Ask a Pro
Q. Can I Install Multiroom A/V Without Tearing Down My Walls?
Retrofitting any multi-zone system can be done, if you hire the right professional, says Bryant Moore of Moore Audio Designs.
May 02, 2008 by Bryant Moore

Q. As an existing homeowner, is it possible to have a multiroom audio and/or video system installed without tearing down my walls? - Rich, Cleveland, OH

A. The short answer is, Yes! But retrofitting any multi-zone system requires expertise, a specialized skill-set and most of all, experience. There are basic rules for placing speakers and keypads, drilling into the ceiling and floors but doing that successfully involves years of experience, a strong knowledge of how homes in your area are framed and how electrical systems are run, as well as knowing your local building codes and standards.

With that said, the most important consideration in this process will be deciding who you choose to do the job. And nothing paints a clearer picture of any prospective integrator than the personal testimonials of former clients. Ask to speak with at least three former clients for whom the company has completed similar projects. Ask them how the project went. Did the integrator complete the project to their satisfaction? Did they show up on time? Did they clean up properly each night? Does the system function properly and perform to their satisfaction? Would the customer use them again and would they recommend them to you? Don’t be afraid to ask pointed questions – now is the time.

Ask the company representative how many retrofit projects they have completed. Are the majority of their projects retrofits or new construction? Pay close attention to how the integrator conducts himself during the initial meeting. They should be asking good, leading questions and helping you design the right approach for the system. You should get a sense of comfort from their responses. Go with your gut, then verify by researching their past performance with former clients and the BBB. I would also interview at least three different companies. Good luck!

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A classically-trained musician and former network administrator, Bryant Moore has turned a lifelong passion for music and A/V equipment into a thriving business with Charlotte, NC based Moore Audio Design. He has over a decade of experience in designing and implementing home electronics systems.

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