Network cable installation - How much would you have charged, or would have paid?

Hey all,

With my construction knowledge and relatively small amount of tech knowledge, I thought I’d take on a job.

A construction client had a room at the back of their house at second storey level that just wouldn’t get very good wifi reception. They tried a PowerLine method as a cheap starting point, it worked, but not well due to old home wiring. They use one computer up there for personal/casual use, far from business critical. They also have an iPad and iPhone and that’s it, so I didn’t think too much about multiple AP’s and all that - they just had a problem with one device.

The other family member has a computer at the front of the house on the ground floor, next to the router, so a cable connection works without issue. I suggested that I put a socket on the wall downstairs, a socket on the wall upstairs and run the cable around the building, about a 20m/60’ run.

All done and tested multiple times, just need to return next week and weatherproof the entry holes - I like to hold off, in case the cable doesn’t work - saves removing a load of sealant muck!

I charged what I thought was reasonable and they seemed happy with it. Drilling through a solid masonry wall at the front, a timber stud at the back, fit sockets, route the CAT6 (outdoor grade) cable as discretely as possible (allowing some concealed slack) and wiring up the sockets.

I’d be interested to know how much you’d have charged or paid. When I get enough responses, I’ll reveal all and prepare myself for a “you charged how much!!!???”. :slight_smile:



Downstairs - thought I’d space it away from the socket to the right, the same distance that’s between the two power sockets.

BEFORE hoovering!


I charge hourly @ $120/hr so for a job like that going smoothly probably about $120-$180.


Seems on-par with inflation. Back when I was doing professional installs around 15-20 years ago, my labor was around 75$ per hour. (materials costs are separate of course) So for a professional network install job these days, 120$ per hour in labor costs sounds about right.


I have been told I am cheap for whatever it’s worth. I just have a niche with residential stuff and I don’t want to price myself out of it.


There are some basic rules for network cable, one of the big ones is try not to run them parallel to any power lines or florescent lights or it can create interference that can seriously degrade your networking signal. You can cross power lines at angles and be fine, but if you are running right next to power for a good distance, have at least 1-2 foot air-gap between the power lines and your network cable. i.e. don’t run them in the same conduit as a power line and don’t lay the conduits next to each other or it will give you bad network speeds and in some cases might not work at all. Has to do with magnetic fields produced by the electrical cable inducing current in the network cable.

(only mentioned that because you said you are new to tech work, which means you might not know that yet)


Thank you @ucav117 & @zenstrata

It’s funny, in some ways I charge more than you and in other ways less!

Prep area with sheet
started with making holes, one wall was timber stud and the other was solid masonry (inspection holes first to check wall build up),
then fitted the sockets,
then fed the cable (wish I had a bought a drum feed),
then I did a test connection and found the cable section good,
then made the final cut and cable punch
then tested again
then cleared up after myself, moved furniture back

Unfortunately the external was only accessible via the neighbours house, so it was a hassle to go round there every time I needed to route cable, hey ho! It was an approx. 100 year old house, so I wanted to go easy. Drilling the hole under a desk wasn’t very easy :frowning:

It took me around 3 hours, so I’m charging £180 plus £40 costs - that’s £240 or $285

So as usual, it’s a case of someone that’s cheaper (i.e. less experienced) taking longer to do the job!

I was just glad I bought enough tools with me and didn’t have to shoot off to get anything during the job!


The hourly labor rate depends on what the market is like in your region. I found that a slightly higher hourly labor charge gives flexibility. This means that even for a short job, if you only charge 1 hour, it is still worth your time, but if you get stuck on a long job, you can always shave hours off the top to reduce the cost if you feel that a lower charge would be more fair for the customer. Of course that can also backfire if customers see a higher hourly rate and then don’t hire you for the job at all because of it.

Of course always go with what business strategies work best for you, that’s just how i’ve seen things go over the years.

It sounds like you did a good job =) Really, running network cable is not too much different from other types of wiring. Just a few differences here and there for the standard. (unless you get into optical cables, that’s a different set of rules)


I don’t really know the labour rate for what I did, so I just applied my normal rates for designing houses and if they didn’t like it, fine with me. It actually took me a fair amount of time to prepare before I got to site - easy doing stuff to your own house when your tools are so close! Yes I was prepared to do that (shaving time off for longer duration) if necessary, and in theory I did as I deducted travel time (45min round trip) and a few items that weren’t worth charging for. I think if I did this sort of work and depended on it for income, I’d definitely have to take all of your advice :+1:

This little job was just a change from my daily norm’, so there’s no business strategy. I’ve got one for my main business though, in summary charge fairly and don’t be a dick :slight_smile:

Thank you for the compliment :blush: I was quite pleased with it. Much easier than electrical cabling. I probably went OTT when asking if he’d like the socket level, or as p**sed as the socket next to it :laughing: (he wasn’t fussed, I went for middle ground).

Sorry, I didn’t respond to this:

That’s some very sound advice, thank you - I did know about parallel bad, perpendicular good, but reinforcement is welcome :+1:

A little question about multiple network cables, so am I right in thinking multiple cables should NOT be next to each other unless the cable is expensive shielded stuff? I only ask as I’m wonder how else I can do some routing in my house as I’ve only got UTP external cable.

I welcome the wing though, thank you mate :+1:

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You can run networking cable parallel with no issues.

After you do it a few time you get a sense of what you need. I have a “Go Bag” that has a trimmed down set of tools that I can do most basic cable jobs with.

Old houses are the worst. And when you have to deal with access problems like going through the neighbors house it definitely adds time and complexity. Don’t beat yourself up on the time it took. Hell, last month it took my dad and I all day to run a single coax wire through an interior wall because of old work by the previous owner/contractors/idiot who designed the building. Had to drill through 2 fire breaks and the take off half the Sheetrock to get to all the garbage that was stuffed in the wall.

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ucav117 is right, it’s not a problem to lay networking cables together. Just avoid running them near power lines. The reason is the way network cable wires are twisted together internally keeps the signals from interfering with each other. It is no problem having network wire runs bundled together.

Regarding labor rates, just charge whatever works for you. It’s your business, you will know better than we will about what works best in your area =)

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Thank you for confirming matey :+1:

I hope so, I’ve got a spark bag but network things is just a few extra bits that I’m not familiar with as yet!

Yep, it weren’t ideal, especially with different wall build ups! Thanks for propping up my confidence :+1: Sounds like a nightmare that you and your dad had, the crap lazy contractors throw in voids is bloody annoying! :roll_eyes:

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Thank you for the double check mate :+1: I did also hear that when terminating punch downs, I need to minimise how much length isn’t twisted, I did try my best!

I did want to charge reasonably, but because it’s a side job I didn’t want to get a loss doing something unfamiliar, when I could have guaranteed income with my familiar workie work.

Thanks again all :clap:


Went back there today to waterproof, so sealant around the entry point, and then an entry cover just to be cautious. So far customer happy :slight_smile: Funny doing work for other people, I do a better job than on my own home…why! :joy:

In the future this is what I have settled on using for when I put cables through walls.

Cheap and looks good. Usually I give it a snort of expanding foam to keep bugs out and a bead of silicone along the top edge or on the face before I screw or to the wall.

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Thanks, yeah I like those more than the ones I used (got them from my regular supplier), mine were cheaper by around 30%, but they also look cheaper by around 30% too :slight_smile:

I silicone/adhesived them on the wall, then used silicone to seal them from the bugs like you, just not the expanding foam, in case I need to get in there and put a second cable in. I should have put 2 cables in there really, but I was already taking longer than expected because of running round the next door neighbours house for access :roll_eyes:

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