Questions Clients & Builders Should Be Asking

Q:
Is your company licensed?

A:
Without an active license you cannot obtain general liability and workers comp insurance to protect you (the client).

Q:
If we need to make a change to our system or have it serviced, how long does it take before you're able to get to it?

A:
  • Average time for company "X" is about a week or two at best
  • We can mobilize quickly and take care of most changes or problems in less than a day

Q:
Can I speak or get in touch with some of your current and past clients?

A:
  • This is the best way to qualify a company
  • It is important that AV company "X" can put you in contact with current and past clients

Q:
Do you have some current projects we could take a look at?

A:
You can tell exactly who you're hiring by taking a look at some current projects

Q:
Who will be my point of contact throughout this project?

A:
  • Your project should have ONE point of contact that is aware of everything going on, throughout the entire process
  • Typical AV Company: The salesman you deal with at the beginning disappears as soon as the contract is signed, then your handed off to the general manager, who then will eventually hand you off to the project manager, which in the end you inevitably end up dealing with the lead technician.

Q:
Do you have any construction experience?

A:
  • We have seen over and over again companies selling you on an idea or design they have no idea can be executed, because of their lack of knowledge in the construction trades
  • It is important that whoever is working on your project is experienced
  • If you have a tech on site drilling up your beams and running wires throughout your new home, they had better know what they can and cannot drill
  • It is far more efficient and cost effective to have techs with a construction background on site, than techs that waste time trying to figure out how and where to run their wires

Q:
What is your philosophy on change orders?

A:
  • There shouldn't be any UNLESS it is a complete system overhaul
  • Typically as new models surface prices have generally decreased
  • Be careful, there are companies that bid low anticipating that they will be hitting you with change orders

Q:
When specifying equipment, what factors do you consider?

A:
  • Make sure the equipment is what YOU want
  • Make sure the overall aesthetic of what company "X" is putting together, ties in with the theme of your house (Modern, French Chateau, Spanish Villa etc.)
  • There are a lot of AV Companies that will sell you on equipment THEY want
  • A lot of AV Companies will spec and sell you on products that are complete overkill
  • We have witnessed AV companies specifying products simply because they have them in inventory, not because they are the right product for the job

Q:
Have you worked on a home this size?

A:
  • In the world of AV, large homes are much different than small homes
  • We have seen companies who can put together a simple system for smaller homes, completely fail when trying to do a large home or estate. (We have taken over some great projects that started this way)
  • Designs do not scale for larger homes

Q:
Do you provide documentation and can I see some examples?

A:
  • Any legitimate AV company should be able to provide you with examples of prewire documentation, rack elevations etc.
  • Make sure they are not just a set of plans with penciled in notes
  • They should be neat, well organized and most importantly accurate