Episode 24: What Does it Cost? | Home Technology & Smart Home Integrations with Randall Duncan

Mar 28, 2023

In this episode:

With advancements in product and technology over the last few decades, it is now more accessible and affordable for people of all budgets to have smart home integration and pre-wired home technology.

Curtis Lawson and Randall Duncan discuss the evolution of home technology in the last decades, with buyers now expecting more connectivity and smart home features. Randall shares his 23 years of experience in the Houston market and talks about the importance of integrators being called in early in the design process, the cost drivers in home automation, whole-house surge protection and much more!

Learn how to make sure your project succeeds by tuning in!

About our Guest: Randall Duncan is the Founder and President of DataSmart Home Technologies and Duncan Security, who recognized the need for high-tech home automation and security systems in new homes in the greater Houston area and started his companies in 2000. They started off with installing low voltage wiring and security systems, but quickly gained popularity due to its exceptional customer service. Today, the company is a leader in the home technology market in Houston and provides a range of services for home builders and homeowners.

They have served the Houston area for 20 years, with 100+ builder partners, 50,000+ homes wired, and 25,000+ activated monitored accounts. 

Reach out to them at marketing@datasmartllc.com


Guest: Randall Duncan
Business Title: President
Company: Data Smart Home Technologies and Duncan Security
Website: http://www.datasmartllc.com/

Bonus: Accompanying every episode are show notes with links to guest speakers and other helpful sites mentioned in the podcast.

How to get in touch: Please let us know what questions you have and we will address those on our final episode of the season, Episode 32. You may email us at info@yourprojectshepherd.com.

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Full Transcript

Curtis:  Hey, everyone. Welcome back to the Your Project Shepherd Construction podcast. We are here to help take the stress out of your construction project and to guide you to the best possible outcome. To that end, we teach that every project needs to be assembled, just like that simple child’s drawing of a house that you see on your screen if you’re watching, and if not, you can just imagine that the foundation is proper planning. The left wall is your team, the right walls, communication, and the roof protecting the whole thing is proper execution. Have all those components in place and your project will succeed. Take this one away and the house like your project might fall apart. I am delighted today to have Randall Duncan as our guest on the podcast. Randall is president of Data Smart and Duncan Security. Data Smart is the largest smart home integrator in the Houston area and they do low voltage wiring, home automation, home security equipment, installations, all that kind of stuff. They do a lot of work for us at Crafted and we love working with them. They have a fantastic showroom. So if you’re in the Houston area and you’re in the market for those products and services are definitely visit them. There’s probably a whole lot more that I’m leaving out. So Randall, I’ll let you talk about that, but thanks for joining us.


Randall:  Sure. I’m thankful to be here and a little bit about my companies. It’s Data Smart Home Technologies and Duncan Security. I founded the companies back in August of 2000, so we’ve been in the Houston market for about 23 years. As you mentioned, we’re blessed to be the largest provider of home automation in the Houston market, and we’re very excited for what we do each and every day.


Curtis:  So you actually emailed me a great article this morning from Builder Magazine, and it was about the importance of home technology planning and how sometimes that’s an afterthought in the process. Sometimes you guys get called in kind of late in the process or this happens industrywide. I assume you kind of called in late in the process after things have already been laid out. So in our house diagram that I referenced, a second ago and then I referenced on every episode those first two components. First two components are planning and team, and that has to include home technology, that has to include you guys from early on. Right. So that that that’s something that we have to take into consideration that from the beginning.


Randall:  Yeah, I think our industry has kind of been a little unique over the past couple of decades. We’ve definitely are. We’re making progress, but it kind of still shocks me that technology’s an afterthought, right? So during the design, I’m sorry, design process, you know, we’re thinking slab and we’re thinking electrical and air conditioning, but we seem to kind of push technology to the back burner. I think some of that is sometimes builders are afraid to tackle it head on. So it’s my job as an integrator to build the confidence with our builder partners and let us get in on that design phase early. So with most of our custom builders and production builders for that matter, we are actually meeting with each and every buyer before the slab is a port. So again, I think we’ve come a long way and the importance of technology is definitely taking hold and we’re part of that initial design phase back to the architect. So we’re excited about where we’re progressing as a company.


