Budgeting Packages

Consider this when buying a budget system: If you use a system HALF as often because it is cumbersome, complex, or inadequate, then your true cost is TWICE what you paid for it!
When you get more than what you bargained for in a system, you probably bought from DistinctAV!

I like to joke that I have yet to find a “worthy adversary”–that’s someone with more money than I have ideas and solutions they love.

The reality is that every project has a budget and we will stick to that budget once agreed upon. The key is to educate you to what’s possible, get a clear scope of features and requirements defined, then make a plan for how and when to implement the systems. Not everything needs to be implemented during the initial construction but your long-term needs and wants should be known from the beginning so you’re not wasting money on compromised-capability systems.

Most DistinctAV solutions run between 3% to 8% of the total home cost. Considering our systems run everything in the home and make homes convenient, efficient, and secure–this is why you built the home in the first place! Tricked-out systems that will impress every visitor and create the truly luxurious living experience run around 20% of the total home. It all depends on the number of devices, the quality level, and the level/complexity of customization.

Speaking of value, we believe there is a diminishing point of return and engineer our solutions to keep you out of that “stupidly overpriced for it’s performance” range. Unless, of course, you simply need to impress your friends!

Remember, you can often remove overlapping costs from other bids. For example, our lighting controls can reduce the electrical installation costs by 10-20%. Integrated thermostats means you can remove the thermostats from the HVAC bids. Pool cover control via your security system can be removed from the pool bid. Smoke detectors. Doorbell. Spa controls. Blinds Control. Garage door autoclosers. Water shutoff. Leak detectors. Ceiling Fans. Fireplace controls. Radiant floor controls. Emergency Generators. Gutter de-icers. Fountain Controls. Outdoor lighting controls. YOU are the winner when you tell the contractors that you want an Integrated Smart Home and they must work with your systems integrator.

The following packages provide a rough estimate of the total installed cost of our typical systems. We do not low-ball then tack on extras for every feature you assumed was included. These budgetary numbers will help you hone in on the exact solution for your project.

A word of caution: Do not assume you are getting a competitive bid from other installers. Our solutions are feature-rich, turn-key, and are created using high quality products with outstanding warranties. Our wiring designs often include extra wires that may not be needed by the current system, but can allow easy future upgrades without fishing new wires.

Schedule an appointment today so we can tailor a solution just for you.

Home Electronics Budgeting

These guidelines will get you “in the ballpark”. Use our Build-A-Budget tool for an accurate budget including all the features you desire. Pease view the project gallery for photos of these products and solutions in action.

