10 Basic Steps Before Starting Your Renovation Project
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry helps your planning, and we've updated for tech projects.
May 09, 2013 by Arlen Schweiger

Keep design in mind. Your design guides the entire project. Think about what you dislike about your current space and the intended use of the new space. Use Websites such as Pinterest.com (and ElectronicHouse.com, of course) to gather design ideas. Make sure you can articulate specifically what you like about that design when talking to your designer. Professionals don’t recreate a photo—they incorporate accessibility, functionality, ease of modification, style and value into your design. Especially in custom electronics projects, the marriage of technology and design is great. CE pros often work with architects, interior designers, lighting designers and such. Here are 5 ways architects and interior designers need to pay attention for your tech project, and some examples for hiding displays and speakers.

Make your selections. Deciding on products and materials is a larger process than most imagine. With so many options to choose from, product selections are one of the primary reasons for project timelines to get extended. Base decisions on quality, function, price, style and availability. Include selections in the contract to lock down pricing and keep your budget intact. Again, make sure your CE pro and other trades know exactly how to blend in technology with your home surroundings. And not only should they understand aspects such as keeping the millwork consistent throughout, but they should know which areas of the home are most important to maximize the efficiency of your new systems—like perhaps the kitchen as the center of the connected home.

Create a communication plan. A common downfall in remodeling is lack of communication between homeowners and remodelers. Your remodeler should lay out a communication plan at the beginning of the project. If not, ask them to do so. This plan should clarify roles of everyone involved, communication methods, availability, and frequency of communication that is expected. You will want to stay involved, so there are no surprises along the way with your tech project, so here are some more tips for working with a custom electronics pro.


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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.

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