ****** **** ****** ** ****** * total ********. *********, **** **** ** ******** ******* ****** **** all ****** ******* ***** ****** ***** ***** ** *********, *** is ******** **** ****** ** * **** ** *****, ** to ******* * **** ***** ********* ********. **** ******** ******* varying ** ****, **'* ********* ** **** **** **** **** a ****** ******, ********* ** ********* **** ****** **** ********* not ** **** ** ******** *******.

****: **** **** ** ******** ** ** * ***** ** detail ****** ******* * ****** **** *** ******** ********. * per-unit ******** **** ***** *** ******** ******* ***** *** ********** out ******* *** ****** ** ******* ********. *** *******, ** an ** ****** ********* ***** $*,*** ** ********, *** ***** four ***** ** *******, ** ******* ***** **** $**,*** ** material, *** **** *** ***** ** *******. **** ******* ** a **** ******** ********, **** ****** *******, ***** ***** ******** some ****** ****** ** *** *****. ******* *** ***** **********, however, ** ** ****** ****** ******* ** **** ******* ***** have ********* ***** *** ******** ******* **** ** ****** ****** mounted ** * ***** *******. **** ****** ** ***** **** when **** ********** *** "********", ** ** ****** *** ****** of ******* ** ****** ** ******* ** *** ********** ***, without **** ***** ****. ** ** *******, ** ************* ********** * **** ***** ******** ** **** * ***-****** *** 5e ***** ****. **** **** **** ** *********, *** ********* was $*** - $***. ******* **** ****** ********** ******** ***** the ********* ** **** ** ********, ***** ****** ** ** the ******** ********.

********: *** **** ********, ** **** ** **** ********* ****** of **********, *** ******** ******** ***** ***** ********* *** **** individual ****** *** *** ****** ******** **** *******. ** **** method, *** ******* *** ***** ******* *** *******, ***** ********* exactly ********, *** *** ******* *** ************ **********. **** ********* in *** ******* *** * ****** ***** ******, *** ****** or *** **** ** *** ******** ** *****, ***** ** multiplied **** *** ***** ***** ** *********** ** ****** * total. **** ****** ** ********* ** **** *****, ** ** provides *** **** ******** **** *********.

***** *** ***** ** ***** ******* *** ** **** ** certain *****, ** ********* **** *********** ********** *** ******** *********, which ** **** **** *** ********** ** **** ******. **** experience *** ******* *** *****, **** ********* *** ** **** with **** ** ***** *** *******.

Costing ***********

***** *** **** ******** **** ** **** ********* ** ** history, *** ********** ** ***** ******* ** ***** **** **** never **** ****** *** **** ** ******** **** ****. **** data ** ******** ****-********* (**** **** ******* **** ******) ** a *** *************.***'* *** **** ***********'* ***** ************ *********(********* ** ******* ****) *** *** ** *** ****** *******, and **** ******** ******. ***** ******* ******* ***** *** ******** factors ***** *** ********** ** *** ********** ******** ** ****** at ***** *****.

*** *******, * ******** ******** ***** ****** *** ******* * single *** ***** ** .*** ***** *** ****. ** ** account *** * ***' ***, ** ****** ******** *** * .008, *** ** ****** ** .* *****, ** ***** ** minutes. ** **'** ********** *** ***' ****, ** ****' ** cable, ** **** ** **** * ***** ** * *****. This ****** **** *** ******* ***********, ******** ** ***** ******* or ******* ** ********, ** ***** *******.

