Staying connected

Switch looks to change lives, one installation at a time

by Lauren Dowdle, content director, JBMC Media

A home theater, video conference center at work, and security system all sound amazing. But, figuring out how to install them is anything but. That’s where Switch Audio Video comes into play. The company helps customers integrate different technologies into their lifestyles, allowing them to enjoy the benefits and none of the hassles.

Justin and Whitney Hardy and their children.

Justin Hardy, owner of Switch, left his job as a structural engineer and started Switch 12 years ago because he wanted to make money to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring. Luckily, both endeavors worked out, as his business has grown, and he and his now-wife, Whitney, have three children. “I just love this business,” he says. “I was imagining what I wanted to do when I retired when I started Switch, so I’m living the dream.” 

Switch offers high-quality design, installation, and service for security, surveillance, AV automation, conference rooms, music systems, home theaters, and more. They have both residential and commercial customers and often will work on someone’s house and later their business, or vice versa. 

They don’t bid on projects, but instead, they talk with clients about their specific needs and then come up with a solution to help make their lives better. Improving customers’ lives with their services has become their mission.

Home theatre created by Switch AV in Homewood. Photographed by Tommy Daspit, an architectural and interiors photographer in Birmingham.

“We want to make it simple for people because there’s a lot of complexity behind what Justin and his team do,” says Whitney, who also works with the business part time. “At the end of the day, you want to sit down and enjoy watching TV with your family or have peace of mind that your home is safe when you’re away.”

And they’ve continued to provide that level of satisfaction to customers, even during these changing times. Justin and his team were ahead of the game with video conferences when the pandemic hit, allowing them to offer virtual consultations for customers. They’re also receiving more calls from companies looking to add video conferencing abilities. “We’re trying to do everything as virtual as we can,” Justin said. “I designed an entire audiovisual system over FaceTime.”

Beyond their customers, Justin is also looking to have an impact on local entrepreneurs. They recently purchased a building, now called the Switch building, in Homewood to provide office space for business incubators. The hope for the invitation-only facility is to give small businesses an inexpensive place to collaborate. Rent will range from $250 to $500 a month and is set to open in October.

This video display at Brasfield & Gorrie, installed by Switch, welcomed summer students to the company from universities across the nation.

“Iron sharpens iron,” he says of having a place for them to come together. “It helps us be better business owners and people.” Encouraging others is nothing new for him, according to Whitney. He’s also involved with the Birmingham chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), having served as its president and now as a board member. “He has a passion for entrepreneurship and helping people succeed in business,” she says.

So whether someone is looking to improve their technology or even their own business, Switch has them covered.

The Switch building is located at 297 W. Valley Ave. in Homewood (map). For more information, visit


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