It’s interesting to go through older homes and see what sort of appliances they have that are obsolete today.
For instance, a lot of homes in the 80s installed intercom systems in homes so that people could talk to family members in other rooms. Now, however, no one uses intercoms indoors.
What about phone jacks? Do new houses have phone jacks?
New houses are gradually phasing out traditional phone jacks. Even most people who have phones only keep them just in case. Most of the time, they’re a huge source of spam calls, so you’re likely better off without a landline phone in the house.
Young people don’t even consider whether there is a phone jack in the house, so you’ll see fewer of them on walls as time passes.
Here’s some helpful information about why many new homes bypass phone jacks and what you can do if you must have a landline at home.
Why New Homes Skip Phone Jacks
When was the last time you picked a phone off the hook and punched physical buttons to dial a number? Unless your cell phone was out of battery and you were at your grandparent’s house, it’s probably been a while.
Obviously, people aren’t using traditional landlines, so fewer houses have jacks. Construction companies simply believe that new buyers don’t want jacks. It’s certainly true among younger crowds that use their cell phones for almost everything.
The next time you tour a new house, don’t be surprised when you don’t see any traditional phone jacks anywhere.
Some New Homes Still Have Phone Jacks
However, a lot of new houses still install phone jacks because they are an easy feature. They’re typically positioned right next to outlets and don’t require much extra work to install.
Home sellers are notorious for trying to market their houses to the widest possible demographic. That’s why you rarely see unique designs or floorplans. Instead, builders go with what sells, which usually means appealing to most homebuyers.
Who might still want phone jacks, you ask? Sometimes older people still want traditional landlines. In addition, people may want phone jacks as a backup for any emergencies that affect cell service.
If your phone breaks, having a landline will come in handy if you need to call for help or make phone calls about where you can get your Phone fixed.
Families with Kids Still Like Phone Jacks
Families are another demographic home builders have to consider when building new houses and whether they should include phone jacks.
Every family feels differently about when children should get phones. Some give them to their kids when they can use them, and others believe waiting to provide them with phones is the better move.
For those families that want to wait, a landline is perfect for when the kids need to get in touch with their parents when they’re out of the house. Likewise, other kids can call the house landline to ask for playdates or find out where the children are.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Phone Jack?
Definitely try to look for phone jacks before you buy a new house. If you don’t see any, ask the builder if there are any jacks in the house to make sure.
Depending on the builder, you may be able to negotiate phone jack installation as part of the purchase. You’re already paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the new home, so your seller may be willing to chip in the extra service.
This wouldn’t be true last year in a red-hot seller’s market, but the real estate market is slowing, so buyers have more room to negotiate than in years past.
But how much does it cost if your builder won’t budge on phone jack installation?
In most cases, new phone jack installation costs around $200-$300. Installation only takes around an hour per jack. Of course, prices will go up if you want to install more than one jack. Homeowners often want to install jacks on each floor so they always have a phone within reach.
How Much Do Landlines Cost?
Remember, landlines aren’t free. Your parents paid for monthly phone bills long before there were cell phones. So even if you don’t use the phone, you should expect to pay around $50 monthly for the line.
However, a lot of cable providers make landline service a commodity, bundling free landline service with cable and internet. You may be able to get the line for free if you’re already paying for cable and internet in the same place.
What to Do with Phone Jacks If You Don’t Want Them?
What if you move into a new house and there are phone jacks you’d rather not look at every day?
Instead of keeping them sitting there for years and years, you can either cover the jacks or install something different that’s more useful.
Here are some ideas:
Covering the Phone Jack – If you’re not using a landline, you might as well cover the phone jack so it’s not an eyesore. You can mask the phone jack by putting a plant in front of it on the kitchen countertop or hanging a mirror in front of it.
Many phone jacks in houses are close to the floor next to the crown molding near outlets. You can always move a dresser or a bed in front of the jack to make it disappear.
Replacing the Jack – If you have some money to spend and want to upgrade your house, you can always replace the jack with something more modern that you’ll use.
For instance, you can exchange the phone jacks for Cat6 wire jacks to get faster internet speeds. Hooking your computer or TV up with an ethernet cord ensures stronger performance and consistent internet speeds.
Patch the Jack – If you’d rather have the jack disappear, you can patch over them to make the area look like plain wall space. You’ll need to unscrew the faceplate that holds the jack, but then you can use some spackle and a drywall patch to cover the hole. Once it dries, sand it down and paint it, and your wall will look like the jack was never there!
Whether new houses have jacks is a toss-up. Some homes don’t have them anymore, but some builders are still building houses with phone jacks, just in case. Check before you sign the dotted line to know whether your home can have a landline.
If you want a landline, talk to the builder early in the building process. If it’s too late, you can try negotiating, but you’ll probably end up paying for a contractor to come to install a phone jack for you.
People who are handy around the house won’t have much difficulty installing a new phone jack or patching over the ones they want to get rid of. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources online to guide you in the processes to guarantee everything goes smoothly.