First-time home buyers and Millennials are spending more than ever on home renovation projects, according to the sixth annual Houzz & Home survey of more than 100,000 respondents in the U.S.
That’s good news to any contractor looking to subsidize his new construction projects with new modes of business.
For home systems integrators, the news gets even better, as the survey notes that over a quarter of homeowners consider integration of smart technology as very important to their renovation.
Embracing Retrofit Installations
Todd Nelson is experiencing the upswing in retrofit business first hand. As president and owner of Automated Lighting and Living, in Crystal River, Fla., the retrofit has grown to comprise the lion’s share of his 12-year-old home systems design and integration business.
“For every one new construction project, we do seven retrofit projects,” he says.
It’s a ratio that reaps Nelson and his company plenty of rewards—both financially and professionally.
“When I can ‘rescue’ a job that seems impossible with effective retrofit solutions, the look on my clients’ faces is priceless—it’s definitely a feel-good moment,” Nelson says. “And when I’m able to integrate a piece of technology that seemed impossible, the client often ends up asking me to do more—it feels good in the wallet.”
Global Caché iTach WiFi to Contact Closure Closes Deals
Naturally, it takes skill and know-how to take on tough retrofit project, but if there’s one device that Nelson can attribute to simplifying matters, it’s the WF2CC iTach WiFi to Contact Closure.
“When I go into a house that has no wires to support a hardwired Ethernet connection to devices, it’s my go-to solution,” he says. “Adding the necessary wiring is always possible, but at a cost. Global Caché eliminates that cost lets us get the job done, and makes us look like heroes to our clients.”
Adding W-Fi connectivity to motorized window treatments, TV lifts, and A/V equipment are two of the most popular applications of Global Caché products for Automated Lighting and Living.
“It’s very common to find no Ethernet connection to these products in existing homes,” Nelson notes. “With the Global Caché WF2CC I’m able to integrate these products into a home automation system wirelessly by simply plugging it into available relay ports on the equipment.”
Rescue Project Springboards into Solid Profits
Nelson admits that this Global Caché product may not have the sex appeal of other smart home devices, yet it makes a huge impact on customers’ level of satisfaction with their home automation systems.
He points to a recent project where 17 motorized window treatments had been installed. The way in which these treatments were configured required the homeowner to use a separate button on several remotes to control each drape and shade.
“Aggravated by so much button pressing, he hired us to ‘fix’ this cumbersome mode of control,” Nelson says. “We plugged a Global Caché WF2CC into each motor relay, programmed a couple of buttons on the owners’ existing RTI remote to synchronize the movement of the drapes—problem solved.”
The consolidation of control was such a hit with the homeowner that he asked Automated Lighting and Living to integrate the home’s lighting and A/V equipment into the control system.
“From the installation of those first Global Caché products, it quickly became a much larger, more profitable job,” Nelson concludes.
It’s proof positive that rescue jobs are definitely worth pursuing – when you have the right tools.
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