Whether planning for a new home or upgrading an existing home, you know that the systems you choose to install today must serve you and your family’s needs for the long haul. As in any project,planning is key. The time to first consult with an electronic systems integrator is during the initial planning sessions with your Architect/Builder/Interior Design team. Cabling for electronic systems must be designed into the plans just like ductwork for heating/coo1ing and electric for lighting and appliances. The thing you must know is that cabling performed before drywall is installed is extremely cost effective. I routinely counsel my clients to install cable for the systems they want now AND cable for systems they would like to install in the future. The cost savings of this approach, over cabling behind the walls when new systems are added, are tremendous. In addition to cost savings, a system integrator can offer design suggestions and tips to avoid common pitfalls learned, through years of industry experience. Whether new construction or extensive renovation, once the plans are approved, each construction project follows a tried and true pattern. Beginning with framing, the trades rotate through the construction schedule. Each trade installs elements behind the walls during “Rough-In”. After drywall is complete, or “close-in”, each trade returns to install the finished product. To the right is a typical construction schedule with the electronic integrator’s tasks displayed in Blue.
For some, it’s the excitement of cinema quality movies to enjoy at home with family and friends, or the relaxation of their favorite music played throughout the home and garden that attracts them. Others are drawn to the cost savings of automated heat-ing, cooling, and lighting systems and the peace of mind afforded by a reliable security system. Still others yearn for fast reliable telephone and internet access to increase productivity during time spent in their home office. Despite the diversity of these commonly installed home systems, there are many similarities in the planning and installation of these systems and tips to get the best systems at the best price. Planning well in advance and performing each task carefully and in the proper order will ensure a home that is “future proof’ and systems that you can enjoy today and for years to come.
- Rough In Cabling:
Sometimes called pre-wire. Wall boxes for Home Theatre Connections, keypads, and voice/data outlets are put into place. Hidden cable is placed inside wall and secured to prevent damage during the drywall process.
- Trim Out
Electrical and Low Voltage contractors terminate cable and put wall plates and keypads in place. Equipment Racks, TV and Speaker mounts are put into place this phase cannot begin before painting and dust generating activity,
- Component Installation
Power conditioning equipment racks. Cables are labeled and installed. touchscreens are mounted in walls. TVs are installed on mounts.
- Programming and Testing
Remote controls are programmed. HVAC, lighting, security, and such are integrated into whole home controllers. Completed systems are tested.
- Client Instruction
Client walk through is conducted. Client is instructed on the function of user interfaces. The warranty period now begins.
During the next two weeks, the client uses the systems noting any desired modifications to programming. Technician conducts follow up address any pending issues. Delivery is now complete.