April 25, 2009
| by Julie Jacobson
Some do-it-yourself techies take pride in the entire process, from design to installation.
Others, however, want some degree of guidance and are willing to pay for it.
Systems integration company Mile High Automation of Commerce City, Colo., is delighted to serve DIYers through a dedicated division it launched four years ago.
Company president Josh Ferguson understands the difference between enthusiast customers and Mile High’s traditional custom clientele. “The main difference,” he says, “is the amount of information DIYers require prior to making a purchase. They expect our salespeople to be able to talk technology with them. This goes well beyond the typical features and benefits that we would discuss with a local client who was getting a full-service installation.”
For intrepid self-installers, Mile High offers a wide range of products. Customers can purchase basic design service with system schematics and wiring diagrams, starting at $750.
If you want the whole bundle, Mile High provides all of the design preprogramming, wiring diagrams, installation instructions, products and support the techie could hope for.
The packages, which rely mostly on solutions from HAI (Home Automation Inc.) and NuVo Technologies, top out at $50,000 for the Ultimate system. That one includes home automation, whole-house audio and video, networking, security, lighting, and climate control.
Ferguson says that Mile High has made progress over the years to streamline operations for itself and its DIY clients. Today, he says, the company can “track projects down to the smallest details, while enabling us to quote entire systems in a matter of minutes. It automatically calculates the time we will spend on the project, the installation time for the customer, and many other details.”
Judging by the testimonials on the Mile High website (www.milehighautomation.com), the company has found a nice niche in the DIY market. A sample from ‘Scott from Eden Prairie, Minn.’: “Josh’s model of developing system plans based on a house diagram, providing a custom detailed instruction manual for your system, preconfiguration of all controllers, and free system updates for life is perfect.”
Click here to view some sample plans and diagrams.
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.