Opinions on this Elan G! Proposal - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-15-2012, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Newbie here, both on the forums and in home automation. I am about to start building a home for my family and figure it's probably a good idea to get this stuff planned out now.

I've only spoken to one installer and had no idea what I was looking at in terms of price. What I'd like to do is control lights, HVAC, security cameras, and sound in the main areas of the house (kitchen, family room, basement, backyard). The system recommended to me was Elan G and the quote was for $42,000 including taxes, installation, and hardware.

I know that I may not have given you enough information (house is about 3800 sq feet) but considering the above as a ballpark estimate can you:

Comment on the quote?
Do you think it's too expensive?
Good components?
Overkill?
Things missing?

Thanks all!!!

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post #2 of 14 Old 03-15-2012, 11:01 PM
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It's not itemized, as is pretty standard. But it is pretty straight up an Élan g! System quote with ra2 lighting. There isn't any security listed, but the price seems very reasonable. It looks like a good solid setup. The g! is a great system.
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-17-2012, 11:20 PM
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Tell him that you'd like to start by getting all of the items that are 0 and buy the SERCONS later on .
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-18-2012, 08:59 AM
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Hehe.

Sounds like a standard price, for a solid system.

If the installation company is very professional, and does many "high end" installs, with neat racking, expert cable management, perfectly positioned keypads, and has outstanding customer service (returns calls promptly), then I say go for it.

The proposal says nothing about the quality of the installer - the most important component of a custom install.

Speak with references.

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post #5 of 14 Old 03-19-2012, 12:36 PM
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That looks like a fair price. I'd ask to see a few other homes with g! installations by that company, and would try to speak privately with the homeowners. If the installer is relatively new to the system, I don't think it's too much to ask for a couple of visits in the first 6 months to tidy up loose ends AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. With this in the contract, they will be more likely to do everything right the first time around, and won't get charged later for things that should have been done correctly and confirmed the first time around.

I'm overall very happy with my g! setup, but there are still a few kinks being worked out 8 months later, mostly because the installer and electrician did not communicate well on site during construction. In retrospect, I wish we could have had the electrician who works regularly with our AV installer do our whole house. On the plus side, our installer gave invaluable advice on modifications to the lighting layout in our home. Put in more recessed lighting than you think you'll ever need, then just dim it with your Ra2 to taste.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-19-2012, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uscmatt99 View Post

I don't think it's too much to ask for a couple of visits in the first 6 months to tidy up loose ends AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE.

I'm overall very happy with my g! setup, but there are still a few kinks being worked out 8 months later, mostly because the installer and electrician did not communicate well on site during construction. In retrospect, I wish we could have had the electrician who works regularly with our AV installer do our whole house. On the plus side, our installer gave invaluable advice on modifications to the lighting layout in our home. Put in more recessed lighting than you think you'll ever need, then just dim it with your Ra2 to taste.

Two pieces of great advice. Thank you for this.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-19-2012, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

The proposal says nothing about the quality of the installer - the most important component of a custom install.

Speak with references.

If there's one piece of advice I've heard over and over this past week is that the installer is half, if not more, as important as the system itself. These guys come highly recommended. They've given me a list of about 50 references with emails and phone numbers so I guess that's a good sign.

I went to a tradeshow this past weekend and spoke to people who do "entire home automations" for $2500...lol.

I also spoke to one company that seemed to be pushing the Cestron Prodigy and they had my ear until I mentioned Elan and they said they never heard of it.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-19-2012, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I really appreciate all the advice. The issue I have is that I have a very strict budget of about $20K - $25K.

Is there anywhere in the proposal I could save funds? (i.e. Get the electrician to do the wiring? Cheaper cameras? etc)
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-19-2012, 07:09 PM
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You could hold off on the lighting, but have them wire for it so it can just be dropped in later, by them, after a couple years. Or scale back the lighting a little. Or, a budget rack if it will be hidden away.

Ask the installation company sales rep, as he knows best.

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

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post #10 of 14 Old 03-20-2012, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

You could hold off on the lighting, but have them wire for it so it can just be dropped in later, by them, after a couple years. Or scale back the lighting a little. Or, a budget rack if it will be hidden away.

Ask the installation company sales rep, as he knows best.

Agreed. Spend up front to have more than adequate lighting for the home. Ra2 can be scaled up in the future, and of course you'll want the installer to know of your intentions to do this. In my home, we spent enough to do Ra2 on the main level and in my theater room. The rational on the main level was to hide the switch boxes in closets, leaving only the control panels visible on wall plates. This is aesthetically much more pleasing than multi-gang switches on all of your walls. We plan to do the upper level and basement in the future, which now only requires swapping out switches and some programming. Just make sure that the installation company oversees the electrical wiring so that it is compatible with Ra2 switches.
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post #11 of 14 Old 03-20-2012, 09:50 AM
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Ra 2 are compatible with standard electrical wiring and does not require anything specific with regards to type or location of wiring unlike some systems might. I'm guessing you had a lack of communication in your project in locating the openings in a closet and how and where travelers were wired. You can locate switches anywhere, you just do not have to wire anything in specific any differently.
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-20-2012, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmaxbrod View Post

Ra 2 are compatible with standard electrical wiring and does not require anything specific with regards to type or location of wiring unlike some systems might. I'm guessing you had a lack of communication in your project in locating the openings in a closet and how and where travelers were wired. You can locate switches anywhere, you just do not have to wire anything in specific any differently.

I was under the impression that neutral wiring was needed to work with Ra2. I'm not an electrician by any means, but I thought that this was the case. Perhaps there is a new solution or I was mistaken.

The problem in our house was that the switches were not labeled and a finalized plan was never made, so the Lutron installer had to spend time mapping out which switch in each closet controlled which load, sometimes on a different floor. For instance, a switch for a light on the main floor in the living room may be in the basement bedroom closet or an upstairs linen closet. We Brother P-touched all the hidden switches to avoid that issue. Another fun problem solving task was that some of our outside lighting on Ra2 used a fixture with a tiny photosensor, and only came on at night or if the sensor was covered. We searched the house for hours for the correct switch before figuring that out. The install guys are very tidy with wiring and labeling, and it would have been nice if the electricians adopted the same methodology.
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-20-2012, 06:47 PM
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Pretty sure RA2 doesn't require a neutral, bu better if one is there.

The special wiring that may be installed by the electrician, as uscmatt says, involves hiding switches and dimmers in closets, so that only keypads are visible. A keypad may replace a bank of switch dimmers - better aesthetics.

That's not usually the reason for RA2, as it's ideal for retrofits. Lutron QS is better designed to replace gangs of switches with a single keypad (but also works great for retrofits).

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

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post #14 of 14 Old 03-21-2012, 06:12 AM
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We would have preferred QS as the home was new construction. But the difference in cost for doing an entire QS system as compared to a partial Ra2 system with updates down the road was significant. The Lutron shades put a big dent in the budget, but are oh so worth it now that we have them.
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