Renovating your home or office? Don’t forget the A/V.

So, you’re constructing a home, building out a new office space or renovating an existing space. You’ve lined up your architect, builder and electrician and you’re ready to get things rolling. Before you progress any further, stop and take a moment to engage an audiovisual consultant. It will save you time, money and stress.

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The “internet of things” is here. The devices in our homes, our businesses and our pockets are becoming identifiable pieces of network infrastructure and this has changed the engineering and design world drastically. Sound and video are integrated into the home and office in ways they never were before. It’s no longer just a matter of plugging in a radio or a TV set and turning them on. This is the age of whole-home audio, multimedia streaming, residential and commercial automation; the infrastructure you install behind the walls is now just as important as the the devices you plug into them.

Involving an A/V consultant from day one in the planning stages of your new renovation, build, or install will help to ensure that the guts of your space support the needs of your audiovisual design. Just as your architect needs to understand your goals and create a suitable architectural plan within the space provided, so too do your audiovisual consultants have to understand your needs and turn them into an audiovisual design that takes the architectural and electric requirements into consideration. Among other things, the A/V design addresses:

  • the location, transit and type of speaker, network and power cabling needed in the walls
  • ideal termination points
  • methods of control
  • sources of content delivery
  • number and type of recommended audio and video devices
  • positioning of speakers and displays for best performance throughout the space

Addressing these elements of the design at the beginning of the process, with the input of the architect and the A/V consultants, will save you time and money. The alternative is one with which we are all too familiar at C4.  Having been consultants and installers on countless jobs from small home renovations to large commercial build-outs, we have seen it too often.

There is a common misperception that the audiovisual element of a new installation is the easy part; just call the A/V guys in when the space is ready and they’ll install the devices and you’re good to go. The advent of wireless A/V technologies has only compounded this misperception. The truth is that’s it’s just not that simple. Even wireless technologies are often not truly “wireless”; they require a well-designed and installed electrical and network infrastructure to provide the power and signals required for them to operate seamlessly.

For this and all the other reasons stated above, addressing your A/V needs after the design and planning (and even build) stages is putting the entire enterprise at a disadvantage. It means the audiovisual team must come in after the fact and spend time evaluating the design, the build, the wiring and often devising workarounds for wiring or build choices that do not serve the audiovisual installation the client desires. Sometimes, it means cutting the walls open again and running new cable. Sometimes, it means devising ways to provide sound and video in rooms with less than ideal light and acoustics. But almost always, it means spending more money than would have been spent had the issues been addressed in the original design and planning stages.

So, on your next renovation or build-out, stay on budget, on time and ahead of the curve: be proactive and enlist the services of an audiovisual consultant from the beginning. You’ll be happy you did.

C4 Studios provides a variety of residential and commercial services including Event Design, Digital Signage, IT Services, Design/Build, and Website Design and Development.  

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David Mason
dmason@c4studios.com