Support The support available for home automation solutions products can vary widely, but will generally be of higher quality and more responsive from a custom integrator. Although the background support provided to the integrator by the manufacturer can affect your experience significantly.

For those installing solutions themselves the support available from a retail outlet, if available at all, is generally limited to the product documentation available to the support person. Due to the number of products sold by these outlets (e.g. SmartHome claims to offer 5000 products) the support tech may just suggest you contact the manufacturer directly or point you to a section of the documentation. If you contact the manufacturer you may be limited to email or a web site form as opposed to a phone number you can call for tech support.

On the other end of the spectrum, higher-end home automation manufacturers who sell exclusively through dealers provide quality support to those custom integrators as they represent the "face" of the manufacturer to the homeowner. Some manufacturers have product lines that enable their own tech support staff to connect directly to their system in the home via the Internet to collect diagnostic information and work directly with the on-site integrator to resolve the system issue. The bottom line is the support you receive will be totally dependent on the knowledge and experience level of your custom integrator with the product line, and the effectiveness of the training and background support provided by the manufacturer.