How to Merge Interior Design with Smart Home Technology

How to Merge Interior Design with Smart Home Technology

As an interior designer, you’re probably ahead of the curve when it comes to trends in color, fabrics, and furniture arrangements. But what about smart home technology? Many designers avoid dipping their toes into integrated technology because it seems too complicated, unrelated to design, or frankly, not visually appealing. But adding smart systems to your design portfolio will give you a competitive advantage over other designers in your area. Plus, there are stylish new devices built to blend in with each room’s facade (more on that below).

You don’t need to be a technology expert to add home automation to your interior design process. By partnering with a smart home company, you’ll open yourself up to new possibilities that homeowners will love. Keep reading to discover how Charlotte, NC homes will benefit from approaching technology with style.

SEE ALSO: A Day in the Life with Audio and Entertainment in Every Room

Hidden Screens  

Most designers agree that it’s no longer ‘in’ to arrange a living room or media room around a screen. While we’re more connected than ever, there’s been a recent cultural shift in our approach to technology. Many are taking breaks from their screens in the name of wellness. While we still love our HD screens for shows and films, the presence of large displays does not feel like a relaxing escape from our plugged-in world.  

The solution? Hidden technology, with in-ceiling and in-floor TV mounts that raise and lower a high-definition flat screen at one press of a button. Screens can swivel too, so they can emerge and fit into any space without compromising the room design. Seura’s smart mirrors function as sleek mirrors that display smart home information like a futuristic magic mirror. By tapping on the screen or using voice commands, users can explore everything from the weather to music control on the glass. Equally magical are Seura’s mirror TVs. When the show is over, and the screen is turned off, your client’s TVs will turn into a fully functioning mirror!

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A Day in the Life with Audio and Entertainment in Every Room

A Day in the Life with Audio and Entertainment in Every Room

It’s no surprise that music has proven positive effects on stress levels, moods, and well-being. We all recognize the blissful feeling we experience when music’s turned on at home, whether we’re grilling outdoors or playing a board game. But if your household is like most, you may only have one or two speakers in one room, likely the kitchen or living room. You may find yourself forgetting to turn it on, and weeks may go by before you use the speaker again.

But what if your entire home was equipped with speakers that synch together? As you walk from one room to another, your favorite album will follow you wherever you go. To envision what life is like with a multi-room home audio video system, continue reading below. You may realize that whole home AV is the upgrade that your Lake Norman, NC house needs.  

 

SEE ALSO: 3 Ways to Use Whole Home Audio

Mornings with Music

Whether you’re an early bird or night owl, we all face resistance waking up from time to time. Inspire wakeful mornings with soft, folksy playlists emitted from your whole-home audio system, whether they’re in-wall speakers, floor-standing speakers, or smaller bookshelf models. From your control system app, you can schedule speakers to start playing music at a set time, so rather than endure an annoying alarm, you’ll be greeted by pleasant tunes.

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What is Remote Monitoring?

What is Remote Monitoring?

If you have a smart home system, it will need regular updates and on occasion some repairs. Our team members will come out and work on your system. But what about the moment you need assistance immediately? Remote monitoring gives The Integrated Home the ability to access your smart home from afar. Even if we aren’t that far from your Charlotte, NC property, on many occasions we can still fix your house faster by logging in remotely as opposed to driving down the road. Here is some more information about the benefits of remote monitoring.

SEE ALSO: 3 Signs Your Smart Home Needs an Update

What is Remote Monitoring?

Remote monitoring is the process of monitoring network or other system activities through the use of remote devices. Remote monitoring is often used in the IT world to solve technical problems from any location in the world. There are many benefits to using it for smart home maintenance and repairs.

Save Time

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What is the Best Wireless Thermostat?

What is the Best Wireless Thermostat?

