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How To Automate Your Home

Ideas for Remodeling Your Way to a Smart Home

There’s no better time to learn how to automate your home than during a remodel. We’ll show you where to begin so you can start enjoying the perks of your very own smart home.

What Is Home Automation?

Home automation is the process of connecting various devices, such as your appliances, thermostat, lights and doors, to the internet so that they can transmit information to and be controlled through your smart phone, tablet or PC. You might also hear home automation referred to as “the Internet of Things” or IoT. 

Automating your home during a remodel often leads to a system that’s more integrated with the design of your home. Read on for home automation ideas you can incorporate into your remodel today.

How to Automate Your Home:

Choose What to Automate

Instead of automating everything that can be automated, most homeowners have a better experience when they choose only those devices that are genuinely important to them. 

So, the first step to automate your home is simply to research what types of devices are available and choose the ones that match up with your needs and lifestyle. Consider these ideas for potential home automation devices:

  • Devices for controlling your lights.
  • Devices for controlling your thermostat.
  • Smart locks and security systems.
  • Smart appliances, such as refrigerators, stoves or crock pots.
  • Devices that will feed pets while you’re away.

You’ll also want to install a hub like the Amazon Echo, Google Home or Samsung’s SmartThings. A hub allows you to control all your smart devices from one location (usually using your phone, tablet or PC as a sort of universal remote) and set rules for how your various devices work with each other.

To choose what to automate, think about the things that annoy you—the things you realize you forgot to do when you’re pulling out of your driveway or when you get in bed. Did I forget to close that window? Did I leave the sprinkler on? 

Lisa Montgomery | Executive Director, Electronic House 

Choose Compatible Products

When planning how to automate your home, it’s important to choose devices that can communicate with each other. 

Barriers to compatibility are due to the fact that different devices utilize different wireless technologies to function. Some of the most common are:

  • Z-wave: Used in a wide range of smart devices.
  • Zigbee: Also widely used and, along with Z-wave, one of the longest-running IoT technologies. 
  • Bluetooth: Common for smart devices that require your proximity to work, such as locks.
  • Insteon: Used in a wide range of devices and is more affordable than many other options. 

To ensure that all your devices will work together, choose your hub first. This way, you’ll know which technologies your hub is compatible with and can purchase devices accordingly.

Build Automation Into Your Remodeling Plans

You’ll end up with a more streamlined result if you incorporate your home automation ideas directly into your remodeling plans. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • For older homes, will your current wiring work with wired smart devices like thermostats?
  • Where will you install your hub? How will it blend with the room’s decor while remaining accessible?
  • For sensors, where can they be unobtrusively placed while still functioning properly?
  • Will any remodeling tasks no longer be necessary due to some of your smart home ideas?
  • Are any additional remodeling tasks necessary due to certain devices you wish to install?

When you’re retrofitting an older home, keep in mind that you need a really good Wi-Fi network for all of your devices to work properly. The number one thing to do before installing anything is to measure the strength of your wireless network. 

Lisa Montgomery | Executive Director, Electronic House

Of course, your exact remodeling considerations will depend on your particular devices. No matter how you choose to automate your home, doing so is your gateway to a Jetson-esque lifestyle.