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#TrendingTuesday: What is in a Price?

What’s In A Price?

When clients approach us to design and quote their projects including whole-home automation systems, dream home theatres or outdoor lighting just to name a few, they are often unaware of how much it is all going to cost. Unlike in other industries where items have a default sticker price, each job we work on is a custom project based on our client’s wants and needs. However, once a design has come to life and the quote handed over, sometimes all a client sees is the final number and starts to have second thoughts. Sticker shock sets in and they say we’re too expensive compared to big-box retailers. Clients also fear paying for a system that they won’t know how to use and start to back away. However, what they don’t see is all the other elements included in that final price.

Let’s explore what makes up the price of a quote.

Quality Partners = Quality Goods

When you partner with Total Home Technologies, know that we’ve selected some of the best brands in the market. We are very selective about our brands and they go through various tests to meet our quality standards. We select these brands based on the following areas:

  • Performance: The equipment has to perform at a high level of quality while also offering functionality that is unique yet simple.
  • Build quality: No one likes it when a device fails, so we’ve selected brands that are designed to perform for years to come and have the reputation to back them up.  
  • Warranty: While failure rates are extremely low, electronic devices are prone to failure. Whether they are damaged in shipping, a manufacturing issue, general wear and tear or some other unforeseen issue, the brands we’ve partnered with know the importance of replacing the item in a quick and easy fashion.

The end result of these standards is meant to put our client’s mind at ease. Knowing that your investment will provide you with a high-performing system that will last for years. 

We Are Artists!

We love taking your vision and turning it into a reality. We find out what exactly you are looking for and the final result is a seamlessly working system that includes pieces of multiple brands that all work together in unison. We’re passionate about what we do and you’ll love the result.

When Sh*t Hits The Fan!

It’s 5 pm on a Friday and suddenly, your main network router goes down, completely shutting down your entire home network. No one has the ability to stream music, watch Netflix, the home automation system is down and you can’t submit that report your boss needs ASAP remotely. While we engineer our systems to the highest standards, sometimes sh*t happens and service is required.

We had a call from a client late one Friday afternoon upon discovering their network router had stopped working. After we spoke, the client was able to follow our detailed labelled wiring system to replace to the router so he was able to submit a report due at work that day. We made arrangements to be by his place the next morning to re-connected the wiring and replaced the defective unit that had been over a year old. The client was thrilled that troubleshooting the issue was so easy with our detailed labelled system and our prompt service call. 

So when sh*t hits the fan and you find yourself in a tough position, here’s what’s also included in the final price:

  • Service: Fast and friendly.
  • Knowledgable Staff: We will help troubleshoot problems and fix them quickly.
  • Wire labelling and documentation during installation: Assists you to help fix the problem yourself quickly and efficiently.
  • Education, education, education: We provide all the information you need and more to know exactly how to run your system and how to help troubleshoot it if an issue occurs. If you still have questions or need help, we are always here.

Total Home Technologies Education Videos

When thinking about making this type of investment, we want you to feel empowered with the knowledge to be able to enjoy your system to its maximum ability. We have created educational videos on all of the different system platforms that we offer. Learn how to create a Savant scene, adjust your lighting through Elan, set an alarm through Sonos, and much more.

If you are interested in our educational videos and links, please reach out to us and we will be happy to help!

#TRENDING: The Working From Home Era, The Battle Over WIFI & the Importance of a Proper Home Network

We have talked about this topic before but it has become such a HUGE issue that we thought we would visit is again.

A year ago, who would have guessed the importance of a strong and dependable home network. Since the world was turned upside down, many of us are now working from home, children are online learning, Sunday family dinners are now hosted on Zoom and everyone is streaming and online gaming more now than ever. Most home networks were never designed for this type of usage and we are now seeing them overwhelmed and congested. 

If you are experiencing slow internet and network speeds, here are some tips to help you boost speeds and connectivity! 

Hardwired Connection

Wireless connectivity is always nice to have as it is very convenient however, it can come with range and speed issues when your network is overloaded. For the BEST results, hardwire your stationary devices such as desktop computers, printers, gaming systems, and any other device that can accept a hardwired connection. Not only will that device receive the fastest, most reliable connection, but it will also free up more bandwidth and speed for the other mobile devices in your home. 