As spring transitions into summer, there’s often a few sporadic temperature changes—not to mention flooding and fog. It’s important to stay on top of your heating and cooling system at all times since it uses up the most energy. You want to stay comfortable all year long, but save money and energy too. Using a wireless thermostat is an easy way to keep track of your home’s temp at all times, and Control4’s smart thermostat is certainly top-of-the-line. As a Charlotte, NC –based, authorized Platinum Control4 Dealer, we not only have quality equipment, but also decades of experience installing Control4 systems. Continue reading this blog to discover how their smart thermostat can improve your home and lifestyle.

Imagine leaving work and stepping outside into the grueling heat. You start to sweat as you rapidly walk to your car so you can turn on the air conditioning. As you start your commute, your smart home turns on the cooling system. By the time you set foot inside, your residence is comfortable, cool and cozy so you can relax after a long day.

Control4 wireless thermostats give you this ability to create a heating and cooling schedule personalized to your lifestyle. So if you usually come home by 6 p.m., you can schedule the thermostat to change the temperature a half hour before so it’s created the perfect environment for you by the time you arrive. By putting your thermostat on a schedule, you also get to save energy and not have to think twice about managing the temperature. Because who wants to come home to a hot house?

The new user interface of the system was developed to make navigating the thermostat easier. Paul Williams, Vice President of lighting and comfort products for Control4 said, “We went back to the drawing board. People are often intimidated by thermostats. So we asked ourselves, ‘how do we simplify the experience?’” Thus, the OS 2.7 version was born.

SEE ALSO: How to Use a Home Energy Management System

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3 Tips for Organizing Your Charlotte Home with Smart Controls

3 Tips for Organizing Your Charlotte Home with Smart Controls

If you have kids or take care of elderly relatives, life can become quite hectic. Additionally, if you have a demanding job or busy schedule throughout the week, managing your home is the last thing on your mind. Smart home automation definitely comes in handy when raising a family. You can save more money for your kids’ futures with an energy management system, keep your Charlotte home secure with remote controls, and keep the kids (or grandparents) on a routine schedule. Keep reading this blog to discover our tips on organizing your North Carolina home with smart home controls.

SEE ALSO: How Can Smart Home Automation Improve Your Concord, NC Residence?

Morning Routine

After a long holiday break it can be difficult to get everyone back on schedule in the morning. Use your Control4 smart home to get your kids up quickly and on time without the hassle. Use your multi-room audio system to play wake-up songs at 6:30 a.m. to get the house moving. If you have young kids, choose a Disney playlist or if you have teenagers pick their favorite album. Each room can be customized so waking up is fun and not a hassle. Include motorized shades in your wake-up scene to let in the morning sun too. Add in house lights, video, and HVAC to create the right environment for starting your day right. If the kids aren’t ready to go to school by 7:30, hit an “alert” button on your phone to make their bedroom lights flash to let them know it’s almost time to leave for school. If you have Control4’s HD intercom system, you can also communicate with your kids upstairs and tell them they have five minutes to move it or else!

After School Routine

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3 Whole House Music Scenes for the New Year

3 Whole House Music Scenes for the New Year

When the New Year arrives, we all take a hard look at what we can improve. We reflect on past memories and set goals for the upcoming year. Perhaps you feel you need to learn how to relax more when you’re not at work, or maybe you want to start exercising more often. Whatever your goals are, music can help! Many studies confirm that music benefits our physical and mental health. Music can motivate you to work out harder, improve your sleep quality, help you cope with pain, and reduce stress among many other health benefits. In this blog, we give you some ideas on how to use whole house music system in your Lake Norman, NC home to help achieve your goals in 2017.

SEE ALSO: How to Expand Your Music Library with Whole House Audio

Party

Good music is an essential ingredient to a fun party. But have you ever had trouble setting up an audio system the day of the event? It’s definitely a buzz-kill when your friends and family are ready to dance to some tunes, but you can’t get the audio system to work. Additionally, if you own just one system, you may have to move it outside or into another room where the main events are happening, which is extra time and effort.

However, when you have a whole house music system, you can turn on your music playlists with just the press of a button and stream it to any room in your house--even outside! All you have to do is pick a source, like Spotify, or create a custom playlist for your party with your personal collection, and then save it to a smart home scene for a later date.