Curtis:  I think in the last 20 years since you’ve been in business over that actually, but things have really come a long way. I mean, it used to be I think that the technology was almost an afterthought in that in, let’s say, lower to middle price homes especially, they might get like some cable TV wiring and some telephone wiring, and a little bit later, maybe a data connection, if they’re lucky. But now I think the buyers in this price ranges, even all buyers expect a lot more. You know, our lives are just more connected, and people want more things built into their home.


Randall:  Right now, the data we’re seeing today is, you know, people want a smart home. People want a safe home right now. That’s easy to say, but it takes really proper planning to determine exactly what that means. It can be something different for every buyer out there. Right. So whether you’re buying a starter home for 300,000 or you’re spending 3 million on a project, the same questions apply, and everybody has a different way that they tend to be living at the home. So really, through proper consultation, proper planning, we can define what that need is for each and every buyer individually.


Curtis:  Has that technology become more accessible to all price ranges?


Randall:  Yes, absolutely. In fact, we continue to progress. Product is getting better continuously, and the price is coming down continuously. So it’s really making it affordable for again, all price points.


Curtis:  Are wired components dead or dying. It seems like everybody wants, you know, the Alexa and Google and that they’re like, I don’t need wired stuff. Just give me the Sonos speakers, which is all wireless. I don’t need all that cabling. Is there something wrong with that approach or what’s wrong? Or what are the issues that may arise with that tech versus just, you know, hardwiring everything?


Randall:  Yeah, I hate to use the word wrong, but I guess I would define it as an opportunity to educate the buyer. I would say the first 15 minutes of our first consultation, we are educating the buyer that Wired makes wireless, right? So funny fact in that is we are pulling more low voltage wire today than I pulled back in 2000 when I started the companies. Now we’re pulling that wire for different purposes, right? So we’re hard wiring cameras or hard wiring, smart TVs or pulling you speaker wires and wireless access points and things like that. So absolutely no wire is still part of the plan. However, it’s just in strategic locations today.


Curtis:  Yeah. Are there issues with relying too much on wireless or are there conflicts that arise when you have too many wireless devices going in a house?



Yep. You can absolutely, you know, bog down your WIFI. We call them WI-FI hogs. So with proper planning and if you have the ability to get in, whether it’s a new construction project, remodel project or small commercial, for that point, we absolutely want to wire again what we call the WIFI hog. So that’s going to be your video doorbell, that’s going to be your cameras, your televisions and what we want to do is reserve that bandwidth for your true portable devices such as Alexa and your iPad and your iPhone, things like that. So keep as many devices off of your WIFI as possible and again, reserve that bandwidth.


Curtis:  I know it’s a common thing for people to say, Oh man, the WIFI is down now and there’s certain things that you don’t want going down on the Wi-Fi, right? I mean, you don’t want your your cameras and your security system just going down. If there’s an issue with the router or the or the or the service.


Curtis:  Right.


Randall:  Yeah. You can definitely hardwire your key areas again, like you said, such as TVs and home offices. Wireless is going to be excellent. But again, like you said, it is more susceptible to going down. So if we can leave that Internet up and going in the event that we do have a loss of connection, that’s of course, very nice., and then also, of course, your WIFI is going to be more protected, Right. So less likely of a breach.


Curtis:  Yeah. Are there still speed differences? It used to be that that hard wired was just faster than WIFI. Is that still the case?


Randall:  Yes, absolutely. So if you have the ability to hardwire, you’re going to start pushing speeds closer to what the service providers are advertising, i.e. gigabit. Right. And then, of course, you know, depending on your home and the equipment, you could be looking at half of that or a third of what you’re going to see as compared to hardwired. So, yes, wireless absolutely will not be as quick as your hardwired connection.


