Questions to Ask Your Home Technology Professional
If you are going to engage the services of a home technology professional to install a system in your home, then you are about to enter into a relationship unlike any other.
While you won't necessarily remember the name of your plumber, painter or electrician, you'll probably come to know your home technology professional very well. Chances are you will keep on working with them long after your project is "complete" as they continue to service and update your system over time. While other trades will come and go, the home tech pro is there for the long haul.
A big part of any relationship is finding out things about the other person, and this is best done by asking questions. Since choosing a home tech pro can be such a major decision, there are several questions you should ask prior to selecting the right one for the job.
How long have you been in business?
While there is nothing wrong with hiring a new company, more advanced projects might be better handled by a seasoned pro. Also, a company that has been in business for many years has a proven track record of staying in business, meaning they will likely be around to help you in the future.
What brands do you work with?
This is especially important if you are interested in something particular, but it can also give you a sense of the company. Do they focus mainly on exclusive, more expensive lines, or do they have a broad assortment?
Have you done any projects similar to mine?
While any company is likely qualified to hang a flat-panel TV, significantly large or complex projects have unique demands that are often better handled by a company that has "been there, done that." Also, if your job is a retrofit into an existing home, make certain they are comfortable with that kind of work. Retrofits are some of the most challenging jobs a home technology professional takes on, so they need to be capable of handling things like removing crown molding and baseboards, fishing wires, patching drywall and removing light fixtures.
Can you provide references?
Any good firm has a list of clients that have offered to serve as a recommendation. Beyond just seeing the caliber of work the company performs, ask how they handle follow-up service and support calls.
What options would you suggest I consider?
Since the home tech pro designs and installs systems every day - and interacts with people who live with those systems - they will know about trends you might not have considered. They can also recommend areas where you would be best served by increasing your budget for better performance.
Whatever else comes to mind.
If you're not sure of something, ask. There is probably no question a home tech professional hasn't heard, and it is better to ask early on.
Be ready to answer some questions too.
Because it is a relationship, a good home technology professional should be asking you questions as well. Their questions will generally be exploratory and lifestyle/usage-related so they can discover how you will use the system and make sure they deliver the best product. Their questions might include:
- Are you comfortable with technology?
- Have you ever had a system like this before? If so what did you like and not like about it?
- Aesthetically, what do you picture the system looking like?
- What kind of budget did you have in mind for the project?
Interested in updating the technology in your new or existing home?
Want to make sure that your project is professionally designed and installed?
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