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Dedicated Home Theater or Media Room? What’s Right for my Lake Norman Home?

Dedicated Home Theater or Media Room? What’s Right for my Lake Norman Home?

There are many home theater systems on the market today, which can make it difficult to figure out which one is best. We’ve even written a blog all about your options and the premium brands we offer in the Lake Norman area.

SEE ALSO: The Best Home Theater Systems for Your Charlotte Living Room

In this article we want to cover what type of space is best for your system. Your preferences and needs will determine if a multipurpose media room is better for you, or a dedicated home theater. Continue reading to discover all your options for home entertainment.

Multipurpose Media Rooms

A media room is a great option for families who want to include their home theater system in common areas. A lot of interior designers today are using an open concept in homes so that rooms aren’t divided, which can make the home seem smaller and more confined. Open areas give parents the ability to watch their kids as they cook or clean since they can glance from the stove to the living room. Open concepts are also beneficial for entertaining. You could be preparing drinks in the kitchen and still have a conversation with your company in the dining room or media room. People can also flow from one space to another easily, and all of your décor pieces can be coherent. A media room comes into play by allowing your friends and family to enjoy a variety of activities at any moment. For example, we could hide a TV behind a piece of art or in a mirror so that a living room turns into a home theater instantly with the press of a button. You can have a cocktail party one moment or simply read a book, and then get ready to watch a movie or play a video game the next. Media rooms are both practical and pleasing to look at. One important factor to note is that the quality of your home theater system will not be compromised when we install it in an open area. We can install speakers in the ceiling and in the walls in front of you and back to create the surround sound effect. We also have special projectors and screens that display defined, vivid images even in bright light. The black diamond screen by Screen Innovations can be enjoyed in broad daylight. Be rest assured you’ll get both quality and beauty in your media room.

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Reasons to Consider a Wireless Networking Professional

Reasons to Consider a Wireless Networking Professional

Let’s face it, you really can’t get anything done without Internet access. It’s a byproduct of living in the 21st century. We use our smartphones for everything today, from managing our schedules, checking into the gym, and now controlling our smart home. But what happens when your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) equipment isn’t cutting it? The truth is that it may not be their fault; local ISPs in Lake Norman or Charlotte aren’t built to handle large residences, advanced smart home systems, or high-end audio video components. For these applications you need a trained and knowledgeable professional for wireless network installation. Here are three issues you may be facing right now, and the solutions we offer to solve them.

Let’s face it, you really can’t get anything done without Internet access. It’s a byproduct of living in the 21st century. We use our smartphones for everything today, from managing our schedules, checking into the gym, and now controlling our smart home. But what happens when your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) equipment isn’t cutting it? The truth is that it may not be their fault; local ISPs in Lake Norman or Charlotte aren’t built to handle large residences, advanced smart home systems, or high-end audio video components. For these applications you need a trained and knowledgeable professional for wireless network installation. Here are three issues you may be facing right now, and the solutions we offer to solve them.

SEE ALSO: How Can You Boost Your Home’s Cell Phone Signal?

1.You have a smart home, or many connected devices.

If you have a smart home or are thinking about getting one, a professional wireless network is a requirement, not an option. If you have many connected devices or streaming platforms in a dedicated home theater, you’ll need one as well. High-bandwidth devices put a lot of pressure on home networks, and simply purchasing a faster Internet speed won’t solve the problem. You need a local professional to place routers in the right locations and provide commercial-grade hardware. Higher-quality networks use faster CPUs and memory to process multiple connections at once, and advanced thermal management to keep equipment cool. They also can handle a greater number of connected devices and the intense network traffic.

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Partner with a Control4 Dealer to Build or Renovate Your New Home

Partner with a Control4 Dealer to Build or Renovate Your New Home

So you’ve purchased a new home or piece of property to build one, and you are excited about all of the possibilities. Your options are endless, but the key is that you have to make those important decisions now – in the beginning of the build or renovation process. Will you tear down some walls to create an open concept? Will you put in tile or wood floors? And the most important decision (in our opinion), will you make your new home smart? There are many things you should know about installing smart home automation in a new home. Here are some tips from your local Control4 dealer in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Why should I invest in smart home automation in my new home? 

