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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.