Extension Numbering and Dial Patterns

I am looking for some suggestions regarding setting up extension numbering and dial patterns. Specifically, we are working with a setup that will consist of approximately 45 total extensions. There are 2 sites. The main site will have about 40 extension and the remote site will have about 5 extensions. The current PBX at the main site consists of 3 digit extension numbers and requires dialing a ‘9’ to get an outside line. The remote site consists of 2 digit dialing and does not require a ‘9’ to dial outside numbers. We are located in the United States, and our local area does not “require” 10 digit dialing.

Ideally, we would like to establish extension numbers and dial patterns that will require minimal “thought” by the users. From my research, a proper dial pattern is attainable that will not require dialing a ‘9’ for an outside line, and extension to extension dialing between sites should be effortless. So, I guess my questions are:

  • Do you usually use a standard extension numbering plan? Or do you customize each install to have an ideal dial pattern?
  • Do you typically use 3 digit or 4 digit extension numbers?
  • What is the best approach to defining the dial pattern to specifically avoid requiring a ‘9’ to dial outside numbers?

I realize that to some extent, the SIP Digit Timeout Length in the endpoint configuration will allow for virtually any number to be dialed, the user will just have to wait for the timeout to expire. It would be best if my dial pattern accommodated the typical dial patterns to avoid waiting for the timeout to occur. I looked through the FreePBX Wiki and forum content for suggestions, but would love to find a good, thorough reference or tutorial that would assist me if I could locate it. Are there any good resources I could read and learn from?