Building new house in Orange county CA, need reasonably priced installer for av distribution, theater and home automation - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-03-2013, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I am about to break ground on a new construction house project and I want to work with an installer. I want someone that will guide me to buy the proper products, I am good at finding the deals online but I don't have skill to prewire, install/program. I want to do lighting control, audio/video distribution and the house has a theater.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-03-2013, 07:41 AM
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Most installers won't install products that they don't buy themselves. Further, you will have a tough time finding dealer-only products online that still offer the manufacturer's warranty. So, it will be in your interest to find a custom integrator who will do your wiring + quote you on all the features you want to build into your house.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-05-2013, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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If anyone wants to work with me please pm me, I am open to all options.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-05-2013, 07:06 AM
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You're forgetting that the installer needs to make a profit on the hardware - it's part of the routine business model. You're screwing the installer, buying online. He has a family to feed.

If you want him to charge you more for labor, to make up for his lost revenue, then it will end up being a push.

Learn to design/specify and install the equipment yourself, or pay the guy what he's worth.

Online 'deals' are for consumers who don't need the added value a reseller provides.

Are you understanding this? It's very simple, but few people realize it.

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
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 01:56 AM
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It reminds me of the recent issues all these ridesharing startups are incurring in relation to taxicab regulations. Yes there is some benefit to the customer of control and regulation in that you want to make sure you are traveling in a properly maintained vehicle with a driver who is not likely to crash. You also want to have some level of protection for drivers against violence and theft. However the huge potential for convenience advantages and cost reductions outweigh those in the aggregate and it is simply a design problem when you ignore special interests. Most people can drive as well as taxi drivers and most cars are safe to travel in. But there is an element of artificial scarcity in the business model. No average driver is going to think about becoming a taxi driver because of the cost of acquiring business and the cost of doing business. These ridesharing apps address the roots of these problems, and attempt to resolve them.

Similarly, the cost of acquiring home automation jobs is high and the volume is low. Unfortunately the customer pays the price for these inefficiencies. It is especially painful to those customers who do not benefit at all from the marketing, fancy showrooms, and hand-holding. Also artificial scarcity is introduced through distribution limitations and lack of public documentation and software access. The analogy starts to diverge when one considers that home automation is not as simple as giving someone a ride and there is not nearly as many people who can program as can drive (but more and more are learning through such gateways as raspberry pi and arduino). But right now we are living in a world of luxury limo service. These problems are still solvable though and it is frustrating that they exist, preventing market forces from operating as they do in other technology industries. It is probably not fair to direct all this frustration at installers, but they are the most visible part of the system. Eventually there will be a more efficient alternative. Things like wireless, easy install (screw in a lightbulb), more local custom programmers available on sites like elance, remote system configuration so you don't need a local programmer, systems that are easier to program in common languages, open source hw/sw, commodity hardware especially due to Asian consumerism (love of gadgets), and other innovations will bring changes. As more programmable commodity hardware enters the home, I expect to see a local tradesman role of Home Programmer become as normal as Air Conditioner Technician.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-07-2013, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

You're forgetting that the installer needs to make a profit on the hardware - it's part of the routine business model. You're screwing the installer, buying online. He has a family to feed.

If you want him to charge you more for labor, to make up for his lost revenue, then it will end up being a push.

Learn to design/specify and install the equipment yourself, or pay the guy what he's worth.

Online 'deals' are for consumers who don't need the added value a reseller provides.

Are you understanding this? It's very simple, but few people realize it.

I understand how most installers work and I respect that they need to make money, thats obvious. It's not off base to ask for installers to help with install on my products that I buy online, they have an hourly rate and I pay it. Your argument really has no meritt.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-08-2013, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trivago View Post

I understand how most installers work and I respect that they need to make money, thats obvious. It's not off base to ask for installers to help with install on my products that I buy online, they have an hourly rate and I pay it. Your argument really has no meritt.

The hesitation for most dealers would be that their standard hourly labor rate isn't set to handle warranty/troubleshooting after installation. Those costs would normally be covered by the profit from selling boxes. So for many its not worthwhile to accept the potential for losing money on the backend. Also many dealers use a set of products they are familiar with, some or many of which may not be available to you as an individual (this is partly to defeat the 'internet shopper', and partly because many of the best product-lines are dealer/distributor-only.)

If you're willing to pay for someone's time up-front for the design/engineering, and then pay for their time/materials on install with a clearly stated scope of work and limited or hourly support after completion, you can probably find someone to work with you. The internet is full of people who don't understand or are unwilling to do the above, thus the skepticism...
Quote:
I am good at finding the deals online
cracked me up.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-08-2013, 03:24 PM
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Paying for the design or paying points, it will come out the same in the end.

Personally, I too would prefer to pay a design fee up front, and purchase the equipment separately myself. I think everybody feels like they're being swindled paying retail prices, when the added value isn't obvious. I'm much more comfortable paying more with pricing transparency.

Trivago, you may appreciate this read: http://www.residentialsystems.com/back-to-business/0011/cost-plus-pricing-demonstrates-value-to-clients/84303

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
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-13-2013, 01:43 PM
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Most CI's charge a higher hourly rate when installing equipment the customer provides, and for good reason.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-13-2013, 02:40 PM
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It would also be a good idea to provide some specifics: house size, systems you are interested in, whole house or local music, TV, centralized lighting controls or 120 volt switches, etc.
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