Curtis:  So for people who do a lot of streaming, uh, for their TV, I mean, we don’t even have, you know, cable quote unquote anymore or any kind of dedicated, uh, you know, TV box. You know, we’re all, you know, streaming services in our house now, like most people are probably or many people. Um, so when you have multiple TVs streaming stuff all the time, that can be a big drag on the network, right?


Randall:  Absolutely. So computers to TVs, to cameras to all of the devices. We were at a house yesterday and the wife had mentioned that we’ve only got a handful of devices and we looked on a network. There were 53 devices sitting on the Wi-Fi network. So, again, try to wire as many Wi-Fi hogs as possible and that it will also not only reserve or I guess, again, maximize that wi fi, but it’s also going to potentially save you money with the service provider.


Curtis:  Yeah, I think people don’t realize sometimes how many devices they have going. You know, we talked to people who say, oh, I don’t need to wire that stuff. You know, all we have is our iPads and our TV. And then they get they move into the house. And like you said, they don’t think about all these devices that we have in our home now that are all constantly pinging that wireless network and all that stuff. It adds up, right?


Randall:  Oh, it’s continuing to increase. So you’re talking all of your appliances are going smart. Your thermostats might sit on the network, your overhead garage door opener, your sprinkler control. It’s just nonstop with adding smart devices to the network. We’ve got water flow metering coming soon. So, yes, they’re just we’re going to continue to add more and more to that network.


Curtis:  And in your showroom and in in the work that you do, kind of which of those components do you guys handle? Which of those components do you guys, uh, you know, sell, install, service? You know, what, what do you provide in that array of things that people get in their home?


Randall:  Well, yeah. So we, our list is quite inclusive and continues to grow on a daily basis. So probably starting from the basics is the actual structured wiring. So we provide that enclosure that is basically the backbone of your entire home. And then we get into security systems, fire systems, central vacuum systems are very, very hot right now. House audio media rooms, home automation, smart home landscape, audio WIFI, of course. So I mean, the list just goes on and on and we’re in an exciting time in our industry right now.


Curtis:  Why should somebody have you guys do all that stuff versus just doing it themselves? Because I think home automation is one of those areas where people tend to do it themselves. If I if I look at a a project scope that we’re doing on building a custom home, I feel like that’s one of the things where people are like, you know, I don’t really need to spend the money on that. I can just install, you know, install that stuff myself, manage that stuff myself. What are the advantages to you guys doing that versus someone trying to do it themselves?


Randall:  I’ll kind of take a long-winded approach to the question, but you know, that is what our consultation does at the showroom. So for all of our builders, we offer a free consultation with no obligation. And at that point we’re determining are they a DIY buyer? Right. Are they a do it with me buyer or of course are they do it for me buyer, so every buyer is different. There’s always going to be a segment of the population that is DIY, DIY, and we’re happy to support them along the way. Most of them don’t want to get up in the attic and pull wire, right? So we’re going to assist them with that tone test and label all the wires and when they move in, they’ve got the ability to do their own install. However, what we’re seeing in our data shows is buyers are busy right now, they’re tired right now, and they’re actually more and more on a daily basis coming in saying I want to turnkey solution. So I think people we went from buyers that are willing to have several laps to learn that we’re now seeing buyers come back saying I want a one app solution. So we’re able to do that through our leading providers that we offer. And not only do we assist them with the initial install, but we’re also there 24 seven to support them for years and years to go. So most buyers again are looking for support after that initial install.


Curtis:  Yeah, one thing that I that I notice people do is they’ll have all the stuff pre-wired, but then they won’t really have a good understanding of what it all does, and so it’s, it’s all there, it’s nicely labeled on the panel and then they’ll just go and do something else, and I think why do you we spend the money on doing all this wiring if you’re just going to kind of end around it. One of the things I often see is some of the service providers. So, you know, not to knock them, but, you know, AT&T installers, Comcast installers, all those guys, they want the quickest way in and out of the house. So I often see you’ve got this lovely, structured wire paneling, you’ve got a tube going out the side wall for them, you know, for them to connect to and what do they do. They come and drill another hole through the brick and put that router or whatever right where they want it. Right. And they ignore everything that’s already been done. So I think having somebody like you guys on site or having you are kind of more in-depth on the process providing more services is going to prevent somebody like that from kind of taking the easy way out.


