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...
Chicago’s Lead Home Automation Company Opens Office in Wisconsin

Chicago’s Lead Home Automation Company Opens Office in Wisconsin

Barrett’s Technology Solutions Is Proud to Serve Lake Geneva In the home technology business, while most integrators are local, some will go well beyond their home geographies to serve their clients. Barrett’s Technology Solutions is no exception, as we have served clients outside of the greater Chicagoland area for many years as we have evolved to best meet their needs. As one of the Midwest’s leading AV technology and home automation companies, we’re thrilled to announce that we have opened a local office to serve customers in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Lake Geneva has always been a great vacation destination for Chicagoans over the years, and we’re proud to have developed deep relationships with homeowners and trade partners there. Read below to learn more about our new Lake Geneva outpost! SEE ALSO: Why Hire a Professional Home Automation Company A Local Base Our Lake Geneva office will allow our team to service our clients with more efficiency and speed. We will be able to keep supplies for service needs locally without requiring a long trip back to our Chicago-area offices. Should a piece of equipment need diagnosing or reprogramming, we can take that equipment back to our local office and minimize time at a client’s home. The office will also provide a base for meetings with clients and trade partners to discuss projects and plans. See Technology in Action Over the next few months, we intend to outfit this location with some select home technology solution demos. This will give Lake Geneva clients and trade partners the ability to see the technology in action, ask questions, and get a better...
3 Mistakes Builders Make with Smart Technology

3 Mistakes Builders Make with Smart Technology

Ensure You’re Installing Value-Added Solutions in Your Projects Over the past decade, smart home technology has gone from a rare upgrade to an expected feature for luxury residences. Technology helps custom builders attract better clients while differentiating themselves from their competitors. However, approaching technology the wrong way will have an adverse effect. Generic or disjointed solutions could turn future buyers away since they’ll see you’re not prepared to handle that kind of project. Reach out to Barrett’s Technology Solutions, the top smart home company in Hinsdale, IL and the greater Chicago area, who can help you best integrate technology into your projects. Along with educating you on the latest trends, we’ll partner with you directly to install state-of-the-art home automation systems in your new construction projects. Not only will you be able to add value to your projects, but you’ll be able to avoid the following common mistakes. SEE MORE: Sharing a Glimpse of the Future of Home Automation Relying on Devices vs. Experience Naturally, there’s often an instinct to just add the most popular devices to projects: lights, thermostats, locks, surveillance cameras, and more. Devices are left to function separately, with homeowners having to deal with a handful of apps to get through the day. How can you give clients an integrated smart home experience instead? Design a home automation system with the help of Barrett’s Technology Solutions that puts all their devices under one umbrella. One of our premier control system partners, Savant, offers full control from mobile apps, dedicated touchpads, voice commands and more. Leaving Technology Considerations Until the End Extensive wiring is needed when building...
Helpful Smart Home Design Tips for Interior Designers

Helpful Smart Home Design Tips for Interior Designers

Smart Home Technology that Blends in Flawlessly Interior designers often see seamless home décor and smart home automation technology as completely conflicting ideas—you can have one or the other, but not both. Fortunately for homeowners in the greater Chicago, IL area, this is not the case. New advances in hidden technology are making smart home design even easier and more impressive. To learn how you can use these smart technologies to improve your design plans, read on. SEE ALSO: 3 Unusual Ways Motorized Shades Can Enhance Your Home Get Rid of Wall Clutter Light switches, HVAC temperature controls, fan switches…the average home has a lot of electrical outlets and other wall clutter that compromises an otherwise smooth and sleek design. These switches detract from the more important aspects of the wall, such as artwork or architectural elements. The solution? Replace all of those controls with a tablet or smartphone. Control all of the technology in the room, from the motorized shades to the lights, with a single tablet that can be integrated directly into the wall or kept completely separate for portability. Conceal the TV As nice as today’s 4K Ultra HD TVs look while you’re watching your favorite show, they take up valuable real estate in a room—space that could be used for other home décor. You can completely conceal the TV in a number of different ways: Ceiling Lifts: With a ceiling lift, the TV hangs horizontally in the ceiling, hidden from view. Then, with a tap on the smartphone or tablet, the TV silently swings out of the ceiling. Furniture Lifts: Integrate the TV directly into...