It is in your best interest to drill down and know about each Home theater installer you interview for hiring. This might cost a little extra to find details about every installer, but mark my words, it will pay off in the long run!
Fun Fact: Many times, installers leave incomplete jobs with dead systems and unworthy performance of the home theater.
Hiring a cheap and wrong person will cost you, even more, when you’ll have to start from scratch.
So, here a list of question you should be asking your home theater installer
Any contractor you hire, no matter how large or small the job, should be bonded, insured and certified. If they are not or their installation crew is injured on your property during construction, you could be held liable. Getting the legal issues out of the way before inviting a home theater company into your home is critical.
As you embark on the process of evaluating the right company for your new home theater, consider asking the following questions during your evaluation process:
Are you bonded and insured?
Ask to see copies or proof of insurance and bonding. Check the dates; call the insurance or bonding company to verify their coverage is in effect. A bond is very useful to the homeowner in two ways, first it protects the homeowner against theft by the contractor and their employees, and second, it covers the homeowner in the event the contractor does not finish the job.
A bond will cover any loss due to theft and any cost associated with an incomplete project, most reputable home theater companies will be bonded.
Ask the home theater company for a copy of their liability insurance policy to cover you and the installer if something should go wrong. A minimum $1,000,000 policy is typically best for everyone involved.
How extensive have they been in this profession?
Check Google, Yelp reviews and find if they had any complaints in the past.
Do they have a website?
If it’s a company, they should have a website which will tell you more about them. In case, they do not have a company website, ask for local recommendations.
Custom Home theater installers
Getting a custom installer is a good idea as they can be lenient and go beyond to service your particular needs. Do ask them for instances where they’ve done similar work and it should be your job to check it personally. Further, give them a situation on how they will deal with related to your home and note down the answer of each installer. Later, evaluate on basis of this as well.
How long will it take and what access will you need?
Big installations can take days or weeks. That might mean access to attics, basements, other areas of the house, or the entire house. Find out if someone needs to be there during the installation and for how long.
What will the installer need from you?
This could be a deposit, a house key, or access to your interior designer and trim carpenter if you are using your own. Find out what they need and why.
Checking the installer’s working schedule
It’s always good to check with them their working hours. The classic case where you’re not a morning person but the home theater installer rings the doorbell at 6, you’ll not be happy.
Website and images from their portfolio (where they’ve completed similar work)
Sometimes, the home theater installation provider will keep a sample ready to offer you with live instances of their work. In today’s digital age, images and even cinematic videos are collected by almost every installer.
References for similar projects
This is a great idea. With a similar installation, you get to know what will be like when you get it at your place. Also, you can interact with the earlier client and get to know the sort of difficulties he had working with this installer.
This one is the most important one. Prior to starting the project, you must get the signed contract from the Home theater installation service provider. The contract should include as many details as possible including
- Pricing, payment structure, and payment dates
- Equipment list
- TAT (Turn Around Time)
Get it all in writing, especially any specials, free offers or other non-standard deals.
If the project runs long are, they come to you for more money?
Is there a return policy?
We’ve all been in situations where we were grateful for or knew we should pay attention to our gut reaction. Selecting a custom installer is no different. Impulse reaction is no guarantee that you’re making the right decision. But your comfort level is important. If you feel you can communicate effectively and your installer is eagerly listening and responding, this may trump a boatload of credibility. If you get a weird feeling because your interviewee is too fabulous, run away. If you don’t get direct answers to direct questions, run away fast.
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