Smart home. Home automation. Smart security. These will be terms you’ll begin to hear more often this year as they are fast becoming household names. Smart home tech is an addition to your home or investment property that is designed to maximise the lifestyle of the home’s occupants and even increase the value of the property.
Eventually smart home technology will be a feature home buyers will expect to see when considering the purchase of their next property, so why not install it now and enjoy its benefits before selling?
A smart home should be considered as an investment, not just a product. For instance, they can help you manage energy costs by monitoring the power consumption of your smart lights, connected appliances or any electrical devices you have linked to your system.
You’ll start to realise how much of an advantage having a smart home system truly is almost immediately after installation. As with any investment, there are a few important factors you should think about before taking the plunge.
What to think about before upgrading to a smart home:
Planning your smart home
Budget is of course the most important consideration. If you’re on a tight budget but still looking to upgrade your home, it might be worth starting small and gradually adding on to your system as you see the benefits of each solution.
Most smart devices are a one-time purchase, but if you decide to have your system installed by a professional, extra charges may be involved on top of the equipment costs, such as a consultation, installation fees, and if you have monitored security, a monthly subscription bill with your security company.
So, you want to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into before installing any smart home devices in your property. The concept behind making your home ‘smart’ is to identify and help solve certain ‘pain points’ in daily home life.
For example, do you hate coming home to a dark home? Smart lighting would help solve this problem. Do your kids have a habit of forgetting to lock the front door or leaving the fridge wide open? A connected front door lock or a small contact sensor on the fridge door will help ease these headaches, as you can check the door and lock it if need be from say your bedroom or workplace.
DIY vs professional installation
The benefits and pitfalls of adding smart home technology yourself over having a system professionally installed will be something you’ll need to consider in your budget and planning stage.
Installing connected devices on your own is really simple if you have only one or two smart devices. Remember if they’re not the same brand or platform, you may need different apps to be able to control them remotely, which means they may not connect with each other or work as seamlessly as you want. Also, note that if one of your connected devices malfunctions you’ll have to work out the problem and fix it yourself.
The advantage of opting for professional installation is the support, experience and training that comes with it. The company you decide to go with will know the products they install inside and out and know exactly how to fix them. Quite often if there is a problem with programming of your system, say your lights don’t turn on at sunset, your installer can fix the issue remotely, so they don’t need to come into your home and inconvenience you with an in-person appointment. A professional can also suggest additional automation or alternative fixes to solve all your different ‘pain points’.
You might not feel like you need it, but integrating your smart home system with home security is something worth considering.
Adding smart security to increase the value and protection of your home gives you the ability to check up on your home anytime anywhere. You can receive alerts on your smart phone when a door has been left open or when a motion sensor has detected movement at your front door when the system is armed.
If you have kids who come home from school while you’re still at work, you can receive an alert to know they’ve arrived home safely even with a 5 second video showing them come through the front door. If you have a holiday home, adding a connected lock along with your security system means no more keys, and you can give unique pass codes to your guests that expire when their stay has ended.
An automated security system will also give you the assurance that your home is secure when you’re away on holidays, travelling for work, or just out of the house running errands.
Having smart tech features in your property will add convenience and peace of mind to your life that you may not have thought possible. It can seem daunting and overwhelming to add this technology in to your home, but if you plan and think smart with your system and know exactly what you want to get out of it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t consider a smart home system sooner.