Careful planning is one of the most important aspects of adding smart technologies to a home. Determining the type of products that will suit the style and size of the home, as well as its inhabitants is part of the plan. So are determining how and those products and systems will be installed and configured. There are bound to be changes and adjustments along the way, but if you have a well-laid-out plan to follow, you’ll be able to adapt quickly and stay on track.
The bigger and more elaborate the home systems setup, the more important it becomes to stick to a plan, as the project can quickly spiral out of the control. That’s why home systems integration firms like London, UK-based Inspired Dwellings relies on software from D-Tools to take the project from proposal to completion with as few bumps in the road as possible. D-Tools walks the design and installation team through every phase of every project to minimize errors, track and maximize profitability, and ensure client satisfaction—as was the case with our featured home of the week.
An Integrated Home System That’s Easy to Use
A family in Kent, UK, recently called on Inspired Dwellings to integrate the AV, data, lighting, heating and CCTV systems throughout their new luxury property. Because it was a new construction project, Inspired Dwellings had the benefit of working within the builder’s schedule to run wiring in open walls and achieve optimal placement of speakers for the whole home audio system, LED screens, and understated touch screens throughout the home to access the Control4 home automation system.
“The basis for this project was to have an integrated home system that was easy for the whole family to use,” says Rob Sutherland, managing director for Inspired Dwellings. “Utilizing D-Tools extensive product library, our design team worked tirelessly to ensure that we had all the most up to date technology while the A/V equipment was put together offsite in our workshop and tested to ensure a seamless installation at the customer’s home.”
Luxury With No Boundaries
The grand 12,000-square-foot home, which opens to a spacious foyer with a spiral staircase, includes a 14-seat home theater with three rows of chairs from Fortress Seating on risers for optimal sightlines, a JVC DLA-X500R 4K projector, and a 130-inch Screen Research screen.
All 14 rooms of the home feature distributed audio, while a family room boasts a 55-inch TV and surround sound system. Inspired Dwellings provided HDMI video distribution throughout the home and a Rako lighting system. An equipment closet houses a Middle Atlantic rack with a Control4 control system, Apple TV’s, a Sonos Zoneplayer, and centralized video sources including Blu-ray players and satellite set top boxes.
Inspired Dwellings was also tasked with providing the family’s data infrastructure with enough bandwidth to accommodate all the smart devices on the network, and a CCTV security system that spans the property, indoors and out.
Selection of Smart Systems
The Kent family working with Inspired Dwellings had a solid idea of what they wanted to accomplish and were specific in their request for it to include the latest technology. They were, however, open to suggestions that would make their home’s systems more user-friendly and enhance their overall technology experience.
By using the D-Tools SI platform, Inspired Dwellings was able to quickly create a detailed yet simple estimate. “The client appreciated how quickly we were able to present an initial proposal,” says Sutherland. The estimate allowed the integration firm’s team to not just list out items and labor, but also show alternatives the client might choose. “By using the options within the proposal, we could show the client the price for items not included while helping our sales team facilitate any extras the client might want to add,” he explains.
Keeping It All Under Control
The family embraces technology in every aspect of their lives but didn’t want it to distract from the home’s beauty. Touchpanels sit unobtrusively on walls in common areas and bedrooms, but family members can also control the home’s systems through apps on their iPads and smartphones.
With so many different areas requiring cabling, wiring, and other equipment, the project could have gotten extremely complicated and hard to manage very quickly. D-Tools helped Inspired Dwellings keep it all under control.
“Once the proposal was agreed by the client, D-Tools enabled a swift and easy transition from Sales to the Design, because the project database already had the items ready,” says Sutherland. “Using D-Tools drawing capabilities – vis integrated Visio – we can create cable schedules, plans, elevations, schematics and project information sheets using the information in the database. This not only saves us time, but ensures that the data is correct and to the specification that the sales rep and client have agreed. As our team started to work on this project, it was easy to locate products, rooms or systems that they were working on.”
Great technology paired with a streamlined and well-organized design and installation schedule, netted this family the smart home of their dreams. Products and systems blend in with the design and the Inspired Dwellings team was able to install each piece of the project with little disruption to the family. The process was smooth and the end result stunning.