Can I install Savant myself or do I need a pro?
Savant home automation is one of the leading high-end smart home systems. Hundreds of thousands of homes across the globe have Savant smart devices installed that they use daily. However, it can cost a small fortune, leading many to ask: Can I install Savant myself?
As Savant uses a dealer network to design, install and configure systems, their devices aren’t widely available from retail shops or even from eBay. Plus, as the system uses wired elements, you need to run cables between devices, which can be time consuming and expensive.
On top of installing devices, you need to understand the Savant programming logic to configure them into a system that automates your home. Without significant training, you’re unlike to get your Savant system installed and working.
So, you’ll always need to work with a dealer from conception to installation. You might be able to update software and firmware, and create basic scenes without paying a dealer or engineer. For major tasks, you’ll need to employ a highly-trained engineer.
Let’s explore the question: Can I install Savant myself or do I need a pro?
Can I install Savant myself? or is that inconceivable?
While Savant uses a sleek interface that’s easy to operate, designing and installing a system is complex. Firstly, Savant uses a mixture of wireless devices and a wired network infrastructure coupled with custom programming logic.
You need the correct training and experience to design and configure a smart home system. Sadly, you can’t wire a few devices together and learn to programme your Savant system as you go.
It’s cheaper to hire a Savant trained engineer than waste your time trying to master the system’s intricacies.
Comparing Savant and Fibaro is worthwhile. Both systems achieve similar outcomes but use different methods. Fibaro is a DIY-friendly, affordable and easy to install and programme. As a Z-Wave system, devices use low-powered wireless signals to send and receive commands.
As already stated, you can only purchase Savant products from a dealer, and many will insist you use them to install the device. By tightly controlling who can sell products, the brand ensures an excellent customer experience and are free to set the pricing to reflect.
Will my dealer configure and programme my Savant system?
The main benefit of working with a dealer is that they’ll build you a Savant home automation system that’s unique to you and your home. They’ll ensure your system matches your requirements and works how you want it to.
That said, you could spend thousands of hours learning the programming language used by Savant. There is one minor tiny catch with this plan! The software is exclusively available to Savant dealers. You’ll either need to find one willing to sell you a copy or a cracked version from the web.
Even if you’re lucky enough to get a copy of the Savant Software, you’ll still have to figure it out for yourself and won’t be able to call a dealer for some friendly advice. When you do run into problems, you’ll need to hire an engineer who might insist on reprogramming the whole system.
If you’ve purchased a home with a Savant system that needs updating or some modification, you’ll need a dealer. Sadly, there aren’t many Savant trained freelance engineers in the UK. So you’re stuck using your nearest dealer without much choice.
As a Savant owner, you only have access to limited programming options, including software and firmware updates. If you want to add voice control to your system, you can easily integrate Google Assistant or Alexa.
Is hiring an engineer to programme the system going to cost loads?
Savant sets recommended prices for devices, installation, and configuration. However, each dealer can price each project as they see fit. If you have a complex project with a fixed deadline, you’ll pay more compared to installing a simple system that takes a few hours to install.
With a limited number of UK Savant dealers, getting a rough estimate of cost or timescales is impossible. You might find that some offer a free quote service to entice you to use them for a new install. Others will charge a flat price for quotations (new installs and maintenance work).
Unlike with Control4, where we found a London based dealer, Smart Space Group who gives a rough estimate of prices on their website, no UK Savant dealer is as bold. One smart home dealer, Smartave, simply promises transparent pricing without explaining any further.
If design/install/configuration prices are in line with Control4 and Crestron, expect to pay around £150 per hour for an engineer and a day date around £600 (for a 7-hour day of installation/configuration).
Bear in mind, Savant dealers aren’t bound by a certain territory or region. So, you can always try to play one dealer off another as they are competing for your business and should be willing to negotiate a fair price.
If like many who install a high-end home automation system, you feel rude asking the dealer to sweeten the deal. Don’t! There’s nothing wrong with asking for a year or two of support and updates as part of the package. Sometimes, being a little cheeky can pays off!
You might be able to find a Savant trained engineer who does some freelancing on the side of working for a dealer. They’ll offer a cheaper rate but won’t have access to the resources they do with the day job. So it might be worth working directly with a dealer.
Can I update my Savant system?
You can keep your Savant system up to date. You can easily log-in to the online portal and download the latest firmware. Of course, your dealer can update your system, if you’re not comfortable. However, they might charge you for an hour of programming support.
Systems can be updated remotely by a dealer. So, an engineer doesn’t need to visit you. Most dealers charge less for remote work. Shop around for the best price, particularly if you need a routine update installed.
Major updates could cause a chain reaction of issues that only a dealer can solve. While you probably can solve an issue or two caused by an update, it’s unlikely you can troubleshoot multiple problems. So, you’ll need to hire an engineer.
Before attempting to update your system, it’s best to talk to a dealer or an engineer. They can offer you the best advice, as they work with Savant systems daily.
Can I do some of the system programming?
While Savant is easy to use, programming takes skill and experience. So, there’s very little you can programme without needing to call a dealer for help.
If you want some general advice for free, you can try asking members of online forums such as Reddit and AVS Forum. Any advice from these sources is not endorsed or supported by Savant, and so you risk damaging your system.
Don’t try installing or programme Savant yourself!
So, can I install Savant myself, or do I need a pro? You must work with a dealer to design, install and configure your Savant smart home system. There’s no other sensible way of doing it.