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Getting Started with Home Automation

Last week, we discussed the changing trends in affordability and application of home automation systems.  In this article, eieihome spoke to Nick Malfara, President of Design-Spec Building Group to ask how a homeowner could get started on automating their home.

How does a homeowner determine what is required to automate their home?

Nick Malfara:  Usually, someone calls us to set up an initial consultation when they need something for their family or home, such as a home security system or a theatre room.  Generally, we provide the consultation free of charge to homeowners.  During this consultation, we discuss their requirements and then work through a checklist of potential “nice to haves” or complimentary services or equipment.  For example, if a customer is purchasing a large screen television and amplifier to power their new home theatre, it makes sense and is very cost effective to add some speakers to other areas in the home; such as an outdoor pool area or a main dining area where they entertain guests.

Should you talk to only one contractor?

NM: It is always a smart move to get at least three quotes on a project and to do your own research before automating your home. A good place to start is Design-Spec’s blog and eieihome.com’s directory of home automation professionals.

How do you establish a cost for the system?

NM:  Once the initial consultation is completed and we review the optional components with the homeowner to finalize a scope of work and equipment, we will present a fully detailed proposal for client review and approval.  This proposal will outline the total equipment, material and labour to implement the system from start to finish.

Will the job damage the homeowner’s home?

NM:  No.  While there are usually some patches required, home automation is generally a non-invasive project to implement.  Most clients tend to handle it as part of another project such as building out a home theatre in the basement or doing a major renovation to their home.   Regardless of which way you handle it, Design-Spec Building Group will handle all aspects of the project from set up to completion whether for a standalone automation project or as part of our job to build your addition, renovation or new custom home.  We will coordinate all required trades people including final setup, programming and a customer training tutorial for the system. All the trades people required to restore your home to its original or renovated beauty.



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