When do I plan for my home’s technology set up?
Whether it’s time for a new bathroom, kitchen or even a deck, it is best to plan early for your data, video, audio and possibly telephone needs. Let’s face it. You always have some sort of technology altered/installed in any project nowadays. Your contractor should be asking you about these things when discussing your renovation project. If they are not, then you need to address it with them. If they don’t work with an AV integrator, then you will need to bring one in at the planning stages for design and an estimate. Deciding after the project has been started by the contractor could result in major headaches from poor budgeting, renovation delays, and worse case…not being able to get what you want or who you want to perform the installation because you waited too long.
Here are some popular add-ons to rooms that are generally not thought to need AV or data.
Kitchen: an in-ceiling speaker, a small mounted TV or iPad docking station. How about a centralized charging station for the household cell phones?
Bathroom: in-ceiling speaker with controls, small TV
Deck: multiple outdoor speakers, outdoor TV, outdoor box for control of audio, network expansion
Household Networking: How does it perform? Is the Wi-Fi signal getting to the right places? Are your streaming media devices using Wi-Fi instead of being hardwired? (which they should be) Remodeling projects are a great opportunity to run a few cables to increase the overall usability of the network.
Keep in mind too that remodeling contractors are not AV integrators. Most electricians want nothing to do with low voltage wiring and while the contractor may offer to run cabling, their main skill set is not in AV. If they don’t bring in an AV integrator, ask about their in-house person’s experience in AV. Would you hire an HVAC tech to run your electrical wires? Then don’t hire a carpenter to put your AV system together.