Randall:  Yeah, I keep going back to that consultation. One of the results of the thorough consultation is documentation. So when that client walks away from our showroom, they have a print in their hand that they’ll have for years to come, right? So not only have we educated them, but we’ve sent them home with a document that can be referenced when the Internet service provider shows up, when they’re ready to do phase one of the equipment, install phase two of the equipment install, and you had mentioned about wire, right. That is another key concern during the consultation is we really want to get that buyer to make a wish list from a components and a solution standpoint so that they can take a phased approach if need be. Post-Closing Right. But the main goal is to have all the equipment you know, ready and able to be installed with the proper wiring place. So it’s very, very key. Not every buyer is going to have the budget to do the entire install, but the wires in place and then they can take a phased approach, whether it’s one phase two, phase three phase, and that’s going to really provide for the maximum buyer experience.


Curtis:  The wiring installed now is relatively inexpensive. It’s so much harder to go back and add that later. And a lot of these homes. So you’re kind of future proofing your house by pulling extra cable now, or even in some areas you might just run a conduit or a, you know, a Smurf tube or whatever to similar locations that are strategic so that you’re going to make your life easier later and not have to cut drywall and patch and paint later, Right?


Randall:  Yeah. And you know, a lot everybody’s on a budget these days with the rising material cost and the interest rate. But wire is actually a way to lower the equipment budget, right? So you spend a little bit on the wire and then down the road you’re going to be able to spend less on the component and have a much more durable solution.


Curtis:  This this season of the podcast, we’re going to talking about what does it cost? And I know that like everything else and like everyone else I’ve interviewed so far on different topics; the answer is really kind of it depends. But is there any kind of like rule of thumb for prewiring a house for home automation data? Is there like any kind of rule of thumb that you can use to apply to a custom home?


Randall:  Yeah, I typically haven’t used numbers like that in the past. However, I prepared this morning by doing a little bit of math. I would say if you budgeted $0.75 Livable foot, you know you’re going to have a pretty healthy budget to the prewire. If you wanted to be extra safe, you could say a dollar per livable square foot, and I want to define what we call pre wire. We don’t really prewire any houses without terminating all the cables with plates and toning and labeling and things like that. So when I say $0.75 or a dollar per livable foot that is basically move in ready. Yeah. Wiring and a trimmed-out security system and ready for that Internet service provider to come in.


Curtis:  And I’ll add to that that livable square feet can often mean that includes like outdoor areas that are outdoor living spaces. That’s not just air-conditioned square feet. If you’ve got a 500 square foot patio that’s wired for speakers and a TV and, you know, that’s part of that square footage, too.


Randall:  Yeah. If you’re going to use the outside livable space, you’re probably going to be on the lower side. I should have been a little bit clearer. And that is I was referring to condition space for that $0.75 or a dollar per foot.


Curtis:  Yeah. I’ve kind of always used a dollar as kind of a, a plug-in budgetary number when we’re doing our very early budget steering design is one thing I like to do is during the design process, kind of have multiple pause points for budget checks. So after our very first conceptual before we’re like going out for bid on things, I’m putting placeholders, I’ll use a dollar a square foot is just kind of a placeholder knowing that they’re going to go to your showroom later and really fine tune that later. But that’s kind of a good starting point for, for right now. So as far as alarms go, because you guys do that, do security monitoring and a lot a lot on the alarm side, right? Yes, kind of some of the same questions regarding alarm as we talk about more of the home automation and things like that, what are the downfalls to doing the wireless alarm systems that are popular today versus hardwiring the alarm? Sure.


Randall:  I mean, wireless systems can be excellent, right? It’s really a stage appropriate question, right? If we have a brand-new construction open wall cavities or we have a pretty large remodel to where we do have the ability to run wires, there’s no question about it. Wireless is more expensive, and each wireless device has a battery. Right. So we absolutely can install durable wireless systems that, you know, will bring satisfaction for years to come. But if we have the ability to run wires, I can give you more wired devices for less money and not have that hassle of changing batteries years down the road.


Curtis:  Yeah, I think that’s something that people forget about, is that every one of those window sensors and door sensors has got a battery in it. And that’s something that that you as the homeowner, are going to have to maintain. So again, I see a lot of people coming to us and saying, you know, I’m just going to buy that wireless alarm system that I’ve seen advertised online.


Curtis:  I’ll put that in myself. But yeah, they’re not thinking maybe about the maintenance side of things. They just see maybe that upfront acquisition cost. Oh, I can buy the system for next dollars. It’s cheaper than, than this.


Randall:  Yep. Yeah, I agree. Again, wireless we absolutely can install a solid system, be a wireless. But if the job status again prewires or a significant remodel, we can look at a hard wired alternative.


Curtis:  Back to the big picture about all of the things that people do through you guys. What are the big cost drivers? What are the expensive things that people add to a system that really increase either that that prewire costs, or their overall cost.


Randall:  Yeah, we see that a lot. We were lucky enough to do several build on your lot projects where a lot of times by the time that homebuyer comes to our showroom, they’ve already closed on that construction loan. Right? So we educate our builder partners to potentially discuss these items before that buyer goes to close that loan. And again, of coming to the data smart technology showroom for their consultation. So central vacuums, they’re very, very, very popular right now, especially with the concern with allergies and dirty air and things like that, you know, that could easily run $5,000. Right? So that’s a big number. The other thing is we’re seeing a huge rebound in home theaters, right? So if you have a dedicated home theater, you can spend 5000, 10,000 easily in a home theater. So I wouldn’t say that any specific item is a huge cost. However, when you start looking at solutions again, like a surveillance system in a central vacuum system, in a good WIFI system at landscape audio, it all adds up at the end of the day. So again, for certain buyers to have those numbers ahead of the time to help get their budgets more accurate is a good idea.


Curtis:  Yeah, it’s easy to do keep adding you know 5000 5000 5000 5000 before you know if they get that that that big number and they’ve got a 4040 grand of stuff that they’re installing.


Randall:  So that actually brings up a good point. That is our approach with every buyer is again, I used the word earlier wish list. We really do a proper and thorough consultation with the buyer from wire all the way to the end of the component. However, you know that number come on higher and above their budget so we can then again look at where are your priorities, where would you like to cut? That way we can get down to the buyer’s budget, but at least we got them thinking of everything that they might do today, they might do years down the road, and then we put it back in the buyer’s hands to make their budget decisions.


Curtis:  Yeah, that’s a great approach and that’s how we do things on the custom home side too. So we love working with other partners that do the same thing and have that same process. What are some things that people should be wiring for or should be installing that they might not think about?


Randall:  I think, you know, we’ve been saying it all morning and that is WIFI is at the top of everybody’s list, right. So let’s go ahead and get those wireless access points wired to the ceilings. The goal is to not see them, but them to be functional. Right? So we could look at kitchen pantries, we can look at closets and we can look at areas to get the wireless access points installed. The whole concept with the home technology is embedded. Technology is what we like to say, and that is, you know, get it into the home but not see it. So, you know, that could go from access points to cameras to speakers. A there’s just so many things that work so much better with wire in place.


Curtis:  What are some really popular items right now that people are doing? You know, we mentioned Wi-Fi, We mentioned the central vac stuff. But what are some what are some other really popular things right now?


Randall:  Yeah, I think, you know, home automation and smart home is the buzzword right now. Right now, the problem is that’s a different solution for each and every buyer depending on budget and lifestyle. But we are seeing a lot of things from life safety. So typically for most builders, the electrician provides a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detectors. But part of the education process is, is those are great. They’re hardwired and they have battery backup, but they’re not monitored by your security system. So, of course, we do a lot of 55 plus communities, and life safety is very important. So if I can put a monitored smoke detector and a monitored carbon monoxide detector out of a couple of the bedrooms at the house, now, when I’m monitoring the burglar alarm, I’m also monitoring life safety devices. I would tell you that there’s a big push on water flow right now, especially with all the recent storms and things like that. Plus, the insurance companies are buying into our industry right now with a couple of big acquisitions lately. So that is becoming some buzzwords right now. So whether it’s Moen Solution or others, we are definitely seeing a big demand from homeowners and builders to look at monitoring the flow of the water.


Curtis:  Talk about how that works.


Randall:  Yeah, sure. So basically there’s multiple solutions out there. The ones that are mainly on the market right now have to be installed by a professional plumber. However, I just got back from a PHENIX conference last week and we have some product about to hit our warehouse to where we can do the install ourselves and you do not have to have a licensed plumber. So the whole concept is, is you get some sort of flow meter ahead of everything at the home. And in the event that there’s some sort of accidental discharge, that system is going to turn that water off immediately. So you could be in town, you could be out of town, you could be asleep. But that data is being collected to understand the way you live at your home, and at 2:00 in the morning, all sudden it sees water flow. It can immediately cut that water off. Right. Or in the event that there’s a freeze and all of a sudden water is flowing in the home, it can immediately cut off that water. So that’s why you’re seeing the interest of the insurance companies.


Curtis:  How does it know the difference between normal usage and an emergency?


Randall:  Yeah, So it’s understanding the behavior. It’s looking at the amount of flow from sinks to faucets to showers and things like that. I would tell you that the art is still being perfected, so I’m not going to tell you that you could not accidentally have a false shut off, but buyers are willing to kind of let the industry improve over the next couple of years. But water is probably the largest loss of insurance company. So it’s definitely big for the industry now. And again, through data collection, it’ll get better and better Understanding what is actual and what is accidental.


Curtis:  Are those also connected to an app where you’re getting an alert if that happens and it’s something that you can turn on and off from a device?


Randall:  Yep, absolutely. So the manufacturers have their own app, but like I mentioned earlier, buyers are looking for more of a one app experience. So again, flow by Mobile one is one of the biggest ones out there. They are a partner of alarm dot com, which is one of the backbones we use for security monitoring. So I can actually have the plumber work with the builder to install the flow and then we integrate it into the alarm dot com services.




So you could, you could have your ear, your fire alarm, your carbon monoxide, your water flow, kind of all that stuff monitored through the same portal that you’re doing your alarm through. That’s really great service.


Randall:  Absolutely. And then add the overhead garage door opener and your sprinkler control for your yard. And we just keep adding more and more and more to the one app experience.


Curtis:  Right. And is there any kind of lighting control through that as well or would that be a separate no effort?


Randall:  Just like anything else, lighting is added to the app front door lock, air conditioning thermostat. Literally almost every aspect of the home can be pulled into one app experience bias.


Curtis:  What app is that you guys are using for this?


Randall:  We were mainly powered by Larcom. We have a couple of different options, but alarm dot com is absolutely sort of the 800 lb gorilla in the market and provides an amazing buyer experience.


Curtis:  Okay. So I need to step up my game because I’ve got the alarm scam app. You guys do our monitoring here at the office and at home so I need to get on there and see what else I can add. Add to my experience.


Randall:  Absolutely.


Curtis:  What other services does Data Smart or Duncan Security offer outside of the you know kind of the prewire the installation you guys offer I ongoing service and maintenance what else do you guys offer.


Randall:  Yep. You know we believe when we have a buyer, we want a buyer for life. So we talked to several builders to where they said, hey, my integrator did a great job, you know, getting the buyer to closing. But then after closing, when they wanted to add a TV on the patio or they wanted to upgrade their system, they were nowhere to be found. I believe we worked too hard to get that buyer initially, so we want that buyer for life. So we absolutely do ongoing service. Unfortunately, in the Houston market, we see a lot of lightning and we see a lot of surges. So we’re getting calls, you know, after storms and we’re more than happy to immediately get out there and rectify in the situation that arises. We do not currently offer any monthly subscription for audio video, I guess maintenance. We’re definitely looking at that industry. It’s kind of like the warranty business and cars. You just kind of got to be careful and make sure that it’s somebody that’s going to be in the market. But right now we feel like we can just build at our very competitive service rate and the buyer comes out better just paying when they need us versus that ongoing monthly subscription. Now, on the flip side, with Duncan Security, every agreement that a buyer signs comes with the maintenance plan, and that includes 24-hour, seven day week tech support.


Curtis:  And I’ll just say that we had you guys install an alarm system at my grandmother’s house who is about an hour or so north of Houston out in the country. You know, she’s older and she needed, or we needed some more peace of mind with her being out there. And it’s not a convenient location for you guys, but I’ll give you guys kudos and say that a couple times that we needed to tweak some things. Man, you guys were out there, you were on it. You got her taken care of quickly. And I appreciate that as a as a consumer.


Randall:  Yeah. No, you know, the systems are getting better and better, which allows me to do remote tech support quite a bit. But in the event that we have to roll a truck, we’re 99% type roll in the truck the next business day. Yeah.


Curtis:  Well, I think that’s a great place to kind of wrap things up. Is there anything else that I missed or any other comments that you like to share or talk about with us?


Randall:  The only thing that I had thought about earlier, I mentioned a surge or surge and lightning. I would encourage everybody to work with their builder, work with their electrician, and work with their technology integrator to consider maybe potential upgrades to their whole house search protection, local surge protection. There’s a lot of misconceptions about how houses and devices are subject to surge. It’s actually a combination of the whole house surge and the local surge in each component. And that, you know, is definitely a good idea that we do not like those calls hearing the buyers are hit by surges. So Houston is a massive, you know, place and we’re very subject to surges. So I would say that’s a very uncomfortable phone call to take. So if people can work with their builder and put more surge protection on their home, they’ll be happier for years to come.


Curtis:  Absolutely. We’ve had those issues right here in the studio. In fact, I was I was recording on a Zoom podcast for somebody else recently, and I was sitting here in this chair talking just like this, and boom, our power went out, came back on. We ended up losing a piece of equipment. So even here in my office, we don’t have all that in place and it’s something that we need to work on here, but you’re saying that it’s better to have kind of like the whole House surge protection and then again, a secondary surge protection at the component, is that right?


Randall:  Yeah, absolutely. I believe the current code calls for some whole House surge protection. But you might want to look at potentially upgrading that. But surges can come from all over the place. So typically the whole House surge protector is going to protect you from like a brownout, maybe from the supplier. But then if true lightning hits, it can come in through the low voltage, it can come in through the electrical, the satellite all over the place, plumbing pipes, things like that. So that’s why you still want surge protector at your major mechanicals and TV’s and audio video equipment and things like that, because you really just don’t know where that surge is going to come from.


Curtis:  Yeah. And sometimes the brownouts can even be worse in some ways because something is trying to operate at partial power. And it well, and this is maybe more applicable to appliances and things like that, but when you have a certain appliances that are trying to operate on half power, it can burn those motors up or cause problems with those electric motors, right?


Randall:  Yeah, absolutely. And maybe a $25 $50 surge would have covered all that.


Curtis:  Exactly. Well, again, I think it’s a great place to wrap up. I appreciate you for being here to tell everybody how they can contact data. Smart and Duncan security and so your website, social media, all that kind of stuff.


Randall:  Yeah absolutely. And of course, we’re on LinkedIn, we’re on Facebook, Instagram, and then of course, you can visit us at www.datasSmartLLC.com.


Curtis:  Fantastic. So we will definitely link all that information in our show notes and YouTube notes and all that kind of stuff so people can find you. So thanks again for being with us.


Randall:  Thank you very much.


Curtis:  All right, everybody, it’s time for us to wrap up. So thanks to all of you for joining us today on the podcast. Remember that if you have any questions, please email them to me at podcast at your project Shepherd Ecom and at the end of each season we’ll do a short wrap up where we answer those questions and dig into that just a little bit. So until next time, remember that there’s four components of a successful project. There’s proper planning, your team communication and proper execution and here at Shepherd, we want your project to succeed and so be sure and have all those components in place. Take care.