designing a smart home

Designing a Smart Home – where to begin?

Questions Answered | 09-11-2022
designing a smart home

We have been designing and scoping whole smart home solutions for so many years now that sometimes it is easy to forget just how daunting this can be to those who have limited or no experience in this area.

We often hear from prospective clients that they do not know where to start and they have no benchmark as to how much they should budget for the AV scope of works as they haven’t had any smart home system like this before. They look to us for our expertise, and we thoroughly enjoy the exploratory process and using our experience to explain all of the different options available to them.

We approach this in two ways depending upon whether the property is being refurbished or newly built or whether the infrastructure is existing, and no additional cables are to be installed.

If the property is a new build, we typically start with the proposed floor plans. We would suggest either a meeting in our Showroom or a Zoom call online as there typically isn’t much to see on site at this time. Zoom has actually been great as it is possible to have a really focussed session with the floor plans on the screen.

We typically go through each room to identify what the use of the room will be. We ask questions such as what content you typically watch on TV, what music service do you use, which room would you want to watch a movie or an important sporting event. We also go through each of the systems we provide and ask whether these are relevant to this property and explain the pro’s and cons of each and discuss high-level budget figures for these systems.

We discuss complex systems like lighting control and gate/intercom access control and we talk through possible scenarios which might be an issue in this property in the future.

If we are in the Showroom then you can also experience some of the solutions such as our Dolby Atmos Cinema and physically touch and feel our Lutron & Crestron lighting control keypads, all staples of smart home technology.

Once this initial scoping exercise has been completed we would go away and spend time working on our detailed proposal and presentation. We break down all of the systems and rooms into a line itemised format so it is easy to see the breakdown of costs.

We then encourage a secondary follow up call or meeting to go through this document in detail. We take the feedback on board in terms of functionality or costs and then we suggest ways in which this could then be tailored further to meet the client’s needs.

If the property is already existing, for example you have just moved in or want to upgrade your existing smart home devices, we approach this differently as you might be in some instances constrained by the infrastructure which is already in place.

In this instance we arrange for our Technical Sales Director, Mikkel to attend to review the existing cabling and then discuss with you what you would like to achieve. He would go room by room with you to discuss what the end goal is for each room in terms of functionality. He will ask the same questions in regards to what you listen to and what you watch. He will take measurements for any key areas like central rack locations.

He will then feed this information back to the Sales Team and we will produce an equally detailed proposal to meet the requirement given the existing cabling.

One of our guiding principles is that the size of the contract is irrelevant to us. We are 100% focussed upon ensuring we have the right functionality and specification at the right budget for the client. We must be designing a system that meets the needs of the family. One that will be practical and functional for them when the project is complete.

If you would like to book a slot to complete this scoping exercise for your project or for a client’s project please do not hesitate to reach out. The process if free of charge with no further obligations.

Katie’s Calendly link can also be found here

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