Are you on the fence on buying versus building your next home?
If you answered yes to that question, the benefits of building a smart home from the ground up will make your decision clear.
Building Your Next Home Smarter From The Ground Up
Every year Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gives himself a challenge. In 2016, the challenge was to build an artificially intelligent home butler. Zuckerberg succeeded in creating Jarvis.
Iron Man fans will remember that Jarvis is Tony Starks’ AI butler/sidekick. While Zuckerberg’s version does little more than manage the lights, thermostat, and doors in Zuckerberg’s house, the real-life Jarvis was voiced by the great Morgan Freeman and can also speak Mandarin.
Most of us don’t have the coding ability, or monetary resources to create a Jarvis of our own. But, living in a smart home tickles all of our fancies. Historically purchasing smart home systems from the likes of Control4 and Protection was a costly proposition. Not only would hardware costs start at $10,000 but installation and programming would result in final bills of $20,000+. Start-up costs were not the only drawback, any functionality changes would have to be done by the installer – which over time would result in additional fees.
Fast forward to today, tech companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon are all part of the smart home wave.
- Apple HomeKit is built directly into the latest iOS software for iPhones and iPads, and it puts Siri in control of the connected home.
- Google Home is a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own Google, always ready to help. Just start with, “Ok Google”.
- Amazon’s Alexa and Echo devices let you instantly connect to Alexa to play music, control your smart home, get information, news, weather, and more using just your voice.
Just adding a smart home device to your current home may make you feel like the Jetsons, but you wire your entire home and upgrade all of your devices to smart devices you are just scratching the surface. The rubber meets the road with smart homes when you build from the ground up.
Should You Build Your Smart Home Wireless From The Ground Up?
Going totally wireless sounds like a great idea, right? Wrong! Home automation systems not only heavily rely on fast internet connections but quick local area network connectivity. The last thing you want to have is buffer the game because your daughter’s soccer team decided to live stream their practice from the backyard.
Icon Projects recommends using wires for your high-value traffic needs. That includes your TV, media server, Sonos sound system and Roku.
We suggest routing loads of CAT6 wire cables inside your walls. CAT6 cables can not only carry voice and data, but that they can also carry digital TV signals.
Maximize Your Wi-Fi In Your New Connected Home?
You’re going to need Wi-Fi.
#GoogleWifi: your home office hero and your #GoogleHome’s new BFF. https://t.co/1EzfDElUuX pic.twitter.com/oSLySXgWxr
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) March 27, 2017
Walls and distance are the two largest limiting features when it comes to a strong Wi-Fi signal. Imagine embedding a Wi-Fi mesh network inside the walls of your new home. Short of knocking holes into walls for seamless wireless – installing hardwired Wi-Fi repeaters into your walls or ceilings when you build your dream home will help you stay connected no matter where you are on your property.
The Brains Of Your New Smart Home
Picking a platform doesn’t matter too much. To make it easy, you might want to consider which operating system you prefer. Do you use an iPhone or Android device? If you like Apple OS, consider HomeKit. If you like Android, Google Brillo is the way to go.
Hubs or controllers are another issue. Amazon has made a dedicated effort to take charge of the smartphone hub/controller space with Echo and Echo Dot. Google Home costs less than Amazon Echo and figures to be a great competitor.
Then, there’s the Wink Hub 2, which PC Magazine says is the most widely supported hub they tested. Wink Hub 2 works with Phillips Hue lighting, the NetGear Arlo camera, and Google Home.
Smart Home Connected Devices
Remember to add connected devices to your newly built wired home. This includes: appliances, power outlets, light bulbs and climate control units.
Now, you’ve got a blueprint on how to make your home smart from the beginning. The key is to run CAT6 cables before putting drywall up. Then, you want to make sure you’re on the best Wi-Fi possible before picking a platform and setting up a hub/controller. If you go step-by-step, you’ll create a home smarter than you are.