installing CCTV security cameras into home - hide wires

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Topic by MrMeasureTwice posted 08-22-2012 06:33 AM 88826 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 3387 days

08-22-2012 06:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question attic hallway living room alarm system electrical parts walls drill-driver

OK, next situation I have is this – crime is going off the charts in our city, and I have a nice 8 camera surveillance system I want to install. Ordered extra long cables for the cameras, DVR is setup and ready, connected to the Internet so I can monitor remotely, etc.

Now, the problem… In order to make a clean installation, I need to find a way to hide the camera cables inside the walls. But, the cables have got to go INSIDE my walls for up to a 20 foot run! I do not want to staple wires down my hallways, etc. I do not want to use the mini raceways to pseudo hide the wires – I want them HIDDEN from where they will come into the house from outside.

This is a 2 story house, so going up into the attic and coming down two floors inside the walls would be challenging at best, but, if need be, a do-able solution. 4 cameras will be out front and all 4 sets of cables can come through the same path, but it looks like I will need to have to get rather creative with the drywall saw and a drill and then lots of drywall patching afterwards as I traverse stud after stud after stud down the long wall.

I do not want the wires routed outside around the house and then coming in from outside, but that is my other option, if need be. Definitely option #2 of the 3 I have come up with so far…

  1. much drywall cutting, much stud drilling the length of the long wall…
  2. routing cables outside and come in from outside…
  3. up into the attic and drill down through two stories of walls…

I dunno…

Oh, and the house is on slab, so no crawling under the house and coming up through the floor…

Would love to know if anyone has had similar challenge to keep wires completely hidden from view inside the home.

Jim Mr. Measure Twice Marchetti

-- -- Jim “Mr. Measure Twice” Marchetti -- http://www.mrmeasuretwice.com/

View J's profile


70 posts in 3425 days

08-22-2012 07:01 AM

Oh boy! Security systems, so many options…

If you have committed to the BNC cables and absolutely refuse to use conduit on the exterior of the house then prepare to drill and fix drywall. There are plenty of cameras that are wireless, but as price decreases so does quality and features like resolution and night vision.

Some things to keep in mind about cameras:

Mount cameras high enough so someone standing on the top of a truck or box van can’t get to them without being easily seen and have their image recorded. Overlap the field of view on your cameras; no blind spots.
Most pro’s hardwire BNC+power cables in metal conduit along the exterior of the building, again out of reach out of someone standing on a vehicle or small ladder.
High quality cameras have a functional resolution of 60’, mounting them in the eaves of a 2 story building and routing wires into the attic space minimizes interior drywall reapir when the attic is accessible.

From what I am reading that you want for your system – just be prepared to open up lots of drywall, put in nail plates and do mud work, texture and paint repairs.

Most pros either go wireless or use conduit on exterior walls.

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

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12 posts in 3387 days

08-22-2012 10:31 PM

Hey J – I think the conduit makes more sense. I only have weekends and evenings. Conduit is already into the attic above the garage, so will simply go out of the garage back wall and down the side of the house, into the side where the wires need to go.

Thanks for the encouragement… Sometimes a guy just needs someone to tell him he’s wrong, or creating more work, or there’s a simpler way, etc.


-- -- Jim “Mr. Measure Twice” Marchetti -- http://www.mrmeasuretwice.com/

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

331 posts in 4989 days

08-24-2012 03:42 AM

While you’re running that conduit, you might wanna lay in Cat6 networking wire along-side the coax, just to future-proof the system…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

View MrMeasureTwice's profile


12 posts in 3387 days

08-24-2012 09:30 PM

@Dan – ya, never let a piece of conduit go without maximizing the utilization up front whenever possible.

BTW, love Petaluma – my best friend, Randy, lives in Petaluma. I lived in Sebastopol from 82-84. Randy and I grew up next door to each other in Los Altos, CA.

Anyway – HI PETALUMA!!

-- -- Jim “Mr. Measure Twice” Marchetti -- http://www.mrmeasuretwice.com/

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


447 posts in 3452 days

08-26-2012 01:27 AM

I’ve been wondering about this since I first saw the post. I’m real curious to find out what the final solution will be. Best of luck!

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

View MrMeasureTwice's profile


12 posts in 3387 days

08-26-2012 01:54 AM

@MarkTheFiddler – gonna go with conduit. So, from the cameras, they are mounted on the eaves of the roof, conduit straight into them (I made a mounting block to accommodate that) and that conduit runs into the attic over the garage. Then, flexible conduit in attic to protect wires from rats that occasionally get up there and chew on stuff, then to the back wall of garage, out to conduit again, down the length of the house and then into the wall where the office is located. The office backs up to the rear family room, but I cannot come into that wall with t he conduit due to a stone fireplace. Then, lust wires, in through the wall and to the DVR for the CCTV system.

Unfortunately, the 100 foot cables I bought will not reach, so, I am ordering 150’s for those two cameras.

Two other cameras are at the front door. One looks out over front yard, the other is concealed until someone is AT THE DOOR. Those two are already wired in conduit into the garage, but from there, they are spooled up waiting for next steps since I was not sure what route those will take. Now that I have decided, those two will need longer cables as well, so ordering four 150’ cables altogether.

