Reality Check
September 1, 2007

When Bob Cole first heard about Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, he figured it was just another “money-making enterprise” for ABC. But when a builder friend asked Cole, the president of Bob and Ron’s World Wide Stereo, to volunteer for an episode taping in his own Philadelphia backyard, he suddenly had a big decision to make. It’s a decision being posed to custom retailers all over the country as more wide-reaching television networks launch reality shows about home makeover and design. For some industry professionals, like Cole, stepping in front of the camera is paying off big time. “It was beyond all of my expectations,”

Clean Cash
August 1, 2005

Promising quick installations and easy profits, the central vacuum industry looks to custom dealers to get its systems into American homes By Joe Paone Central vacuum, as a product category, has a big consumer awareness problem in this country. Ask the average man or woman on the street about vacuuming, and they'll likely talk about the vacuum cleaners with which we all grew up—bulky machines that you plug into an outlet and walk around a room, machines to which the central vacuum industry refers as "portables." These consumers will ooh and ahh over the latest nationally advertised high-tech products from Oreck and Dyson, or

July 1, 2004

When Bad Install Goes Good By Natalie Hope McDonald In the animal kingdom, they're called predators. In the custom installation business, they're the wayward technicians who wreak havoc on legitimate installers by undercutting estimates and walking away from botched jobs. While these proverbial bloodsuckers can drain business dry, they also pose significant risks to clients who open their doors to a series of problems, debt, and in some cases, suspicion about the custom market in general. It's often up to legitimate installers to do the seemingly impossible, to pick up the pieces and set the record straight. "Unprofessional installers threaten the custom installation

Win, Lose or Draw
October 1, 2003

Bose is going direct to builders. What does it mean to you? By Janet Pinkerton The news that Bose was experimenting with selling direct to builders set off industry alarm bells in late summer. The company initiated a pilot project selling direct with three major developers—with Arvida in Florida, Shea Homes in Phoenix and CENTEX in San Diego. On Oct. 1, Bose and Arvida formally unveiled their alliance, announcing the availability of Bose BUILT-INvisible home entertainment systems as an option in Arvada's Victoria Park development in DeLand, and Artisan Park, in Celebration. All new homes in the developments will be "Bose Ready"—a trademarked phrase—with

Origin of the Species
October 1, 2002

The Evolution of the Modern C-tailer By Jessica Millward> Meet John Q. Public. John loves the idea of a custom-installed home theater in his den. He's also interested in connecting his household PCs into a single networked system. If he was aware of the options, he'd also be a prime candidate for automated lighting and a security system for his home. In shopping for these technologies, John will want to personally experience a broad selection of components and configurations, and will require well-informed advice from an experienced specialist. Being the quintessential one-stop shopper, he'd like all this, and maybe a pair of headphones,