By Christine Hunsaker | Posted August 26, 2021

If you’re handy and enthusiastic about tech, you’ve probably considered adding smart devices to your home ecosystem to make your life easier, safer, or more convenient. However, there’s a huge difference between buying a bunch of retail smart gadgets versus using a professionally installed, fully integrated smart home system like Control4. Keep reading below for some things you should consider before trying to DIY a smart-ish house with readily available commercial devices. 
Photo credit: Photo by R ARCHITECTURE on Unsplash 
  1. Size and complexity of installation  
How big or complex is your home? If it’s a large home or has a lot of complex building materials like interior stone, mirror walls, or radiant floor heating, you will likely have trouble with wireless in your home and will need a professional to help with wiring your home.  
You’ll also want to take inventory of how many smart devices you’re hoping to add and how many things you’d like to control—from entries, garage doors, windows, sensors, lighting, pool, hot tub/spa, TV’s, cinema rooms, thermostats, audio, outdoor, gates, security, or more. A scattershot collection of smart devices won’t be able to scale the way a fully designed system can. A Control4 Smart Home Pro will discuss your wish list and design a custom solution for your home and lifestyle with all the devices and solutions tied into one easy-to-use system. 
  1. Too many separate devices, too many apps 
    As you add in smart devices to your home, you’ll also be piling up apps on your phone to control them. With Control4, you’ll be able to control all your smart devices in one place with one app. In fact, a Control4 Smart Home can be controlled in many convenient ways: 
  • Android and iOS mobile app 
  • On-wall, custom engraved keypads
  • Powerful universal remote controls
  • Dedicated, high-resolution touchscreens
  • Voice assistants (Google and Alexa) 
Best of all, Control4 Smart Home Pros have ways to personalize all these options in ways you can only begin to imagine. 
  1. Privacy and security 
    Unlike Control4, other DIY smart home devices are sold inexpensively with their ultimate goal to profit from your usage, search or other personal data. Control4 uses basic system information to improve your smart home experience, but does not sell your data or use it for advertising. Additionally, when you work with a Control4 smart home professional, they can set up your network so it’s secure and make sure all your smart home components are up-to-date and configured to minimize gaps in security so you can enjoy the incredible benefits of a truly smart home. 
  1. Too many remotes 
No need to turn on the TV with one remote and change the input with another. Wouldn’t it be nice to just have one remote to manage all inputs? With Control4, you can have a beautiful universal remote that does it all. And it’s not limited to just your TV or stereo; control your lights, blinds, temperature, door locks, and more, with the same remote! 
  1. Programming scenes and automations 
With a fully integrated Control4 Smart Home, you can bundle actions that all work together, like turning on the lights, locking the door behind you, and starting your favorite playlist with a button tap or voice command as you walk through the door. Instead of having to painstakingly program and install all of that yourself, let the pros take over. 
  1. Wi-Fi demands and network failures  
Most people don’t know much about robust network planning. Do you know your Zigbee from your Z-Wave or your Wi-Fi from your Bluetooth? Your system will only be as good as your network and having a pro on board should help ensure reliable connectivity for every device. After all, without a good network infrastructure in place, bringing in more devices will simply cause lagging and buffering. Make sure you hire someone who can ensure everything runs smoothly. 
Photo by Samuel Ramos on Unsplash 
  1. Remote access 
It’s easy to manage and check in on your home remotely with Control4. After your installation, you’ll be able to monitor your home with a Control4 4Sight subscription, and create custom notifications that keep you abreast of your home while you’re away—from doorbell push notifications to being able to close your garage door from your desk if you forgot on your way to work that morning.  
In addition, your certified Control4 Smart Home Pro will be able to assess trouble your system may be having from afar and reboot connected devices with OvrC, an industry-leading, cloud-based management system; saving you from needing a service visit for a simple request.  
  1. Upgrades, maintenance, remote help, troubleshooting 
Home tech and devices aren’t static; like your cell phone or laptop, they’ll have updates, new software, or sometimes plain wear out. Consider if you’re the one who wants to handle updates, maintenance, and troubleshooting when you could instead reach out to a seasoned industry pro armed with the knowledge and experience to do the ongoing upkeep and management for your system. 
  1. Labor   
Consider product research, installation, and setup time. How comfortable are you with wiring and DIY? Maybe you don’t want to pull wire through crawlspaces or attics, climb onto the roof to mount cameras, set up sensors, troubleshoot systems, or worry about connecting everything and getting it all working properly. If that’s the case, a DIFM (do-it-for-me) model like Control4 makes sense for your installation.  
  1. Ease of use 
Who else will be able to access or use your smart home devices? Does everyone in the household have all the apps on their phone to be able to control everything? Are you going to be ready to fix issues your kids or spouse have when you’re working late or on a trip? Having a built-in smart home system means anyone—including visitors, nannies, or your technophobic parents—can access and control your system from centralized locations, like tabletop or wall-mounted touchscreens, keypads, or from a universal remote. 
  1. Compatibility  
Do you know what this-or-that product integrates with? Will you be able to troubleshoot any issues it’s going to face with install, updates, wiring, or connectivity? Control4 manufactures its own products and integrates with hundreds-of-thousands of third-party products, so you can use the devices you already know and love, without worrying if they’ll be able to work together. 
  1. Equipment storage 
Instead of having random devices and cables scattered all over the house, a professional can directly wire speakers, lighting, internet, and more into dedicated panels or AV racks. The brains of your home will be tucked neatly out of the way to keep clean lines of sight in every room free from black-box clutter and will be easy to use, access, and manage in the future. For upkeep, maintenance, and upgrades, it makes sense to have a pro create a tidy, well-marked centralized equipment rack. 
  1. Bespoke/custom options 
If you want something unique, tricky, or truly custom, you should reach out to a pro to execute your vision. From TV screens on lifts that hide away in the ceiling or inside custom-built furniture, to outdoor audio, themed cinema rooms, golf simulators, wine cellars or man caves tricked out with custom LED’s and top of the line audio, a pro is the way to go. 
You want a rock solid, reliable system that’s easy to use and access from anywhere, no matter the size of your home.  A fully integrated Control4 Smart Home can be customized to your specifications, instead of trying to shoehorn store bought products into fitting your lifestyle. Hiring a pro means you’ll get all the right products for your needs, in addition to installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and remote assistance. Having professional installation makes it easy for you to relax and enjoy your home, without always having to be on-call to fix any issues that may crop up. 

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