According to a joint survey done by Coldwell Banker, 28 percent of Americans already own a smart home product, and 91 percent of people who own a smart home would recommend one to others. A survey of more than 500 sales associates affiliated with the Coldwell Banker® brand found that buyers are asking, "How smart is this home?" Nearly two in three (64 percent) of the sales associates surveyed agreed that buyers today are more interested in homes with smart home features and technology than they were two to five years ago. So not only are families and millennials adopting smart home technology products faster, but they are also more willing to invest in a smart home since they believe it will bring them greater benefits long-term.

The most popular features are as follows:

Security and Surveillance Systems: 65%

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How to Expand Your Music Library with Whole House Audio

How to Expand Your Music Library with Whole House Audio

Here's a common scenario: you've purchased or accessed music in different places, causing your music library to be disjointed and unorganized. With so many different music platforms today, it can be confusing to manage your library and also access it quickly and easily. The good news is that technology has advanced immensely allowing you to gather all your songs together into one easy-to-use system. With a whole house audio system – whether it's by Control4, Sonos, or any other audio company – you can stream free music anytime and anywhere in your Charlotte, NC house, or play your personal collection. We created this guide to help you understand how we can simplify your listening experience at home – and give you some organizing tips as well.

SEE ALSO: Prepare for summer fun with outdoor audio video in your Lake Norman home

Seamlessly Stream Music

Music is so easy to access today because we have free stations on the Internet available to us, like Pandora, Spotify, and local radio channels. There are also high-quality music sources that you can pay for and stream in your home. But what's the difference between them and how do you access them easily? The good news is that if you have a Control4 smart home, the system comes with built-in music services, including TuneIn, Deezer, Pandora, and TIDAL. If you have Sonos, it comes with 43 sources, including SiriusXM, Amazon Music, and Rhapsody. Here's a breakdown of how some of these sources differ.

Pandora: Free

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3 Ideas on How to Use Home Automation for Special Occasions

3 Ideas on How to Use Home Automation for Special Occasions

A smart home does much more than just control your lights and TV with your phone. It can automatically start and stop every feature in your Charlotte, North Carolina home without you having to even lift a finger. The magic of automation means that you can customize all of the technology in your home so that it mirrors your day-to-day activities and schedules. In this blog we'll show you how you can create specific scenes for special occasions with your Control4 system. We've got 3 fun ideas to get you started.

SEE ALSO: Make Your Home Smart and Secure With a Control4 Installation Today

1. Pool Party
Summertime is right around the corner which means you'll have more time with the kids or other family members and friends to enjoy the warm weather. Plan a pool party with your smart home system by creating a music playlist and distributing the music to your landscape speakers around the pool and hot tub. Turn on the outdoor Seura TV and stream the football or baseball game. If it's a late-night rendezvous, you can add a lighting setting to the scene and brighten the pool, walkways, and bar area. Hit one button and it all turns on instantly! You'll have this scene at your fingertips all summer long so you can work on that tan and have fun.

2. Movie Night
Whether you have a dedicated home theater or a media room, movie night can be a breeze setting up with this saved setting. Hit a button and the shades will come down to prevent glare, the thermostat will lower to a cool degree, the lights will turn off so you can see the screen better (except for the backlights or walkways so no one trips) and the projector and screen or TV comes on. If you have the Kaleidescape server, you can pick a movie ahead of time, purchase and download it so that it's ready when you are. That way if it's Friday or Sunday afternoon, you're one click away from a fantastic flick.

3. Bake Off or Grill Out
This scene can be created for your kitchen or patio. Get the girls together for a bake off and make cookies or cakes. Or gather the guys for an afternoon grill out and prepare burgers, hot dogs, or ribs on the barbecue. Set the scene in the kitchen by playing some background music, like jazz or acoustic songs; turn up the lights so you have plenty of light to see; lower the solar shades so it doesn't get too hot; and play the Food Network so you can follow the instructions. For the guys, you can turn on a sports show or the radio to stay entertained while you make some amazing food. Cooking or baking doesn't feel like work when you have home entertainment and good company around.

