Reputation and References
Don't hesitate to ask for references, photos or trade affiliations
You're likely going to be spending some money you worked hard for, and having the work done to the largest investment you have; your home. You'll want to make sure the team you choose to accomplish this, has done it successfully in the past. Most of this information can be provided by the firm under consideration. Other sources could be the Better Business Bureau, CEDIA, Angie's List, even the county courthouse. Although the best refence, is talking to someone you know, who has had similar work done already.
You may start with a clear vision of what the end result will be, or just a general idea. Etther way, you should have a good rapport with the A/V designer. The first meeting should be an education for both of you. You will learn about the many new products & services, and your integrator will gain some insight into what you?re trying to accomplish. This meeting should be a relaxed discussion of limitations and possibilities. You both have the same goal for this first meeting; that the integrator gets a very clear picture of what you want, and the budget you would like to work within. If they are not aware of your expectations, they are very unlikely to meet them.
The devil really is in the details
Most projects, large or small, really do succeed or fail based on how the details are handled. If these details are not spelled out in your contract, then ask to have this done. Who is responsible for cleanup? Are all necessary cables included? Will you be billed if more materials and/or labor are needed? Will you be trained on operation of the system when completed? What is, and is not covered by the warranty? There is a warranty isn't there? The quote should be very detailed & descriptive. If it's not, much is open to interpretation. You want to make certain that both of you have the same expectations of the finished project. The chances of disappointment are significantly reduced this way. If you don?t feel that the integrator has the same goals as you do, more discussions may be needed. Never be reluctant to ask questions. It?s your money and you?re the one that is going to have to live with the results. Do what you can upfront to improve the odds that your project turns out the way you would like it to.
A/V Environments, Inc.