30 Mar 2017

Top 10 things to look out for when when installing home technology

When specifying smart home technology, there are many variables to consider. Even the most tech-savvy self-builder can miss opportunities or make potentially costly mistakes if they are not aware of the possible pitfalls.

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Here, Nick Fichte, Residential Account Manager at Crestron, looks at the top 10 things to look out for when thinking about installing home technology into your home.

1. Not taking a step back

It is essential to take the time to think about your requirements before you start. Key considerations are: what you want the technology to do, how it will fit your lifestyle, what devices you want to control and, lastly, think about how you and your family live your lives and then consider how technology can help. If you don’t know what is possible, it’s a great idea to speak to a home technology professional who can bring that additional perspective to your plans.

2. Neglecting due diligence

Check out different home technology professionals; ask for references, check previous projects and look at some photos. An ideal scenario is to visit a site they have already completed – not only for your own inspiration, but also to check their work. Alternatively, the Crestron showroom in Chelsea is a great place to visit to experience today’s technology.

3. Missing out on great design skills

Make sure your technology professional has design experience and can create your perfect home. Often it isn’t just about installation skills, but the design of the system in the first place. There is nothing worse than a system that doesn’t fit your lifestyle or how you want to use your own home. It can be about thinking about functionality and room uses as well as simple aspects, such as where you want your touch panel to be, where lighting control is sited or which rooms should be wired for AV. Make sure you are happy with the way the system is programmed to make it as user-friendly as possible.

4. Not getting the seal of approval

If you opt to use Crestron, it is imperative that you use an approved Crestron installer. These installers have been through the extensive Crestron training programmes and will deliver at the highest level. Compare quotes from different companies; if it seems too cheap, it is probably too good to be true. In this industry you get what you pay for, and you don’t want to cut corners in your own home. Quality will win the day and often it may be that a seemingly tempting low-cost solution doesn’t actually deliver the functionality promised.

5. Listen to the experts

At Crestron, we have many residential specialists that can provide you with a list of the Crestron installers in your area, all of whom are approved and experienced in your specific type of project.

6. Not making the introductions early

Your home technology professional should be introduced to your interior designer and architect, if you have one, as early as possible. This makes it easier for them to work together on the design and development of your home.

7. Forgetting about the cables

When all the talk nowadays is about Wi-Fi/wireless connectivity, it can be easy to forget that cabling is a key part of your home’s infrastructure, for example, Cat6 data cables. This needs consideration at an early stage to ensure all the cables can be installed exactly where you want them.

8. Missed connections

Make sure the products you choose are compatible and can talk to each other. You may have a particular brand of speakers or blinds that you like, but you need to check that they can be connected to the control system you do choose. At Crestron, we are very happy to cross-check a specification you have been given by an installer, giving you peace of mind.

9. IoT is not always king

Many devices that come under the ‘IoT’ umbrella have limitations in their applications. If you just want a small solution, such as lighting control in one room, or remote temperature control, that is fine, but if you are looking for a bit more, you need to be aware of the issues you may face. Crestron has over four decades of experience in the smart home industry and in that time, our experts have been providing bespoke solutions to thousands of homeowners worldwide, so we really do know what is possible in your home.

10. Not thinking about the future

You may have designed the perfect home, but will that still be true in five or 10 years’ time? Will your installed technology keep pace with change? Say you only want lighting control and AV in the living room and master bedroom. What happens if your family grows and you now need control in a second or third bedroom? Can your system be easily expanded? Not having the cabling infrastructure already in place will mean having to chase out walls or lift floors – a messy and costly job. By thinking about future-proofing at an early stage and installing the right cabling now, and any additional cabling you may need, you could save the hassle of building work in a few years to come. Future-proofing your home is key! For more information on getting things right in your self-build project, please visit Crestron’s website.

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