Saturday, June 11, 2011

Meeting with Guardian

Continuing my theme of a busy week...

We met with Guardian yesterday.  The guy was very nice, and very helpful.  I wasn't expecting that, particularly since he had called earlier in the day, desperate to change the appointment because of some crises that was happening.  I had already taken time off from work and re-arranged my schedule, so it just wasn't an option to change.

BF and I spent some time earlier in the week agonizing over the stereo system.  We don't want to wall mount the tv, and we already have a really nice stereo, and really nice speakers.  But I don't want to see the speakers hanging off the wall.  I also really don't want to look at speakers in the wall.  Its a home, not a Best Buy.  It seems that we limit the set-up of the room by putting speakers in the wall now.  I don't know where things are eventually going to go, and would like to have the flexibility to move things around at will, without worrying about whether the rear speakers are actually pumping out sound to my left.

Besides, I actually really don't like surround sound.  When I'm watching a movie, and I hear a loud bang or thunder coming from behind me, it usually scares me.  And then when I hear voices from behind me, I always think its the neighbors being loud and obnoxious.  Then realize its the tiny little speaker behind my ear.  (can you tell I'm really not a movie person?)

So, we decided we didn't want any in-wall speakers or set up.  We will find a way to make the existing sound system work.  The Guardian rep was actually very helpful with this and told us that because we don't have a finished basement, wiring the family room would be very easy.  True.  He made that decision very easy.

We also don't want an alarm system.  I've never had one, and never want to be that untrusting of my fellow humans.  And, I don't want the hassle of turning it on and off, and dealing with false alarms.  And I don't want any extra monthly expenses.  Even if it was free, I think I would skip it.

So that left us with just the cable jacks.  And unlike what a lot of people have done, we are not going to pay for the 6-pack of data outlets.  The house comes with a certain number of phone/cable jacks.  We deleted the land-line, so we won't be wired for a real phone, which I haven't used in 4 years.  And we used the rest for cable jacks in 3 bedrooms and the family room.  Verizon Fios is available, so we will get everything we need out of the cable jacks.

Total additional cost for wire upgrades = $0.

I really appreciate the Guardian reps information, patience and problem solving.  He clearly realized that we wanted to reduce costs, and helped us find a way to do it, instead of pushing electronics on us that we didn't want or need.  I was quite pleased.

Now maybe I can use some of the money we were once thinking about using for in-wall speaker pre-wire for a countertop upgrade... Did anyone choose Corian instead of granite?


  1. In the 50 plus blogs i don't think I ever remember anyone doing the Corian instead of the Granite...most folks stick with the laminate countertops instead of Granite and pick one of the colors that looks just like Granite...they really do look awesome.

    As for Guardian, I wasn't thrilled with having speakers built into the walls either, so instead we are going to have the speakers installed in the ceiling. The ceiling mount speakers are directionally adjustable. Not saying you should consider this at all, just throwing it out there for other's to have the information. I have not seen too many setups with everything in the ceiling.

  2. Here is an article comparing Corian to Granite:

    Not long. But gives you the plus and minuses of both.


    Plus: Is cheaper and lasts just as long as granite. Can also be cleaned with cleaners, but most just wipe it down with sponge and water.
    Minus: Cannot put hot pans and such on it like you can granite. It will melt. And it scratches very easily.

    Plus: Last long time, can put hot things right out of the oven or off the stove on it. Easily cleaned with wet sponge, virtually scratch proof.
    Minus: More expensive, you must seal it, cannot use normal cleaners on it (only ones made for natural stone).

  3. The only thing I got out of guardian was a tv mount prewire we did not get anything else out of guardian.

    Good info. Noey, thanks. I never once thought of corian never crossed my mind till now.

  4. Thanks BD & Noey. I've been semi-agnonizing over it. I know granite countertops can add value to a home, but four grand for a counter seems excessive, especially because I can't spray 409 on it. Corian seems kinda retro-80's. Maybe the laminate will work out. There are certainly a lot of colors to pick from.

    BD - interesting idea about the ceiling speakers! Maybe we will do that in the basement if we ever finish it.

    I can't wait until I'm done, done, done picking out stuff so I can stop the voices in my head! :)

  5. If you want to do in wall speakers later, it's really easy to fish wires in your interior partition walls because there is no insulation. Even the insulated walls aren't too bad to fish wires in if you are careful not to break through the kraft paper.

    We have Corian counters at our firehouse and I'm not a huge fan. They look and feel like plastic, which essentially they are. Search for an independent granite contractor. Around here you can get for $40/sqft what Home Depot/Lowes sells for $80/sqft. I never had problems with my granite at our old house. Sealed it per instructions and used granite cleaner on it. No big deal.

  6. You might also consider Quartz countertops. DuPont sells it under the Zodiac brand name. They are less expensive then Granite and look really nice AND you don't have to seal them. We replaced the laminate countertops in our current house about 5 years ago and have not had one problem with them. You also can't spray your 409 on them, but we haven't had anything on them that dishsoap and water didn't get right up. They look exactly like they do the day they were put in. Not sure about all countertop materials, but we ordered the thinner 3/4" inch, which was cheaper and because it was lighter we were also able to get a seamless counter top. Also, because they are Quartz they sparkle.

  7. Thanks NKY and BD. I think the corian probably does look a little institutional. I like the idea of quartz and or recycled glass. I get the idea that upgrading this as a custom option would be really expensive, but could certainly do it later.