It’s something that plenty of people have talked about, and technology companies the world over seem very eager to prove that they are just as ‘smart’ as the next one – and yet few of us consciously think about smartening our home. But with our custom build design approach, it’s a natural fit particularly when considering sustainability performance and high spec finishes. But where do you start?
It all begins with sensors. A smart home cannot do anything, be anything, without sensors – and those are just as multi-faceted as our own human senses. Sensors for temperature, for humidity, for whether a window is open or shut, or a plug socket on or off.
All of those sensors create data, and this is where the smart home really comes into its own. You cannot really consider any building ‘smart’ until you start to collect data that is meaningful, and that is where the plethora of technologies start to come in. How much do you spend on your heating? How many hours a day is your home left empty? Is there rainwater gathering in the loft that you haven’t noticed yet?
Lastly, there’s what you do with all that data, and thankfully there is an app (or several) for that. Whether you are gaining a new additional family member called Alexa, using Nest to decide when to heat up the bedroom, or some of the branded apps that specifically work with colour changing light bulbs or front doors that can lock themselves, a smart home gives you the ability to control things exactly how you like.
There are definite benefits that you can gain from having a smart home because you can tailor your setup to exactly what benefits you want. Need a way to check who is at the door before you get there? Consider a remote camera, microphone, and movement sensor. Worried that the kids are going to lose their key? There’s an app, digitally connected with your front door, with automated lock and unlocking – one that sends a notification to your phone letting you know that they are home safely. What about ensuring that your washing machine is on during daylight hours to use your solar PV energy? Look at sensors, remote control activation and data monitoring. And of course, there is the full voice activation tech at your beck and call.
But there are downsides too. Getting all of this technology to talk to each other isn’t always as easy as you think it should be, and that can bring an element of frustration to your daily home life. Also there may be a risk that your choice of tech will become outdated and obsolete too quickly for you.
So how should you make your home smart?
We suggest starting with the results you want, not the tech. Yes, it’s shiny, but there’s no point customising your home to do things that you just won’t care about after the novelty factor has worn off. First agree with your family what you want the house to do, and then work back to the tech from there and incorporate it into your design to be built. Follow this with considerations on how you would like your home to ‘perform’ with regards to running costs for energy efficiency, water usage and so on, as well as convenience measures.
One great aspect of our custom build approach is that you can choose the level of smart technology you want and then make the decision once you fully understand the options available. It’s a personal decision based on your anticipated use of your home and your lifestyle needs much the same as layout choice, finishes and interior design.
And let’s not forget that a smart home is also a sustainable home – which is the ethos of all Ssassy custom builds.