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Cat5e, Cat6, Cat7 installation costsHelpful Member!(4) 

Dustinn3 (MIS) (OP)
9 Jul 08 0:12
We are presently in the process of planing a complete tearout and remodel of our building. The architect wants to completely relocate our datacenter and phone system to another area of the building. During the process, we will have to completely rewire the building.  

Currently the existing cabling consists of cat5 and 5e and 62.5 nm fibre.  I would like to add and replace the current fibre with 50nm fibre for our data closets and building to building links. It's been about 8 years since our last fibre install, so I have no idea how much to even guess per drop, but they would all need 2 pair and would be under 300m. I can't find any average installation prices for fibre. Any idea what an average drop costs?

To the clients I would like to run Cat 6 or 7 but what is the price difference and is anyone even installing cat 7 yet? Our last cat 5e installation was at around $125 per drop, but I'd like to go ahead and put in cat 6 or better while we're at it.  We have almost 600 phones and about 300 network devices in this building so it's a fairly large job, but it will be done in phases as well.  
Dexman (TechnicalUser)
9 Jul 08 9:09
I don't know if CAT 7 specs have been finalized.

Traditional thinking has it that, for voice, CAT 3 is more than adequate, while 5E or 6 will handle most data applications.

If it ain't broke, I haven't fixed it yet.

hawks (IS/IT--Management)
9 Jul 08 9:12
Is this a Plenum environment? The reason I ask is because if you had cat5e installed at $125 a few years back then that seems a little high if it was not Plenum. At least in my area.
Dustinn3 (MIS) (OP)
9 Jul 08 9:52
Yes, we are required to run all plenum.  We typically run the same cable everywhere because offices move so often.  That way we can repurpose them for the needs at the time.  Plus I think we're going to go all voip anyways.

Helpful Member!  Deweyhumbolt (TechnicalUser)
9 Jul 08 12:17
If VoIP, run 2 Cat6 to each location.As big as your job is, you'll probably get away with $150.00 a loc.

Adversity is Opportunity

robertjo24 (MIS)
9 Jul 08 12:42
We typically budget $150 per.
hawks (IS/IT--Management)
9 Jul 08 15:20
Is that 150 per drop or 150 per location with dual drops each location?
Helpful Member!(2)  buitenhek (Vendor)
9 Jul 08 17:29
152' average cable length and using my install/terminate/test/doc parameters:
Voice only (300 locations) cost:$60/drop
Voice/Data (300 locations) cost:$110/drop
Fiber (5 runs, 900 feet each)cost:$500/drop

92K feet Voice (CAT6, $0.14/ft)
46K feet Data (CAT7, $0.20/ft)
5K feet dual fiber (MM, $0.35/ft)

600 voice jacks = $3.95/each, 3-900 voice blocks $200/each
300 data jacks = $5/each, 3-96 ($875/each w/jacks) & 1-12 ($121 w/jacks) panels
10 fiber jacks = $12/each, 6 port fiber panel ($100/each w/couplers)
900copper & 200 copper hangers = $2.10/each
200' innerduct = $.40/ft
605 faceplates = $1.89/each w/mudring
750 labor hours
Total Cost $75K, Total Sell $115K
profit ~$35+K GPM = 32%-33%
overall average faceplate cost $185/each
If using CAT5e voice & CAT6 Data
Cost: $73K, Total Sell $110K
profit same
overall average faceplate cost $180/each

Your pricing may vary: put a pucker factor on these numbers that suite your needs.

Peter Buitenhek

hawks (IS/IT--Management)
10 Jul 08 9:16
I have to ask are you using PVC or Plenum for your pricing? Because if it's Plenum let us know where we can get it at .14 a ft.
rustytelco (IS/IT--Management)
10 Jul 08 9:59
I have used 200-300 per drop to cover wall jacks and jack panels. My experience has been all connections are termininated to a patch panel with all pairs punched down and the cabling is the same Cat 6. When you look at the cost the labor is the same but you can use the connections for any voice or data equipment.
buitenhek (Vendor)
10 Jul 08 10:10
I had nothing to do with rate negotiations. Corporate pricing is usually better than one location company.  Get Anixter or Graybar involved upfront with your future vision & project plans and they, with enough lead time, may pull out some of the stops. They get tasked with material quantity forecasting.
Plenum pricing has been high for a long time, no doubt, that is why I listed quantity. Plug in your costs. Regardless, my intent was to highlight which products drive the "per faceplate" cost. Your physical (geographical) locations can also change those numbers considerably. In conclusion, there is a lot of "couth" that goes into 1 price, caveat emptor.

