How to Choose A Home Theater Installer
After spending what can be a small fortune on your home theater, it makes very little sense to try and save a few bucks and compromising on getting the best that you can from it.
Consider home automation, satellite antennas, lighting, remote controls, DVR networks, integration, wall-mounting, and a host of other activities that may be needed such as integrating CCTV through Ethernet connections, and it’s easy to understand why professional assistance is needed.
The problem with needing professional assistance with your home theater installation, is knowing whom to trust.
The first consideration is to find someone in your area. You may not wish to use someone who may be too far away, for obvious reasons, that you may need help as soon as possible, if something does go wrong. There is likely to be competent people within a 100 mile radius of your zip code and not someone who would need air-plane travel to get to your destination, unless very special skills or circumstances make it warranted.
What may easily be among the most important criteria in choosing a home theater installer, is the credibility. There are stories abounding about installers who collect deposits and disappear before the installation is complete. Before hiring any installer, you should do some due diligence and research their background. It may be necessary to interview a few candidates before making a selection.
Certified qualification indicate competency.
The Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association is the organization that provides certification for installers. Your installer should be certified, as certification provides some degree of assurance that the service will be provided by knowledgeable professionals. Although there is no guarantee, CEDIA certification does provides credibility. You can find Cedia certified installers in your area, by searching at the Cedia website.
The best referrals are still referrals by word-of-mouth or from friends, associates and or relatives. Don’t be afraid to ask the opinions of others who may have used the installer before. They may be capable of performing excellent work, even though they may not fully meet your criteria.
Your installer should be recognized and active in the industry. There are several organizations including CEDIA, the Consumer Electronics Association, Building Design and several system associations.
Membership and activity in these associations indicates that the installer is committed to the industry and is not just a fly-by night operator. Although there is still no guarantee, longevity and leadership will also be indicated by involvement in the community at different levels.
Find out how long the installer has been in the business, and you can check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are many complaints with the organization. In some states, in order to perform certain tasks, the organization must be licensed and registered as a contractor. You can alway check with your local authorities to determine whether your installer is licensed to work in the state.
In addition to checking references and the appearance and credibility of the installer, it is also extremely important to trust your intuition, because it is seldom wrong. It you don’t feel confident about working with an installer, you should continue your search until you find someone with you are comfortable.