Originally Posted by Andrico4
Well I am very new to this and have many questions about home automation. Right now I am building a new house and we are about a month or two from moving in. I have already had someone prewire my house for speakers, sound control, the network, and video. I have been looking into whole house audio/video systems. Recently I had an epiphany that I am in way over my head. I have been researching this religiously every night.
Some of the questions I have are:
For lighting control, is there an special type of extra wiring that needs to be installed for each light?
Varies based on the specific type of lighting system you use. There's hardwired systems and wireless systems. If you can run wiring to the lights, and the cost is ok, definitely go that route. Those systems just work. Wireless systems will always have some level of instability to them.
|Where should I begin to look for whole house audio/video equipment?
Before looking for equipment, you should state what your zones and desired sources are, [i.e., you'll have a regular analog TV in "n" zones, HDTV in "x" zones, music, you'll have the following sources centrally located that you want to distribute, and the following sources locally]. Then, we can help you with the equipment to meet your needs.
|What do you think of the homelogic control system?
punt - i know nothing.
|My dealer is recommending mostly niles equipment, what do you think of their products?
I have Niles speakers & volume controllers, they're pretty decent. How are you planning on controlling this? Using the system that comes with your equipment? have you compared the keypads for each of these systems?
|For a house that is prewired for speakers what is a ballpark estimate for a system that has speakers in 6 rooms plus outdoor speakers and is zoned, and can control some of the things that homelogic can do like audio, security, climate, lighting, video, and irrigation
Can't help you there. I do all of that for my 7 zones, but I used a PC and did a DIY solution, and given the fact that you already feel in over your head, I'm not sure i'd recommend that to you. Here's my guestimates at my DIY costs, you should probably figure on labor costing 3x this amount as it's a TON of work.
HomeAutomation/HomeTheater PC Server: $700
2 HTPC's to act as video & audio sources, also to clean up the DirecTV signal so it looks good: $1500
A/V receivers, speakers, volume controllers: $2800 plus the HT speakers. I personally chose a 5.1 speaker system that was ~$3K, some scoff as it's too low-end, some scoff as it's too high-end.
Security & fire & Home Automation hardware: $3K [i went way overboard as I only have a 1650 sqft house, but trust me - i'm definitely covered and then some.
Lighting: Haven't bought this yet, but i'm estimating $2500 will do a portion of my house, which is what it'll take to do those bits I want it to do.
These are totally ballpark estimates that I just did in my head as I typically don't like to think about such things, but figure i'm in for ~$13K parts. I did that over 3 years, so it's not like I dropped all that cash at once.
Over 3 years, I have easily spent 1000 hours running god damn wire, mounting controls, mounting speakers, setting up system, testing it out, ripping stuff out cuz I guessed wrong. Assuming a pro would know what they're doing and could do this using a cookie-cutter in 35% of the time, and a billrate of $75/hour, I'd say you're looking at a floor of $50K to get someone to do this for you. And, if I haven't guessed right at the complexity, I wouldn't be shocked at more.
Well, there's my swag. Do my fellow comrades think i've guessed wrong anywhere?