Monday, August 3, 2015

For One Night Only! Guardian (aka The "Legendary" Guardian Appointment)

In the course of my research, I've spend a significant amount of time reading about the legendary "hard-sell" tactics of Guardian sales representatives during their meeting with people building Ryan Homes. I have to say, I was biased. The vast majority of blog posts I read cast the meeting in a harsh light - and I was ready for the worst. Happily, that wasn't the case!

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)

Cost


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


Our Options


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.