Look up at the ceiling in virtually every room, and you find a pair of high-performance speakers. The heart of the SpeakerCraft sound system can be found in a small compartment in the lower-level mechanical room, which holds the company's amplifiers and speaker selectors, along with a Home Director MP3 server that can supply music on demand. Each room has its own volume control.
Also in the lower level, Homelink includes a luxurious, dedicated home theater room. What makes it unusual is the modular nature of the Owens Corning Visionaire FX package. "We realized that when the typical builder puts in a home theater, he goes into a Circuit City and pulls out a big book and starts picking products," notes Jeff Van Sloun, a general manager with Owens Corning.
A whole-house audio and a turnkey home theater offer a feast for the senses. A no-brainer for builders, Owens Corning's Visionaire FX system comes with all the hardware and sound balancing panels and can be installed in a single day.
"We have two packages straight off the street that can jump into a standard floor plan. One is 13 feet 1 inch by 19 feet, the other is 16 feet by 21 feet 9 inches." Of course the theaters, which start at about $30,000 complete, aim for high-end builders and buyers, but they easily trump most comparable custom installations. And installation requires very little from the builder in the way of special carpentry or wiring. "We also have a model home program," Van Sloun adds. "Typically, we work with builders for less than half of the cost down, with the balance due at an extended time--or when the model sells." Van Sloun says he expects to eventually develop more economical versions for retrofit and smaller homes.