We were referred to the recent purchaser of a six-bedroom home in a private estate in central Esher who intended to fully renovate the interiors of the property. The home had been refurbished ten years previously, but there was no network cabling in place. The client wanted to ensure that the property was “future-ready” for smart home technology. The property already had home cinema equipment in the main living room and two rooms of smart lighting.
The client had previously resided in a country estate where their internet speed was very slow, meaning browsing the internet was a daily challenge. The client liked to regularly stream content from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple Music in nearly every bedroom and all the reception rooms. Fast flowing and reliable internet across the property were of utmost importance to the homeowners.
The property already had ceiling speakers installed in most of the downstairs rooms; however, they did not own the necessary amplifier/streamers to listen to music in these locations. In the kitchen area, the client wanted ceiling speakers installed since space on the worktops for their existing Sonos speakers was very limited. We suggested to the client that we install the recently updated Sonos Amplifiers to all the rooms downstairs, which would allow them to stream music directly from their smartphones.
The client wished that every room would have a wall-mounted smart television without any visible cables. The televisions would be hardwired back to the main network cabinet to ensure there was no buffering whilst streaming online content. Sky Q was to be installed to some of the television locations; however, a video matrix wasn’t required since there wouldn’t be an occasion when more than two instances of Sky Q would be running at the same time.
The existing home cinema set up didn’t work with the space it was located in efficiently enough for the client, so we suggested that we remove the existing projector and screen and replace it with a new OLED smart television. We advised the client we could still use some of the existing in-wall speakers in the new room set up. For both television rooms, we proposed the installation of a full Dolby Atmos surround sound system.
The client wished to have CCTV security cameras installed to protect their property as well as a new alarm system. Both of these services needed to be accessible and assignable from the client’s smartphone. We also suggested the installation of a video doorbell to compliment both the cameras and the alarm.
The client had shown interest in the Control4 “all in one” remote controller for the main television rooms. Based on the amount of technology we were installing across the property, we recommended that it made logical sense to have an overarching home automation platform to control all these devices.
The property benefited from a south-facing garden which meant that most afternoons and early evenings the sun would set across the rear of the property. There were many windows and doors at the back of the property, and the client instructed us to install automated shading for these areas.
As the client had experienced slow broadband speeds at their previous property, we were able to offer the client access to business-grade broadband provision through our preferred supplier. This meant the client would experience more consistent average speeds and not see the huge swings in performance often seen on residential broadband products.
Since the property was vacant, whilst the works were being carried out, we were able to install the cabling we had specified in the design of the project without any delay. We installed approximately one hundred cables including cat6 and cat6a ethernet cables for the network, audio-visual devices and security cameras. We also added new speaker cable and coaxial (aerial) cables where television locations needed to be changed.
Upon installing one of the main Sony OLED 4K ultra high definition televisions, the client noticed, not long after the installation, that there were issues with Sky Q switching on. We initially identified that there was a fault in the HDMI handshake between the television, the balun extender, the audio-visual receiver and the Sky Q silver box. However, a couple of months later the problem resurfaced, and at this stage, we spoke with our distributor, and they agreed to replace the television since it wasn’t meeting ours or the client’s expectations. This replacement happened with no cost or additional fuss for the client since we were able to exchange it within a few hours.
The site was very busy due to there being three bathroom installations, a brand new kitchen and new flooring throughout the property as well as redecoration of every room. We were able to work with all of these contractors to ensure nobody got in each other’s way, and everything was delivered on time for the client.
This turned out to be one of our most favourite installations of 2019 due to the number of different technologies we were able to integrate for the client. The client had the appetite at the outset to ensure the property had all the latest smart home technologies that would simplify their lives at home and let the system do repetitive tasks that could be automated.
An example of this was the automated shades opening and closing based on the astronomical clock on a daily basis. We set the system so the blinds would open ten minutes after sunrise and sunset all year round. The client hasn’t needed to manually open the blinds since the installation.
The “all in one” remote control has meant that rather than picking up four or five remotes to switch the various audio-visual equipment on and off, one button can be pressed that does all of the source switching and powering on in the background. Hot buttons have been assigned to let the client jump between Sky Q, Netflix, Apple TV and YouTube.
We installed six wireless access points across the property, meaning that every part of the home was covered in fast and consistent internet (provided by our broadband partner.) Two network cabinets were located in the garage area to house all of the equipment we had installed. We were able to wall mount these so we could save some space in the garage for the client.
We also installed two Dolby Atmos systems into the two main television rooms. In the room that previously housed the legacy projector and screen, we kept the in-wall speakers in situ and added an extra set of ceiling speakers and a sub-woofer to give a 7.1.4 surround sound system. The client was able to relax and immerse themselves in high-quality audio whilst watching their favourite films and boxsets.
We maintain this site with regular remote firmware updates to the Home Network as well as bi-annual check-ups of the other systems.