What you need to know:

  • What to drill:
    • Don't drill trusses! Roof trusses are an engineered structure, you cannot drill or notch them, just run your cables on top of the lower members of them, in the attic space. Remember to secure your wires at a maximum of 4 1/2 feet.
    • Stay away from glue-lams! Glue lams are a special type of beam made by glueing several thin pieces of wood together, sort of like plywood. There are two main types, regular glue lams and "micro lams". Micro lams can almost never be drilled or notched. Regular glue lams can sometimes be drilled if absolutely necessary. Check with your building inspector first, if you are going to drill any laminate beam. These beams have very specific zones and hole-size rules if you are going to drill them.
  • How to drill:
    • Stay in the center. As long as you use a 7/8 inch or smaller drill bit in a 2x4 stud, and stay in the center, you won't have to use nail plates.
    • Corners. Corners on inside walls ca almost always be drilled around. Corners on outside walls are a little harder, and sometimes it's easier to just go up and over.
    • How high? There are no pre-set rules here. Objects in the wall such as windows will make a big difference here. Try to think about what will be on the outside of the wall also. If cabinets will be hung on the wall, try to stay out of the area where the screws might be driven into the studs to hang them with. Cabinets are usually hung with relatively long screws, and it's pretty common to have a cable screwed into if you're in the same area. For most other areas, I usually just hold the drill in a comfortable spot at about my hip-height, and walk down the length of the wall. There's no need to measure for your holes, as the cable is flexible, but to many harsh changes in angle will make it hard to pull.

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