Deciding When to Call in the Pros
As you plan your home automation project, you might be wondering "Can I do this?" In most cases, the answer is "Yes!" However, if you’re looking at a whole-house automation project or HVAC control, it might be time to get in touch with a professional. These systems can be tricky to set up, might require many outlet or switch replacements, and have the potential to foul up your HVAC system if they’re not installed correctly.
Selecting a Contractor
Installing a large-scale or complex X10 system isn’t for everyone. If you’ve decided that you need help with your next X10 installation, here are some sources for contractors experienced with X10 installation:
X10.com has an installer finder at its website. Go to http://www.x10.com/pro/installer_home.htm.
Smarthome.com’s installer finder enables you to specify the approximate cost of your project and the type of project. Go to http://www.smarthome.com/asp/projref.asp.
When you interview a contractor, be sure to ask these questions:
How experienced are you with X10?—Get specifics: number of installations, number of years, types of installations.
Can I contact two or three of your recent clients?—You want recent referrals (within the last 12 months), and preferably for the type of project you’re considering. Older referrals might not be valid because of personnel or management changes.
What type of training and support do you offer after the sale?—You want to make sure that the installer can help you with problems that might crop up later.
Be sure to get a written quotation that specifies types of equipment that will be used, installation schedule, and a firm price.