A Qualified Tech Integrator Should Be Engaged Early


A Qualified Tech Integrator Should Be Engaged Early

The right technology partner can make all the difference in your project.

By josh christian

Lighting solutions

SPRING IS IN THE AIR, and with it, more of us are getting comfortable getting outdoors and meeting in person again. I was pleasantly surprised that over 70 thousand people attended Design & Construction Week (IBS/KBIS) in Orlando in early February. It was great to network with builders and designers and learn their questions about home technologies.

Design-build professionals realize now more than ever how important technology is to their clients’ everyday lives. Fast, reliable and secure Internet connections are no longer a luxury, they are a necessity. The pandemic has shifted upgrade priorities to better security and entertainment systems. Since families are spending more time at home, making their homes more user-friendly through ‘single app’ control systems is more attractive than ever, too.

With this realization, design and build professionals need to know when in their timeline the home’s technology systems should be designed, and by whom. The answers? A qualified home technology integrator should be engaged early in the process. An integrator needs to create the technology design before obtaining framing and electrical proposals. The integrator should in fact be an integral part of the design team.

The best integrators collaborate with architects, designers and builders as technology designers and communicate through design and engineering documentation. The visible technology can be shown as a layer on the floorplans, allowing for aesthetic collaboration. This ensures that everyone stays on the same page, so to speak. Not only will the home look better, but there will also be fewer change orders and project delays from such early design collaboration as it minimizes last minute surprises.

Here are some of the items your systems integrator helps with: determine prewire needs, helps with technology space planning, specifies framing, cooling and electrical requirements to accommodate the home’s technology, helps with media room layout, unifies the home’s controls, and more. Only when these aspects are known are other contractors able to create accurate proposals.

What qualifications should architects, designers and builders look for when selecting an integrator? At minimum, make sure the firm can create design and engineering documentation. Ask to see their documentation. Is it professional? Are they able to clearly convey what the tech will look like and clearly define where it will be located? Are they endorsed by fellow architects, designers and builders? If your state requires it, are they licensed? Insured? What are their customer service policies? As the head of an association that certifies integration firms, I can tell you from experience all of this is important. In today’s modern home, the right technology design partner makes all the difference in the world.


final thoughts

Josh Christian is the CEO of the Home Technology Association. Josh's goal has always been to deliver exceptional technology experiences to clients, and in his roll and HTA he gets to expand on that goal as he identifies the top home technology installation firms and brings them the rec¬ognition they deserve.