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automation

The pressure is on!

     April 21, 2015 0 Comments

We have the drywall installers scheduled to be on site in a few days so the pressure is on big time for the crews from Myl Hi Plumbing and Heating, DC-10 Systems and Automated AV to finish up their work before the walls are boarded up. No problem though for these great companies!

Myl Hi Plumbing and Heating has started to install all of the tin throughout the house to distribute heat.

tin 2 tin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The electrical wiring and automation wiring is also almost completed. These crews will be able to take a bit of a break from the house until finishing where speakers, switches and fixtures will be installed.

We also had Kyle from Black Pearl Construction come in to install the pocket doors. There are eight pocket doors in this house, so we were happy to have a pro come in and do this job for us rather than trying to figure them out ourselves.

pocket doors

And last but not least – check out all that drywall! Plus there is more upstairs. KDI Drywall has a crew coming in to hang all the boards and they will be in and out in 2 days. Yes. Only 2 days to board the entire house. We’re shocked as well as we thought it would take a lot longer.

drywall

We’ve heard that once drywall goes up that the house will feel a lot smaller since the rooms will be closed in. We’ll know in a few days!


About the Author
mm I have a passion for the arts, cooking, vintage pieces and DIY projects. I enjoy mixing patterns and colours to make a space my own. I love supporting local businesses and participating in the growth of our community. I laugh and play every day with my wonderful and loving family. Regina is a place that I am happy to call home.

Automation Wiring

     March 11, 2015 0 Comments

Well, now that the walls are framed and work has begun on the inside of the house, Automated AV wasted no time getting in there to begin installation of the Crestron automation system. The crew just had the basics in place while we were on site, but rest assured, there will be TONS of wires soon! It’s amazing what goes on behind drywall when a house is fully automated.

automation tube

These orange tubes are placed wherever a television goes. They carry all the wires from the television down to the media hub in the basement. This particular tube is for the television on the main floor that will be installed above the fireplace.

automation

These orange boxes are what will eventually be the home of the 7″ touch screens located throughout the house. The Crestron system is very interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing the real products. These touch screens have edge-to-edge glass and have tons of features and functions like controlling the alarm system, shutting the entire house down (powering off lights, locking doors, etc.), raising or lowering the motorized blinds and turning up the music!  Good thing these screens are installed higher up on the wall and out of reach of little munchkin fingers.

The last bit of automation we saw installed on this very busy day were the in-ceiling speakers.

speakers

The speakers themselves have not been installed, merely the placeholders and wires. The Crestron Aspire speakers will provide surround sound in the entertainment area on the main floor. There are also ceiling speakers in the master ensuite and bedroom (as well as a television tube – see orange tube and explanation above), the deck, garage and in-wall speakers in the bonus room. These speakers have a paintable grille which means they will blend in beautifully with the ceilings and walls. And last but not least, the sound quality is amazing.

Wiring a house is an elaborate process, and we’re thrilled to be working with Automated AV. For any advice about home automation, different systems available and what’s new in the technology industry, be sure to talk to Andrew.

 


About the Author
mm I have a passion for the arts, cooking, vintage pieces and DIY projects. I enjoy mixing patterns and colours to make a space my own. I love supporting local businesses and participating in the growth of our community. I laugh and play every day with my wonderful and loving family. Regina is a place that I am happy to call home.

Automated AV: Our final decision

     December 23, 2014 0 Comments

Home automation was something that was very hard for us to figure out what we wanted, mostly due to our unfamiliarity with the systems and brands. However, we knew from the beginning that we wanted to install a system in the House Trade Built to increase value and design simplicity. Hello: no cords and minimal light switches! We had a few criteria  on our list that we were checking off as we got quotes from companies around the city. Some of the factors that came into play include:

  1. Most things nowadays come with an “app” so that you can access it from a mobile phone like thermostats, DVRs, security systems, door knobs, lights, etc. We wanted the ability to control all of these functions from a single app (as opposed to multiple different apps).
  2. All of the companies in Regina are knowledgeable about their products and systems and nobody is really presenting a “bad” product. However, because of our unfamiliarity with the brands, we don’t know how to tell which is the “best” and are relying on the salesperson to educate us on their system at a level we can understand.
  3. Automation is not inexpensive. It’s definitely a luxury that you have to be willing to pay for. The system we choose must fit into our budget and still have the functions we are looking for.
  4. Some systems are only available with one brand of products. So if that brand ever stopped operating, you would no longer have regular updates.

Our eventual decision was to hire Andrew from Automated AV to install a Crestron system in the House Trade Built. We came to this decision easily for a variety of reasons:

  1. The product Automated AV offers is deadly. I mean, when you want to talk about automation, Crestron has been doing it the longest, and they really are the Cadillac of automation. As the industry leader, we know that the system will always be updated and have support.
  2. Andrew was highly knowledgeable. He could explain more about sound, security, and video systems than we could ever hope to understand. He was able to explain the functions in a way that we could understand (rather than using a bunch of technological jargon) and came across as very honest and friendly.
  3. The quote was very fair for the world renowned high-quality system that Crestron provides. Just Google Crestron apps on Google Play Store, and all have between 4-5 star rankings. The best part about it is that it is FULLY customizable, while most of the competition relies on a template that cannot change. The other thing we liked about the quote was that every piece of the system, from the cords to the speakers, was priced out and we were given options for upgrades. We’ve seen quotes where the entire project is summed up with one number, but it’s nice seeing things broken down so we can truly understand where the costs are coming from.

