Tips for Upgrading to a Smart Home
There is a lot you can automate that can make your home safer, more comfortable, more convenient and even more eco-friendly.
17:20 21 October 2021
You've decided it's time to upgrade to that home of the future you were always promised. The bad news is that we're still not at the stage where you can push a button and have a full meal appear, and robots aren't quite up to the most sophisticated tasks. However, there's a lot you can automate that can make your home safer, more comfortable, more convenient and even more eco-friendly.
Make a Budget
The first step is knowing how much you have to spend. In addition to being able to future-proof your place with smart technology, another advantage of being a homeowner is that you might be able to take advantage of the equity in your home. With a home equity line of credit, you have access to credit you can use as needed. A HELOC does not obligate you to use it, so you can only draw on this as much as you need to. This is a much better choice than credit cards. You can read more about the process and the advantages of a HELOC.
Approach Your Design
Designing a smart home is not all that different from designing other aspects of a home. You should sit down and visualize what you want, then you should think about what you need to have and what you'd like to have. For the latter, let your imagination go wild. There's no telling what might be on the market in a few years’ time. Things to consider are how integrated you want the system to be and whether you plan to live in your house for a long time. There are even apps available to help you plan, dream about, and put into motion, your home design fantasies.
Another thing to consider is whether you want to buy bits and pieces, DIY-style, or hire someone to do a full home installation. The latter may be the right choice if you're looking at integrating several whole-house systems, such as security, lighting and temperature. However, if you'd like to just get your feet wet first, you can certainly begin with just a few off the shelf items to see how you like this brave new world.
It's worth thinking through the infrastructure issues, which includes both making sure you have reliable internet throughout your house and that you have adequate cabling. This might be something to discuss with your installer. In addition, if you are going to be in the home for a while or you simply want to ensure that the property value is preserved, you should think in terms of future proofing, meaning that you will make changes that allow for easier technological expansion in the years ahead.
Choose Your Devices
There are a lot of different options to consider and some will raise the value of your home while others won’t affect it much at all. For example, do you want the temperature of the home controlled via sensors? Would you like a sprinkler system that is able to precisely measure the amount of water your lawn needs? Do you want smart blinds, or do you want to just open the curtains yourself? Is security important to you? Do you want to be able to see who is at your door? What kind of central control panel do you want? Consider your many options carefully.