Last night we had our meeting with Guardian to go over some of the electrical choices in the house. Originally, I was slightly disappointed that we had to drive across town to meet, but after going I understand why. They have a room that is set up with everything. They have a panel set up which shows you what they install; its basically the command center for everything they could install. It houses the alarm stuff, the internet stuff and other options. They also have a couch set up with a couple of different types of speaker systems they can install and other products to show you.
The Guardian Dude was actually pretty cool. He came right out and said, I don't expect you to make a decision on any of this tonight. He wasn't pushy at all. It came up that my dad was an electrician and he immediately said "that's great, that can save you some money." When we were discussing wall mounting the TVs, we talked about placement and exactly what we and dad could do versus the professional installers. I can't stand someone that tries to make a hard sell or someone that assumes you don't know anything about what you're purchasing and he was neither.
So, what did we decide to do? He went over the options for cable, HDMI and internet to each of the places there is going to be a TV. Since a lot of TV's and gaming systems can now be connected to the internet it's important to know how you might want to use your TV in the future. It makes me feel like Judy Jetson. First, we are having them install what is needed to mount the TV above the fireplace. The nice part is, they way it is set up in the family room, we actually will have the ability to put the TV on either wall with no problem, in case we decide not to mount the TV above the fireplace. The guest room will have cable. The master bedroom will have cable and TV. We have decided not to put cable in the kids rooms. This is twofold, one, we don't want the kids to go and hide in their room and have unlimited access to TV. We prefer to limit their options and have control over what they watch. This will force them to be social with us. Two, if we ever change our mind, it's likely there will be some wireless cable box options in the future, so it's not really necessary to hard wire it.
The basement is the fun part. We plan on the basement being our main entertainment area for the kids and our friends. Eventually, we'll put a bigger TV down there and the kids gaming systems. One of the things Guardian sells and installs are home theater systems. Basically, you have the option for them to prewire for speakers or go ahead and install speakers. The cost to prewire was $440. We were surprised that the cost to have them install their "platinum series of speakers was only about $1200 more. Yes, this is not chump change. But, the cost of decent speakers would probably cost close to this anyway, so why not go ahead and have them install better ones for just a little more. We don't plan on moving to another house after this any time soon. So, that was our fun splurge of the evening. You have options to put speakers throughout the entire house but we showed restraint.
The last option we went over is the security system. Bob pretty much left this decision to me. We used to have one; the long story made short, the only reason we cancelled it was because our phone line went out. My mother in law has had her house broken into twice. The second time they had an alarm system and it probably prevented the thieves from taking more than they did. I also like that you can have the smoke detector monitored. Alarm systems nowadays don't require a phone line, which we won't have. They also have fancy features that allow you to arm and disarm them from your smart phone. Fabulous! I thought that if we chose to install the alarm system that the installation charge would be waived, but apparently Ryan Homes has a $250 charge. (Insert frustrated face here). I don't understand this charge, so I'll have to talk to our Sales Rep about that.
So that's it, we've made our prewiring choices. Saturday is the fun meeting. We finalize our cabinet choices and choose flooring. I'm super excited about that. I'll be sure to take my camera and get pictures of our choices for that.