Adventures in structured wiring

Over the past months, Steven has walked the house with multiple installers of structured wiring, also known as low-voltage wiring — network, telephone, audio-visual, security.

It has been a frustrating, disheartening, difficult process that delayed the start of drywall installation by at least two weeks.

Steven takes the blame.

Oversimplifying this miserable saga …

Company #1 walked the house with Steven and Ron, sent the quote to Ranserve, would not communicate with Steven.

Company #2 delivered a quote with touchpads even though Steven specified touchscreens. On the third attempt to get it right, a specialist arrived in a truck, pulled boxes from the back seat, unboxed devices to show Steven — and it still took days to get an updated proposal.

Two installers quit Company #3 and the manager instructed Steven to find someone else to do the job.

Recommended by one of the companies that participates in ShowStoppers press events, Steven walked the house with company #4 days before he departed for Berlin and ShowStoppers @ IFA. The quote arrived in time for Steven to ask questions before leaving for the airport — and during a 50-minute phone call from Berlin. How does dialtone get from the panel in the closet to the jacks in the walls of each room — what distribution module by number and hyperlink and spec goes into the panel? How does Internet signal distribute to the rooms in the house from the panel? Using what module, by hyperlink and specs? “I will have to get you that answer.”

Also recommended by a ShowStoppers company, company #5 could not schedule the install until late September — but referred Steven to another company that could possibly comply with the already-late schedule.

Company #6 missed the count on glass breaks, nailed the network, telephone and AV details, but blew the budget by more than twice the allocated amount.

At this point, Mark and Ron at Ranserve intervened. They scheduled a second meeting with Company #1. Two hours. Walking everything. Talking everything. Speccing everything. The company asked for and received Ranserve permission to communicate directly with Steven. Steven received an updated bid the next day. He reviewed it. Carefully. There were several question. Steven approved it Thursday, 10 September.

Friday, 11 September, Granite Security delivered coils of cable to Emerald Hill and began stringing wire.

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