Here are some things to be aware of that could add to your installation costs when making your smart home.

  1.     If more electrical outlets are needed, there will be additional costs due to the licensed electrician required to do this task.
  2.     If the drywall is damaged due to retrofitting and fitting of wiring when installation occurs, the drywall would need to be repaired, the texture may have to be redone and that area would likely need to be painted, which would result in an additional cost.
  3.     Some other things to consider include, for example, if you are planning to integrate a swimming pool controller or other equipment, potentially different manufacturers have different equipment required for a third-party interface between the controller and that product so it can be integrated with the rest of the smart home. For example, garage door openers, swimming pool controllers, motorized automated shades, may each require a third-party device to integrate between the central brain and that actual product. You would need to check with your smart home provider to see what is required to integrate those elements in your system and see what additional costs those items would be.
  4.     Some other additional costs could be Wi-Fi enhancement, such as making an extended network to be sure its signal is reaching all parts of the home and also that it is strong enough to handle the load of the smart home on the system. One of the first things to consider is if you have adequate Wi-Fi throughout the home or business. If you have poor distribution of Wi-Fi throughout the home or business, you would need to address this before being able to completely integrate a smart home hub. This would be needed to ensure that all the devices that are Wi-Fi would have the accessibility to connect to the system easily. That could involve a mesh Wi-Fi system or other enhanced Wi-Fi network to reach all parts of the home.
  5.     Zigby or Z-Wave, which are two different types of wireless communication over two-way radio frequency, for example, which may be how a remote or light switches of the different systems connect. You may need to add repeaters or extenders for extensions of the Wi-Fi signal, or Zigby or Z-Wave signals. These 2-way radio frequency repeaters can range in price anywhere from $50 to $150 per and the Wi-Fi extenders can be as little as $50 to $150 or they can be hardwired wireless access points which could cost as much as $500 to $750 per location plus the cost of adding that pre-wire.

When doing a smart home system, you should keep in mind that you may need to allow as much as $1500-$2500 if you need to add hardwire access points to ensure that you have perfect Wi-Fi throughout the home or business.

  1. One more thing that could add costs to your smart home installation is client-supplied equipment. For example, if a client supplies an older TV or other device and wants that to work with the system, they may have different wires than what we use to integrate into the system. With any client supplied devices, you could run into some additional costs to make sure it will connect seamlessly to the smart home hub.

We’re here to help answer any questions you have about the home technology process. Call (813) 938-1585 or click anytime.

Here again is the founder of Hive, Jeff Harris, addressing some tough questions in making decisions regarding your smart home: 1) wireless speaker system vs. hardwired; 2) how soon can it be done, 3) what is the warranty and 4) what is the service after the warranty?

Question # 1: Wireless vs. Hardwired

Mainly these issues come up regarding speakers - which is better? There are several types of wireless speakers such as Sonos, Bose, Klipsch, etc. Often these are easier and faster in terms of installation because you wouldn’t have to retrofit any wiring, so for most existing houses, wireless is a very good option.

There are pros and cons with each option. Some of the pros of wireless are
- Fast installation
- Lower cost
- Elimination of Drywall repair

Some of the cons of wireless are
- Puts more pressure on the wi-fi network in the home
- Need to have a strong network to support wireless
- Quality and size of the driver of the speaker is less with smaller more compact speakers

Some of the pros of hardwired sp​​eakers are:
- More robust sound and diversity of speakers that are available: in the wall, in the ceiling, flush mount, surface mount, floor standing, all- weather outdoor, etc.)
- No pressure on your WiFi network
- Have more powerful, larger drivers that can fill a greater space
- Better look and feel when installation is complete (not sitting on a counter or bookshelf)

Cons of Hardwired Systems:
- Have to get a hard wire run to it
- May have to repair drywall/Paint
- More expensive as a whole (amps, speakers, and installation)

Question # 2: How Fast Can I Get It Done?

Overall, we will get it done for you as quickly as possible, depending on how extensive the work is. We do offer something called Hive Express, which is a service requested that can be done within 24 - 48 hours.

These would include, for example, mounting a TV, installing a Ring/Nest doorbell or a NEST thermostat, a Wi-Fi mesh network system, etc. We can have that service provided for you within 48 hours, and it is charged at time and materials.

Larger projects and larger installations can also be done in a timely way, but these will depend on various factors including the phase of the construction, if it is new construction. If it is a retrofit job, meaning that we’re installing in an existing home, the average installation will take 3-4 days, depending on how large the installation is. Generally, we can perform these installations within 3-5 weeks of contract signing.

