Working with Trades on a High-Tech Home Construction Project

trade-a2Blueprints. Budgets. Timelines. Decisions. If you’ve ever embarked on a home remodel or new-home build, you know that it can be an exercise in patience, not to mention diplomacy. Working with all the various trades, including builders, architects and interior designers can be downright stressful. Add technology into the mix and a project can certainly become more complicated. Here are our tips to make working with trades on a high-tech new home or remodel smooth sailing.

Call us early. The number-one piece of advice you’ll hear from any electronic systems contractor (ESC) is to get them involved early on in the process, ideally at blueprint stage. There are a few reasons for this. First, technology can actually affect the structure of the house itself. For example, if your architect draws a square home theater on the blueprint and the home is actually built that way before an electronic systems contractor has a chance to offer his or her two cents, you will have some fierce acoustical problems to contend with. (Rectangular home theaters are much more beneficial for room acoustics.) Second, it’s infinitely easier, and therefore less costly, to install the appropriate wires before walls have been erected.

Make your goals known to all trades. One of the biggest challenges on high-tech home projects is that technology and design have traditionally been at odds. Architects and designers usually want technology to be completely hidden, which is not always possible. That being said, there are ample design-oriented solutions on the market. The most important thing for you as a homeowner to do is make your objectives crystal-clear. For example, some homeowners want performance first and foremost, preferring equipment to be exposed over sacrificing quality. Others agree with designers and want gear and controls to remain out of sight. Still others want something in between. By stating your preferences and making them known to all the contractors, you’ll eliminate any conflict between trades and avoid potential change orders, which can be costly.

Choose trusted partners. If you are working with true professionals, your high-tech home project should go smoothly. Many architects and interior designers have long-standing relationships with electronic systems contractors they trust, and vice versa. If you know technology is going to play a big role in a future home project or remodel, this is something worth considering.

Look for industry certifications. Many trades are required to get continuing education credits so that they can stay up-to-the-minute on the latest industry trends. Members of organizations like the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) can take hundreds of different courses on high-tech homes. Look for these credentials and ask if your potential contractors have experience designing and/or building a high-tech home.

In the end, all the trades have one thing in common–making the homeowner happy. To get started on your own high-tech home build or remodel, give us a call or come in today.

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