Widgets Magazine

HTA unveils AV budget calculator

Tool helps AV dealers bid jobs efficiently

Santa Monica, CA — The Home Technology Association has updated its popular smart home technology Budget Calculator, making it even easier for builders, interior designers, architects, construction estimators, and homeowners to allocate budget for and physically accommodate technology earlier in their projects.

Launched in conjunction with the HTA website and free for anyone to use, the Budget Calculator has grown into the association’s most-used resource to empower decision-makers in the technology buying process. New updates for 2019 make the calculator more accurate, more specific, and easier to use. See a video about the Budget Calculator here: https://youtu.be/WCd0fQhHpbk.

Share Home Technology AV Budget Results

Most significantly, the newly enhanced HTA Budget Calculator now gives users the ability to save results and share them with their home technology integrator, their architect, designer, or builder. Having these details in hand helps ensure all parties are on the same page when it comes to the project’s scope-of-work, the clients’ expectations, and, of course, the projected budget range. Understanding the clients’ perceptions of how much technology a client wants in their home puts the integrator in a better position to deliver a technology experience that will please the client.

Similarly, design and build professionals are using the figures delivered by the Budget Calculator to prepare clients for the costs associated with home technology, enabling them to bring an HTA Certified integration firm into the project early in the process. Designing the home’s technology systems early in the project timeline reduces costs, increases efficiency, shortens delivery timelines, and ensures better results that can aesthetically blend into a home’s décor. More information on the benefits of early collaboration can be found here: https://htacertified.org/articles/how-architects-designers-builders-should-partner-with-home-technology-installers.

New Functions Deliver More Realistic Budget Ranges

In addition to the ability to save and share budgets, the revised budgeting tool features many other useful enhancements designed to give everyone involved a better estimate of the projected home technology costs for a given project.

For instance, the Budget Calculator now features a cost of living adjustment. A new question asks if there is a need for any high-end architectural finishes or concealed technology systems, which allow technology to hide away or otherwise better blend with the home’s interior design.

Another benefit of the budget calculator is that users are exposed to the many different technology systems offered by the industry’s most qualified home technology integrators. For example, many trade partners and homeowners may not be aware that these professionals offer lighting controls, motorized shading, Wi-Fi networks, surveillance cameras, energy management, and increasingly, lighting fixtures in addition to audio/video, home theater, and smart home systems.

“It takes less than 10 minutes to create a realistic budget range for even the largest of estates. Anyone can use it, whether they are just testing the waters to see what things might cost, looking for basic/modest cost home technologies, or a complete, ultra-luxury and high-performance smart home,” says Josh Christian, Director of Certification for the Home Technology Association.

He continues, “If the homeowner or builder isn’t sure what they want, it will take just minutes to fill out the survey with broad strokes and still get an idea of how much technology costs will add to their project.” 

Calculator Helps Create with Confidence

Above all else, the revamped Budget Calculator is designed to deliver dollar values that more accurately correspond with the costs expected for real-world home technology systems. This is a useful and enlightening tool as most homeowners and trade partners need help determining what the installed cost of home technology systems should be.

“When architects, builders, designers, and homeowners use the budget calculator, they feel more comfortable engaging a technology consultant early in the project,” Christian says. “The budget calculator takes something that is typically hard to budget and greatly simplifies it, making it more actionable for the design/build team and easier for the client to digest.”

Since the Home Technology Association’s inception, sharing the budget calculator with the design and build industry has been a top priority. The HTA has shared the tool with many AIA CRAN, AIBD, ASID, IDS, NAHB, and NARI members. See how the Budget Calculator works here: https://htacertified.org/home-technology-installation-budget-tool.

“The response from trade partners is universally positive; we increasingly hear that our budgeting tool is an invaluable resource to educate their clients in the most objective way possible about their technology options and costs. As an association, we look forward to partnering with the national and international trade associations that represent architects, general contractors, interior designers, and construction estimators. The more we can help design and build professionals to account for technology needs sooner in the build process, the better the end results, and the happier the client,” says Christian.

In addition, the HTA is currently calibrating the Budget Calculator to work internationally. The calculator will be able to adjust for different countries, factoring in component pricing, VAT, and duties that affect costs.

To learn more about the HTA and its newly enhanced budget calculator, visit www.htacertified.org.

About Author

Tim Albright is the founder of AVNation and is the driving force behind the AVNation network. He carries the InfoComm CTS, a B.S. from Greenville College and is pursuing an M.S. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. When not steering the AVNation ship, Tim has spent his career designing systems for churches both large and small, Fortune 500 companies, and education facilities.

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