Peter Buitenhek

Dustinn3 (MIS) (OP)
10 Jul 08 10:31

Thanks for your detailed analysis.  Our architect said it would cost less than $50k, I knew he was way off base. I think I'll budget about $125k to be safe.   

hawks (IS/IT--Management)
10 Jul 08 11:02
thanks for the breakdown, I just don't buy enough cable.
oldtimerbob (TechnicalUser)
11 Jul 08 19:07
Cable prices have been rising so fast it is very hard to give exact cost using good quality cable ( not the offshore stuff).
Although cat3 is ok for voice,you will want to use all the same cable for both (for any VOIP usage down the road),so the Cat5E or Cat6 will have to do.
Cat 6 is about 1/3 rd more costly than a cat5E solution for everything needed but will insure you the headroom for future applications that the cat5E can not (although a 350 cat5E will test out for 1000 T)

On the fiber, you may only need 2 strands, but I would install a 4 or 6 strand fiber and leave what ever is not being used ready for future stuff also. The 50 micron is going to allow you 1 or 10 gig usage.

contact your local cabling contractors, get a job walk done and some bids in according to your site's specific needs and projections for the future.
$125 K will be very tight and comes out to $140.00 per,for a total of  900 cable runs.

By the way, how come you have 600 phones and only 300 computers?

Good luck,

Has been in the cabling business for about twenty years and is now the Sr PM for a cabling company located in the Los Angeles area.
Also a General Class Amatuer Radio Operator.

Dustinn3 (MIS) (OP)
12 Jul 08 15:26

Thanks for your input.  We are a hospital, so we have phones everywhere.  Hallways, patient rooms, dicatation lines, and fax machines make up almost half of them.     
RJinGa (IS/IT--Management)
30 Jul 08 15:35
Can anyone give me an idea of how much I should charge for just installing Cat V per drop? I will not be suppling any equipment. (cable, patch panels, etc)

Deweyhumbolt (TechnicalUser)
30 Jul 08 17:06
Labor only as a legal contractor would be around $65.00, I'm familiar with CA and AZ. Labor only as a qualified technician would be around $25.00. Labor only as an entry level technician would be around $15.00.

Adversity is Opportunity

tnphoneman (Vendor)
30 Jul 08 18:54
Since you are a hospital I would look at running a cat5 and a cat 3 to each patient room. Cat5 for future use, like monitoring equipment. Or maybe giving a pay per use internet access for the patients. This way they will not use wireless. I don't know anyone that can justify the cost of an IP phone for a patient room. Especially since they will walk and the phones just don't get moved around. Cat 3 for patient rooms only and cat 5 everywhere else. Just my 2 cents worth.

Artificial Intelligence Is No Match for Natural Stupidity.

The latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population.

The original point and click interface was a Smith & Wesson.

Red meat is not bad for you, it is the green fuzzy meat that is bad.

buitenhek (Vendor)
31 Jul 08 12:03
Rjinga - so you will be terminating only the faceplate side and not the MDF side?

Peter Buitenhek

RJinGa (IS/IT--Management)
31 Jul 08 12:16
Thanks for your help Deweyhumbolt.
Buitenhek, yes I will be terminating on both ends, (MDF & Location)should that make it more of an increase in the pricing?
buitenhek (Vendor)
18 Aug 08 9:25
I like Robertjo24 and Deweyhumbolt's value of $150 per drop.

Peter Buitenhek

aarenot (Vendor)
10 Sep 08 23:30
2 hours per drop end to end including, jacking, terminating, and installing the rack, and patch panels plus materials.   Add for certifying documents per run.   labor rates vary by locale.

