How to Plan for Home Theater Systems in New Residential Projects

How to Plan for Home Theater Systems in New Residential Projects

What You Want to Know to Integrate Home Theaters  As a design or build professional in Chicago, you keep up on the current trends in home design and lifestyles to keep your projects fresh and in demand. With all the time spent at home during the pandemic, few things are in more demand in Illinois than a home theater. With the plethora of content available over streaming services like Netflix and a lack of reasons to head out to an actual theater, a home cinema is an excellent investment for home entertainment.  While almost any space can be turned into a home cinema, planning for one from the start when remodeling or building makes it far more manageable and less expensive to integrate a home theater system. Home theater systems involve many details, from seating to screens, projectors, speakers, sources and amplifiers, cabling, acoustics and more! Understanding what’s involved and how to plan a home theater space makes it much easier for your clients to get the home cinema they envision for their new home. Keep reading for more details below.     SEE ALSO: Building a Home Theater: What Architects Need to Know    Room Layout  If you have the opportunity to dedicate a room to a home theater, the size and shape of the room are critical. Rectangular rooms work best for optimal audio performance. While theaters can be small and intimate to almost vast, the ratio matters. Plan for rooms with a size ratio in the range of 1.6 to 2.4; i.e., a 16 by 24-foot room as an example. Ceiling heights matter, too, as the latest immersive surround formats like Dolby Atmos, which depend on one or multiple pairs of ceiling speakers,...
3 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Home Automation Specialist

3 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Home Automation Specialist

Reason 1: Do You Want Home Automation That Works?  The title is only a bit facetious, but there are many, many home automation options in the market. You only need to look in Home Depot, Best Buy, and Amazon to find a wide range of smart home devices from a plethora of vendors, with most of them tying into the platform umbrellas of the world’s largest tech companies.   So, what’s wrong with that? Nothing, many of those devices are brilliant products. But what happens when you try to put together a complete smart home using these devices and platforms? It can get surprisingly complicated. Think about your laptop or desktop computer. You probably know how to maintain it and keep it updated and running relatively smoothly. What if you had a whole department full of them to manage? That’s what IT departments or outside services tend to do, so employees don’t have to spend time worrying about the technology they use.  The concept is the same for a smart home. If you want to be your own integrator, you may be happy with DIY solutions. If you need a Chicago, IL smart home that just works – so you don’t have to be the IT department – you might consider an experienced home automation company like Barrett’s Technology Solutions. Explore why below!  SEE ALSO: Barrett’s Technology Solutions Wins ASID Illinois Design Excellence Award  Laying the Foundation  While many smart devices work over wireless network technologies, wiring and cabling are still necessary for optimal connectivity in many homes, especially larger properties. A couple of examples: Smart security cameras may be installed in locations around the perimeter of a house. Cameras need connectivity and power. A single ethernet cable solution can provide both...
Create an Outdoor Fun Zone with Audio and Video Entertainment

Create an Outdoor Fun Zone with Audio and Video Entertainment

Spring Is the Perfect Time to Bring the Entertainment Outside  With spring around the corner, longer days are just ahead. There is something about the longer days with Daylight Savings Time that turns your thoughts to the outdoors. We know this is Illinois, and we can still get a spring snowfall, but anyway you look at it, warmer, sunnier days are just ahead.   Spring traditionally is a time to start planning home projects. After the winter, many Naperville homeowners turn their attention to backyards and landscapes. It’s time to get the pool ready, the outdoor furniture uncovered and cleaned up, and spruce up the landscape with annuals. While you’re attacking all those projects, consider a way to add another dimension to your outdoor spring and summer fun with an outdoor audio and video system. Explore some ideas below to create your own outdoor oasis that will have you spending more much-needed time al fresco.  SEE ALSO: Take the Entertainment Outside with an Outdoor Speaker System  Outdoor Audio  The most popular outdoor entertainment solution is audio. It’s not hard to see why. Music can set the mood for relaxing on the patio on a Sunday afternoon with a good book, energize a summer pool party, or create the ambiance for cocktails and dinner with friends on a warm evening. Whether you like relaxing background music, rock and roll, or have audiophile golden ears for your eclectic music collection, there’s an outdoor audio system that will satisfy you. You can choose from various brands and styles that range from outdoor speaker specialists to outdoor series from some of the best-known hi-fi audio companies.   Spring is the perfect time to plan for your...
How to Protect Your Home with a Smarter Security System

How to Protect Your Home with a Smarter Security System

Smart Home Technology Puts You in Control to Keep You Safer  Does your home have an alarm system? Most do, and many houses are prewired with low voltage cable to install basic systems. The typical setup includes window and door sensors to detect opening when the alarm is set, a keypad for entering codes, a siren, and indoor motion sensors. You may have such a system or are familiar with them.   The problem with these systems is that they are not very informative or easy to use. When an alarm is tripped, do you see a code? It might represent the window or door opened, but you might be confused as to which one it is. Likewise, changing codes or adding temporary ones for guests might involve a degree in programming.  There’s a smarter approach to a home security system. Today’s smart technology solutions offer a far more intuitive experience and put you in the know about what’s happening in your Chicago, IL home. Explore how below.   SEE ALSO: 3 Features to Look for in Home Surveillance Systems  Smart Sensors and Surveillance  As we mentioned, window, door, and motion sensors have been around for years. But now you can monitor your home’s environment too. Water and humidity sensors can tell you about a leak long before it becomes an expensive problem. Temperature sensors can go beyond your smart thermostat, informing you of an issue with your wine room or a potential problem in your kitchen with something overheating. Intelligent carbon monoxide sensors can notify you of a potentially deadly situation before it becomes a danger.  What about those window, door, and motion sensors? Use them with smart cameras that can trigger recording on motion,...
Add the Wow Factor to Your Projects with Integrated Whole-Home Video

Add the Wow Factor to Your Projects with Integrated Whole-Home Video

Sleek, Unified Video Systems Deliver Seamless Entertainment Throughout the Home As homes become smarter and more sophisticated, homeowners look for more ways to make it easier to manage their homes. One area that has typically been a source of frustration for many is the management of audio and video entertainment. In the AV and smart home industry, one of the fundamental reasons homeowners bring us in is to integrate audio and video equipment to make it easy and intuitive to use. No one likes multiple remotes, interfaces, and methods of doing the same thing in their home. As just about all audio and video entertainment has converged on digital formats, you might think things have become more straightforward. To some extent, they have, but the plethora of content options, equipment, and video and audio formats still presents considerable complexity. One way to decrease the complexity is to plan for integrating whole-home video and audio systems from the start in your new Chicago, IL residential projects. Not only will it add a wow factor to your builds, but your clients will appreciate the benefits outlined below.   SEE ALSO: Elevate Your Builds with Integrated Audio-Video Solutions   All Content, Everywhere One of the most important benefits of a whole-home video system is to get all the same video and audio entertainment in every space the homeowner wants. With non-integrated approaches, different smart TVs, streaming devices, cable and satellite, and media server sources, homeowners may not have access to all their entertainment in every location. A whole-home system not only ensures that all sources are available everywhere they’re desired, but they...