Summer time has always been a time for moving. Residents moving to new apartments, families to their new homes, offices move buildings and floors and even schools or other public organizations take this time to reorganize their facilities. Many of these moves require renovation or remodeling. And this summer, different than no other summer before, we were swamped with work on new offices and houses. As much as we appreciated the opportunity to work on a new project and help our customers’ vision realize, sometimes we felt frustration by the fact that we were called long after the client should have. And this makes our job much more difficult. And so I have decided to write a summarized guide for all of you movers, contractors, managers, owners… that are planning their next project. This guide will explain why and how to plan your security system and communication system ahead of time. Hopefully, when time comes, you will call us right on time.
Plan correctly – don’t over spend!
Planning is the most important step of every project. Just like your electrician or interior designer, we – your security consultants, have to plan ahead what and how we will install.
Together with our customers we make a list of items and features wanted. We will try to consider as many aspects of the communication and security systems as possible. Cameras, alarm, intercom, VoIP phones, Wi-Fi hot spots, locks and many more require planning ahead of time. We suggest to try and keep things simple and not over spend your budget.
In 95% of times – when planned ahead before the project begins, we can commit to a price quote and won’t need any adjustments as we go. This is important to help you stay within the budget of the project.
So, my 1st advise to you is take the time to sit with your security company and plan as much time ahead as possible. This will help you budget, and help us get ready for the installation.
Wire runs are time consuming – and time is money!
The first step of any installation is wire running. Weather it is for an intercom system, electric locks, security cameras or Wi-Fi hotspots – running those wires from 1 location to another is where we start. True, many manufacturers offer wireless devices these days, which are supposed to make installation easier. But wireless is less reliable, more expensive, might malfunction, slows down your network and of course means changing batteries every now and then. So when we plan your security system ahead of time – we always make a list of all the wire runs that need to be done.
When we get to a project in its early stage – running wires is easy. Walls are open, or can be opened, and we can sneak all the wires we need from A to B fast and in a professional manner. If we get to a project after walls are already done – then it is a problem. We will face a dilemma of can we open walls or not? Should we use external conduit that will be visible and not as secure? Either way we go, the result will be more expensive since it is much more time consuming.
So, my 2nd advice to you – get us – the installers – on site as early as possible. This will make our job easier, more professional and more cost effective.
How to plan your security system – The check list
Next we will try to count the many aspects of security and communication systems that you might need to consider. This list will not cover everything there is to do, but the most common systems installed and the ones you should definitely plan ahead for.
- Intercom system – is probably the most critical and common system we install for both homes and multi residential buildings.
- Door buzzer-release system – integrated usually with the intercom system to allow resident to buzz the door open for visitors.
- Security cameras – are becoming more and more popular in residential buildings.
- Cables/data wiring and outlets – are used to transfer internet and cables signals from the ISP box to your home, and from your modem to outlets around the house so you can connect your smart devices to the internet and so you can connect TV everywhere without cables hanging around.
- Access control systems – are more common in multi residential buildings. They offer smart and easy management of access to all doors in the building’s common areas.
- Audio systems – are more common in high-end houses and include recessed speakers around the house or back yard, sound amplifiers and smart systems like Sonos.
- Alarm – is more common in single family homes and is very important to plan ahead for. Running wires for alarm elements in an early stage of the construction, will save a lot of headache down the road.
- Locks – are usually one of the last items we install but are important as any other piece of the puzzle.
All of the above items should be on the checklist of any residential contractor AND commercial contractors as well. Commercial sites should also consider the next items:
- Wi-Fi hot spots – are very useful in large offices where wireless internet is a necessity.
- Network and data equipment – and everything you might need to manage your office network.
- Media and Sound – TVs, monitors projectors and sound systems are a big part of many retail operations as well as offices and others.
- PA system – useful in public places such as Schools or public affairs offices.
As I’ve mentioned before, this list it partial but includes most of the relevant systems you should consider when building or remodeling your home or office. All of these systems require wiring, and the sooner we get to it – the better.
Integration between systems – time to be creative!
So you’ve figure out more or less what you want, great! Now it’s time to really get creative! How would you like it if when your employee comes through your door and scans their fob, your security camera takes a snap shot of them and keeps it in a folder along with a time stamp? How helpful would it be to know if your customers go to the left or to the right of the store, when they enter? Do you need to get an alert when movement has been noticed in your backyard after certain hours? Or maybe you’d want your front door to unlock when you park your car in the garage?
The IoT revolution (Internet of things) has not skipped the security and home automation market. Today, integrating between access control, cameras, alarms and even locks, is easy and achievable. You can determine specific rules and events to set in motion different mechanisms, and you can also monitor it all from the ease of your cellular device.
It’s up to you to really take the time and think about how you want things to work, and it is up to us to find the right hardware in order to achieve it. Of course, money is a consideration, but that’s why it’s important to really plan for it. As we said before, budgeting requires planning.
To conclude, it’s is important to plan your security system right from the get-go for few reasons:
- Early installation means less work and work done right
- Saves you money
- Help you budget correctly
- Maximize integration between systems and achieve best results
Remember that security and communication are as important to your day to day life and operation as much as other aspects of construction – if not more.
Consulting with a security professional would be your 1st step. Together we would sit and make a list of items, priorities and goals. Then we would offer plans and budgets. If you want to learn more about our systems please click here.
I hope this article help you wrap your head around everything we would be involved with in your upcoming project, of course you can contact us for more information at any time!