I would put it all on patch panels, and use all the same type cable, as the labor is the same why downgrade on the cable to limit your applications per labor dollar.   

Also, for planning your layout of your multiple network closets/patch panels do so based on your wireless access point placements so you can just put the wireless units in the network closets where the future fibre is going to be sitting anyway.   Consider engenius wireless access points they really are great.   The wireless can be used for most future locations especially if you use high quality access points, and fibre to them.

dearingkr (MIS)
11 Sep 08 17:27

Runninng cable in a hospital is not the same as your average business.

There are many more obstacles that will drive the price up.
Depending on your location there may be stricter installation rules to abide by.
The cable pathways will be far from ideal. remember, hospitals have shielded Xray rooms, MRI rooms, etc.
Working in and around the operating rooms is a nightmare.

Trust me, Ive done several hospitals, the costs will be at least 20% higher than a 'normal' install.


Deweyhumbolt (TechnicalUser)
11 Sep 08 19:24
One word, Firestopping!

Adversity is Opportunity

resorttech12 (MIS)
12 Sep 08 10:41
Star for you Dewey!

When I was an installer a few years ago, a hospital wanted to get its insurance rate down.  They went through the ENTIRE place and sealed holes, firestopped penetrations, etc.

From that point on, it was their engineering departments job to make sure contractors had firestopped everything.

With as old as some of them are, a fire is their worst nightmare.

BTBZ (Vendor)
12 Oct 08 1:43
Here in the San Franciso Bay area we get the following:

Voice $110.00 drop

Cat5e $200.00 drop

Cat6  $220.00 Drop

VOice & Cat5e $275.00 Dual Cat5e $375.00

Voice & Cat6  $295.00 Dual Cat6  $475.00

Plenum wire we add 20%

Wire run 300 feet limit

bithead9 (MIS)
4 Nov 08 9:04
If you are doing VOIP, you might consider one drop.  Where I work we use a single ethernet RJ45 for the phone and PC in one.  The phone acts as a switch and passes thru the Ethernet.  Saves on the drops.  The phone mfg is Avaya one-x.  They are nice phones and the quality is good.    
aarenot (Vendor)
4 Nov 08 10:41
VLAN allows more than one device per cable run.

acableconnection (Vendor)
7 Nov 08 12:11
The hospitals in grand rapids,mi. (spectrum health) made you take pictures of all the firestopping penetrattions, and place a sticker or update the sticker with your name and company.  You were typically looking at usually at least 5 penetrations to get to your location.   If you were working outside of the general public area, you were required to set up a tenting device to trap any dust.    You could not get around any of these rules, as the maintenance department was policing this.   I installed all of their wireless access points, every hallway.  You were cranking if you could get 4 locations ran in 8 hours.

Dustinn3 (MIS) (OP)
7 Nov 08 13:51
We had a fire marshall come through a few years back that made us fire stop everything or face over $100k in fines.  So we seal everything. I've been looking into the self sealing cable transits for future installs.    
Installer27 (TechnicalUser)
10 Jan 09 15:33
Firestopping is key in any install, Dustin, you know what your particular install wants and do not stray away from that, you have a good plan in place. Keep in mind that being a hospital you want a professional install with a manufacturers warranty to back your install by a certified contractor, nothing less as you will run into problems. You will definitely want a couple bids to see where everybody is at for what you want. Read the proposals closely before signing a contract as I have seen out there contractors who rip customers off after the signature. You want a no-hostage
holding approach. Prices are going to vary, it all depends on what you want, cable on ceiling,(no-way)poorly and sloppy looking terminations, (no-way). Be careful, you get what you pay for. Hopefully this job is in PA as we need some work as it is slowing down. Good luck
Helpful Member!  mikeydidit (IS/IT--Management)
12 Jan 09 16:57
Not sure if this has been pulled off yet (no pun intended) but if not I may be able to help you with somethings to stay away from. We are also a hospital and a complex and yes the fire Marshall will be checking to make sure the penetrations are sealed. I use all Unique fire stop products and have 3 of my guys certified on the installation of these products. It makes it nice when the FM comes by and I have one set of data sheets to give them on my fire stop products. And yes we do photo documentation on every pull.