And of course, very important to the project too, was that he was open to bartering. What more could we ask for than the best system available, at a fair price, and willing to trade for it? It was a no-brainer once we reviewed all of the quotes and available options to us.

Another cool feature was that our quote came with is a prepared diagram of the house showing room by room what we were planning and exactly what components we were receiving. This made the elaborate system/quote seem simpler and allowed us to more easily visualize the spaces.

automated floorplan

 

As you can see, this is the main floor of the house. We are putting surround sound in the entertainment area. There wasn’t any need for speakers in the kitchen or dining area because the sound will travel due to the open layout. There are also speakers in the garage and on the back deck. Keypads located at the entrances to the house (front door, garage door and deck door) provide easy access (turning lights on, disabling/enabling security, etc) all while keeping them off the main walls for simplicity and beauty. You probably wouldn’t notice the placement of a light switch or screen until one is placed in an awkward spot. With this design, we won’t have to creatively hang art or shelves to hide light switches during the Show Home stage because everything is being done the right way right from the start.

We kept the second floor pretty basic with speakers only in the master bedroom and master ensuite. The master bedroom is also being wired for a television.

Andrew met us on site last week to go through the house room by room and show us where things would be going. We made a game-changing call on a media area that will surely make everyone happy. Originally, the bonus room above the garage was going to have an elaborate media system and we were going to leave the basement unfinished. Due to the Crestron system, future homeowners would be able to integrate the basement media area (when they finished the basement) onto the system because of the number of zones allowed on the system. Take note here if you’re planning automation in your house: how many zones can you have, and can you add zones afterwards? Our system can since we didn’t maximize the zones on the first and second floor and budgeted for the future basement zone. Well, the future basement zone has arrived. We’ve decided to finish the basement and it includes a pretty sweet media setup, complete with projector.

basement automation

Overall, we are very happy with our automation decisions. We think it will add value to the house and make it appealing to those looking for something special and different from the standard homes on the market. Andrew has been great to work with and we look forward to seeing him on site in January to install the system.

For more information about Automated AV, check out their profile page or visit their website directly at www.automatedav.ca.

What element of your home would you want control over from a mobile device? Security, lighting, music, heating, energy monitoring? I like being able to hit “good-bye” and having the whole house shut down. I think they should invent an automatic  clothing folding machine next though…


About the Author
mm I’ve lived in Regina for 30 years, and will never leave. I have a love for science, technology, business, and construction. I have my education degree majoring in Business Ed, minor in Chemistry. I taught some of the province’s best and brightest at Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies for three years while doing renovations and house flipping in my spare time. I’m good with numbers, finances, and planning. However, I can’t design my way out of a paper bag. I have total trust in my wife's design choices and am letting her make the calls throughout this project regarding colour and decor.

Automated Everything

     April 8, 2014 0 Comments

One of the companies I met at the Spring Home Show was Automated AV.

Automated AV 1

Andrew was friendly, approachable and knowledgeable. He showed me some of the great products at his booth, like invisible speakers, and sounded genuinely interested when I told him about the House Trade Built project. We’re interested in home automation because it simplifies everything. I’d much rather use one simple, yet incredibly powerful, app than have to flip through ten.

Dan and I met with Andrew yesterday to get more information about his company and a quote for our project. He showed us all of the options he had available and made recommendations based on our budget and needs. We decided that we wanted to put in good quality speakers throughout the house, automated lighting, security and heating.  It will be awesome to be able to control everything with a remote or phone. The idea of never being locked out or leaving a light on is great. What I love is that there won’t be cable boxes and cords everywhere. All of the entertainment units will be clean and uncluttered. Man, whatever happens to this house, the owners are going to be lucky.

There are a few different automation companies in Regina so we are going to get quotes from them as well. It’s always a smart decision to compare quotes, especially on large investments, so that you can make an educated decision that you feel comfortable with, knowing you did your research.  Once we have multiple quotes, we will compare systems (because everyone sells a different brand) and determine which one is best for us. We will base our decision on the system, the quote and the professional selling the product. After all, when you use automation in your house, you want to ensure that company will be around for the long haul in case something needs to be updated or changed.

Do you see value in having home automation? Is the ability to control your entire house from one app on your phone neat, or what?! 


About the Author
mm I have a passion for the arts, cooking, vintage pieces and DIY projects. I enjoy mixing patterns and colours to make a space my own. I love supporting local businesses and participating in the growth of our community. I laugh and play every day with my wonderful and loving family. Regina is a place that I am happy to call home.