Question # 3: What Is The Warranty?

There is a 30-day warranty on the labor for any installation. Every one of our products comes with a minimum of a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. For example, any of our architectural speakers, which means any speaker that is mounted inside the drywall of the wall or ceiling, all have lifetime warranties on the products themselves. (It doesn’t cover labor or shipping.)

In addition, the reason why we use the Sony ES line of speakers is that line (ES stands for Elevated Standard) gives consumers a three-year warranty on the speakers. Often we recommend that line of speakers due to the 3-year warranty.

In addition, all of our cameras come with a five-year warranty, the NVR or the network video recorder that you use to record anything with the cameras comes with a two-year warranty. Every piece of equipment comes with its own manufacturer’s warranty on the product itself. (Labor and shipping are always on top of the warranty, however.)

Question # 4: What Is The Service Like After The Warranty?

Hive is doing a wonderful job of addressing this issue. We have 4 different levels of service plans for our customers.
First, is a break/fix model which costs our customers zero dollars, and you just call in if something breaks between the hours of 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, and we’ll schedule you as soon as possible; usually within 5-10 days, so we can be out at your house. Then, we just charge you for the service call at our regular rates.

We also have three different prepaid plans: essential, priority, and elite.

These different plans range in the amount of discount you get on the hourly rate and the speed of service with which we respond to your request.

With our elite plan, we will also come out once a year and tune up the system, make sure everything is working and we literally dust any of the cameras and make sure all the lenses on the cameras are clean and they are focused properly, and we’ll go around and make sure every piece of equipment is working properly.

These are the 4 different service plans, limited is the break-fix model – if something breaks, we come and fix it.

The others are a more proactive type of service approach.

We’re here to help answer any questions you have about the home technology process. Call (813) 938-1585 or click anytime.

Something that should be brought up by customers but is not talked about by many companies who sell home automation and audio-visual systems is what happens after the sale and installation are complete.

Sometimes it seems salesmen hope that the client will never ask this question, but most customers do want to know this.
What do we do to service the systems after the fact?

Jeff Harris, founder of Hive, says, “I always get such a kick out of it – like buying a $100,000 automobile and you are ready to walk out of the dealership and of course, they are going to talk about their different warranty plans – do you want coverage from headlight replacement to trunk, or just the engine and transmission? What about the paint, the brake pads, and the oil changes? What will they cover within the warranty period and what about when that warranty period ends? So, like the extended warranties for your car, this concept is also logical to apply to a large investment such as a home technology system.”

“We sell $10,000, 20,000 50,000 to 100,000 or even up to $500,000 audiovisual and technology systems and some people don’t have the expectation that they would ever break. This is a little unrealistic in this world. Things can go wrong, lightning can strike, even cameras can break, so what about maintenance for your home technology system?”

People don’t have the expectation that they are ever going to need to have any maintenance. Like a smartphone they update every year or two, or their car for which they purchase the gold seal warranty, there are service plans to help maintain and cover the cost of breakage or repairs when you need them for your Smart home.

Hive has addressed this with our service plans

First, we have what we call our limited plan – for zero dollars - if you have an issue, you would call us during normal business hours, and we would get out there within 7-10 days, and service would be performed at the standard hourly rates. You also have the availability to email us with any problems and we’ll create a service ticket and we’ll respond via email.

We also have three different plans: essential, priority and elite.

These different plans range in the amount of discount you get on the hourly rate and the speed of service with which we respond to your request. (See table below).

In our elite plan, we will also come out once a year and tune up the system, make sure everything is working and we literally dust any of the cameras and make sure all the lenses on the cameras are clean and they are focused properly, and we’ll go around and make sure every piece of equipment is working properly.

These are these 4 different service plans, limited is the break-fix model – if something breaks, we come and fix it.

The others are a more pro-active type of service approach.

We wanted to tell clients about it because not everyone has these service plans and we think it is important to know you can relax and let us take care of the maintenance on your system after the sale and installation is complete.

We’re here to help answer any questions you have about the home technology process. Call (813) 938-1585 or click anytime.

An audio-visual system for your home can add so much comfort and quite the enhanced viewing experience but at what cost? Of course, there is a wide range depending on what components you choose.

The national average cost of a home theater is anywhere from $2,000 to $35,000. This includes the price of your home theater system (sound system, TV, wiring, etc.), seating, lighting, and home theater installation from a qualified professional. The price you will pay to create a home theater will depend on the quality and complexity of your home theater system, as well as the local costs to install it.

