A realtor wouldn’t dream of selling you a house without understanding your needs and wants. The same goes for the professional who designs and installs A/V and automation systems into homes. In order to provide you with the types of technology that will truly enhance the convenience, comfort and entertainment value of your house, he needs to learn about how you live in your house now, what you’d like to improve, and how you envision life in an automated residence, among other tidbits.
So what specific information should you plan on sharing with a home systems installer? Here are pieces of information that can prove helpful to a home systems installer when choosing the right equipment for your house.
The House Itself
Certainly, a home systems installer will need to know whether you plan to automate an existing house, will be remodeling or would like to put the system into a house that’s on the drawing boards. If he’ll be working in an existing home, he’ll need to see if there’s an attic, basement or through which to fish cabling. He’ll need to ascertain if there are any materials like concrete and stucco that could make the project more difficult. Also, he’ll probably ask you about current technologies your home might already have: built-in speakers, a computer network, a security system? With a clear understanding of your home’s makeup, a home systems installer will be able to determine the types of tools and manpower he will need to get the job done, and what types of products and systems—for example, wireless or hardwired—will work best.
Everybody can rattle off a few items they find annoying or inconvenient about their home. Maybe it’s the closet and bathroom lights that nobody bothers to turn off, or the tedium of locking up and shutting things off before bedtime. A home systems installer wants to hear your pet peeves you so he can design a system that remedies those trouble spots.
How do you use technology in your home now? For example, are you a fan streaming music and video services? Are you a PC or Mac user? Do your kids do much of their homework online? What about mobile devices? Are they loaded with apps? A home systems installer can tell a lot by your current use of and familiarity with technology. For example, if everyone in family is an avid user of an iPad, your CE pro may design a system that lets you use this device to manage and monitor your home systems. If you have thousands of CDs, then those might be prioritized within a whole-house audio system over streaming services, for example (or perhaps you’d rather pare down the collection and simplify to the streaming route).