Guardian - Long, But Good!
Our rep, a trainee, was flexible and considerate of what we wanted. I still question their approach to "consultative sales" - they listen, but they're very resistant about bringing up prices at all until the very end. I would have preferred a little more transparency about pricing and a little less time spent "talking about what we want." Given all of the research and planning, I was pretty confident that I had nailed down the basics of what we needed - and wanted - from Guardian. Even given that, I wasn't adverse to their opinions and recommendations, and some of them proved helpful, a welcome surprise!
I will caution everyone, if you're able to get out in less than an hour - you're amazing! Our appointment lasted from 6 to 8:30pm. TWO AND A HALF HOURS! Okay, maybe that was lengthened slightly by the "discussion" my partner and I had about the security system - clearly we had not discussed this ahead of time and prepared a "united front." A bit of advice here - talk this out before your sitting a little room with an audience and a child who was ready to leave an hour ago! Just for the record - we signed up for a three year contract for the security system, but not the fire detection option. The only smoke detectors they offer are not ionization and photoelectric - the two types of smoke detection methods for two different kinds of fires. All homes should have both types of detection systems.(source: National Fire Protection Association - see also NIST Home Smoke Alarm Tests)
Everyone want to know about cost, including myself. I found myself reading blogs just to get an idea of what to expect at the end of the day. All told, we wound up adding about $4,500, with pretty much what I consider the "basics." If you're looking for an approximate figure, I'd wager that just about everyone is going to be in that ballpark. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less - but too much less and I'm pretty sure you are cutting corners that you are going to regret later on down the road - just my two cents.
Okay, maybe a little more than the "basics" - I did get my speakers installed in the walls and ceiling in the basement for 7.1/7.2 surround. And yes, that was a little more than half of the cost - by if you're going to have a new house, shouldn't it sound good when you watch movies?
|Front Speakers - Klipsch R-3650-W In Wall|
|Surrounds/Center - Klipsch CDT-3650-C II In Ceiling|
The options we have on the table right now are:
- Upgrade to CAT6 for our data lines (upgrade cost of $30/line) It was easy to say yes to this one.
- Added a dual-cone speaker for the master bath, with the wiring terminating in the utility room in the basement. We'll be adding Sonos to power the speakers and I wanted to keep all of the amplifiers centrally located.
- Added two speakers over what would be the dinette are between the kitchen and the great room. Again, the wires are terminating in the basement utility room - the speakers will also be powered by Sonos.
- Added a TV wall-mount pre-wire with 3 HDMI in the basement - we're not putting a TV in the great room...for now.
- Also added Klipsch speakers for the 7.1 surround sound in the basement, all ceiling mounted including the center channel.
- Completely eliminated the phone line - apparently no Ryan Homes requirement to have one in Ohio! Wahoo!
- We did run cable to the master bedroom, the great room and the basement - even though we cut the cord many years ago and stream everything now.