Whether you're a film buff who wants to recreate the feel of a movie theater in your own home, or an NFL enthusiast installing the best screens and speaker systems in time for football season, building a home theater will give you an elevated home viewing experience. Before you dive into this project, get an estimate of how much it will cost you and what kind of home theater you can get for your budget.

Note: you can see how to calculate your costs here

Whatever the ultimate price tag, you’ll be getting something you’ll enjoy for years to come. A huge screen combined with state-of-the-art sound is just what you need to put on the ultimate get-together, whether you’re watching the big game or a movie with friends and family.

But you may be unsure if the system you want is in your budget, considering the wide range of prices depending on what kind of system you're getting and if you want top-of-the-line equipment or just the basics. 

There are several factors that go into home theater pricing and some places where you might be able to save some money. You should consult your smart home automation experts about what factors are most important to you. Feel free to ask our experts at Hive all your questions about setting up your ideal home theater and what it will cost.

Read this for how to set up your home theater. 

Read more now about how you can entertain even better with a smart home this fall. 

We’re here to help answer any questions you have about the home technology process. Call (813) 938-1585 or click anytime.

Many people are hesitant to get home security systems because they have heard reports of them having issues or have experienced these issues themselves. There is also the thought that your home alarm system has to be expensive to function properly. However, the reality is, it doesn’t matter how expensive or inexpensive your home security system is, there are some common issues that all homeowners may experience.

Here are some common issues you may face and how to resolve them.

Five Common Home Security Issues and How to Fix Them

  1. Insufficient Coverage for The Entire Home – Insufficient monitoring coverage is a common issue many homeowners face. Sometimes this is due to purchasing too small of a security system for the home, leaving areas vulnerable to a breach, and sometimes this is because the various security systems you own aren’t collaborative. This is especially common for people who have tried to install a security system themselves or bought a package deal that may not be right for their home. The solution to this is having the right security company come in and do an evaluation of your system to identify weak spots and upgrade or adjust your system as needed.
  2. Experiencing False Alarms – False alarms are another issue many homeowners face, which are often caused from an alarm system not being installed correctly. They can also be triggered by a sound from an open window or even falling branches. False alarms can become very annoying and frustrating for homeowners. The best way to prevent them is by having systems properly installed and maintained in order to ensure they are functioning correctly. Home alarm systems also should be inspected regularly to prevent false alarms.
  3. The System Won’t Alarm or Disarm – This issue is usually caused by a door or window not being shut properly. However, it can also be indicative that there is an issue with the system itself. If you are sure all your windows and doors are closed, you should contact your security company to come and inspect your system to determine the cause of the problem.
  4. Your Security Products Won’t Work Together – This is a common problem for people who have purchased security products from different companies, have some do-it-yourself security pieces, and some from a security company. In some cases, different security products may not work well with other systems making the overall security system inefficient for your home. Having incompatible cameras, motion detectors, sound sensors, alarms, monitoring stations, and other devices will turn into a faulty security system. The way to resolve this is by ensuring all of your security components are compatible with one another. Purchasing them all from the same place, or even better, having a home automation security company do the entire installation will ensure everything works together correctly.
  5. Security System Lacks Regular Maintenance – This is the easiest problem to resolve with your home security system – all you need to do is schedule regular maintenance appointments with your security company so they can make sure every part of your system is working properly. Don’t forget, regular maintenance can even be as simple as making sure to change the batteries regularly. Forgoing regular maintenance appointments leaves your security system susceptible to breaches and can even leave your family at unnecessary risk.

Our home security specialists at Hive can help you determine the best type of security system for your home.

Read more here about Why Smart Home Security Systems Increase Your Home Value.

We’re here to help answer any questions you have about the home technology process. Call (813) 938-1585 or click anytime.

How do you proactively address customer pain points?

Marcus Sheridan’s book, They Ask You Answer, inspired me to reevaluate the way we address customer questions online. Needless to say, I figured the controversy a couple of years ago around the compromised Ring video camera feed in an 8-year-old’s bedroom would be a great pain point to address proactively with our clients.

If you haven’t started getting questions from your clients already about Ring cameras or your own camera lines, get ready. First, let’s recap what happened. In short, a bad actor stole a Ring subscriber’s username/password from a third-party website and accessed a camera installed in an 8-year-old’s bedroom. Even though what actually happened wasn’t a case of actual hacking, it definitely took advantage of consumer habits around complacency, and Ring could’ve done a better job enforcing two-factor authentication. [See note from Ring below.]

Related: Are You Answering Customers’ Questions?

As I’m sure you’re well aware, whether what took place was hacking or not, it puts egg on the face of our industry. This is where having quick replies to customer questions come in handy, particularly when it’s around the difference between DIY and professionally installed solutions.

