We understand that there are a lot of things to consider when planning your Control4 smart home.

As a Control4 Certified showroom which has been working with Control4 smart home technology for nearly 10 years and in the audio visual industry since 2006 we have completed hundreds of projects of various shapes, sizes and budgets. As part of this vast experience, we’ve come to know the common planning questions, which is why we have put together a list of the most common to help prospective clients.

The list of common questions we’ve answered is not meant to be exhaustive and for this reason we would encourage anyone who is considering a Control4 smart home project to get in touch with us and arrange to visit our demonstration showroom in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

When thinking about smart home, it’s important to consider all eventualities even if you can’t afford to fit all the equipment you’d like to initially. That’s why we are huge fans of pre-wiring homes for the future. If you have a wire, you have an option, no wires means no options (or at the very least a big bill to retro fit them).

Afterall the most expensive cable is the one you don’t put in!

Remember start small, think big!

In short yes!

We are not electrical contractors and therefore we heavily rely upon their skills and time to help with completing projects – especially when it comes to first fix cabling installation.

Locally with work with AJK Electrical which we elaborate more on further down our Q and A list, but if you have an electrical contractor selected already and they are willing to work with a third-party specialist smart home contractor then we’ll provide them with all the necessary design work, documentation, support and onsite checks they’ll need to complete the work our exacting standards.

Absolutely! Please don’t be afraid to get in contact with us just because you think your project is small. One of the great things about Control4 is that you can start small and think big. It’s one of the main reasons we love representing Control4. With the right level of planning and infrastructure, you can start off with one room and grow your system as your budget allows. Sometimes we even do single room solutions as part of a large project i.e. cinema rooms.

As part of our consultancy process, we’ll sit down with you either physically or virtually, listen to what you’d like to achieve, explain what you can realistically do for your budget (if known) and what aspects of your project could be re-worked to either be more cost-effective or be done on a pre-wire only basis.

If you require a design-only service we can go through our usual consultancy process with you either in person or remotely and still provide you with a set of bespoke plans and documentation that you can use to work on your project. These types of packages start at just £395.00 inc VAT.

As a company, we have been trading since 2006 and have built a reputation both locally and across the Cheshire and West Midlands area for delivering beautiful and unique installations that have been delivered to a very high standard and on budget. We pride ourselves on our honest and up-front approach which you’ll quickly learn to love and appreciate. We don’t do half measures and won’t recommend products or solutions just because they’re the flavour of the month in What HiFi magazine. We believe in doing our own in-house research, coming to our conclusions and only working with brands that support us as much as we want to support you.

We equally encourage you to search the Companies House website prior to appointing us or any other contractor to ensure that the company or companies you are looking at and trust with your project have filled up-to-date accounts and have not filed for insolvency or been struck off. We don’t hide anything as we want to give you total peace of mind with everything including the financial side of the work.

We only believe in charging for work as it is undertaken and only invoice for products at the point they are required. Ultimately we treat our customers as we would like to be treated, which means we don’t believe in charging large deposits or taking payments months before ordering a single product or we’ve stepped onsite.

Finally, we have heavily invested in our own smart home and cinema demonstration showroom, which has manufacturer-backed accreditations to further solidify our position and reputation in our industry. We would encourage and invite you to come and visit us to see what we have to offer and how we look after you from the moment you step through the door.

The long-term support and aftercare on Control4 smart home systems is one of the most important things to consider when owning a Control4 system and should be front and centre of your mind when you’re selecting a Control4 dealer as this is one of the services that many other dealers fail to properly provide.

As a company, we think about support from the moment we sit down with a client as we know that by working with technology at some point no matter how well we design a system it’ll have a hiccup. Whether it be the lounge Sky box locking up, you’ve forgotten a password or just need some friendly guidance, we’ll be here supporting you long after your project completes or your old dealer is out of business.

Depending on the level of support you need we can offer services to proactively monitor your smart home system and fix little issues as they arise. We can also proactively notify you of any internet outages that may affect your WiFi along with reduced costs for engineer time, upgrade and priority response times.

We can offer support between the hours of 9am-9pm seven days a week via our dedicated support phone number or email address that is exclusive to aftercare clients.

Please contact us to find out more about the levels of support can offer and the costs involved.

