Installations: Let Us Entertain You

While it might take a village to raise a child, it takes an army and lots of time to build an estate! Custom Theater and Audio (CTA) in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, where I work as lead system designer, was recently involved in all aspects of the A/V design and installation for Phil and Janet Pate's new home in North Myrtle Beach. At more than 10,000 square feet, the house certainly didn't spring up overnight; once ground was broken, this project took nearly 2 years to complete.

From the outset, Phil's main goal was clear. "We entertain a lot, so I wanted the home to cater to that aspect of our lifestyle," he says. "Typically we'll have 20 to 30 people over on the weekends, and during the first month we were here, we had a wedding reception with over 65 people. Design-wise, we wanted an Old World, Mediterranean look, but it was important that the house be able to incorporate all of the features we wanted for entertaining."

Rod and Sandy Edwards - president and vice president, respectively, of Innovative Design Build - were the contractors responsible for pulling this immense project together. "The most exciting aspect was the ability to use quality people and materials from all over the world," Rod says. "The challenge was bringing all of the wants and desires of Mr. and Mrs. Pate into the project. They have a gift for hospitality, and every inch of their home was built to share with family and friends. And since they've traveled the world and have a great appreciation of all elements of architecture, our goal in building their home was to deliver the details - from that first impression as you pull into the driveway right up until you leave."

Since the earliest meetings, Phil was an ideal client. He would describe the kind of system he wanted - like having accessible audio throughout the home, a large outdoor audio system, video camera surveillance, and a dedicated media room - but then leave our company with the freedom to work up the specifics. Whenever we posed a question, Phil nearly always responded, "How would you do it if it were your home?" - placing his trust in us to choose the best components for the job.

Embarking on a project this big is daunting. With so many systems needing to be wired together, it takes careful planning to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that nothing gets overlooked. Because this house has two stories, concrete walls, and incredibly tall ceilings, chances are that if we missed something during construction, we wouldn't be able to retrofit it later.