AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
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Watch some of the Elk training videos, to see what's involved in the setup and programming. They're available on the Elk website and at Setnetpro.com (same videos). Read through the instruction manuals.
I've been reading up on the installation process myself for several months - seems do-able. Of course, I have an existing alarm system, so I don't have to run many new wires, but it will be a large install.
Elk has an online forum at their website, and there is a lot of talk on the Elk systems at cocoontech.com forums (look for the Elk subforum). Lots of online assistance from others who have self-installed, and the president of Elk (Spanky) is a regular contributor to the forums.
Some people recommend doing the install yourself, to force one to become familiar with the setup, if you want to do home automation with the system.
I'd dig deeper to find other installers for competing quotes, if you go that direction. One of the problems with Elk is that they don't spend enough on marketing - you'd think that they at least keep a database of qualified installers.
I think there are a couple 'cocooners' from Austin, and maybe they have some local installer contacts.
Really, any alarm tech could run the wires. Get some quotes for just the wires.
Edit - I looked for a month for a local Elk installer - couldn't find any. And then just recently, I came across a website of a local alarm company that detailed how they do training with Elk. Sheesh. They'll be available if I need them, but I don't think I will.
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha
Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone