We had an appointment yesterday with Grand Alarms, the company contracted by our builder to install TV/telephone outlets and any upgrades having to do with cable/internet/sound systems, etc.
Of all the things we were offered, we are most seriously debating the following:
-Installing a full conduit (basement to attic?) for future ease of installation of any wiring that we do not wish to install now. Conduit is $300. While we won't have an immediate need for it, we figure it will save headaches in the future. Do most people concur?
For now we are just sticking to the builder's standard of a phone jack in each bedroom and in kitchen. As well, we get two cable outlets. We will put one in family room and one in office (one of the bedrooms). Will we need a Cat5 outlet as well? I'm thinking no, since we just use the cable outlet for internet.
-Garage door opener: We aren't really impressed with their pricing. They quoted us $399 for a Chamberlain Lift Master 1/2 HP, chain unit. This would include opener, control panel, 2 remote controls, keypad, and installation. Comes with lifetime warranty. We don't really need the keypad and could install a unit ourselves. We are pretty confident we could find a similar unit and install it ourselves for less money. Opinions?
-Central vaccum: They charge $299 to terminate the canister into the garage (standard is basement); this doesn't include any equipment. For canisters, we were quoted $800 for the Frigidaire FG460, $950 for the Frigidaire FG2825, and a 50% off price of $550 for the "Homewave". They didn't have a specs sheet on the Homewave but its supposed to be their newest and best product with better specs than the FG2825. Its regularily $999. These prices would include installation. The $299 fee to terminate into the garage is not included. These fees do not include a hose/brush/tool kit.
Are these prices reasonable? Should we just pay to terminate the canister to the garage and install a unit later to give us more time to shop around?
If it matters, we have hardwood/tile on the main, broadloom runner on hardwood stairs, and broadloom on the second floor. Home is 2228 sq feet.
-Alarm: We aren't really thinking of putting one in. Though they charge zero for rough in, installation and hardware. They do charge $25/month for monitoring. Minimum of 5 year contract. If we cancel contract or move and new owner doesn't want it, we have to pay out remaining months or find someone to take over our contract.
Anything else, wiring wise, we should consider?
Jul 19th, 2009 04:33 PM #1
- Join Date
- May 15th, 2009
Prices from Grand Alarms for garage door opener/central vac/alarm
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Jul 19th, 2009 05:49 PM #2
Conduit yes. I ALWAYS recommend these for the reason you mention.. I've been promoting this option for at least 5 years now and others have finally caught on.
GDO: Have you ever installed one before? It's not always as easy as people thing.. and not everything you need comes in the box.
Vac: Getting it piped out to the garage saves whoever is installing it that headache. Are you installing it? Are are you going to get someone else to do it? You do not have to go with the builders option. Fridgidaire is just another Electrolux rebrand (as are Eureka and Beam). There are plenty of companies that make them, some better, some worse. Your prices should include a toolkit. Verify and make sure.
Alarm: Many companies do this.. offer install for free providing you sign up with them for a minimum monthly fee. So essentially you are paying for the system, just in installments.
cat5 can do just about anything. It can be used for a telephone line, a network connection, audio/video distribution, and a lot more. Typically cat5 would be used for a network connection between a router/switch and a computer.
A TV cable jack is used for TV cable and/or a cable modem. You cannot distribute your internet connection throughout the house using a TV cable jack, that's what a cat5 network connection would be used for, or if you don't mind the hassle, a wireless router.
Jul 19th, 2009 06:12 PM #3
Central Vac: No, we wouldn't install it, whether we do it now or later. At the very least we figure we should have it collect in the garage which would cost $299. I was wondering if their prices were okay; I do realize we don't have to go with Grand Alarms. But if their prices are reasonable we would consider getting installed now vs. later. Their prices do NOT include a toolkit. I got quotes for what Grand Alarms charges for the kits, which ranged depending on the size and inclusivity of the kit. i.e. $199 for a kit which includes hose, and various brushes for hardwood and carpet. They told us its the same kit sold at Lowes or Rona (can't remember which) for a dollar less.
Jul 19th, 2009 06:46 PM #4
- Join Date
- Apr 15th, 2009
Beware of these guys
who is your builder? and salesman for grand alarm? if it who i think it is ill fill you in.
nm just goggled it
these guys go under a whole bunch of different names, including DELUXE alarms, Built in Systems and Grand Alarm.
Beware of these guys, they go under a whole bunch of names, when you go to their place it doesn't even have a sign on it.
we got takes big time by them, we are in coronation by fernbrook, when it came time for talking to them Leo Oliviera lied and took us for a ride.
After finding out he screwed us he wouldnt return our calls no one in the office would even acknowledge us.
here are some of the things.
our builder gives us the alarm rough in, central vac, and both gdo's standard in our house.
- monitoring, he said it was $25 for 3 years, as per our buyers agreement with fernbrook, unless you really read closely and call him on it his standard contract is 5 years, he wouldn't change it until i got the builder involved.
- we wanted a smoke detector monitored, we that's and extra $5 per month, i called the monitoring center directly and no charge is from them, but unless we pay it he wont activate the smoke motoring.
- he wanted $10 per month for police notification. said it was mandatory in york region, unless we paid it all that would happen upon an alarm was someone would call the house, no police notification. Held us hostage despite me showing him that YRP don't require this fee.
I googled him after some time, and found alot of unhappy people, one site even had to remove posts because Leo had his lawyers threaten to sue the site for slander.
Any more questions just pm me.
Jul 19th, 2009 08:04 PM #5
We did think it was very weird that their unit did not have a business sign out front. They were at 9000 Keele St. When I mentioned to them that it was wierd that they had no sign, Jackie said it was bc the unit was new, reno's were still being done, regular salesoffice is located at 8700 Dufferin...blah blah blah.
We aren't really leaning towards the alarm system yet. Just doing research for now. Jackie told us that for new construction, the standard is a 5 year contract. In non-new homes its 3 years, as per her. I didn't ask about the smoke detector monitoring. I did ask about "false alarms" and was told:
-$5/month + GST will cover up to 3 police dispatches per year, even if they are false alarms. Any more than that and homeowner is billed $250 per false alarm
-$250 charge doesn't apply if its a real burglary
-you can set it up so that the police are NOT dispatched if the alarm goes off. Instead they call the homeowner first so ask if they want the police dispatched.
Never heard of Leo but I will look it up now. Thanks for the heads up
Last edited by amz155; Jul 19th, 2009 at 08:08 PM.
Jul 20th, 2009 12:10 AM #6
- Join Date
- Mar 26th, 2003
how does a installed conduit looks like???
cause in my basement I got a white open pvb pipe . which I am not sure what is it for,
wondering if it might be conduit
Jul 20th, 2009 01:46 AM #7
- Join Date
- Apr 30th, 2007
Jul 20th, 2009 08:56 AM #8
Jul 20th, 2009 07:55 PM #9
Since the conduit is hidden, how do we confirm that it even gets installed. Look for a 2" PVC pipe that terminates in the basement that DOESN"T have a cord dangling next to it (i.e. isn't the Central Vac)?
I guess I could also see it as I pop in on the house while its being built. But what exactly am I looking for?
Jul 20th, 2009 08:48 PM #10
Different builders use different types of pipes. It's very rarely consistent.
When I do it I just use white central vac pipe.
Some use 2" black drain pipe, some use 3" black drain pipe. I was in one house where the plumbed mistook it for a vent run and actually connected it into the drain line.
Jul 20th, 2009 11:53 PM #11
- Join Date
- Sep 3rd, 2004
The price sounds a little high for the GDO. I recently had a company come out to install the same one with keypad and extra keychain remote and I paid$345 plus taxes. I guess they have to add in the builder's cut in it but you would think they would still be more competitive considering how much more business they are getting out of the deal.
Jul 21st, 2009 12:42 AM #12
- Join Date
- Nov 28th, 2003
- Richmond Hill
Yes, you roger or bell will only give you speed up to 10Mb/s, but if you have future plan of connecting the whole house with media players, computers, or even IP-based cameras, you could easily used up 100Mb/s. Beside, there is virtually no price difference between cat5 or cat6 (o.k. might be $10 more per 1000 feet!)
also, cat 6 is backward compatible to cat5! Almost no reason not to get cat 6!_______________
Jul 21st, 2009 08:45 AM #13
Jul 21st, 2009 08:53 PM #14
So, just to clarify.....
If we got the central vac piped so that it ended in the garage vs. the basement, we could save whomever installs that central vac in the future a lot of hassle. So I'm assuming that this job CAN be done later??
Is $299 a reasonable price to pay to get the cantral vac to terminate in the garage? Or might we be able to cut a similar/better deal later on with whomever is doing the central vac install?
Jul 21st, 2009 09:43 PM #15
The job can be done later yes. Unless there are some special circumstances like a finished basement etc.. If you do not get them to pipe it out to the garage, then when you move in, plese make sure that all the pipes are exposed in the basement ceiling. Way too many times I have gone in to do an installation and have found the pipes ended up in duct work and the builder needs to correct that.
As for the price you mentioned, that is about standard through a builder.