How Do You Choose A Home Automation Company?
Here Are the Right Questions To Ask
So 2019 is the year you have decided to take the plunge into home automation. Perhaps you’ve dabbled with smart devices like Amazon Echo speakers and a Nest thermostat. You know there’s a wealth of options when it comes to smart home devices and control, but you don’t want a cobbled together system that requires too much fussing.
You are thinking that when the hot weather comes to Plano, your motorized shades will block the sun automatically on the correct side of the house and your lights and thermostat adjust accordingly while you're at work, and it all happens seamlessly. You may want a particular scene set with lights, music, and temperature when you arrive home in the evening after work.
Putting this all together requires some planning. Sure, there are do-it-yourself approaches that can do these types of things for you, but if you go that route, you will be your own IT person. In other words, if something isn’t working right, you will be calling yourself to fix the problem.
The truth is, many home automation installations can get complex. Making everything work together well – and consistently – involves planning, choosing the right technology, and expertise in programming and installation. For anything other than the simplest setups, you want an experienced home automation company that works with the best products and has the expertise to handle design, installation, and after-sale service. Read on to learn about the most important questions to ask when choosing a home automation company to add smart technology to your Plano home.
1.Are you a CEDIA member?
CEDIA is the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association, which is the professional association for the industry. It's an essential credential for any home automation company, and it requires that members have proper insurance coverage and licensing where it's needed. Members also pledge to a code of ethics and take continuing education and training courses to stay current on technology and best practices. Ask any company you are interviewing if they are a CEDIA member.
2.Can I get references for similar work you have done?
Like any contractor, you want someone with the skills and experience for the scope of your project. You probably wouldn’t choose a builder that builds 1200 square foot cottages for your 7000 square foot manse in Willow Bend, so you want to choose a home automation company that can deal with the size and complexity of your project. Ask for references, and if you can actually see the projects in person, even better. A home automation company may also have done commercial automation work, and that can also be an excellent gauge of the breadth of work they are capable of doing.
3.What companies do you work with?
You can get a better sense of a home automation company by the technologies and products they are associated with. Does the company work with top brands in each category? Are they an authorized dealer for those companies? Some manufacturers have different tiers of dealers as well. For example, Crown Audio-Video is a Platinum Control4 dealer, as well as a certified Crestron dealer, representing the top two names in home automation.
4.Can you get me a detailed, written bid?
Any good home automation company will evaluate your needs and give you a detailed bid which outlines equipment and installation costs. You should be able to compare proposals based on price, but be careful in choosing a company on price alone. You want a company that is installing a system that is expandable in the long term so it is not obsolete in a short time – home automation technology move quickly.
5.What do you do after the sale?
A great home automation company will be there after the sale, too. Often clients want to add a new capability or device to their system, and that work should be something the company will be happy to do. Moreover, the company should be willing to show you the ins and outs of using your system, as well as provide additional services like remote monitoring and diagnostics to ensure your system is running correctly and securely. The answers to this question should give you a better sense of how a company views its client relationships.
If you are considering a home automation system in Plano, Crown Audio-Video should be on the top of your list of companies to consider. Just ask us the questions above, and any others you may have – you'll see we have the answers you are seeking. To learn more, contact us or just click below to be quickly connected to one of our home theater experts – we look forward to serving you.