Wanted: Freelance - Low Voltage,Structured Wiring, Control 4 Lighting and Sound System Programmer/Installer - South Florida - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-17-2013, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi - I have found this forum very helpful in research the best possible Whole House system for my new home in South Florida. The home is an extensive renovation project - taken down to the block and studs - and I would like to install structured wiring and a Control4 or similar system to control audio, minor video, and lighting.

I was wondering if there was anyone on these forums that would do freelance work in the area for the project. Extensive experience is required and I am preferably looking for someone that already works for one of the established AV companies in the Palm Beach/ Fort Lauderdale area. The home is located in Fort Lauderdale.

Requirements:
  • Control4 Programming for audio and lighting
  • Sonos
  • Low Voltage lighting wiring install
  • Speaker install
  • Structured wiring (voice, Cat6, Cat5, CATV)


Thanks,
JW-
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-17-2013, 02:48 PM
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Why wouldn't you call one of those established AV companies in the area? If you care about "extensive experience", getting someone employed by those companies to do the work "on the side" from their job to save a few bucks is, IMO, (1) asking the person to risk their employment, (2) potentially voids any warranty / service on all that gear that needs to be purchased through those channels anyway, and (3) gives you very little recourse for issues or errors resulting from the design...

For these systems (aka Control4) I don't know if there's anyone you could call "freelance", as the gear requires purchase through authorized dealer networks, and then you're paying for design/programming/installation anyway. Sure, there may be a small, one-man shop - but that's still an "AV company".

Jeff


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post #3 of 7 Old 07-19-2013, 07:41 AM
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Agreed - very strange request!

Joe

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post #4 of 7 Old 07-19-2013, 11:30 AM
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Agreed with Jautor and Joe, and mostly because of your Control4 request. Control4 is dealer installed only. So, essentially, you're asking someone to use their employers' equipment to install your system... and when you need to adjust it, that same person is going to have to do it again.

It's one thing to, for example, ask my Dad to run a few electrical wires in my condo since he's an electrician. It's completely different to ask someone to install a complete A/V and home automation system as "freelance work." IMO, not going to happen. Sorry.

Now... if you're looking to save a few bucks... low voltage wiring is pretty easy, and I bet you can find someone to run all your CAT and speaker wires for cheap (couple hundred dollars for labor, and you buy all the wiring). Electrical work is a little more difficult, but you should be able to find a cheap electrician, maybe even a union guy to do a side job.

HOWEVER, a bad electrical wiring job can create serious problems, so it's best to go with a company that has insurance. And, in fact, you might not be able to find someone to do it as a side job, given the repercussions if he makes a mistake. My Dad will do a side job for me because I'm his son... he won't do it for his neighbors, because if anything goes wrong, he could be liable.

And, is your developer OK with this approach? I had to twist my developer's arm a bit to get him to let me use my own low voltage guy. And he had two conditions: 1, he had to be insured and 2, he had to do in on the developer's schedule.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-19-2013, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwurz View Post

Hi - I have found this forum very helpful in research the best possible Whole House system for my new home in South Florida. The home is an extensive renovation project - taken down to the block and studs - and I would like to install structured wiring and a Control4 or similar system to control audio, minor video, and lighting.

I was wondering if there was anyone on these forums that would do freelance work in the area for the project. Extensive experience is required and I am preferably looking for someone that already works for one of the established AV companies in the Palm Beach/ Fort Lauderdale area. The home is located in Fort Lauderdale.

Requirements:
  • Control4 Programming for audio and lighting
  • Sonos
  • Low Voltage lighting wiring install
  • Speaker install
  • Structured wiring (voice, Cat6, Cat5, CATV)


Thanks,
JW-
Why not just hire those guys that are standing outside the Home Depot? They're good and cheap.


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(Just as big an idea thief as)

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post #6 of 7 Old 07-21-2013, 05:46 PM
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Do not want for a customer. Period.


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post #7 of 7 Old 07-22-2013, 02:51 PM
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You may want to check out Angie's List for local A/V firms which are smaller and may not carry as much overhead if you are looking around. I know with my A/V work I use Crestron gear (typically) which I typically get used and warranty for one year (never an issue in ten years doing this) and pass significant savings onto client's this way and because I run it small, typically a few theaters installed a year, it keeps my costs down which I can pass on with better product and more detailed experience. This may not be typical of everyone you find on something like Angie's List, but should give you far more local A/V options.

Still, any company which is licensed and insured, which should be a requirement by you!!!, will have a billing rate which may only be 10% to 20% lower than a bigger system integrator in your area. You will want to get several bids, then reopen communication with those who you felt had the most experience. Often I've run into client's who weren't happy with my first quote, but their competitive quotes did not provide nearly the same thing that I was providing, so I ended up losing out on someone providing a significantly inferior system... So, be clear on your budget and expectations and requirements... Pay close attention to what each company brings to the table.

To be clear - I have also walked away from customers who were asking for the world, but wanted to nickel and dime me every step of the process.


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