The Internet of Things (IoT) makes “the home of the future” available now. Advances in technology make household tasks easy at the touch of a button or a simple voice command. New home technology turns your home’s WiFi into a command center whether you’re sitting on the couch or out shopping.
If you have someone in your household who has trouble turning on lights, opening and closing curtains or shades or doesn’t want to answer the door, adaptive home technology can make life easier for them, too.
When you meet with your architect to discuss your home plans, it’s important to mention what you want to include. More than a faucet that works by voice or remote-controlling your dinner from your smartphone, your new home’s technology shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Before Or After Construction?
Many homeowners end up installing a home automation system in an existing home or after their new home is completed. But that’s not necessarily a good idea.
One of the biggest factors in installation is the state of the home’s electrical wiring. Will it support your system? Even with a newly built home, you may need a licensed electrician to review and update the wiring in your home, adding to the cost of installation.
You can purchase DIY systems, or you can have a professional install a more robust system for you. Discussing your smart home system with your architect will allow the home’s design to support the system. It also gives you a better idea of the costs involved and the type of Internet service you’ll need to run and support everything.
It’s certainly possible to add everything IoT to your home, but might not be necessary. It’s up to you to decide which features are the most important.
Most homeowners choose to automate:
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
- Home security
- Energy efficiency, usage monitoring, and control
- Entertainment and home theaters (including TV, streaming, and music)
- Lighting, indoor and outdoor
- Exterior sprinkler systems (in areas that use them)
Whole-home automation systems are the most expensive and complicated to install but offer the greatest benefits. It’s important to ensure that all the systems are compatible for complete automation.
What Smart Home Technology Can Do
More than just turning on your coffee pot in the morning, a home technology system allows you to control things from anywhere.
- A video doorbell can tell you who’s at your front door. You can open the door for guests or allow a delivery person to drop off a package inside the front door.
- A garage door controlled by a smartphone app
- A smart lock that connects to both WiFi and speaker/voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Nest Hub and others, unlocking via voice and smartphone apps.
- “Nanny Cam” monitors for babies, small children, and pets
- Automatic feeders that feed your pets on a schedule
- Smart pet doors that only let your animals in and out
- A home security system that alerts you to environmental threats such as smoke, fire, leaks, and flooding.
- Remote-controls for shades, curtains, and ceiling fans
- A smart refrigerator with an interior camera to see what’s in it without opening the door
- A voice-controlled smart thermostat connected with the voice assistant to turn your HVAC system on, off, up, or down, set schedules for different temperatures, and monitor your home’s usage.
- A vacuum cleaner that works automatically, on your schedule, and also learns the layout of your home.
To run any or all of these devices, your home’s system must be big and robust enough to handle as many or as few as you want. Your architect can help you decide on how much or little you’ll want to automate.
A home with smart home technology built-in will also be appealing to potential buyers and may have an increased resale value.
Be aware that many “smart appliances” require subscription services and monthly fees that add to the cost of not only installation but continued use of the product. You may also need occasional support and maintenance for the system and/or the appliances themselves.
Dreaming Of A Smart Home? Let Pro Draft Help
Let Pro Draft help with architecture, drawings, blueprints, permits, and everything else you need to build your new smart home. Make your new home totally smart or just automate what you need. From planning to drawings to construction, we’ll work to make sure your project is done to your specifications and your needs.