Prewire $1-$2 per square foot of a home.
HD and Audio wires are more expensive than security, cable, and data wires. Security wires are $38-42/ea. Full HD PIP w/control and network to a TV tops the scale at $299/ea (Indiana installed prices).
House Audio Budget $300/zone for speakers.
Audio electronics and keypads are typically $450-550/zone. Music lovers will like the $1000/zone range with touch screens and top end is $2000/zone for a complete IP digital audio system with touch screens, full automation capability, etc.
Distributed HD Video & Control (custom remotes) These are bundles because you can’t easily operate a full matrixed system without the remotes and control system. $5900 gets you an 8 source, 4 zone HD Video+Audio matrix, control system base package, one color touch-screen remote, receiver antenna (remotes work in every room through walls), and core programming (see software below). Extra color touch-screen remotes are $800/ea. We recommend one per floor as they each operate the entire house.
Equipment Rack & Power Conditioning $1500-$2800. The rack houses all the sources, control, and power management devices. It keeps the components organized and ventilated.
Rack Enclosure $250. These are custom-built rack enclosure kits with all the hardware needed. Save time, money, and have excellent finished results using these AV rack enclosure kits.
Lighting Controls $150-$300 per Zone Installed/Programmed. A Zone is a string of lights controlled by a switch and any follower (3-way) switches. Some systems can eliminate many of the 3-way switches.
Intercom A 4-room, 1 door package is $2600 installed. This is the stylish and feature rich selective call system. This number scales nicely.
HD Televisions A quick estimate is to use $2000/TV, then add $400 for install and mounts. Lots of cantilever mounts will double your install. Big TVs run around $2-4k and small ones around $600-$1000 so the magic $2k number works great. Add another $250 if you want power-protection/conditioning to the TVs (recommended).
Security Our security controllers are way smarter than typical security systems. They provide many of the sensors that can make the home “smart”–or at least react to your needs. Budget $2000-$3000 for 3000-6000 sq/ft homes. This includes automatic garage door features, keyfobs, multiple keypads, etc.
Structured Wring Enclosure & Splitters This is the enclosure panel and splitter/power/hub devices that make connecting everything easy. $300-600.
Software & Engineering Programming remotes, budget 1hr/device @ $85-105/hr for core programming. If you want advanced interfaces between systems then add 50% as a good rough budget number. For top-notch Smart Home automation features, double that number. A typical DistinctAV home has around 40hrs of custom programming: $4000
Smoke Detectors Smoke detectors tied into the security automation controller. Budget $300 + the cost of the detectors (approx $50 ea).
UPS Power Installed in the rack, these devices keep power on to critical devices, phones, network, projectors, etc. Budget $2000.
Networks The heart of your information highway. Budget $800-$1500 for all the networking components, configuration, and personal training.
Advanced Interfaces In-wall touch-screen controllers, web interfaces, iPhone interfaces, etc can all be added but they also add to the budget quickly. Budget $3000 per large panel. You don’t need many of these. One in the Kitchen is ideal. Next best location is the Basement followed by the Master Suite.
Camera Systems Budget $300-$1500/camera. Outdoor cameras are on the high end, indoor on the low end. See the Security page for lots of details.
Energy Management This is the really cool Green features everyone’s looking to add to help SEE what the home is consuming. Budget $500-$3000 for the house. They allow super-low power saving modes, automatic reset and system health features, and monitoring/trending/alerting features.
Automation Controller The “Brains” of the operation, this box will run around $3000 with programming and configuration of the interfaces. This acts as the master controller over all the other sub-systems. It also web-enables the home and provides informatics and all the advanced “smart logic” features.
Irrigation Control Don’t waste water! 4-8 zone systems that are weather-controlled and completely adjustable via the automation controllers run around $500-$800.
Fountain Controls Protect your fountain pumps and ensure beautiful operation when you want it. Budget $500 for protection and remote control of fountains.
HVAC, Thermostats Two solutions here: 1)fully integrated thermostats by DistinctAV or 2)Simple override control of other thermostats. the fully integrated stats run between $250 to $1000 while the interface option stays around $250 per A/C unit.
Fireplace Controls To control your gas fireplaces via the remotes, budget $200 each.
Sources Your Cable, Satellite, or IPTV provider will typically provide some form of HD tuner boxes. Many have good DVRs. For more tuner features, add an HD Tivo $500. A good DVD player is around $199 so budget $250 (don’t forget there’s interconnects & installation). BluRay budget $500. Vudu or AppleTV on-demand movie/media devices budget between $350-$600. DVD Managers (large changer control) budget $1800-$3000. Music managers and source streamers budget $1000-$4000. FM/XM/HD Radio tuners budget $300-$1800. iPod dock solutions range from $16 to $600 (yep, a plug in cord is only $16, sweet-spot is in the $350 range)
Theaters & Surround Sound Theater room systems typically run between $5000-$12000. A complete theater room with interiors, remote, lighting control, often runs between $12000-$25000. (Paint, carpet, minor wall/door mods, etc., all add-up.) A surround sound system can be as little as $1200 if the room dimensions and walls are suitable for a sound-projector bar. This is a 2-device solution (speaker and sub-woofer) that produces amazing surround sound from a single speaker device.

Want it all but can’t fit it in the budget? There are ways to phase these systems into your home without making sacrifices! We can design a phased approach to allow you to add the really cool features you desire as you have the funds to implement them.