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What will a Cat5 installation cost for my building?

A common question to our project team is how much is a Cat5 installation cost. Also how much does it cost to install cat5 cable? Cat5 installation is the generic term used by most clients. However the specific specification for the cable is the enhanced Cat5e

A general guideline for Cat5e in the UK is £35.00 – £50.00 per point. Conversely the information below will guide through how that cost can fluctuate depending of many factors.

However every project is unique and therefore every quotation has a multitude of factors that can affect the overall cost and price

Thus the main consideration is always to make sure the quotation includes everything you need. Furthermore it allows for your scheduling. Finally the quotation can be compared like for like with any others you have

Common factors that can affect the cost of Cat5e cabling in its overall value and its price per point

  • Overall number of cables installed within the location
  • The cat5e cable layout
  • The distance those cables are run to the main communications cabinet
  • The ease or difficulty of installation routes
  • The density of the cabling outlets
  • The type of building, warehouse, residential, school etc
  • The presence of containment or the requirement of additional or new containment
  • Whether there is a requirement for external cat5e or external grade cat5e such as armoured
  • Ensuring that the installation has a fire rated cat5e cable and cat5e CCA as a minimum
  • The presence of false floors or ceilings
  • The scheduling of the works whether it be regular hours, weekends or evenings
  • Location of the project
  • Access into the building, security limitations
  • Parking , Congestion Charge and other factors

Cat5 Installation Cost – Network cabling installation  estimate

As an overall average the cost of Cat5e cabling including the cable, patch panels and cat5e modules will range from £35.00 per point up to £50.00 per point.

This would be based on a cat5e cabling projects starting at 20-24 outlets as a minimum

There are of course certain projects where the price per outlet will be less than this range or in some way more than this estimate

The common factors above are part of how that quotation will build up and how its contributes to the overall price

What Factors keep a cat5 installation cost to the lower range?

If you are comparing price per point for cat5e cabling consider the following factors. Generally this will enable the quotation to be at its most competitive and most economical cost

  • The overall number of Cat5e cabling outlets

The more cables installed within the cat5e cable layout leads to an overall lower price per point. There are economies of scale when installing more cablings outlets within a building. The same labour can pull in more cables at the same time for example.

Therefore installing 100 cat5e cables in an office will cost less per point than installing 50.

  • The ease of the installation routes

The more modern the building is and the more it’s suitable for installation of service the lower the cost will be. If false ceilings and false floors are present then installation of the data cabling will be easier. At the same time those with solid ceilings and floors will be more difficult. Open routes result in lower installation costs

  • The density of the Cat5e cabling outlets

The greater the density of the data cabling outlets the lower the overall average price will be. In situations where larger bundles of data cabling can be pulled into he same area economies of scale of installation come into play.

For instance in a hotel environment you generally have 6-8 data cabling outlets per bedroom. In addition each of those cabling outlets is in a different part of the room. Subsequently this results in a much higher price per point installation compared to a large number of outlets in a single office space

What factors increase a Cat5 installation cost to the higher range?

  • Absence of Containment or specific routes

False ceilings and false floors were a contributor to easier installation and better overall costs. However if buildings have solid ceilings, floors and walls and not pre-installed containment to run the cables in then the cost of containment needs to be added to the overall cabling installation cost. Depending on the containment required and how much is requited this can at time increase the overall installation by 50-100%

  • Location and Access

For projects in central London considerations are required for Congestion charge and parking. Thus at times this results in almost £100 a day in additional costs. A project in outer London will not have these costs and therefore the central London projects will have a higher average cost.  The larger the number of outlets the lower this impact will be

  • Scheduling and Working Hours

The requirement to undertake projects out of hours or in bespoke time scales can results in an increase price. At times working out of hours can increase the speed of completion of the project due to easier access but in a like for like situation unfriendly working hours will increase the overall cost

What factors increase cabling cost out of the range?

  • Unusual or difficult buildings – Building that require complicated installation, difficult routes or bespoke access equipment with result in a quotation that exceeds the range above. Buildings such as the following
  • Warehouses – Large scale buildings with high ceilings requiring powered access increase the time to install the cabling and the additional cost of the equipment
  • Care Homes – These buildings are usually a solid construction with no visible routes so require a lot of containment or builders work to create the routes
  • Hotels – A hotel can have a large number of overall cables but they are split into single outlets spread through the bedrooms and hotel. They are usually solid ceilings also for design and there routes are difficult to negotiate
  • Projects with a large range of individual outlets – Projects that involve the majority of outlets installed with a single cat5e cable to a single location and repeated will move the pricing out of the average range. These projects may involve WiFi access points, CCTV Cameras or Door Access Control, all of which are dispersed outlets all in single installation runs
  • Low number of required cables

If the requirements for Cat5e cabling is only a few outlets then the economies of scale don’t contribute to bring the overall price per point down. With labour being a fixed cost for a certain number of outlets a low number of outlets with have a larger average labour cost.

Fire Rated Cat5e cable and Cat5e CCA Cable

On 30th November 2017, British Standards issued BS6701:2016+ A1: 2017; an amendment to the frequently used standard entitled ‘Telecommunications Equipment and Telecommunications Cabling – Specification for installation, operation and maintenance.’

This stated that install to comply as a fire rated cat5e cable cabling must be installed as a minimum of a Cat5e CCA cable. This classification structure covers seven Euroclasses fire rated cat5e cable of which Cat5e CCA cable is the minimum

Further information can be found HERE

Other considerations

As detailed above there are many factors that contribute to your overall cat5e cabling cost. Consideration should be taken on the initial installation to allow of the requirements of the current technology and any future requirements. Allowing for 100 data points instead of now to cable a whole floor instead of partially cabling 50 will increase the overall cost by a significant amount less than double

However if you install a further 50 Cat5e outlets after an initial 50 cabling outlets the cost for the second project will not be the same as the previous but more than likely more. This is because the now finished cabinets, floors, desks and staff will have to be disrupted and the installation time will be increased. It may also now require out of hours installation and additional elevation in price

For more specific questions regarding Data Cabling please visit our Data Cabling Knowledge Centre HERE