Why a Houston Homeowner Paid $12,000 for ADT Pulse System

Even though Houston homeowner Davis Maxey has a custom integrator for audio, video, motorized shades and other home systems, he still chose ADT for security, HVAC and lighting controls.

Julie Jacobson · October 26, 2010

Houston homeowner Davis Maxey is restoring a 4,000-square-foot arts-and-crafts-style home and wants “all the bells and whistles.”

So he’s spending five figures for an ADT Pulse security and automation system.

“We wanted to be able to tie in everything – cameras, lighting, HVAC – and access it remotely,” he says.

But Maxey also has a custom home integrator on the job, Media Design Inc., that is handling audio, video, motorized shades and more. So why isn’t Media Design, a Crestron and URC dealer, also installing the security system and other amenities now being handled by ADT?

“Lack of a security permit is our largest stumbling block,” says Media Design principal Bill Maxey (no relation to the client).

For more product details on the ADT Pulse ecosystem, visit

That was a problem for the installer since the starting point for the whole system was security. For that reason, the client first turned to ADT, which serviced his previous homes. In addition, the general contractor on this particular job often works with ADT.

Once ADT demonstrated Pulse, the client was hooked on the security system and everything attached to it, including thermostats, lighting and surveillance cameras. All of these systems integrate via Z-Wave and IP communications with a home management platform from iControl.

Davis Maxey says he preferred a better lighting control system, but it was just easier to go with the Z-Wave products offered by ADT.

“We looked at Lutron but it couldn’t really integrate with the security system,” he explains.

The total cost of the ADT installation has yet to be tallied, but the client estimates it could total more than $12,000 for the alarm system, perimeter and interior sensors, nine security cameras, three thermostats and lighting controls.

ADT execs point out that this particular installation is atypical for a Pulse job, which starts at less than $900.

We don’t know what the monthly bill will be for the Maxey abode, but it will start at $57.99, which is the base price of the ADT Pulse Premier package.
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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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