In life, a little planning goes a long way. Do you plan your vacations? Most people do it for a better result. Even if you love serendipity and spontaneity, planning can eliminate nasty surprises and save lots of time for what you really want to do.
If you’re building or remodeling a home in Chicago, careful planning also eliminates surprises and saves on cost. Typically, these projects are also the best time to consider adding smart home features. For the best results, any smart home technology should be well integrated with your project, including planning with your architect, interior designer, and builder. So what are some key things to know about planning your smart home installation? Keep reading below!
At Barrett’s Technology Solutions, we are more than a technology integrator. We take the time to educate you on what’s possible in your smart home. You may not want or need all of it, but you should know the possibilities. For example, you might be interested in lighting control. Do you want it for every single room? We can discuss the pros and cons. Likewise, with audio and video systems, there is a very wide range of solutions. Do you need audiophile-level sound everywhere? Or just in some key areas? We can educate you on the possibilities and how much each level of a solution might cost, so you understand the order of magnitude of what you are considering.
You want a smart home. We can tell you all the things you can consider for your home automation system. The discovery process helps us understand your needs and desires. Some of your requirements might be very specific, and some might be in the form of “can I do this in my smart home?” It’s our job to tell you what can be done, what it entails, and how it affects your overall project. We can also work with you to determine what are the must-haves versus nice-to-haves if there is a budget you cannot exceed.
Must-haves that require more planning, like wiring for security cameras in hard places and motorized TVs that emerge from ceilings, should be planned early and prioritized because they’re more costly to add later. Discovery is also a collaborative process, as we gather information and learn about what you want, and you learn from us what it takes to do it.
After the education and discovery process, we do a preliminary budget that includes everything we might have discussed doing in your smart home. Some clients might be surprised at the numbers initially, but you should understand the project is still a collaboration. There are many ways to pare costs and still achieve your smart home objectives, from changing to simpler wall keypads for lighting to less expensive speakers and amplifiers for whole home audio. There are few per-square-foot guidelines in this business, and the budgets vary widely depending on the details.
For something like motorized window treatments alone, the material and style differences will have a wide range. LED lighting similarly will vary, with more functional ambient lighting costing far less than top-of-the-line Lutron Ketra tunable lighting. You have choices you can make to get to the budget you can live with.
Want to learn more about how to plan your smart home? Call Barrett’s Technology Solutions at (630) 898-2850 or contact us here to get started – we look forward to working with you.