Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions. Hopefully you find the answers you’re looking for. However, if you don’t, please give us a call or send an email and a member of our team will be happy to help.
Where do you operate?
We are based in the North West of the UK but commission projects all over the world – residential and marine. However it’s vital to us before we take on any project, we can provide support post-install should the client want it. This will be a discussion upfront about your needs before we agree to take on any project outside of the North West of the UK.
How much should I expect to spend on a custom integrated technology system for my home?
On average within this industry, when it comes to a new home build or major remodelling project, your budget for your home technology system will probably fall within 4-8% of your home’s value.
How much do your systems start at?
All SONA systems are completely bespoke to the client and dependent on how you use your home, your sensory preferences, your entertainment preferences and other nuances unique to your family and household.
Most of our full house custom installs which include audio, visual, lighting, cable infrastructure, networking start at around £100,000 for the entire house worth roughly £4-5 million.
How much do home cinemas start at?
Again all of our home cinemas are completely custom so vary dramatically in price depending on performance level, size of room, whether you want seating, type of seating etc.
Entry level cinemas start at around £30,000 upwards.
Reference level cinemas (best in class) as a rule, start at over £100,000 but again it completely depends on the size of the room and the selections you make.
Why should I hire a company that is a CEDIA Member of Excellence?
CEDIA Member of Excellence companies (of which there are at the timing of writing only 10 in the world) have been thoroughly researched for reputation, technical competence, customer service, and aftercare support policies.
SONA is one of these top 10 companies.
These companies who are Members of Excellence have provided CEDIA with evidence, documentation and client testimonials to demonstrate their standards and capabilities. The odds of a successful install that you are thrilled with, dramatically improve by using a highly vetted CEDIA member.
Any custom install, smart home or integrated technology can achieve this status (even a 1 man band) if they can demonstrate their standards, capabilities and reputation meet the criteria, so it is a really great place to start in your research.
I’m not sure what level of technology we would want at this stage. Can you help?
Like any Architect, Interior Designer or Developer, SONA painstakingly detail proposals around you and your lifestyle at home.
The system we design will be used every minute that someone is in residence at the property. SONA are creating the element of your home that will connect you to the world, reduce stress, ensure optimal well-being, and ensure unrivalled (online and off-line) security for you and your family.
We’re designing how you want to live at home, in every room, at every moment, for every family member. We’re creating an environment for you to live, relax, unwind and revive at home. Technology is simply the tool we use to achieve all of this.
Unlike aesthetic or superficial elements, technology is the central nervous system of your home. When home technology isn’t well planned or perfectly executed and therefore doesn’t live up to your expectations, it causes so much stress. It is also costly and structurally disruptive to correct. That’s why we insist on working closely with you from the beginning to get it right first time
What should I do in terms of due diligence regarding taking on a home technology or smart home company?
Check out our blog on Questions to Ask when researching a Home Technology company that suits you.
Can I provide my own TVs?
If you have any existing technology that you want to utilise, we can work with this.
Clients sometimes prefer to buy all their hardware as part of the system as a whole however, as that way everything is covered by the SONA Guarantee.
What are the things that people regret the most when it comes to home technology?
- Inadequate (or missing) plant rooms
- The assumption that certain technology can’t be integrated with the main system, when it fact, it can.
- Assuming a BT home hub will be sufficient to support the technology in the home
- Thinking that getting a SKY Q account will cover as many TVs as you have in your home, when in fact it will only cover up to 5.
- The assumption that because most technology works on WiFi, proper cable infrastructure isn’t needed.
Working with any company who isn’t aware of these small but significant facts when starting any project will cause frustration and stress further down the line.
What can be integrated with a SONA system?
SONA’s element of the build will intertwine with pretty much every function of the home you are creating. The possibilities are endless.
Many features of your home that you are planning, can be integrated with our design to give you a more seamless, functional and beautiful home, including: –
- Architectural design and development (window surrounds often need adjusting for automated blinds / curtains which 99% if they not been allowed for in the original structural plans)
- Automated doors / windows e.g. Velux
- Virtual skylights e.g. Coelux
- WiFi – your home is likened to that of a small hotel, therefore a BT home hub won’t suffice. You will need an enterprise class wired and wireless to ensure wi-fi throughout. Especially if you have wet underfloor heating, lots of glass or concrete floors.
- Swimming pool / leisure facilities (it’s essential you can control lighting, the pool cover, water features, jets, steam and sauna from your SONA system)
- Heating controls (easy to use controls from anywhere, rather than having to hunt down the control in a certain area of your home to adjust the thermostat)
- Fireplace controls (avoid ugly remote controls that can be lost, or unsightly wall acne.)
- Lighting features (architectural lighting design to enhance your beautiful home and grounds)
- Landscaping (lighting, irrigation)
- Furniture designs (for hidden TVs, in-built technology etc.)
- Kitchen design
- Security (online and offline)
- Automated garages
What are the top 3 challenges you come across when integrating technology with a luxury home already underway with the build?
- 99% of our clients want automated blinds and curtains in their luxury residence but few projects have window surrounds adequate enough to accommodate them.
- There are a number of design elements that can negatively impact the use of wi-fi. Concrete floors, glass, wet under-floor heating are some of them, yet extremely popular in luxury house builds. This can be a frustrating result, but easily resolved if SONA are involved early enough.
- Sometimes technology can’t survive in a house! Ventilation, cooling, storage are often overlooked which means technology gets unhappy really quickly.
We’ve not yet started building. Is it too early to start the conversation about home technology? When is the right time?
When building any luxury house you will need a Cable Infrastructure package to enable your M&E Consultant or Electrical Contractor to cost the cabling install and ensure your new home allows for the technology you want now, and in the future. This is before you have even started to build.
Prices start at just £1000 for our Cable Infrastructure package which includes detailed drawings and a cable schedule that you will need – the earlier the better! Please forward CAD drawings from your Architect if you would like us to provide you with a quote to firstname.lastname@example.org
What if one aspect of the technology you supply stops working or has a glitch?
Sometimes technology experiences glitches. This can happen as you may have recently redecorated or had an electrician in doing some work on your home, and they may not appreciate that for example, the light fitting they are putting in isn’t compatible with your system.
Sometimes you may have had a power cut without realising. Other times it can just be a gremlin in the technology. Check out the SONA Guarantee here.
I already have an existing system that needs updating or replacing. Can you help?
Yes absolutely. Many of our systems and projects have been updates, revisions or replacements.
We work as hard as we can to save as much as we can from the existing system, but sometimes, due to the nature of technology, we might have to replace certain aspects.
What support do you provide following installing a system?
Large scale and complex houses, have multiple sources of technology, integrated, programmed and sensitive to change. Just like any office or workplace.
It’s something you don’t really think about when you’re in the process of building a house. The focus is all on the building and completing. Often clients haven’t understandably got to the point of considering WHO will support their technology once they live there.
SONA essentially become your Technology Department for your home and family once the project are complete.
We provide 1 year Service & Support Plan for all of our clients post completion and then offer this as a continuous service for a small fee after the first year.
Do you do commercial work?
SONA focus more on residential and marine projects and aren’t really set up as a commercially focused company. However if you would like any advice at all, please feel free to call us on 01625 541442.