Need Advice - Pull cables between floors with offset walls


Getting the hang of it
Dec 6, 2017
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Has anyone run cables where the first and second story walls are offset from each other, i.e. not co-planar? I'm hoping someone has and can offer some advice for pulling new cables in this scenario. The drawing has more details on the layout.

The best idea so far is to remove the bathroom vanity and cut the drywall from the second story wall. This will allow me to drill the bottom plate and maybe get a borescope to see what the transition looks like inside the floor.
The floor above the network box is a hallway, so the heavy-handed solution would be to rip the carpet up and cut the sub-floor to gain access. Depending on the i-joist layout, I could drill holes and install conduit to create a smooth transition between walls. But I'd prefer something a bit more subtle...

I'm running CAT6 for my camera system and decided to add a proper wired network to the house while I'm pulling cables. I had re-purposed some of the CAT5 phone lines for internet when we moved in. The house was built in 2005 and only half the rooms were wired with coax and/or cat5.

The two holes in the top plates above the network box are pretty full with the coax/cat5 and alarm system wiring, so best case is maybe adding two runs of CAT6 (one for cams and one for internet to the second story). I will need new holes to do several home runs though. I can drill the top plates above the network box, but expect the alarm system wires will be in the way.

The I-joists are 11 7/8" tall and my stud detector hasn't been accurate enough to determine where the I-joists are in relation to the walls. I might have to try a better detector.
The walls and ceiling are finished with a swirl plaster that is a bear to patch, so cutting visible walls is not really an option.

Any thoughts or opinions?



IPCT Contributor
May 12, 2016
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there's an old saying a photo is worth a thousand words...

Draw a floorplan of each level. You probably have some walls that are co-planar between levels that might even be in locations like closets where you can get away with making a bigger mess.

You could drill a hole / insert a screw/nail/other piece of metal to locate where the wall is. Is the ceiling in the room with the network equipment finished? Is that the ground floor or basement?
Nov 27, 2016
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We had this issue in our house when we needed to add 4 new 20 amp circuits to our 2nd floor. Our electrician said the best and most cost effective thing to do was go outside the house. He ran PVC conduit from the basement straight up to the soffit and attic on the back corner of the house. I never notice it's there and it was much easier than cutting sheetrock, drilling top plates, fishing (in your case) cat6, patching the sheetrock, priming, repainting...and you can paint it to match the siding. For some cat6 I'm sure 1/2 pvc conduit would be just fine and if installed close to a corner of the house would look just fine.