Also you need to spec what cable, jacks, patch panels, racks, and wire management you want in your place. This will help keep everything uniform and the same regardless of what building you are working in. Don't let them pawn off some BS jacks or other components that will cause you grief. You have enough to do without fixing new stuff. And be sure to match your components with the same patch cables. Non booted works great in EQ rooms. But use booted from the outlets as users are hard on patch cables sometimes. I have some that will always try to get 12 foot out of a 10 foot cable.  

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953

For the best response to a question, read FAQ690-6594: How to ask the best questions and site policies

buitenhek (Vendor)
14 Jan 09 18:52
mikeydidit is right on target.

Peter Buitenhek

"Never settle for a job well done...always look for cost cutting measures"

CablingPro (IS/IT--Management)
18 Mar 09 15:22
I'm very new to the industry and I think I might just have cut myself short on a cabling project I'm about to finish, as it took me twice as much time that anticipated.

What I didn't factor in is that pulling the cable was the very, very time consuming part, as I had to pull on scissor lift/high ladders between lots of piping and poles, lot of fishing, etc.

How much would you charge for a cat5e plenum run – high industrial ceilings (home depot like), average run 250-300'. Total runs 60.

Would $350-400 per run be acceptable in Phila, PA area?

<a href="" target="_blank">Philadelphia Computer  Services</a>

BTBZ (Vendor)
18 Mar 09 16:16

Now that you got your feet wet. First you need to know what it is worth for you to do the job. Start off with a set per drop then look over what you need to do that is not basic wire run also have in your proprosal about extra that may be added.For myself I charge about $200.00 per drop {300'}for cat5e. When you do more you will know how much time  and material. For RUSH job we charge TIME & MATERIAL.
mikeydidit (IS/IT--Management)
19 Mar 09 13:20
I usually charge a set per pull charge + $.?? per foot of cable used. If the job is "out of the normal" which could be High ceilings, cutting in boxes in cinder block, difficult areas to work in (OR's) ER's), having to place and use dust walls, Then I add extra hour(s) labor time to the job.  

From what other here have posted you will get a feel for how much time to add to a project. This is of course, after you get a better idea of what it takes to do jobs in difficult areas.  

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
- Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953

For the best response to a question, read FAQ690-6594: How to ask the best questions and site policies

AWGoodson (TechnicalUser)
3 Apr 09 13:56
If you are a hospital you should look in to Category 6A cabling 500 mhz.

Allan Goodson
3D Datacom, Inc.

acableconnection (Vendor)
3 Apr 09 14:55
krzesiczan's-  Ill drive down from detroit to install that for $100 per cable.  You supply material.
KTM72 (IS/IT--Management)
17 Apr 09 17:41
As several people have mentioned already Cat 5 for the data and Cat 3 for voice would be the most cost-effective solution for you.  
This will be good if you do not plan on going to a VOIP application in future.
There is very little noticeable difference between Cat 5 and Cat 6, in fact most wire manufacturers list the NVP (Nominal velocity of propogation (% of the speed of light) for both cables either exactly the same or within 1-2% of each other.
Cat7 is smoke and mirrors right now.  There are several 10gig copper solutions out there, I think Krone/ADT has something and Systemax has another.  If you are hell bent on spending some money go for it.  You need to be aware that you will be looking at an increased labor cost for the Cat 6 and 10 gig solutions.  Most contractors (if they are smart) will bump up the job hours a little since Cat 6 and 10 gig are a little more difficult to work with.  One last thing to consider, conduit.  Being in a hospital environment are you running all of your cable in conduit?  Be aware that there is a significant difference in the OD of Cat 6 over Cat 5, if you run Cat 6 you will most definitely need to run larger conduit for the same amount of stations...there is a catch with everything.
My personal feelings on Cat 6 is that it is a waste of money with current technology.  One day maybe...  

I was miserable, then someone told me "smile and be happy, things could be worse".  So I smiled and was happy...and they were right, things were worse!

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