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The Dream Team

By SmartHouse | Monday | 29/12/2003

Every smart house owner should make these five people their new best friends.


It takes a team of skilled tradespeople to bring your smart house dreams to fruition. At the helm is your builder. Usually, someone from the building company will serve as the supervisor of the entire project, coordinating the various subcontractors which design, build and install every piece of a house, the electronic systems included.


Working hand-in-hand with the builder is the architect. Sometimes, the builder is also the architect. In any case, this person is typically your first point of contact - the one to whom you describe your vision for your house. These ideas are rendered into a plans, which are used by several of the subcontractors, including the builder, when designing and installing their respective parts of the house.

Home systems installer

Another person who definitely needs to be closely involved in the design of a smart home is the home systems installer, also known as a systems integrator. While the builder and the architect focus mainly on the design and construction of the home, a systems installer concentrates on the various electronic systems you wish to incorporate. These might include a security system, a home cinema system, a wholehouse music system, a lighting control system, a home automation system and a computer networking system.

Hiring a systems integrator is really no different than hiring an architect, interior designer or other professional. Systems integrators identify the client's needs and expectations, any limitations and problems, analyse building and wiring schematics, plan the detailed smart building solution and recommend equipment.

An experienced systems integrator will recognise the importance of establishing a good rapport with clients from the start of the project. The integrator should be willing to take the time to help you understand the options available to meet your requirements and your budget, and to help you get the most out of the system they install for you.

Interior designer

An interior designer ensures the décor of the home suits your taste and style. This role may not seem critical to the design and construction of a smart house, but it is. An interior designer can create innovative ways to downplay the appearance of certain electronic devices, so your home looks like a home, not a showroom or a scientific laboratory.

Lighting designer

Like the interior designer, a lighting designer gives a new home ambience through careful selection and configuration of light fixtures and their settings. They know, for example, which style of sconce will look best in a dining room, and how brightly its bulb should be set to accentuate the furnishings of the room.


Open communication between your various subcontractors is critical to creating a home that's ultimately functional, comfortable, efficient and stylish. At all times, you need to make sure you are involved in discussions and understand exactly what is going on and where your money is going.

While each subcontractor possesses their own special skills and set role in the creation of a new home (or renovation of an existing one), none could do their job well without the input and help of the others. A home systems installer, for example, can suggest the appropriate video equipment only when the architect informs them of the size and shape of the room. Nor will your builder be able to begin work on your smart kitchen until the electrician and plumber have wired it up for your smart appliances. It is your job to make sure your dream team communicate effectively to get the dream outcome you had planned for.


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