The first thing many people say when deploying a wireless network in a new location is "get a site survey".
For a large deployment involving hundreds of AP's, I can see the wisdom in paying for a site survey as it gives a good baseline for the deployment and saving 10 nodes can more than pay for the survey (especially since they are likely to be expensive "enterprise" quality nodes).
But in a small deployment with < 10 nodes, is a formal site survey worth the money?
I've been quoted prices between $300 - $500 for a small office site survey and for that price, I could just add 3 - 5 additional nodes. (assuming something like the "cheap" Ubiquiti $100 nodes that would be typical in a small office deployment, not $1000+ Cisco or Meraki nodes).
I've overseen 100+ node deployments where I felt the survey was well worth the money, but I've also spent $500 on site survey for 3 node deployments where I felt that the site survey was overkill and I could have added 3 more nodes to cover areas where signal proved to be inadequate (and indeed have added nodes beyond what the site survey said was "optimal"). And that "site survey" consisted of some diagrams showing theoretical (ideal) node coverage along with a walkthrough with a high gain antenna showing potential wifi coverage at a (relative) few points.
Is there some rule of thumb to determine when a site survey is worth the money?