Originally Posted by Luckyc1423
should i pay for someone to do this, or could i educate myself rather easily and do it on my own? (i am sure i can just call someone (dealer) and buy a control4 myself).
what do they charge for running wires?
i worry if i have someone do it they will mark up every single speaker i have. Example i could buy a sonnance array for 2 grand and they charge me 2,200...that will add up very quickly.
Well you are asking a loaded question - can you educate yourself on running wires? I dont know your personal skill set. Are you hand with tools? Are you comfortable on ladders at tall heights or crawling around crawl spaces? Do you have the time to do it? If it is a new build, you need the wires up before sheetrocking, and the contractors are on a schedule, can you meet that schedule?
What do people charge for running wires? I can only speak in my area - northern suburbs of NYC - to get any decent contractor to my house (plumber, electrician, alarm etc) it is $125-$150/hr for the main guy and maybe some helpers are closer to $50-$80/hr. Though 2x I've paid for wire runs and they gave me flat fees per run that included running the wire, terminating the wire, testing the wire and hooking up both ends to their hardware. I was maybe paying $150-$250 per line depending on speaker vs low voltage vs ethernet (cost of wire itself varies), distance of runs and complexity of runs. I have drop ceiling in my basement and walls were exposed so my runs were easier. You have an open shell, and you are in a cheaper market, your runs may be less expensive. But I got a firm price on the total - they just priced it per run and averaged it out, some runs were easier some were longer, etc. They just said on avg its this price x quantity for speaker runs, ethernet, etc
From my basic knowledge, most municipalities are ok without licensed electricians running low voltage, but first I'd check to see what your local town requires. Then yes you can educate yourself and run wires. Its easier when walls are open vs closed.
Re: c4, you cannot buy it yourself, it is dealer only. So I think that is what you meant but I am just clarifying.
I am going to speak in general terms, most C4 dealers can do your low voltage wiring. It may be cheaper for an electrician to do it only because they are already on site doing your electric wiring so you may get a better bang for your buck. But then if there is an issue, the AV guy will point fingers at the electrician and so on. So save a dollar here, potential headache over there.
Re: mark up, most dealers will spec out "custom install" hardware that as an end user you cannot easily go online or in a store and buy new. Does not make the products better or worse, just less of a known mark up. Which do not forget, whoever is selling you that Sonnace speaker is getting a mark up too. That said any good dealer should be willing to work with you. I'd assume most would let you buy your own speakers since those are really a "dumb" product and does not impact the system. They may not want you to buy your own router because they know brand X and to learn brand Y (what you want to buy) is a learning curve, and if there are issues they cannot support it well. There is real "support" with a speaker, I hope you can see the difference.
I am sure you spoke to 2-3 builders before starting this project. In that light, speak to 2-3 dealers. C4 dealers, Savant dealers, Elan, etc. Get some ideas of what they offer, get some ideas if they will be flexible with non critical things like speakers, etc. Some may say they need to own everything A-Z to ensure its perfectly delivered and honestly, cannot fault them for having that mindset. Others may say buy everything and we'll take on the headache to hook it up (an extreme you likely wont find) and then some are in the middle.