Everyone wants more and better tech these days (like this perfect theater room from the 2016 Artisan Home Tour from Lecy Bros. Homes and Remodeling) before you decide how to proceed, check out these great tips from our guest blogger, Ann Neal.
If you are a homeowner, sooner or later you will consider remodeling your house to suit your needs and modern lifestyle. Whether you want more space or desire to upgrade the household amenities, remodeling could be the best time to think of automating your dwelling as well. Smart homes can seem like the ultimate point in luxurious living. The good news is that it is reasonably priced and rather easy to set up. A smart home not only makes your life comfortable, but also saves you time and effort.
If you have been thinking of automating your home, here are 5 things that you must bear in mind as you go the smart way.
1. Read, Research and Prioritize: You will find a wealth of information and ideas on smart homes in home interior magazines and on the internet. Before you start the process, it is wise to read on the concept of smart homes and the various possibilities involved. Go through the infinite picture galleries for innovative ideas. This will help you understand what applies to your needs and lifestyle. Spend time reading about the type of automation system you would like to install. Ask for basic information related to the sensors, the controllers and the linear actuators involved. It will help if you have knowledge about them.
Though a smart home is expected to make life easy, your system will be a complex design. Talk to professional who can work with you closely on this. A good dealer offering smart home solutions will be happy to show you how a smart home works. He will also offer to take you to on a tour of an existing installation project. Gather all the information you can as it will help you make the right decision.
Dream big, but start small. Instead of automating everything, in the beginning itself, it is best if you choose only those appliances that are genuinely important to you. Establish your priorities. Think about the things that annoy you. Do you worry about the lawn sprinkler being on? Are you thinking about a window being left open? Think of the mundane tasks that take up most of your time and energy. When needs are clearly identified, it is easier to decide on which products to buy first.
2. Choose Compatible Systems: With smart homes being the latest trend, the products available in the market have an undeniable coolness factor attached to them. The only issue is that each of these gadgets is standalone and can be controlled with an application unique to them. Thus, if you have multiple smart devices, they will further complicate your life instead of making things easier. To avoid this, choose the physical hub first. Once you know the wireless technologies that your hub is compatible with, you will be able to choose the devices accordingly. Samsung-owned SmartThings and Wink Hubs are quite popular in this segment.
An integrated level of control will help you control every smart device from a single interface. You can choose from various home-automation systems. Samsung Smart Home app and the BeHome247 home automation systems allow you to connect an array of smart devices together. Thus, you can control everything using your smartphone or laptop.
3. Determine the Specifics before You Start: A good interior design magazine may show you a tempting picture of your future smart home. If you are hiring a contractor, discuss the scope of work, cost of materials, the timelines, and the preparations involved. A number of projects start off as small, but you may come across unforeseen circumstances along the way. For example, bringing down a kitchen wall could lead to an unwanted electrical or plumbing surprise. Moreover, if your house is an old construction, you should be prepared for mold, leaking pipes and infested wood. Make sure you discuss these things with the expert involved.
Ensure you have all your components before you start work. In case you are ordering the smart devices and other materials online, everything you ordered must be with you. Often, deliveries of bulk goods get delayed. If that is the case, postpone the remodeling process. You do not want your kitchen and bathroom to be inoperable until these components arrive.
4. Think about Power and Network Access: Devices like door locks are powered by batteries, but others aren’t. You must think about the source of power for each of your smart devices and how you will keep the wires from cluttering your rooms. Consider installing multiple power outlets with USB ports in inconspicuous locations. This will not only offer a reliable source of power, but also make your house look organized.
Your in-home network is going to run the show. Before you start installing smart devices, it is wise to consider the location of your router. For example, if your router is placed in the basement or in a remote corner of the house, the radio waves will not be able to travel through the concrete foundations. Install your router at the center of your property to ensure strong and consistent network.
5. Follow Regulations: As a homeowner, you are entitled to remodel your house, but it isn’t a fair game if you aren’t complying with the codes and regulations of the society/neighborhood you live in. Before you start bringing down the walls of your bathroom, consider checking the local neighborhood codes. If you are thinking of remodeling your exteriors, you must involve the building inspector. Pouring a structural foundation or installing an electrical or mechanical component outdoors can affect your neighbors. Thus, it is best to go by the rules. Automating your home can be fun and is, without doubt, an experience in itself. Over the past couple of years, the demand for smart home solutions has gone up. With the hype that prevails in this segment, it could be tempting to scoop up every available smart gadget. However, this is not the right strategy. The above-mentioned tips will help get started so that you are able to enjoy the perks of your brand-new smart home.
Ann Neal is a writer with a keen interest in fashion, family, parenting tips, health and lifestyle topics. She is passionate about music and loves to play guitar in her free time with her cute pooch listening quietly ;). Tweet her: @Ann_G_Neal