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Hiring the Right Contractor to Build Your in Home Theater

A dedicated home theater system is a tried and true way to improve the enjoyment and value of your luxury home.

The simple look and user-friendly technology of a home theater is, in reality, a deceptively complex symphony of electronics, audio/video engineering, acoustics, and design.

Its precision is crucial to your home theater not being mistaken for another living room with a huge TV. That’s why it’s important to hire a contractor with the right skill-set and experience to make your theater truly premiere-ready.

image - Hiring the Right Contractor to Build Your in Home Theater
Hiring the Right Contractor to Build Your in-Home Theater

The list is long of those firms claiming to have what it takes to install a home theater, but how can you narrow the field to find the right one for you?

Here’s a quick list to help you get started finding the best home theater, installation contractor.

Do They Know about Recommended Standards Home Theaters?

Building a home theater isn’t as simple as just getting a projector screen and a projector and throwing them up.

The contractor needs to know the ins and outs of things like projector throw distances, lighting conditions, room size, and optimal viewing distance placement. They

Are They in the Know about the Latest in-Home Theaters?

There are constant advancements in home theater technology, such as ambient light rejecting screens, and for maximum compatibility, quality and effect, you want a contractor who keeps up with industry advancements.

Finding a contractor on the cutting edge will also help improve the life of your theater and the efficiency of the space.

Do They Respond Well to Your Input?

Never discount the importance of communication. Talk with the prospective contractor about your thoughts and ideas for the project.

Get a feel for how they respond to an outside opinion. Taking this step before hiring could help you avoid a potentially more awkward encounter later.

Make Plans and Get Bids

Once you have a shortlist of private cinema contractors as them to present some initial plans and bids for how much it would cost.

To compare contractor bids, ask everyone to break down the cost of materials, labor, profit margins, and other expenses.

Generally, materials account for 40 percent of the total cost; the rest covers overhead and the typical profit margin, which is 15 to 20 percent.

It’s important to remember the most expensive contractor doesn’t always mean the best contractor. The cheapest contractor, however, probably will produce the cheapest work.

Ask Those Who Came Before

Any good contractor should have a strong list of satisfied clients whom they’ve worked for previously. Ask for their references you can call or visit and get first-hand accounts of what you can expect from this particular contractor.

When asking for their likes and dislikes with the process, don’t lose sight that these are their very most satisfied customers and not an objective cross-section of all their jobs.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Look for contractors who can show you photos of home theater projects they completed. See for yourself the work this contractor is capable of and the level of design work you can expect in your home cinema.

Don’t discount the importance of design, in terms of seat and screen placement. These elements can quickly negate your state-of-the-art tech if not handled properly.

Do remember that not everyone has the benefit of professionally photographed jobs, but there should be adequate coverage to give you a good sense of quality.

Are They an Industry Voice Online?

Social media and the blogosphere can be terrific indicators of expertise. See if the contractor has a YouTube channel or blog specializing in home theaters.

These have become not only great educational tools but also a way to gain familiarity and assess their knowledge base and style. This speaks highly of their reputation and work quality.

Are They Certified Through a Trusted Organization?

Membership in home theater associations or organizations is another sign you are dealing with a smart and serious contractor.

The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) is just one of the organizations that certify contractors who specialize in the planning and installation of home electronic systems. They can provide you with a list of certified home theater contractors.

Achieving your perfect home theater is going to be a major project. Finding the contractor who can do it right is a critical first step that will dictate the time, quality, and expense of the job. Use this list as a guide, and you are definitely starting off on the right track.


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