Is home automation a priority for your home renovation project? Or is it a matter of “Great if you can fit it into the budget”?
Home automation has an extensive range of levels of complexity. From the high-end, which requires dedicated wiring, to the simplified yet sophisticated setups using Wi-Fi.
Home technology is growing at an ever-accelerating pace. Intelligent assistants are everywhere on our phones, in our cars and our television sets. Many families are considering installing some special new features for their household.
For me, a decision to include the feel and comfort of home automation is great if you have consulted a checklist of priorities for your renovation project.
Will It Compromise Your Main Home Renovation Objective?
Maximising floor space and improving the layout of the house are the typical reasons why we plan a home extension and renovation. We want to brighten up our living areas and provide additional, comfortable spaces for our family.
A home design with added technology can certainly give your home an added touch of convenience. Yet you will have to consider if the costs for adding a lot of automation may be better spent on the renovation itself. You may select the option of using WiFi and easily add many of your smart devices for home automation at any time that suits you.
High-end Wired Systems or Wi-Fi for Your Automated Home?
If you are wanting a high-end level of home automation there are smart-home professionals to guide you on the most appropriate choices, as this is a very specialised field.
Security with a video doorbell is one of the first choices for home automation. Other choices are multi-room entertainment, steaming music and videos throughout the house, and climate control etc. Smart lighting can reduce your power usage, set a mood, wake you up gently or switch the lights on and off for security while you are away.
If you want all the electronics in your home networked though one system, this will need to be custom designed and specified. In consultation with your smart home professional, your home designer can integrate these systems into the floor plans. This will include the specified wiring and dedicated spaces, for example a dedicated cupboard for the servers.
Technology changes very quickly – certainly faster than e.g. walls. Therefore, a Wi-Fi system with extensive integration using intelligent assistants from Apple, Google, or Amazon, may be the right option for you and your family.
Today you can add intelligent light bulbs, smart wireless home speakers or Wi-Fi power points instantly to a home. Generally, all these devices are easy to install into existing homes without construction work required.
Budget for Home Automation
If you are planning on extensive automation, decide on your overall renovation budget first.
Work with your designer on your priorities for the home. How does your family want to live in your home and how will home automation fit into these plans?
Secondly, consult with a smart-home professional regarding the specific automation features you are seeking. He or she will help you determine how you can best achieve your vision.
Typically, your budget, not your imagination or that of your professionals, will be the determining factor on what is possible.
Your designer and your smart-home professional will need to work together to achieve an integrated design solution for your home.
Pursuit of High Capital Value
Including home automation can increase your property’s value. Just be clear that home automation systems are a matter of personal preference. So, the appeal may be somewhat limited.
Are you planning to stay in your home for a long time or to sell in the next few years? Consider how long-lasting the installed technology is likely to be. Will it add value to prospective buyers? For example, embedding a 45-inch, retractable, LCD television in the wall is unlikely to add to your home’s value ten years from now.
Comfort, Entertainment and Security
Installing automated lighting systems and multi-room streaming are wonderful additions to a home. The same goes for security cameras that can alert you to danger or allow you to communicate with loved ones.
Talk with you designer about the best way to achieve a home that provides comfort, entertainment, and security.