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The Top 3 Benefits of Installing Smart Shades

The Top 3 Benefits of Installing Smart Shades

Spring is not only a time for renewal and fresh beginnings, but many people also do some "spring cleaning" and home renovations. It's also time to re-evaluate those goals we made in January. So why not consider using technology to help you reach your goals and also beautify your Lake Norman, NC home? Installing motorized shades is a great way to spruce up your home décor and also save energy, time, and money. Continue reading to learn all about the benefits of motorized shading.

SEE ALSO: Smart Home News for Control4 System Owners

1. Save Energy

A main reason people decide to install motorized shades is saving energy. Shades are an essential part of a climate control system. They work with lighting control systems and smart thermostats to affect the temperature of your home and reduce energy use.

Solar shades block out UV rays so that your home stays cool, but also let sunlight in so you don't have to keep the artificial lights on all day long. Lutron reports that you can save up to 60% on energy usage by coordinating your shades with a lighting control system, such as dimming your lights and lowering your shades for most of the day. The best part is, your smart home automatically raises and lowers the roller shades or draperies all day long and you don't have to lift a finger. Put them on timers, or hit a button to activate a morning or goodnight scene.

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How Can You Boost Your Home’s Cell Phone Signal?

How Can You Boost Your Home’s Cell Phone Signal?

Are you tired of being relegated to a specific corner of your Charlotte home to get reliable cell phone signal? Our phones are no longer solely used to make calls; we use them to stream our favorite entertainment, control our technology and read up on our favorite topics. This means that when you're designing your home, you should also take into account solutions that get you consistent coverage throughout your space. The Integrated Home does this by installing cell phone signal boosters that extend the reach of your signal.

How do Cell Phone Boosters Work?

Cell phone boosters are made up of an antenna, a signal amplifier, and an indoor antenna. Mount your first antenna where your coverage is the strongest. This can be near a window or even outside. The signal is received by the antenna and passed through a cable to your amplifier which then sends it to your indoor antenna. You can include multiple boosters in problem areas throughout your home.

These boosters also work inversely. There's no need to rely on home Wi-Fi to send out an email. Your smartphone signals just take the reverse route, sending the message to your indoor antenna, to the amplifier and back out through your main antenna.

Why Do You Need Cellphone Boosters?

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The Best Home Theater Systems for Your Charlotte Living Room

The Best Home Theater Systems for Your Charlotte Living Room

With so many new technologies on the market today, you may wonder if it's really worth it to upgrade your home theater system with the newest features in your Charlotte, North Carolina home. We are here to tell you that 4K TVs and the Kaleidescape Movie Server are some of the best products you can add to your family room right now that are well worth the effort. Read on to learn about why 4K is here to stay.

SEE ALSO: Enhance Your Home Theater with a Control4 System Installation

4K TVS

You may be wondering if upgrading to 4K is really worth it. After all, why do all the work of setting up a new home theater system if you like the one you have? The truth is that the newest models of 4K TVs have all of the latest enhancements, including high-contrast, brightness, depth of color, high frame rates, and of course – high resolution. TVs that are in UHD have four times the amount of pixels than HD. This means that you can sit just a few feet away from the screen and not see any of those 8 million pixels. UHD TVs are so detailed and clear that they almost look 3D, like the picture is popping out at you. Also, available 4K content is growing at a rapid pace. UHD Blu-rays were released at CES 2016, and Netflix, VUDU, and Amazon Prime have already started developing 4K content beyond what they already have available for viewing. You can also purchase many 4K movies through the new Kaleidescape Movie Server Strato.

Kaleidescape

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Smart Home News for Control4 System Owners

Smart Home News for Control4 System Owners

Technology is never stagnant. Innovation requires that every gadget or device should constantly be improved upon, and your smart home automation system is no exception. We make sure that you have the latest tech at your fingertips. In this blog we'll cover some of the newest features you can experience from our top partner Control4.