Location, Location, Location

Be mindful of where you set up your home office or study. If space is too far from your home network Wi-Fi router, you’ll receiver poor speeds and coverage in return, making it difficult for any wireless device to receive data. Having a wireless router placed in the basement mechanical room while your office is on the second story, the router now has to send a signal three floors up through all types of material to reach your device slowing down the signal as it moves. Also, consider what building material the wireless signal has to move through to reach your device. Material such as tile flooring, in-floor heating, concrete, and dense material can seriously slow down your network speeds. All of these factors determine your range and the speed you’ll receive. To improve your range and speeds, try moving the wireless router (if possible) to a more central location in the house, re-locate the home office closer to the router, or try adding additional Wi-Fi access points throughout your home. 

More is Better

Wi-Fi routers and access points can only send and receive a certain amount of data at any given time. If you’re relying on your sole wireless network router to handle 25+ wireless devices, with each one trying to access online services and data at today’s increased rate, you may need additional wireless access points. Additional access points when properly placed throughout the home, increase the range of the wireless signal, improves wireless speeds by eliminating the distance between them and the device, and load balancing with each access point dividing up and sharing wireless devices.

The Weakest Link

Your home network will only be as good as its weakest link. With an increased demand for internet, it may be time to upgrade your internet package from your provider. Determine the internet load you will be putting on your network and call your provider to discuss your options.

If you are having  wifi or home network issues or have questions, please give us a call and we would be happy to help you.

#TRENDING: Importance of Wire Labeling

One of our clients had a network issue last week and needed to put in a temporary router for the night until we could get there in the morning. Since we make it a point to label all of the wires in our clients home, this made switching out the equipment for the homeowner, quick and easy. However, this is rarely the case when it comes to wiring as a lot of technicians and electricians just pull, terminate and leave.

We believe that when tackling a home entertainment, home network, or other projects that involve wires and cabling, it is very important to label your wiring. This allows you to quickly identify a cable and its purpose in case of service or troubleshooting.

Here are some great tips on how to label your home system wires:

  • Invest in a good label maker. Dymo is a good brand.
  • Anything is better than nothing. Use white electrical tape and a black felt marker.
  • Label the wire based on its function and use. Example: HDMI out to TV or Xbox Network.
  • Label everything, even power cables. Nothing worse than trying to find a power cable plugged into a power bar where all cables look the same.
  • Labeling takes seconds. Saves frustration

It’s the little things that make a big difference and in the case of our homeowner last week, labeled wires led to a quick and easy fix.

#TRENDING: Home Energy Saving Tips

Earlier this month, we attended a webinar that discussed various ways of cutting down on everyday household costs. The attendees were very interactive and forthcoming with their ideas including cutting down on cell phone bills, internet packages, groceries, and more. When it came to brainstorming technology, we were excited to share some tips on how you can cut down on your household costs. Here are some of the ideas shared.

HEATING:

Installation of a programmable thermostat.

Lower AC or heating while not at home.

Lower heating while at night.

Set seasonal scheduled programs.

LIGHTING:

Using dimmers or a lighting control solution.

Depending on the amount of dimming, you can save up to 40% towards your electrical bill.

Combine with LED bulbs for further savings.

Use motion sensors in bedrooms and other high-traffic areas. These sensors will turn off the lights if no motion is detected after a certain period of time.

WINDOW SHADES: 

Using window coverings effectively can cut down on cooling/heating costs.

Thinking of replacing your window treatments? Honeycomb window coverings have an insulating property which makes them the ideal window treatment to cut costs. On average a honeycomb shade will have an R-value of 1.5 to 4.5.

The use of programable motorized shades will help cut down on costs as well. Have the motorized shade open while the sun is up, letting warm in then close at night to trap in heat.

POWER MANAGEMENT: 

Un-plug any un-used appliances or devices.

Using an automation system or smart plugs will turn off devices that don’t require power 24/7 and will help cut costs. This eliminates vampire power devices from adding to your monthly electrical bill. 

With whole home automation, you are able to control all of these elements plus so much more all while saving time, energy and money.

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