As a small business, we have adapted, evolved and grown through natural year-on-year progression in our business.  We opt to run the company in a lean fashion, which helps to keep our overheads to a minimum by cutting out unnecessary costs while ensuring we’re not sacrificing the levels of exceptional support we’re accustomed to delivering for our clients. Something that we are proud to say our loyal customers have benefitted from over the years. With lower overheads, staffing costs and directors that prioritise the company’s long-term growth over personal gain it allows us to be both competitive and agile in the way we work.

When comparing quotations, ensure that you have a very clear understanding of the installation, configuration and support costs associated with the project as these are often hidden amongst other costs or not outlined at all. The cost of a product should generally be the same, however, the installation, configuration and support costs will vary significantly between companies as they look to choose how they incorporate the overheads of the business, long-term support and the need to reinvest in the company to support you for the years to come.

Pay particular attention to the equipment specified in the quotes is the same so that you are able to compare the costs like-for-like. We cannot stress enough that the devil is in the detail here. Without understanding this you’ll struggle to gain a true understanding of what it is that you are paying for. The cost between differing products can vary significantly, which is why we list the product model numbers on our quotes so that you know exactly what equipment you are being quoted for and do your own research.

We have seen many quotations where the equipment or approach specified is not equally matched to that of ours. A good example of this would be ceiling speakers being specified with an underpowered multi-room amplifier and no subwoofer to underpin them with bass. Speakers are only as good as the amplification they are matched with, there is little point in spending good money on speakers to then power them with an amp that is not going to allow you to hear the speakers in their full glory and lack the depth a subwoofer offers. Imagine a big car with a little engine. It’ll work, but not very well.

Ask to see photos of equipment racks installed at other properties, get customer recommendations and ask to visit other projects they’ve completed. One of the most common ways for an installer to cut installation cost is by neglecting the rack build. Anyone can make the front of a rack look good, the real art is in what you don’t see around the back. All cables should be labelled and dressed neatly into the rack with the correct cable management in place. This will ensure that there is no interference between audio/data and power cables and also make servicing and maintenance of the equipment simple in the future. It may initially take a little longer, but there is no doubt, that it is worth it.

We believe that if you are spending out thousands of pounds on 4K video distribution or a system that supports high resolution audio, you want to ensure that you get the most out of the system. Some companies may use lower quality interconnects which appear to save costs, however these will ultimately impact on the quality of the system. All of our installations include gold-plated interconnects and 4K 48GBPS HDMI cables as standard.

We have opted to invest heavily in our manufacturer-accredited demonstration showroom and with this comes costs, both in the running it and the re-investment we undertake to ensure it’s up to date and relevant for the ever-evolving cinema and smart home market. Importantly it offers you a place to get a personal demonstration, meet the team and get to grips with us as a company. While showrooms aren’t a definitive measure of good and bad companies it is reassuring to know that we’re not going to disappear overnight.

Finally, ask the company you’re dealing with where they see themselves in 5 years’ time. It’s not about them giving you plans of overt grandeur, it’s about them explaining how they are going to be here in 5 years. You need to ensure that this company can support you for the long term and not just here and now. We see all too often companies disappear as quick as they come leaving customers in the lurch with no support and a system not working properly. We need to make a profit to reinvest in our staff, the company and the demonstration showroom to ensure that we can look after you and your smart home system for years to come.

If in doubt ask plenty of questions and make your own informed decision on whether you can truly trust the people you’re looking to work with.

Yes and we’re very proud of the way we make our quotations both fully transparent and inclusive of any and all costs associated with your project. As you’ll see our quotes come in a detailed, professional format with all model numbers, quantities, costs and extras costed out. It’s basically the blueprint to your smart home. While many companies will hide this level of detail away from you until you have signed on the dotted line, we don’t. We believe in trusting customers and this starts with the way we deal with you from the outset and the information we provide in our quotes.

All of our installations include the following as standard:

12 months of free support for any smart home equipment and services we supplied
12 months of complimentary Control4 system maintenance
A 12-month installation warranty
A 24-month manufacturers warranty on all Control4 equipment

Design-related documentation including cable diagrams
Rack  drawings layout
Wall elevation drawings for intercom, touch screens, lighting keypads and TVs where applicable

Rack build, cable dressing and installation of all equipment specified in the estimate
Termination, testing, certification and labelling of all cabling we install
High-quality interconnects from well-known brands

Advanced Control4 programming, including lighting scenes and automated events
Intelligent power management of devices connected to our core power distribution unit
System power sequencing following power outages

Network setup and device configuration
WiFi network setup and device configuration
OVRC and cloud manage registration to aid with remote system management and maintenance of your system

System testing and quality assurance
System documentation
Follow up emails and calls to check you’re happy with the system
Complimentary adjustments to the Control4 programming and you get used to the system
Setting up of app’s on your mobile devices
One-to-one training on how to get the most from your system.

