Technological Design Solutions from Site Plan with Mike Steinbach

From Audio / Video Systems to Heating and Cooling Systems, Mike Steinbach of Bend, Oregon’s Site Plan Offers Tech Design Solutions – House Talk Episode 50

Karen Malanga: Hi, this is Karen Malanga with another edition of House Talk.

Today, I’m so happy to welcome Mike Steinbach from Site Plan. And the reason Mike is here is because he did the most fantastic job on the sound system in my home. I wake up every morning, and I’m listening to my favorite songs. It’s so simple. I don’t have all the clutter of my CD’s around.

So Mike, I just want to welcome you to House Talk and let you explain a little bit more about what you do; and then, at the end, how people can reach you.

Mike Steinbach: Thanks! Basically, what we do is we take technology projects that are meant for complex systems that are in homes. A lot of it are luxury homes, from integration to heating and cooling systems, lighting and shades, the audio/video system as well.

So, we work with our clients at the early stages of new builds and remodels, providing home techno design solutions and project management throughout the life cycle of the build.

Karen: And then, you come back to people like me though too and upgrade them.

Mike: Exactly, yeah. So it’s basically a live project all the time.

And what we’re doing is we’re doing one-on-one design concepts with clients, doing product matching and integration, control system programming, technology project management and remove services—so a lot of the jargon that people just kind of gloss over.

Karen: I know! But you couldn’t have made life simple.

Mike: It does!

Karen: Like even offering to contact for pete’s sake Ben Broadband on my behalf. I mean, that just made my day because I can’t stand being on the phone with things like that. And having your connections and all that I think is very helpful to people.

Mike: And that’s what we want to do. Everything should be pretty much simple for everybody to utilize or use and have the understanding of what is going on within their home.

I hear a lot of complaints of services that are being generated at homes. But in the long run, it’s not necessarily the services being delivered to homes. It’s actually what’s inside that’s causing the disruption.

So, we come in and we take a look, find out what’s going on. And then, from there, basically, like at your places, I contacted the cable company to make sure what’s going on, set things up as needed.

And on the backend part of that, we’re actually saving people money from their monthly programs that they’re typically using. I had a client that we actually saved $70 for their services that are being generated. The downside was, over 10 years, they’ve paid over seventy grand for things that they didn’t necessarily need to do.

Karen: Yeah, but better late than never.

Mike: Right! So, we have that in mind as well as being budget conscious.

So, usually, there’s an expense of product upfront. But then the long-term outweights the upfront cost because it basically pays for itself, and then you’re utilizing it throughout the life cycle of your stay.

Karen: Yeah! And one thing I’d like to mention because you talk a lot about remodels and coming in at the beginning of a construction project, just for our listeners to understand, my house was built in 1929, and you were still able to bring it up to 2017.

Mike: Yeah, up to date.

Karen: We’re not quite finished, but we’re on our way, right?

Mike: Right, right.

And one of the things I hear is that technology is so complicated or “I’m not good with computers.” Well, you shouldn’t have to be. You should be good with your fingers and just being able to touch things and make them work. Everything should be easy to use at this point especially in this day and age.

So, having somebody that can explain in easy terms of how you’re going to actually use and operate something—if it doesn’t come to me, and I have to figure out for just a few minutes of like, “What is going on here?”, I can’t deploy that for somebody.

Karen: Yeah.

Mike: So it needs to be very easy even for me because if  it’s not easy to use, you don’t use it.

Karen: That’s so true.

Mike: And one of the requests that you had was I need a CD player to put into this as well…?

Karen: Yeah! No, no, I don’t.

Mike: And then, the next day, it was like, “Nope, don’t need it.”

Karen: I woke up in the morning, and I had created my first Sonos playlist and I was rocking out with my coffee to my old favorites. Oh, my gosh! I don’t need any CD’s.

Mike: And the simplicity of using—just the basics is what we did. It made you use it the next morning.

Karen: It was so easy.

Mike: So, I guess on a normal day prior to that, would you have done anything that morning?

Karen: Hmmm… probably not.

Mike: Right!

Karen: And the way you set it up too, I was showing my 5-year old grandson, and I gave him access to my phone, and he was figuring out how to turn it on, and then he walked over, and he just touched it and it turned off…

Mike: Yeah!

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Karen: Yeah, he’s going to give me his favorites. We’re going to put them on there together. He can easily do it himself. So if a 5-year old can do it…

Mike: So it’s really easy to use. We make it simple.

When we look at a home—I just went and looked at one last night—we look at the overall aesthetic value of that place too. A lot of times, you get people say, “I want a huge TV. And I want it in this space.” And then, we look at it and we’re like, “But really, you’re going to take away from the design concept of that room,” whether it be there’s a fireplace there. We looked at the TV and like, “Oh, your TV is a little too high.” “Really?!” “Yes.” And I just explained why and showed why. “That makes perfect sense. You’re right. We do do this.”

So, just having some minor adjustments in those things, and making the room look really nice the way that it’s supposed to, the way it was designed and the way that people had that intention actually helps out in the long run because then you really enjoy it. You don’t want to see things in there that don’t belong. Cords running down the wall, you don’t want to see that. That just totally messes with the room in itself. And no one wants to go in there.

I’ve seen office spaces where people are not as efficient or effective in their office space because of all the clutter in cabling and wiring. So we actually have gone in and cleaned the entire section up. And everything is right there plug and play. And they enjoy going back into their office. So even simple things like that…

Karen: I need you to do my office.

Mike: Really, when you visually see something, it triggers something in you, whether you like it or you don’t like it or…

Karen: Yeah!

Mike: So, looking at all these aspects of a design really take place, not just to put something in that we feel “This is going to be the best. It’s going to do this. And you’re going to have all these stuff right here” that doesn’t make sense.

Karen: Well, I’ve so enjoyed what you’ve done for my home and my family’s homes and my friends’. You have such a great reputation. So, what’s the best way for someone to contact you?

Mike: Believe it or not, I always answer my phone.

Karen: Then what’s your phone number?

Mike: 541-508-8696.

And the reason I typically do that versus just sending you an email or anything else is because  I want to understand what somebody is looking at doing. And so I’m going to have a question no matter if you email me or not that you’re going to need to answer for me. So either way, we’re going to talk. So the quicker I do that, the quicker I get a hold of you, the better.

Karen: Okay, perfect! Thank you so much for being on House Talk!

Mike: Thanks!

Karen: I appreciate it.

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