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  • Writer's pictureTom Curnin

Smart Home For Beginners, The Complete Process

Updated: Oct 24, 2023


Smart Home Process For Beginners
Smart Home Process For Beginners

Discovery / Consultation

Your partnership with Bravo AV begins with an initial meeting at either your home or our showroom in Bernardsville. At this meeting, we will explore your audio and video options and define your project scope based on your needs, timeframe, and budget. Bravo AV installations are custom designed to enhance both existing and newly constructed homes to create the ultimate AV experience. This is what BravoAV will do for you: Preliminary Design Video Scenarios Help to determine what rooms will have video: • How will it be presented?

  • Stand Alone - TV display with built-in speakers which operate independently of whole-house video.

  • Simple Amplification - TV sound will be played through a simple sound bar or whole-house speakers.

  • Surround Sound System - Dedicated AV receiver will be used to create a surround sound environment.

  • Outdoor TVs

Audio Scenarios Help to determine what rooms will have music: • This can range from simple background music in the individual rooms to critical listening in theater or listening rooms • What source components are desired?

  • Satellite Radio (Sirius or XM)

  • Streaming Internet Services (Pandora, Spotify, etc.)

  • Digital media library (iTunes, etc.)

  • CD player

Help to determine what outdoor spaces will have music. Structured Cabling Layout Define for you the initial and future connectivity/distribution needs for each room, including telephone, Internet, audio and video distribution. (For more information, please refer to Bravo AV Structured Wiring Approach.) Whole House AV Process v4.docx Telephone Options Layout choices ranging from simple single-line phones throughout the house to a multi-line phone system with intercom and voicemail.

Computer Networking Address and incorporate all your Internet connectivity and computer networking needs. Smart Lighting and Shades We can provide:

  • Lighting Design

  • Lighting Fixtures

  • Lighting Control

  • Automated Shades

Landscape Lighting

  • Design and install landscape lighting

Wellness Solutions

  • Pure Air and Water systems. Installed to provide your family with the healthiest place to live.

Control System

  • Help you to determine what will be controlled and how.

Scope and Budget Statement Bravo AV will provide an initial cost estimate based on the scope of your project. This will provide a full menu of options from which you can choose an AV scenario that best meets your needs and budget. Once you have approved the Scope and Budget Statement we can move on to the design and engineering phase. Whole House AV Process v4.docx

Design and Engineering In this phase we can then delve deeper into your project concerning all the components to be considered along with the engineering requirements of the systems you desire. We will address each area to be considered and take into account the components needed to give you the desired result as well as the overall system design and labor associated in all phases of the project.

Detail Proposal

  • We will provide a detailed proposal for your project defining all aspects under consideration. This proposal will list all components to be used in each area along with the labor charges associated to give you a clear image of your investment per area. At this point any recommendation or options you would like to consider can be discussed and incorporated. Executed Contract Once all details for your project have been considered and accepted, we will provide the finalized system proposal and contract for your acceptance and signature. Once the contract is signed and the system deposit received, we can move forward with your project. Client Walk-Through Once your project parameters are established, Bravo AV will work with you to identify the location of all speakers, TV displays, control devices, electronic and wiring locations, telephones, and other components. In newly constructed homes, this is done in conjunction with the general contractor. We will coordinate our systems with your home layout (e.g., floor and ceiling plans, electric, built-ins, furniture layout, etc.) and, most importantly, your lifestyle. In some cases, Bravo AV may need to prepare a mechanical room, which will have the AV equipment. Rough-In Phase (Structured Cabling) Telephone, home networks, Internet, cable television, and satellite all have special cabling requirements which are call "structured cabling." Structured cabling lays the foundation that allows your technological devices to work together seamlessly. Following the walk-through, we will begin to pre-wire your home according to your desired schedule. In new construction, this phase begins after the electric, plumbing and HVAC trades have completed their rough-in work but before the installation of insulation and sheetrock.

During this phase Bravo AV will:

  • Install conduit from mechanical room to the attic

    • Install low voltage rings for: Structured cable runs (computer, phone and AV equipment)

  • System controls

  • Video display areas

  • Install Speaker brackets

  • Install and label all low voltage wire

Trim Phase: This phase begins after the sheet rock is complete and before certificate of occupancy (CO) is issued. During the termination phase the cables described above are terminated at both ends and wrapped in protective plastic. The terminated cables are then placed in the wall and covered with a temporary plate. After the wall finishes are complete, the plates come off and the speakers are installed. At this point the cable and/or satellite feed, telephone service and Internet connectivity should all be turned on or made "live." We will be there to guide your cable and/or satellite installation, including where the set top boxes are to be installed and to ensure their cable company delivers a quality signal. We will also be there when the Internet service provider brings up that service. If you need help setting up and connecting computers and printers we will be happy to do that for an additional fee. In an existing home, these steps will be customized on an as needed basis. Finish Phase: Electronic Equipment Installation Upon completion of the structured cabling "Trim Phase," your home will be ready for equipment installation. Our trained professionals will place, install, and test your new system, and we will give you a system "walk-through," and will provide a tutorial as to the use of your remotes. You will then be ready to take full use and enjoyment of your new state-of-the-art AV system! Our Pledge We ensure that our service is timely, precise, friendly, and in line with the highest industry standards. As your neighborhood provider, we are always here to answer your questions or make adjustments to your system. After a Bravo AV installation has been completed, our customers can enjoy their system for years to come.

For additional resources, please visit our page on Smart Home Wiring and Speaker Wire with articles like this on everything you need to know.

Bravo AV is proud to be an HTA (Home Technology Association) Certified Installation Firm and professional A/V experts. Tom Curnin, the owner of Bravo AV, is a CEDIA Professional Designer, a certified THX Level 1 home theater professional and a member of the Home Acoustic Alliance trained to Level II. You can contact Tom directly at (908) 953-0555 or through email at



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