Cable *** *********

********** ***** ******** **, ** *** *******, **** ***************. *** simply ******** *** ****** ** *** ***, ****** **-**** ** using ****** *****, **** *** ** ***** **** ********, *** this ** *** **** ***** ** ******. *******, ***** ****** to ******** **** ********** ***** *********, ***** *** ****** *********:

  • ***** **** *** *** ****** **********: *** ******* ***** ** ****** **** ********* ***** ********* is **** ***** **** *** *** ***-***********. *** ***** ****** at * ***** ***** ** ******, **** **, **** ************, and ***** **** **** ** *** ****** ********. ** ********** to ***** *********, ***** ***** ****** **** ** **** ** either *** ** *** ***, ****** ** ********** ** ** the *****. ********** ***** ******* *** **** ** * ******** of *****, *** ********** ****.
  • ***** ***'* ******** *** **** *****: ***** **** ****** ** ********, *** ************ *********, ***** 90-degree ***** **** *** **** *** ******** ** *** ******, in ****** *** *********. *** *******, ** * ******** ** perfectly ******, **** *** **** *** ** *** ******, *** the ****** ** *** ******** ******, ***** ****** *** ** run ** * **-****** ***** ****** *** ********. *******, ** should ** *** ***** *** ******* ** *** ******, **** a **-****** ******, *** ******** ** ** *** ****** ********. This ** **** ** ****** *** ****** ** ********* *********** in * ***, ***** ***** ***** *** ***** *** ******** easier ** ******, *** ** **** ** ****** ** *******.
  • ****** ****'* ******* ****** *** ** * ****: **** ********** *******, **'* **** ** **** *** ***** lengths ** *** ****, *** **** ********, *** *** **** raw ***** *** *** ****** ** ***** ****** ** *** project. *******, **** **** *** **** **** ******* **** ******** runs *** ****** *** **** ****, *** ** ****** **************, which ******* *** ***** **** ******** ** ******* ***** ******. Estimators ****** **** *** ********* ***** *** ** ****** ** once, *** ****** **** ****** **** ** ****** **** ***. While ***** ** ***** ******* ** ******* ******** ****** ********, it ********* ******* **** ** *** **** ******* ********, ***** large ******* *** ****** ** ****. ** *** ******** ********, users **** *** *** *********** *******.

** ** *******, ** ** ******* ***' ******** **** *** recorder ******** ** * *******'* ****** ** * ****** ******** up *** ****, ** ****** ******* *** ************* ***' ** cable: ***' ************, **** **' (**% ** ***') ** ******* for ********** ***** ** *** *********, **** **' ** ******* for *** *** *****. **** **** **** ** **** ***** will ** ******, ** **'* ******* ****** ***********, *** **** waste ** ******, *** ********** ** ******* ****** ***** *** short.

Cable ***** ********

**** ***** *******, *** **** ******* ******** ** ********, *** contractor **** ** ***** ** **** **** ** ***** ** required. *******, **'* *** ******** *** ** ********** ** **** an ******** ** *** ** ********** **** *** * *** written ** *** **************, *** ****** **********. ************, ** * facility's ******* ****** ** **** ** ** *** ******, ******-***** cable **** ** ****, ******* ** *** (*****-*****) ** **/*** (general ***) ******.

***** ****** **** ****** ********* ** ************ *** ****** ****** for ******. ************* **** ***** ********* ********* ***** (**** ***** standards), ** **** ** ****** ***** ****** *********, ********* ***** bandwidth *** ********, *** ****** ****. ***** *** **** ***** of ***** *** ***** **********, *******:

  • *** ** ***-******: $*.**-*.** ***
  • *** ** ******: $*.**-*.**
  • *** * ***-******: $*.**-*.**
  • *** * ******: $*.**-*.**

** ******, ***** ******* *** ** *****. ******* **** **** by ****** *** ********. *******, *** ****** *********** ****** ** pay **** *** *** * **** ***** *** ****** ** Non-Plenum *****.

A ***** *******

***** *** ************ *****, ***'* **** ** ** ********:

* ******** ** ********** ******* *******, **** ** ******* ******** cable ****** ** ***'. ****** **% ** ******* *** ********** turns, *** **' ** **** *** ******** ****, ** *** a ***** ** ***** ***' *** ***. **** ****** ** to *,***, ***** ** ***** ** ** *,***, ***** ***** is **** ** *,***' **********. ***** * ***** ****** *.***, a ***** **** ** $**/****, *** $*.** *** **** ** plenum *** **, ** *** *** *** ********* *******.

