Easy and cheap upgrades while walls are open

While my wall are open for remodeling what should I do while changes are easy and cheaper? I am looking for inexpensive and easy changes that can be made now that will save work and money later or produce a better result. My list so far is: Electrical 1. 20A electrical circuit to each bathroom plus a separate circuit for any additional heavy loads like whirlpools and heaters. 2. Separate 20A circuits in the kitchen for two counter circuits, microwave, refrigerator, disposal, and lights (may be 15A). 3. Outside outlets front and back, plus outlets on patios and decks. 4. Install a surge suppressor in the main panel. 5. Upgrade electrical service if not sufficient. An electrical sub-panel will reduce the number of home-run wires and keep you inside when there are electrical problems. 6. Additional circuits for workshop tools. A full shop should have its own sub-panel. 7. Ground or rewire two wire electrical circuits. 8. Upgrade the grounding system to current code. Exceed code for the number of ground rods if you have valuable electronics or live in a lightning prone area. 9. Add GFCIs to current code standards. 10. Fan rated electrical box and three conductor (plus ground) wire to each box that could be upgraded to a fan. Gas 1. 3/4 inch gas line to water heater for possible upgrade to an on-demand (tank less) water heater. 2. Gas connection for a patio or deck for connecting a natural gas grill. Water 1. Hose bib on each side of the house, plus additional bibs in the yard if the yard is large. 2. 3/4 inch line for a sprinkler system if one does not already exist. 3. No-freeze hose bibs in cold Winter areas (not me). 4. Securely anchor and brace copper pipe to minimize motion that could cause noise. 5. Air chambers for each faucet, dishwasher, and clothes washing machine. 6. Ice-maker water connection for refrigerator. Mixed 1. Additional refrigerator location with separate electrical circuit and ice maker connection in the basement or garage. 2. Gas and electricity to clothes dryer. 3. Gas and electricity to oven/range/cook top in kitchen. 4. Repair any damage done to the firewall between an attached garage and the house. 5. Insulate or upgrade insulation where possible. 6. Fix any recurring problems such as slow drains, ice dams, drafts, and structural problems. 7. Additional water line back to the cold water inlet of the water heater for a hot water recirculating pump and an electrical outlet for the pump. 8. Smoke detectors in every room, AC powered if possible. Thanks Richard Kaiser
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Richard Kaiser wrote:

I did not see any low voltage wiring on your list. This could include the following: 1. Homerun panel from which to run all voice, video, data, automation and security connections. 2. Two cat5 and two RG6 runs to each bedroom and other places where voice, video or data may be needed. 3. Fire alarm wire for monitored smoke detectors and heat or rate of rise sensors. The advantage these have over the A/C units installed by builders is you can have a security panel send a signal to a monitoring company who can then have the fire dept dispatched. 4. Security wire for door contacts, window contacts, motion detectors and maybe glass break detectors. Don't forget the keypads. 5. Conduits from basement or crawl space to homerun panel, and attic for future wiring needs. 6. Automated HVAC control. 7. Intercom system. 8. Lighting control. 9. Home theater. 10. Central sound and video distribution system. 11. Infrared control receivers and transmitters. 12. ????
As you can see, the list could go on and on. IMHO, the first 5 are the key ones to do.
Oh one more I did not notice, central vac. Get the pipes and wires in while the walls are open.
Chuck
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Richard Kaiser wrote:

With all you're talking about installing, I'm not sure you'll have enough stud support to hold the roof up. That's a lot of drilling and weakening stud integrity. Just kidding. Ya know you can run a lot of this in the attic space too.
Rich
--
"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can't make them THINK"
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Richard Kaiser wrote:

As long as you are doing what seems to be excessive work, maybe you should install rubber (sound) insulators where you anchor pipes against walls and floor that act like sounding boards.
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I would consider conduit for communication wire to each room. Make it a home run design.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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On 31 Dec 2003, Richard Kaiser wrote:

Don't forget phone and computer. Use plaster rings (you don't need to use full electrical boxes) at every possible phone/computer location, and feed each with a regular telco cable (2 pair) and a Cat-5 network cable (4 pair). You can buy wall cover plates that have a telco jack and a network jack on 1 plate, just like a duplex electrical plug.
On the basement end, try to find wall space to mount yourself a quarter sheet of plywood to use as a backer board, just like you would see in an office wiring closet. No need to connect anything immediately, just bundle enough slack for each wire so that you can get it anywhere on the board. I like to leave enough to go completely around the backer. You can always cut them shorter later on, but it's sloppy workmanship to make them longer.
Someday, somebody may rig up a network hub on that backer board, and use a punch block and tool for a neat, mechanically sound phone wiring location. They will certainly thank you for the pre-wire job.
--
Baisez-les s'ils ne peuvent pas prendre une plaisanterie
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An outlet next to the toilet, in the event you want to get a hi-tech toilet in the future.

Edison style circuits, which is to say wiring up both outlets, each on its own circuit, is a preferred method in the kitchen. This allows both items plugged in, to pull full amps.

Code typically wants illumination at entrances as well.

Driving them off the load connections of a GFCI is about the best protection (for humans) you can do on a 2 wire circuit.
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I think you have done your homework Richard. Des
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I would stress that you need cat5e, not cat5 cable as mentioned above.
PJ
wrote:

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CAT5e is outdated: Gigabit LAN requires CAT6.
MB
On 01/01/04 01:25 pm PJx put fingers to keyboard and launched the following message into cyberspace:<br>

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If you use a toaster oven in the kitchen, put that on it's own 20A circuit.
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<snip the impressive list of upgrades>
Two things I neglected when I remodeled are:
1. Running a radiant heat loop under the tile floors in the bathrooms. You can cheat and run it off your hot water heater with a mixing valve if you don't have a boiler. I might still try to squeeze this in.
2. A Generator switch on your panel. An absolute necessecity these uncertain days.

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Ground rods are the grounding electrode of last resort. If the grounding for your home is inadequate then ordinary driven rods are seldom an effective answer. In the remodel environment the two electrodes that are the most workable are a ground ring or deep driven rods.
Deep driven rods are easier were the soil will permit it. Any electrical supply house can order couplers for ground rods that permit you to drive them to effective depth. Spline couplers can be used with ordinary rods so there is no need to order threaded sectional threaded rods. After driving and until the soil subsides back into contact with the rod the impedance may be some what high. Depending on soil type it may be necessary to use bentonite slurry around the rod if you need immediate results.
Ground rings are large conductors that are buried in a trench completely around the structure. The US NEC requires that the conductor be a minimum of twenty feet in length. The electrons do not care if the conductor circles the building or not. Since ground rings are usually installed prior to back filling the footing they normally encircle the building but any trench that is at least thirty inches (.75 meters) deep and twenty feet (6 meters) long can be used to install a grounding electrode consisting of bare number two American Wire Gauge (AWG) [This size falls between the 25mm and 35mm metric sized conductors] copper conductor. It should be obvious that the deeper the trench and the longer the trench the lower the impedance of the resultant electrode. The best results will be obtained with an electrode that is below the permanent moisture line of the soil.
The full effectiveness of the whole house surge protector is dependent on it's connection to a low impedance grounding electrode system. -- Tom Horne
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What I did when they were doing some work in my house was to add CAT-5 jacks to every phone jack (which the previous owners had installed in every room, including the bathrooms!) and route them all to a central server location. Now I can plug in any computer in any room and instantly be online.
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4 wires to a possible fan, red, black, white, + copper, you will be having a light as well as a fan , right?

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I would also add that any water valves you add or replace be globe valves, not those crappy gate valves.
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