5 Steps for Choosing the Right Smart Home Expert
Dijis wants you to know what to look for when hiring a custom technology integrator
If you live in the Chicago area, we hope to have the opportunity to work on your custom electronics project. But even if you work with someone besides Dijis, we still want to make sure you are armed with the information required to make the best hire.
These days, “smart” home technology control includes lighting and shading automation, whole home music streaming and video distribution (indoors and outside), home theaters and media rooms, HVAC and energy management, video surveillance, networking, video conferencing and much more. Dijis understands that the more these systems grow in scale and complexity, the more it is vital to partner with a home technology professional for proper system design and product specifications.
Keep in mind, this isn’t the same as having a major appliance delivered and the crew who hooks it up is there for a few minutes before leaving with no intention of coming back. The right integrator will be in contact with you for years to come, with system maintenance updates and future upgrades. The question is how to know if that integrator is the right one, and how do you find them in the first place?
1) Research Professionals Online & Get Several Bids
Start with Google. Seek out several home technology firms. Make sure they’re a firm that can handle the entirety of your project (beginning to end). Your choice should be ready to design, engineer and provide documentation for all stages of your job, while collaborating with any additional professionals assigned to the work (such as an interior designer or electrical/mechanical contractors).
2) Review Their Work
While still online, look through their gallery of work. They should have examples to demonstrate whether or not they do clean and thorough integration. It could be worth thousands of dollars to you to know in advance if they’re not prepared to take your project to the next level.
3) Get References (and check them)
Ask for two recent clients from comparable jobs with whom you can discuss the quality of work and if the firm met their expectations for budget, schedule and professionalism.
4) Test Their Knowledge
It isn’t just about installing equipment. They should identify your needs and expectations, challenges and limitations, and quote a price that reflects the budget you’ve established to achieve your goals (or show you how close to your goals that budget can get). Everyone starts somewhere, but you’d most likely prefer a home technology integrator that isn’t learning the job while working on your project.
5) Find Out Their Credentials
Are they members of CEDIA? The Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association requires members to show proof of insurance and proper licensing where required, as well as holding us to a strict code of professional ethics. Ask if they take advantage of continuing education opportunities. These are complex systems that can require changes based on a variety of circumstances. The firm of your choice should be knowledgeable and nimble, able to adjust to any challenge your project may bring their way.
Knowing that your project is properly designed from the start will help streamline the process for the best possible results. Whether you’re in Northbrook, Lake Forest, Northshore, or anywhere in the Chicago area, when you’re ready to take these first steps, bring in Dijis for a professional consultation. Our experience shows that proper planning from the beginning helps to ensure a seamless, efficient and cost-effective process for any custom electronics project you have in mind.