Nothing is hackproof. Nothing. If it’s connected to the internet, it can be compromised. Products like Ring, Arlo, and others are often self-installed. As with any security product, you’re only as strong as the weakest link. Without the necessary expertise on both the hardware and software sides of the product, it’s a sure-fire way to invite bad guys to exploit security weaknesses.

Here’s an example of how we might interact with an actual customer concern:

Concerned Customer: “I saw the Ring camera issue on the news and I wanted to ask about the solution you’re proposing for us. What’s to keep the same thing happening to us?”

Professional Integrator: “I’m with you and I understand your concern. While it’s always possible for anyone with the time, inclination, and money to steal what they want, we focus on detecting criminals by hardening your network and making sure all your passwords for sites like are backed up by two-factor authentication. That means that even if someone gets hold of your password, will send you a text message with a code asking you to verify the login attempt. That’s why we use professional-grade products and professional installation practices.”

Is that a perfect answer to a customer question? Of course not. Does it position you as a trusted advisor without trashing the competition? Absolutely.

How are you tackling customer questions like this?

[Editor’s Note: A representative from Ring responded to this article with the following statement:

Customer trust is important to us and we take the security of our devices seriously. Our security team has investigated these incidents and we have no evidence of an unauthorized intrusion or compromise of Ring’s systems or network.

Recently, we were made aware of incidents where malicious actors obtained some Ring users’ account credentials (e.g., username and password) from a separate, external, non-Ring service and reused them to log in to some Ring accounts. Unfortunately, when the same username and password is reused on multiple services, it’s possible for bad actors to gain access to many accounts.

Upon learning of these incidents, we took appropriate actions to promptly block bad actors from known affected Ring accounts and affected users have been contacted. Consumers should always practice good password hygiene and we encourage Ring customers to change their passwords and enable two-factor authentication.]

We’re here to help answer any questions you have about the home technology process. Call (813) 938-1585 or click anytime.


Smart home automation is a hot topic right now as homeowners blend everyday function with incredible technology. At Hive, we offer a wide range of smart, Automated Shades solutions—including motorized blinds—at a variety of price points. Keep reading to learn more!

Key Benefits of Automated Shades or Motorized Blinds

Home automation provides homeowners with total control over their environment, no matter where they are. These are just some of the benefits of motorized blinds:

● Adjusting your blinds is as easy as flipping a switch. With the Smart Switch, you can control your blinds as soon as you enter a room! You can also program your blinds to follow voice commands, such as “movie time,” “go to bed,” or “wake up.”

● Improve home security by controlling your blinds from afar. Heading out of town? Make it look like you’re still at home by raising and lowering your blinds throughout the day.

Customize your smart home automation profile with your specific preferences. Want the blinds closed throughout the day, but open when you get home? Enter your 4-digit code in your smart lock, and your home will be set up exactly the way you like it as soon as you walk in the door.

● Improve your home’s energy efficiency and save on your energy bills each month. Motorized shades can follow the sun’s schedule. They’ll lower during the day to reduce the amount of hot sunlight streaming through your windows.

Enjoy the morning sun without leaving the comfort of your bed. Want to sleep in total darkness, but like the bright morning sun when you wake up? Motorized blinds allow you to raise your blackout blind while keeping the light-filtering shade lowered—all while enjoying those precious five more minutes.

The Average Cost of Automated Shades

At Hive, we carry an extensive variety of options to suit all home styles. For motorized options, add at least 50% of the base price to the end total.

Plantation-Style or Wood Blinds

Planation-style or wood blinds are a great cost-effective option, making them a popular choice for many homeowners. They come in faux or real wood, as well as a variety of color options. Basic styles start at around $300/shade, while the higher-end wood options are closer to $1000/shade.

Roller Shades

Roller shades are incredibly popular for a few reasons—they’re timeless, and they often provide superior blackout capabilities compared to slatted blinds. Non-motorized roller shades start around $500/shade and motorized versions start at $1200/shade. Each brand has different fabric options which will affect the price, so speak to your design consultant to learn more.

Honeycomb or Cellular Shades

Like plantation-style blinds, cellular shades are a cost-effective option, starting at $300/window. Homeowners can choose from a variety of fabrics, ranging from basic cotton to high-end silk. As an added benefit, cellular shades are incredibly energy-efficient.

Working with a home designer? That’s great! We offer door-to-door service, so our team can meet with you and your designer at your home—or other specified location—to get you everything you need. Visit our website to see what we have to offer today!