Lifestyle is a big buzzword in the home technology industry, and for good reason. A candid discussion of your way of life will likely reveal the most important pieces of information a home systems integreator needs to design and implement a system so in sync with you and your family that you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. At the very least, expect to divulge your household status (single, married, kids, elderly parents), your family’s schedule (work, school, travel), your social life (do you entertain frequently) and your hobbies (sports, exercise, photography, art collecting, etc.). If your daily routine involves a half hour on the treadmill, perhaps you’d like to have some music piped in over in-ceiling speakers rather than be tethered to an iPod; or maybe create the proper lighting environment for displaying artwork.
Do you want to show off your home electronics investment or keep it under wraps? Your preference will help a home systems integrator decide whether he should install speakers that recess into the walls or models that stand out in the open, for example. If you like the idea of having all of the A/V components (amplifiers, processors, Blu-ray players, etc.) hidden completely from view, by all means tell your him. There are lots of clever ways to hide technology.
On the Clock
Prepare to have an idea of when you’d like the project started and finished. Do you want everything installed by the holidays? Is special event by which you’d like the project buttoned up? Based on answers to earlier questions, a home systems integrator is probably visualizing a system, but when you say you want it done in six weeks, he may have to rethink the plan, or may even bow out if you’re firm on the deadline. Be clear with your timeframe; be flexible if you can.