The other 4 cameras are TBD, but will likely put two on the back yard, one over my neighbors back yard (at their request) and one up on a pole overlooking the park across the street. Not that it will get details, but you’ll certainly be able to see cars and people and make out some of the details. Sadly, the park is a magnet for the gang-bangers and drug dealers who’ve moved out of the inner city to expand their territory.

I will setup a blog about it and post pictures as I progress.


-- -- Jim “Mr. Measure Twice” Marchetti -- http://www.mrmeasuretwice.com/

View MrMeasureTwice's profile


12 posts in 3387 days

08-26-2012 01:56 AM

Oh, and, CAT5 or CAT6 going in on this installation too… then, if I change cameras, etc, I will be able to use that, if needed. If not, then it gives me Internet cabling to my switch/router, which is also in the office. I can drop the cable into the woodshop for now and setup a computer out there.

-- -- Jim “Mr. Measure Twice” Marchetti -- http://www.mrmeasuretwice.com/

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


447 posts in 3452 days

08-26-2012 02:03 AM

That sounds really sweet Jim. I’ll keep my eyes on your efforts here because my day is coming.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

View MrMeasureTwice's profile


12 posts in 3387 days

08-26-2012 02:19 AM

The funny part is that I will probably not be in this house by 2015, but between now and then, I want this camera system in place for obvious reasons…

My next place of residence will likely be my last and it will not be in California, nor will it be anywhere near ANY large cities, and 30 miles from a small city of 30K.

I will be semi-retired at that point, but running businesses remotely, so I can do that anywhere….

Now, as long as the country doesn’t go into a TOTAL meltdown (I pray EVERY day it does not, but I fear it is heading that way…), my plans should be solid.

-- -- Jim “Mr. Measure Twice” Marchetti -- http://www.mrmeasuretwice.com/

View MrMeasureTwice's profile


12 posts in 3387 days

09-21-2012 12:11 AM

OK, I finished the camera system two weeks ago, but haven to had time to breathe lately – but, I promised pictures, so, here are PICTURES!!! Before the pictures though, I did go with conduit out the back of the garage attic space, along the side of the house and into my office and eventually into the DVR for the surveillance system. I also strung two CAT5 cables in the same conduit, so now I have two network drops into the garage are if needed. And, since 1/2 my garage is a dedicated woodshop, I will use one of those cables for a PC in the shop so I can look at plans, etc. when doing my woodworking.

  • Thanks to J for the idea of conduit – that worked great!
  • Thanks to Dan for the idea of running some network cables – that too worked great and also allowed my son’s PC to get wired and off a weak wireless signal.

Here’s the pictures for those who have been waiting (patiently)...

View of the garage attic space where the cables exit and go into the conduit.

Looking upwards at the hole where the wires come out of the garage attic space

Entry point into my office…

All camera cables pulled through, snaking the last network cable in…

The other end of the conduit – snaking that last network cable in…

My son helping string the various cables through the 90-degree box before going into the office

All cables pulled through and getting ready to button up the conduit under the eaves of the garage

Buttoning up the 90-degree box…


-- -- Jim “Mr. Measure Twice” Marchetti -- http://www.mrmeasuretwice.com/

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


447 posts in 3452 days

09-21-2012 02:43 AM

Awesome job Jim. That looks rather intimidating to me. Hats off to you!

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

331 posts in 4989 days

09-21-2012 03:22 AM

Well done! I’m thinking I should do something similar soon (and I especially want to try to feed the cameras into a computer to see if I can do some automatic traffic counting and analysis…).

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

View fredrodriguez22's profile


4 posts in 3319 days

02-04-2013 07:43 AM

Great job! I am trying to fix something similar but this entire setup certainly looks a little on the Pro side that an amateur like me can only admire and not achieve. I will settle for a wireless setup for now and hope it works as good. A conduit is definitely a clean cover up if done properly without drilling and lifting too much drywall. Congrats again.

-- Fred Bowman - http://www.lift-all.com

View jarredneilsen's profile


1 post in 3207 days

02-18-2013 09:07 AM

Thanks for the tips guys! I am going to have CCTV systems installed in my house tomorrow. This will surely provide us with much greater peace of mind, as we will know we are being kept safe no matter where we are. :)

Jarred of home remodeling

View dbray45's profile


157 posts in 2784 days

05-12-2015 01:10 PM

In the cameras that I have installed, I make sure the antenna is in place for wireless, I install cable that is really obvious (and leave it visibly cut) and run a real set of cables that are not visible.

Is is amazing what people do when they see a camera and a piece of coax hanging there. It is like there is no camera at all.

-- Love woodworking and fixing most anything

View trevorcharles's profile


4 posts in 2169 days

12-23-2015 08:08 AM

I am using security camera but I have it modified and installed it secretly on the front door by attaching it inside its insulation with simple mirror design outside the door to conceal the camera lens. I used this specific interior doors http://caldwells.com/interior-doors.

View Abdulh's profile


5 posts in 847 days

08-06-2019 06:24 AM

It is important that the wiring of the CCTV system is not exposed to criminal and thieves for uninterrupted surveillance. The CCTV camera can be exposed because the criminals will be terrified by its sight.

View rhys234's profile


504 posts in 689 days

09-04-2020 04:15 PM

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56 posts in 444 days

09-12-2020 02:20 PM

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