The installer should also interview you to determine what you want your system to do. Expect to give him general information about your home, including size, construction type, and number of rooms. Will you be listening at background level or room-shaking volume? Do you want to have different sources playing simultaneously in different areas? Are there any specific design requirements? Will the speakers be freestanding, going in cabinetry, on the wall, or in the wall? Where will the equipment be?
He'll also need to know your budget. Projects can range greatly in price, so this will help him narrow the design to find the best system for you. It's a waste of everyone's time if you get a $50,000 proposal when you're looking to spend $15,000 or $150,000.
If you have blueprints, bring them to the meeting; they'll give the installer a clearer picture of the project. At some point, he'll want to visit the house or job site, which might incur a charge. This charge should be fair and reasonable, but you can ask if it will be applied to your purchase if you OK the project.
The installer will now prepare a proposal. This might divide the work to be done by room or into sections (wiring, distributed audio, home theater, lighting, and so on). Pricing might be line-item, by room, by phase, or just one amount for the entire project. Go over the proposal with the installer so you completely understand what your system will be capable of. Then ask what limitations it has and what he would suggest for upgrades.
Does the proposal show that the installer listened to what you wanted? Did he respond to your needs and budget, or does it feel like he's trying to sell you a prepackaged product?
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