SEE ALSO: 3 WAYS A CONTROL4 SYSTEM CAN TRANSFORM YOUR CHARLOTTE, NC HOME

Wearable Technology

The first time you saw someone talk into their watch to issue an important command, it was probably on Star Trek or in a James Bond film. But today this technology has been realized with the Apple Watch and various other models. According to Forbes, 245 million wearable devices are expected to ship in 2019. People want to wear their tech because it's portable, convenient, and just plain cool. Control4 just released news that you can now control your Control4 smart home with the Apple Watch. Open the Control4 app on your watch and enjoy these features:

Media: See what audio or video that is playing in each room in your house and change volume, add additional rooms, or turn things off.
Thermostats: See all thermostats in your home, adjust the temperature, and apply presets.
Lighting: Control individual lights in any room of your house or activate lighting scenes that control many lights at the same time.
Security: Check status of locks, unlock or lock doors, and open or close garage doors.
Local or Remote: Control your home from the comfort of your couch, or use your watch when you're away at work or traveling.

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Make Your Home Smart and Secure with a Control4 Installation Today

Many residents of Charlotte, NC have learned that installing a Control4 system simply makes your life better. And here at The Integrated Home, our years of experience have taught us that an intuitive home control system from Control4 can fit a variety of needs.

Want to create the ultimate entertainment space for family and friends? Done. Interested in a green home that reduces your carbon footprint? Got it. Focused on making sure your property is secure and your family is safe from harm? We’ll take care of that. No matter what your needs are, an automated Control4 system can be customized to suit your lifestyle.

Interested in knowing what makes a Control4 home so special? Read on to find out:

Simple

Home automation allows you to be able to monitor and manage multiple systems throughout your home, directly from your smartphone or tablet. Control4 allows you to access your home through one easy to use interface that is consistent whether on a phone, in-wall touch panel, or a laptop. With Control 4, your entire home functions together and is accessible from one location. Everyone in the family can turn on the AC, choose a playlist to stream music in any room, or set the home to “away” mode with just a simple press on a touch screen device.

Smart

One of the primary reasons many homeowners decide to add automation to their homes is the enhanced level of comfort that accompanies the upgrade. Remote controlled lighting and shading helps keep your home cool, regulating the amount of sunlight in any room. This not only reduces harsh glare, but helps keep your AC from working overtime. With smart features from Control 4, your entire home becomes a pillar of energy savings and convenience.

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Smart Home Automation Adds Value to Your Property in Several Ways

Smart Home Automation Adds Value to Your Property in Several Ways

Home automation is a growing industry, forecasted to exceed $5.5 billion in 2016. But what exactly is home automation? Imagine all of your devices and appliances are networked together to provide you with seamless control of every aspect of your home.

The team at The Integrated Home has more than 40 years of experience in all facets of the automation industry. Based in Charlotte, we serve clients throughout the region by providing design, consulting, and implementation services for both residential and commercial projects.

Using a smartphone, tablet, or in-wall touch panel you dictate how the various systems in your property behave. Dim the lights, adjust the thermostat, or change the music playing throughout your home all by pressing a button.

Each of our homes and offices are unique spaces with specific needs. We strive to enhance your lifestyle by providing exceptional technology solutions based on what you want. We can upgrade one room in your home or outfit your entire office with advanced technology solutions. We design and install allows for future expansion. We believe in building a technology relationship for the long-term focused on your evolving needs.

    Some of our services include:
  • Control 4® System Installation
  • Media room design, build and implementation
  • Climate control system integration
  • Whole house audio and video
  • Home lighting control systems
  • Central vacuum and indoor air filtration systems
  • Surveillance/access control systems
  • Corporate boardroom integration

Check out our Project Gallery to see snapshots of a few of our projects. Let us customize your home or office with simple, easy-to-use solutions that fit your lifestyle and your budget. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary assessment of your project and to learn more about the team at The Integrated Home.

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2440 Whitehall Park Drive
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Charlotte, NC 28273
(704) 412-4040

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