If you are renovating an existing property, VAT will apply to all products and services supplied by us. There are some circumstances that a reduced VAT rate can apply.

If you are undertaking a new build project, certain products supplied and installed by us which are considered by HMRC as ‘ordinarily incorporated into the fabric of the building’ will be exempt from VAT.

Our labour charges for the installation of these items could also be exempt from VAT.

As you’ll appreciate this topic can be quite complicated so we always suggest you contact us to discuss it in more detail as we like to be clear and concise on this topic to ensure that everything is followed to the letter.

In some circu

We are in the fortunate position to work with some fantastic trades, who we regularly work alongside to deliver the beautiful and unique projects we’ve become well known for.

Appointing reputable trades who get along well, know what’s expected of them from both us and you while being able to deliver realistic quotations for the work involved will save you a lot of time, hassle and money in the long run.

Starting off with an electrical contractor we would recommend Ash and his team from AJK Electrical. Having been in business since 2014, Ash’s team has grown organically, now proudly employing 8 members of staff who all share Ash’s passion, creativity and attention to detail fro delivering fantastic electrical work. Ash has worked along side us with many of most impressive smart home and cinema projects making him the perfect partner for both us and you.

Details – www.ajk-electrical.co.uk / ash (at) ajk-electrical.co.uk 

Moving onto a builder we have enjoyed working alongside Mike and his team from Huwga for many years now. Huwga is a take on the Danish word ‘hygge’. The Danes use the word ‘hygge’ to describe a feeling of cosiness, charm, happiness, contentedness, security, and comfort. These are some of the feelings that Mike and his team strive to ensure you will feel within your new home.

Details – www.huwga.co.uk / mike.penn (at) huwga.co.uk 

If there is one area of your house design not to neglect then it’s how to natural and artificial light impacts your property. Although architects will put together a lighting design for you as part of their design process, it’s not until you meet with Jenny and let her expertise, creativity and professionalism come through that you will really understand how valuable she is to your project. Jenny’s mood boards and lighting designs are what sets her apart from other lighting designers we’ve worked with.

Details – www.jennysmartlighting.co.uk / jenny (at) jennysmartlighting.co.uk

Sharing our passion for design and creativity is Stuart and his team from Summer House Interiors based in Shrewsbury. Stuart is a relatively new addition to our list of trusted trades, but after quickly building a rapport and seeing their demonstration showroom, work and client base we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them as a local interior designer. Stuart’s team embraces the ever-changing trend of interior design and appreciates traditional and timeless designs as well as ultra modern trends. They are also helpful when we need to hide technology within the modern home.

Details – www.jennysmartlighting.co.uk / start (at) summerhouse-interiors.com

We have done a larger article on this, which we’d encourage you to read through, but the honest answer is that costs can vary hugely depending on each customer’s requirements.

When we design smart homes, no two homes are the same as there are a lot of variables to every single project, but if you’re after a ballpark figure to get you going then we would normally suggest you factor 5% to 10% of the total cost of your home towards the smart home elements. That’s going to give you a good budget to start out. These figures would quickly go out the window, if we had a client, who wanted to have TV’s in every room, a high end cinema room, automated blinds, gates, CCTV and a nice outdoor audio system etc.

But most clients don’t do that. What they do is they invest in the core infrastructure and all the elements of smart home technology they want immediate and then pre-wire for any elemts they’re unsure of or can’t quite afford.

Needless to say we see some jobs that are over 10% of a home build costs and some jobs that are under 1%, but as an initial budget, if you’re building your dream home and you’re designing it from scratch and you’re trying to figure out what to budget for your home, then working on 5% to 10% is a great starting point.

As a Control4 Certified Showroom and winner of Control4’s dealer of excellence award in 2022 we are well placed to help you with your Control4 smart home project. Please get in contact to visit our Certified showroom to see how we can transform you dreams into reality.

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