Who Should You Hire for a Smart Home Automation System?

Lawrence Bonk
Written by Lawrence Bonk
Updated March 2, 2022
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  • Hire a reputable smart home specialist to install smart home automation systems. 

  • These pros are licensed, insured, and bonded for peace of mind. 

  • They also have plenty of experience with a wide variety of smart home systems. 

  • Many companies offer ongoing support and service should problems arise.

  • When meeting with a prospective pro, talk about your budget, security concerns, and more.

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We get it; you’ve had it. You’ve had it with your light switches, your garage door, and your thermostat. Just hearing the word “manual” makes you tired. As you start to consider upgrading your home to a smart home, there are a few things to consider. Yes, they’ve come a long way in a short time, but going wireless is a pretty intricate process. 

That’s why hiring an expert to install home automation is important to avoid any possible hacking or security breaches in the system. Additionally, a proper installation ensures a well-working system for years to come. 

But who do you call for for a home automation system installation? Your best bet is a licensed smart home specialist.

Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Smart Home Specialist For Your Automation System

Whether you are looking for a relatively simple smart home setup or you want to integrate dozens of appliances into an automation system, there are benefits to contacting a local smart home specialist for the job. 

Knowledgeable in Security and Technically Proficient 

Modern smart home specialists boast accreditations and licenses for a wide variety of automation-adjacent categories, such as electronic network security, alarm security, and more. These licenses require both experience and testing, ensuring your pro can handle anything you throw at them. 

Additionally, many qualified technicians belong to industry-wide associations like the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, which requires proper licensing. 

Backed by Insurance

There are a lot of potential problems when installing a home automation system, especially if your pro needs access to electrical systems. Reputable smart home specialists have multiple types of insurance to give you—and them—peace of mind. While many states require general liability insurance and workers comp, a pro is more likely to be professionally bonded should you encounter any issues with the contractors. 

After all, installing a home automation system costs up to $1,400, so protect your investment with the proper insurance.  

Offer Ongoing Service and Support

One of the best reasons to go with a legitimate home automation pro is that these companies offer service and support after the initial installation and setup. These pros offer advice on which materials won’t block home Wi-Fi signals, troubleshooting and security tips, and information on how best to save on utility bills by operating smart appliances

Nobody knows your system better than the folks who installed it, so it feels good to know you have someone to call should something go wrong down the line. (Spoiler alert: It’s technology; Something always goes wrong down the line.) 

Can I DIY Smart Home Automation?

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Now that you know who to call for professional home automation installation, let’s talk about whether it’s safe or easy for you to do it yourself. 

If you have some wireless networking experience and your setup is on the simpler side, then, yes, go ahead and tackle this yourself. Adding a few smart plugs and outlets or hooking up cameras and smart door locks are usually pretty straightforward projects. But if you are building a whole-house smart home system, your best bet is with a professional. These systems have many moving parts and require massive amounts of experience for successful installations. 

Smart home specialists charge an hourly rate for labor, typically anywhere from $40 to $80 per hour, so you’d save that money by going it alone. However, these same companies have increased purchase power for smart home systems, thanks to dealing in bulk. In other words, you’ll be on your own to buy the right tools and machines for the job. 

Can I Hire a General Contractor for Home Automation? 

This depends on their overall level of experience and familiarity with the industry. For instance, any general contractor worth their salt can easily handle putting in a soundbar, but setting up an advanced system requires advanced experience. Smart home installers have an industry focus, meaning that they are always up to date with the latest and greatest pieces of relevant technology.

What to Discuss With Your Home Automation Pro 

Many specialists offer free at-home consultations to discuss options, since these systems can get pretty involved quickly. Here is a list of things to bring up during your initial talks as you collect bids. 

  • Talk about individualized systems: Talk to your pro about your options, and don’t be afraid to bring up any specific requests. There are many ways to individualize and custom-build these systems to suit your specifications. Water systems, HVAC systems, and even systems designed to improve overall health are all modern candidates for automation. 

  • Discuss any security concerns: No network security system is foolproof, especially when faced with a master hacker. Poorly designed systems offer easier access for hackers, so ask any potential technician their gameplan for beefing up your network security throughout your smart home. 

  • Ask for references: Hiring a smart home specialist is no different from hiring any other type of contractor, so getting several bids and talking to their past clients is important. Find out whether or not the company met its budget, schedule, and expectations. 

  • Ask about similar projects: Yes, each home is different, but many share commonalities. If your pro has successfully completed similar projects, you’re off to a great start.

  • Discuss the time commitment: Some systems, like surround sound audio, take a day or less, but more complex systems take multiple days or even weeks. 

  • Be honest about your budget: Pick a maximum budget and stick to it as you discuss options and collect bids from companies. Home automation systems can run the gamut from fairly basic to extravagant and range from $2,000 to $200,000 or more.

How do Smart Home Specialists Install Automated Systems?

Smart home specialists go far beyond setting up system hubs and connecting them to your Internet and appliances, though they also do that. Modern companies pre-wire homes so you won’t have to tear into walls, determine necessary power outlets for effective coverage, and offer advice on how to hide crucial technology with interior decorating. They also work with general contractors to leave room for speakers, various electronic devices, or anything else you want hidden inside walls. 

In short, smart home installation experts design, plan, install, implement, and set up every facet of a smart home. 

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