One objection custom builders often have to making home technology a standard offering is that the gear inevitably adds unwelcome costs to the home’s bottom-line selling price. So when Sean Harron, president of Las Vegas–based Harron Homes, found that more of his ­customers were asking for the technology, he looked for a way to make it standard without increasing his costs.

Harron figured that if he could build his custom homes in four or five months instead of up to one year, the interest charges he would save would help offset the cost of Control 4, the home-automation product he wanted to put in his homes.

Harron Homes successfully streamlined its ­production processes by using Microsoft Project and UDA’s Construction Suite. The software improves communications with subs, most of whom receive production schedules via e-mail, and ensures that all work orders—including change orders—go out on time.

“We’ve managed to keep the cost of the gear under $60,000, but if we can build within 120 days and stay on top of our specs and on top of our ­schedules, that’s at least $37,000 I can save in ­interest charges,” Harron says.

Harron Homes builds about six to eight new ­custom homes a year. Most sell for nearly $2 million and are in excess of 5,000 square feet. Because of its new processes, all of the builder’s new homes now have a complete Control 4 system. This includes control for lighting, HVAC, whole-house audio and video, irrigation controls, security, and even a plasma TV. The homes also come with two touch­screens and three LCD keypads throughout the house.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Las Vegas, NV.