  • *,***' ** ****** *** ** = $*,***
  • *,***' * *.*** ***** ****** = ** *****
  • ** ***** * $** = $*,***
  • *****: $*,***

** * *** ****** *****, **** ***** *** ** $*** per ******. *******, **** ******* * ****** *************** ************. ***** factors *** **** **** ****

** *** ****** ******* ** *** ******, ** ********* **** of *** **** ****** '********' ******* **** ***** ******** **** and **********:

Building ************

*** ******* ***** ********** ********* *** **** *** *********** *** conditions **-****. ** **** ******* ****** **** ************ ****** ************ from ********-**-********. **** ********** ***** *** ***** **** ******* ** metal *****, *** *********** **** ***** *** **** ******** *****, brick, ******* **** **** ** ***** ****, **** ********, ****, and ****. **** ** ***** *** ***** *** ***** ** working **** **. **** ** ***** **** ***** *** ******* the *** ** ******* *******, ***** ****** ****** ** ****** down ***** ********. *** **** ***** ***** **** *******, ** increase ** ***** ******* ** ** ** **% *** ** normal.

**** *****, ******** *** ** *********** ** * **** ******* of *********, *** **** ** ********* *** ** *** **** way. ******* ****** ** **** * *** ******. ********, **** is ********* **** * ***- ** *****-**** **** ******. **** performed ** ******* ****** **** ****, ********* ********* ******* ** slower, *** ** *** ***** **** **** **** ** ***** ascending *** **********.

** ******** *** ********** ****, **** ** ** ********** *** high-bay *******, ***** *** **** ** ** ******. **** *** users **** ***** *********** ** *** ***** *****, ** **** have **** **-****, *** **** *** ** ********** *** ********* reasons. *** **** ************** ** ********** *** ***** *** ****** and ****. ******* ***** *** **** ******** ****, *** ** active **********, *** ** **** ********* ** ******** **** ***** areas, ****** * **** **** * ****** ******, ******** ******* to ** ********* **** *******. ***** ********* **** ******* $*** USD *** * ***** (**' ******* ****) ** $****+ *** high-reach **** *****, *** ********* ********, ***** *** **** **** a *** ******* *******.

Building ***

** *** ******** ** ** ** ******** ****** ************, *** estimator ****** ******** **** ****** ***** **** **** **** ************. Installers *** **** ** **** *** ***** ** ****** *********, or **** **** ****** *****, ****** ********** **** ** *** installation. ****** ******* ** *** ********'* ****** ********* ***** *** considered ** **** *****, ** ********* **** *****.

Special *********

** **** ******** **********, ******* ********* **** ** ******** **** doing *** ************ ****. *** *******:

  • ****** ******** *** ******: **** **********, ********** ******** **********, **** require *** ***** *** **** ** **-**** ** ****** * safety ******** ****** ***** ** **** **********. ******, **** ** corrections **********, ******* * ***** ** ********* ** ***** *** exit, ** **** **** ********** ***** ****'* **** ** *** building. **** ** *** ************* *** *** ** **** ** more ** **** *** ***, *** **** ** ********* *** in *********.
  • ******* ************ ************: **** ********** **** *** ***** *** ******* to ** *** ** **** ***, ******* ********* *** ****** to ** ********* ** *******. **** ***-******* *********** *** ****** equipped ** *** ***** ********** ** *******, ** ****** ** electrical ********** *** ** *********** ** **** ****.
  • ********* ********: **** ********* ******* **** ** **** **** *** or *** ******* ***** ** **** ** *** ****, ************** ******* **** ** ******* *** **** *******. ***** ***** *** cost ********* ** ******* *** ****** ** ****** *** **** needed ** ******* *****.

** *** ** ***** *** *********** *** ** ** ********, it *** ****** **** ** **** ********. ********** ****** ******* with *** *** **** ** ** ******* *** ******* ********* exist.

