When it comes to technology, there’s no shortage of gadgets on the market to make your house “smarter”.
Over the last several years the concept of “smart homes” has become more popular as home buyers look for these features. A smart home offers options for your security, accessibility, efficiency and convenience.
Here’s everything you need to know about smart homes, and why you may want to consider purchasing one.
What is a Smart Home?
A smart home is a residence that can have appliances, lighting, heating, air conditioning, TVs, computers, entertainment audio and video systems, and security systems that are capable of communicating with one another.
These features can be controlled remotely from any room in the home, as well as from any location in the world by a smartphone or an internet connection.
Many smart home options can be added by the homeowner after purchase, however, if you’re buying a new build you have the power to have many of them built into the home from day one. This can make a big difference with the comfort and convenience and the resale value of your home later on.
There are multiple smart features you can consider when it comes to your new home. Here are a few of the most popular ones:
Imagine coming home late at night and having the lights turn on with one quick push of a button. With a modular switch, all the lights in your home can be controlled from the switch, your smartphone or even just using your voice. Lights can be pre-programmed to come on or turn off at set times which is helpful when you know you’re coming and going from the house.
A high-end smart lighting system, like Deako, uses Bluetooth technology so you don’t need wifi to control your settings.
Smart lighting helps save money on your electric bill by ensuring lights are only being used as needed and adds peace of mind. When you’re traveling, or know you’re coming and going at odd hours, lights can be timed so your house isn’t dark and looking like nobody is home.
You can’t dispute the ease of keyless entry. We’ve all been there, rooting through our bag or jacket pocket, arms full of groceries, trying to find the house key so we can get inside.
Most keyless entry systems offer integrated, self-monitored, security that can be customized to your needs. Most keyless entry systems are linked to your smartphone and provide alerts when the alarm is triggered.
There are also some even more advanced features such as the touchscreen deadbolt offered by Schlage, which automatically relocks if you forget to do it. Or an alarm
triggered by door activity that will be tripped if someone is trying to forcibly enter the home.
Imagine the freedom of knowing you could monitor and control your home security, even when you aren’t there!
Soft Close Cabinets
While it may not seem like something that is a “must-have” for your home, there are so many benefits to soft close cabinets.
Not having to ever hear someone slam a cabinet or drawer again, is probably the first benefit that comes to mind with a soft close, but it’s just the start.
For example, when you slam a drawer, the contents often go flying. In a household with children, soft close cabinets are an additional safety feature. Tiny fingers won’t get pinched in cabinet doors, and since they cannot be slammed, you won’t have excited little people clanging about just for the fun of it.
Lastly, having soft close cabinets actually lengthens their lifespan. With less stress on the hinges, pulls and rails and the cabinets and drawers always being closed properly, your kitchen will see less wear and tear, keeping it functioning beautifully for longer.
While this may not be something that comes to mind as a smart feature, it definitely is. In-floor heating is energy efficient, and has a positive impact on your heating bills.
Your floor retains the heat for longer, so you need less heat overall in the room. Heat is also distributed evenly, unlike heat the comes from vents.
Key Benefits of a Smart Home
The personal benefits of different smart home features will vary depending on how you live day-to-day. Here are four benefits that can have the biggest impact for your home and lifestyle:
There’s no denying that the ability to control certain features of your home while you aren’t even there is extremely convenient.
That convenience is generally one of the biggest reasons buyers look for smart homes. The ability to streamline things throughout the house, and easily access different things like a hard drive to watch your movies in any room make the convenience of a smart home unbeatable.
Security/Peace of Mind
Everyone wants to feel like their home is a safe space and security systems are nothing new. In today’s smart homes, the security systems can be very advanced. In addition to motion sensors and security cameras, there are keyless entry options using things like fingerprint technology.
Having the ability to ensure your home is secure when you’re not there offers confidence that your house is protected.
Accessibility technology has come a long way. Voice command systems can do things like control lights and lock doors. For people with mobility issues, the ability to control heating and cooling or blinds is very convenient. With so many options for accessibility, your home can be customized to meet the needs of everyone living in the house.
We all know about energy efficient appliances, but when it comes to smart home technology efficiency goes beyond just a few appliances. By having everything in your home connected, it means you’re able to monitor everything for maximum efficiency.
Whether you’re adjusting lights when a room is already bright with natural light or lowering the thermostat during the day when nobody is home, making small, ongoing adjustments can have a positive impact on your consumption of things like energy and natural gas. The more efficient you can make your home, the more money you’re putting back in your pocket every month.
There are plenty of other smart home features on the market that we didn’t mention above, so when it comes to deciding you want a smart home, research is key. When talking to your builder, find out what they offer as part of the house purchase and confirm the benefits of the features.
Westcott Homes offers modern living and smart design for today’s active families, in neighborhoods with room to grow. Our flexible floorplans, durable Pacific Northwest exteriors and luxurious interior details add up to a home you’ll delight in every day, and for years to come.