Have you heard the old adage of the 5 P’s?
“Proper planning prevents poor performance.”
Never has this been more appropriate than when installing a new smart home solution. Here is our ten point process, detailing how we go about it:
1. The Specification Stage
This starts with a consultation at your property/location so that we can discuss your requirements. We will ask you lots of questions, such as how and where you consume media. You may not have thought about some of the things we ask you, so it’s important to think them through carefully.
We’ll discuss your budget requirements and we’ll supply you with supporting literature so that you can learn more about the solutions we’re beginning to offer. We then require an initial design fee of £150 to start writing your proposal (refundable if we proceed), which you will receive within 10 working days. It’s important to us that you are comfortable yet excited by the solution proposed, so if anything is not quite right, we will work with you until it is.
Proper planning at this stage is crucial as it will mean you will end up with an integrated solution for your build and you can ring-fence this aspect of the renovation within their overall budget.
2. Proposal Sign Off
Having discussed your proposal and made any necessary amendments, we can then proceed to quotation sign off. At this point, a deposit is paid, and we begin planning a full system design for your property. Our detailed specification stage means we are both aligned in the requirements, and we can start to talk to other professions and trades, involved in your project, about how we will work towards achieving your goals.
3. System Design
The system design is the most critical part of the entire process since at this stage we will start to draw every cable that is required in the property for every device to operate as expected once the project is complete. It will begin to shape how you will use the spaces in the property and commit to having individual pieces of furniture in place. During this stage, we will ensure that at every opportunity equipment is hidden away from sight by planning our cabling routes carefully. We also design the layout of the data/AV racks to ensure peak performance of the system once it is operational.
4. First Fix Cable Installation
Once your project has progressed to the point where services are being installed, we will begin to have all our data, audio & visual and relay cables run into the property. This is usually carried out by the main contractor’s electrical team, under our supervision, and follows the cabling schematics produced by us at the design stage. We will be on site for the first couple of days to ensure that the cables are “pulled” to meet the wiring standards set by CEDIA and we will inspect every cable and route before the walls are closed off, ready for the next stage of the overall build.
5. Equipment Ordering
Now that the cables are in situ, we begin to build your system off-site. This requires a second payment instalment so that the equipment can be ordered from our suppliers and stored on your behalf with ourselves.
6. Off-Site Rack Build
This is a key stage in the process because we start to build your system as it will be used in the property once completed. We will create your LAN network and begin addressing each device onto the network. We will ensure that all the connections are made to the correct ports, as per our schematics, and we’ll update all equipment to the latest firmware package from the manufacturer. By completing this stage off-site, installation time at the end of the project is vastly reduced. It also allows us to build your system in a dust free environment, which is vital for the long-term performance of the equipment you have invested in.
7. On Site Installation
Once we have been instructed by either yourself, the project manager or the main contractor, that the site is ready for inhabitance, we will arrive to install your system. This typically includes the hanging of TVs, fitting of ceiling speakers, touch screens, in-wall keypads and most importantly the installation of the centralised data rack. Initial programming will be made within the control system based on the requirements from the initial consultations. At this stage, a further payment instalment is made as you move into your new property.
For projects where a smart lighting system has been installed, we will provisionally label all the scenes and buttons on each keypad. Once you are satisfied with these layouts or sequences, we will order the final keypad engravings from the manufacturers.
8. On-Site Training
After a couple of days of living in the property, we will return to train all members of the household, in how to use the technology we have installed. It is imperative that everyone knows how to use the system we have designed so that it is used in the way in which you had originally requested. We can prepare simple handover notes to accompany this, but we believe that the system will be so intuitive and easy to use, that you won’t need it.
9. Six-week Return Visit
After you have lived with the system for the first six weeks, we will return to the property to make any adjustments to the system programming or lighting scenes. We feel that six weeks is enough time for you to live with the system we installed and we can make any adjustments based upon your feedback. Once this has been agreed, we request the final payment instalment. We then order the final keypad engravings and return to install them within four weeks.
10. Ongoing Maintenance
As with all technology, equipment needs to be regularly updated to ensure it is performing to the peak of its ability, as well as running on the latest internet security updates from the manufacturer. For us to implement these updates, we require access to your system both remotely and physically. We have therefore set out ongoing maintenance packages to ensure your system runs smoothly and securely in the long term. These can either be paid in monthly instalments or a yearly one-off payment.
Should you choose not to exercise one of our ongoing maintenance plans, we are still here to support you and your system, however, a call out charge and hourly rate will be applied for any ongoing system maintenance.