The HTA Budget Calculator

Every home being built or remodeled today has technology needs that savvy architects, designers, and builders will need to be aware of and plan for. Consumer awareness of Wi-Fi, “smart home” technology, intelligent thermostats, voice control, and video doorbells is widespread and requested.

Whereas in years past only tech enthusiast clients asked for what might have been considered out-of-the-ordinary technology requests, even the least tech-savvy clients today need secure, fast, and reliable Internet / Wi-Fi, wired locations for televisions, a security system, climate control, and a video doorbell.

And once a client is introduced to the safety, convenience and fun factor of lighting control, motorized shades, and other smart home products, they will often request these features. Surround sound systems and dedicated home theater spaces have been popular for years and represent other home features that need to be planned for early for best results.

Recent technology trends such as Natural Light / tunable color temperature lighting, using technology for health & wellness, and energy management systems show that technology will be making further inroads into building design and quality of life for the occupants.

A chart of the value of home technology.

The challenge for design and building professionals for many years has been…how much do all of these technology amenities cost, who is best qualified to install them, who can make them easy for my clients to use, and who is going to provide ongoing service and support?

The Home Technology Association (HTA) has the answer for these questions. The HTA has as its stated mission: “Helping homeowners and home design and building professionals find qualified home technology installation firms for their home construction projects.”

The Home Technology Association’s Board of Advisors includes a “who’s who” list of key manufacturers and thought leaders in the consumer electronics industry, including leaders from: Sony, Lutron, Crestron, Savant, Control4, Dana Innovations (Sonance & TRUFIG), Leon speakers, CE Pro, and Azione Unlimited.

Beyond creating the industry’s first and only certification program for home technology professional (HTP) companies, the Home Technology Association created the first and only consumer-facing technology budget calculator. Click here to use it.

A screen shot of the HTA Budget Calculator.
Photo credit: Screen shot taken of the HTA Budget Calculator

The calculator presents a series of multiple-choice questions about their project and then delivers an incredibly useful budget range by system. It includes all the major home technology systems: prewire, house music systems, TV systems, home theater & media rooms, wired and Wi-Fi networks, alarm, security cameras, lighting controls, motorized shades, and smart home control systems.

Now you, the design professional, have a neutral and authoritative source to share with your clients so they can budget for the technology systems that meet their particular needs. Since the budgeting tool is interactive, clients can see cause & effect of different technology options in real time. The calculated budget range is understandably fairly large between the low and high numbers as it works across the entire country (different labor rates) and accommodates systems from simple and basic to very high-performance.

Once a budget range is calculated, you are next guided to find qualified Home Technology Professionals that meet the Home Technology Association’s high standard of excellence using their designer-finder search engine. The HTA certifies HTP’s at three different tiers (Foundation, Luxury, and Estate) based on company capabilities and project size / complexity, and experience. That is how they are able to guide clients to the best companies in their locale.

Why is this tool so important to you as a design professional and your clients? Several reasons are highlighted in this article on the Home Technology Association’s website > How Home Design and Build Professionals Partner with Home Tech Firms. Once you review the bullet points there, you will appreciate how important the budgeting tool is, and you will appreciate finding the best-qualified HTP’s that understand how to work with design professionals in a collaborative process.

The budget calculator will be permanently linked on the AIBD website here. Be sure to bookmark this calculator as it will prove to be invaluable tool for you and your clients.

If you would like to keep your finger on the general pulse of home technology systems, you can subscribe to HTA’s newsletter. A few times a year you will be presented with articles on home tech that will affect your profession and how your clients live in their homes. Subscribe at this link.

Photograph of a home installation by REALM.
Photo Credit: Installation by REALM

Article written by Josh Christian, Director of Certification for the Home Technology Association. Josh may be reached through the HTA’s website at Be sure to follow the Home Technology Association on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Home Technology Association logo.

1 thought on “The HTA Budget Calculator”

  1. This HTA Budget Calculator is very important in controlling the lighting at home. Most people have different tolerance in the intensity of light so this calculator is very useful to determine the right light intensity for the specific homeowner.

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