Local ***********

** **** *****, *** ******* ******* **** *** ******* * license ** *******, *** ** **** **** ********* ** **** officials **** ***** ******. ** **** *****, ***** ******** ** not * **** ****** ******, ** **** *** **** ** be ********* ** *** ***** ********* *** ********. **** ************** may **** ****** ****** **** ********* ***** **** ******, ** more ******** ******* ** ******** ** *** ********. *********, ****** completing *** ********, *********** ****** ** ******** **** ***** *****.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Selecting Access Control Readers Tutorial on Nov 09, 2017
Given the variety of types available, specifying access control readers can be a daunting process. However, focusing on a few key elements will...
Milestone XProtect Essential+ Free VMS Tested on Nov 09, 2017
Milestone continues to expand its aggressive free and low-cost offerings, with this year, Milestone releasing XProtect Essential+, part of their...
Average IP Camera Cable Run Distance on Nov 07, 2017
Estimating cable lengths can be tricky, seemingly either all guess work or requiring each and every run to be measured, a time consuming task.  To...
ZoneMinder Open Source Profile on Nov 06, 2017
The first, oldest and probably the best known open source VMS is ZoneMinder. But where has it gone and is it still relevant today in a world of...
ONVIF Wire Free Camera Tested (Netgear FlexPower) on Oct 31, 2017
Totally wire-free cameras are a hot growth market. But they have had one major problem: Proprietary. IPVM has tested Netgear's Arlo and Arlo Go,...
Avigilon H4 Mini Dome IR Tested on Oct 24, 2017
Avigilon has released their successor to the aging Micro Dome, the H4 Mini Dome, claiming easy install, a patent-pending surface/recessed...
Deep Learning Tutorial For Video Surveillance on Oct 17, 2017
Deep learning is a growing buzzword within physical security and video surveillance. But what is 'deep learning'? In this tutorial, we explain...
Multipoint Lock Access Control Tutorial on Oct 17, 2017
Doors are notoriously weak at stopping entry, and money can be misspent on wrong locks that leave doors quite vulnerable. While closed and locked...
Deceptive ASIS Attendance on Oct 06, 2017
ASIS is being deceptive with its conference reporting, effectively inflating the event's real actual attendance. What they try, but struggle to...
Exporting Video Surveillance Tutorial on Oct 05, 2017
Exporting video surveillance is important when incidents or crimes occur. However, there are multiple ways to export video which have their pros...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Panasonic Unified Surveillance Strategy Analyzed on Nov 17, 2017
Panasonic is now a "Unified Surveillance" offering, as their ASIS 2017 booth proclaimed: Looking to make a comeback in the security industry,...
Amazon Cloud Cam Is Poor (Tested) on Nov 17, 2017
Retail behemoth Amazon has entered the surveillance market with the Amazon Cloud Cam, the eyes of its just-announced Amazon Key delivery...
Nest Secure Alarm System Tested on Nov 16, 2017
Google's expansion continues, this time into home security with their Nest subsidiary's move into alarm systems. They paid more than a...
Dahua Forbes 'Next Web Crisis' Vulnerability Dispute on Nov 16, 2017
The buffer overflow vulnerability in Dahua products is not in dispute, in fact we covered it when it was first published. What is in dispute is...
Isonas Cofounders Split, Launch Partner/Competitor on Nov 16, 2017
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when door access security is at stake. But that is exactly what has happened at Isonas. Senior employees...
Hikvision China Criticizes The WSJ on Nov 15, 2017
Hikvision, through the Chinese government's authoritative news service, has criticized the WSJ investigation into Hikvision. In this...
Axis Commits To Long-Term Firmware Support on Nov 15, 2017
With the rise of cyber security awareness, and a general increase in hardware reliability, "software warranties" may prove more valuable than...
Hikvision NVR 4.0 Improvements Tested on Nov 14, 2017
Hikvision has released firmware version 4.0 for select NVRs, touting two years of research and development, and claiming "the new generation GUI...
Vivotek Remote Stack Overflow Vulnerability on Nov 14, 2017
A stack overflow vulnerability in Vivotek cameras has been discovered by bashis, the security researcher who has also found vulnerabilities in...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact