Before you start remodeling your home this summer, think about adding some smart home upgrades to your remodeling budget. With these high-tech additions, you can boost the market value of your property while you make your home a safer, more comfortable environment for you and your household.
If you have already planned to renovate your home this summer, why not add some smart home features while you’re at it? Since smart home upgrades often require you to modify certain aspects of your home to accommodate the new technology, it’s more economical—price-wise and time-wise—to add them during another renovation.
If you plan to sell your home in the near future, having several smart features may make it a standout from all the other homes in its class. This, says New York Magazine, may help it sell more quickly.
Here are some smart home upgrade suggestions to get you started:
1. Smart Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save you quite a bit of money over the years. It dials back the climate control while you’re out and turns it back on when you return. A smart thermostat, though, can sense when you’re at home or away and will adjust your home’s temperature automatically. You can also control it from an app on your smartphone. That way, you can set it to return your home to its normal temperature while you’re still at work so you’ll be comfortable the moment you walk in the door. You can even install extra sensors around your home with some systems so that you can regulate the temperature room by room.
2. USB Outlets
If you’re remodeling your kitchen, consider adding a few USB ports to your new outlets. That way, you can charge your device or look up a new recipe online without the awkward look of standard power adapters. Make sure the outlet provides 4.8 amps of charging power. Have a licensed electrician install it to ensure safety.
3. Smart Smoke Detectors
Since most deaths from home fires occur due to poorly functioning or absent smoke detectors, these devices are necessary to have in the home. Unfortunately, most of the standard models people buy at their local hardware store will go off whenever you cook something at high heat. Smart smoke detectors, though, can detect when you’re just cooking something and when there’s a real fire danger. Bonus: Many home insurers will give you a discount on your premiums when you install smart smoke detectors in your home.
4. Built-In Sound System
Standard wired sound systems can ruin the look of a room, even as they provide the mood-setting background music for dining or parties. Their wires and bulky equipment can turn a well-furnished living room or dining room into a tangled mess. Built-in smart sound systems, though, can mount right on your walls, cabinetry, or ceiling, blending in with the background seamlessly.
5. Home Automation System
Designed to integrate a wide range of smart devices into one complete system, a home automation system serves as a control center for the entire collection of devices. Once you have installed it, make sure that you choose future smart devices that integrate with your system.
6. Smart Door Locks
With a smart door lock, you’ll never have to frantically search through your pocket or purse for a key, or worse—hide it somewhere that thieves will probably discover anyway. Enabled with WiFi or Bluetooth technology, these smart home devices can detect when you come home, unlocking the door as you approach it. You also can program a smart door lock to give friends and family access to your home.
7. Motion Sensors and Other Security Devices
Installed around your home’s perimeter, these devices can detect movement around your home. That way, if a burglar wants to sneak around your home to enter from a back window, you can catch him or her before the act. Other sensors can detect broken glass or forced-open windows or doors, sending you alerts on your mobile device even if you’re not home. Some systems even give you the option of turning on all the lights in your home or flashing them on and off to let your neighbors know there’s something fishy going on at your home.
8. Smart Sprinklers
In the summertime, a smart sprinkler system can save you time by automatically adjusting your lawn’s water usage by the season and the weather. Programmable from your laptop or smartphone, these devices can also save you money, since they only water your lawn and garden as needed.
9. Smart Home Security Cameras
Perimeter cameras, doorbell cameras, and interior cameras can help you identify who’s coming around your house even when you’re not home. Installers integrate these cameras right into your home’s design, so you’ll never notice they’re there. Burglars, too, won’t know exactly where the camera’s hiding, so you can catch them well before they make their move. Interior cameras can also help you keep an eye on your pets while you’re gone. If you have a babysitter or nanny, they can help ensure your kids’ safety when you’re at work or out on the town.
10. Smart Lighting
Lighting your home can take a toll on your energy bill. When you install smart lighting, you can dim the lights or turn them completely off when you leave the room. You can customize some systems to grow gradually dimmer as the night wears on, giving your body an easier transition to sleep. When you leave for work the next morning, you can program them to turn off when you’re away from home. With these devices, you can turn them on and off from your smartphone, allowing you to seem as if you’re home when you work late or go on vacation, discouraging break-ins during your absence.
11. Smart Fireplace
If you plan to install a gas or ethanol fireplace during your remodel, make it a smart one. These fireplaces make it easy to control the burn remotely from your smartphone—or even from your bed—so you don’t have to get out of bed once your fireplace has your room all toasty-warm. These devices also add another layer of safety to your home’s fireplace. Even if you go off to work and forget to shut off the fire, you can check it and shut it off without ever leaving your desk. Save money and add visual appeal with a stone or brick surround sourced from stones on your own property or nearby old-house demolitions, says Architectural Digest design expert Samantha Weiss-Hills.
12. Smart Exterior Lighting
Don’t limit smart lighting systems to inside your home. Exterior lighting triggered by motion sensors can increase the security around your home, as well as illuminating your pathways as you go out for an evening stroll.
13. Smart Moisture Sensors
Stop mold, mildew, and water damage before it starts with smart moisture sensors. Install these near moisture-prone areas, such as your bathrooms, kitchen, laundry, and your home’s main pipes. These sensors will alert you right away if they detect a leak or if the humidity level changes, so you can call your plumber and get the problem taken care of before it causes serious harm to your home.
14. Smart Solar Panels
If you plan to install solar panels to decrease your paid energy consumption and carbon footprint, make sure the panels have smart junction boxes. These remote-controlled devices allow you to look at each panel’s performance and switch them off and on from your smartphone or other devices. Because solar panels help to save energy, you may be able to recoup some of your installation costs through federal tax credits. Additionally, installing smart solar panels can also increase your home’s resale value, says real estate agent search site UpNest.
15. Smart Garage Door Opener
Forget to close the garage door? No problem if you have a smart garage door opener. This handy device will alert you if you forgot to close it as you rushed off to work. You can even close it remotely from your smartphone from anywhere in the world, so if you left it open on your way to the airport for a vacation, relax. You can handle everything from the palm of your hand. It can also let you know if someone opens it while you’re gone. Install smart cameras inside and outside and you’ll help the police identify anyone who tries to break in—and more importantly, discourage burglars from even trying to break in.
16. Wireless Freeze Alarm
If you live in an area where temperatures dip well below freezing during the winter, a wireless freeze alarm can alert you when conditions get into the danger zone for your pipes. Accessible even through mobile devices, this handy device allows you to heat the area around your pipes or well house, so your pipes won’t freeze and burst. This device also doubles as a smoke alarm, so you’ll know if your lamp or space heater overheats. To reduce the danger of a fire starting in the first place, don’t use space heaters connected to extension cords. Even heavy-duty extension cords can overheat when connected to a space heater.
17. Smart Pet Door
If you have pets, you may wonder if there are smart doors for them, too. The answer is yes—and they can keep other animals out of your home, unlike standard pet doors, which don’t discriminate as to who or what comes in the door. With a smart pet door, you can fit your pet’s collar with a key fob that triggers the door to unlock. Some smart doors even work with microchip implants, though you’ll need to make sure that your smart pet door is programmed for all the pets’ microchips. Smart doors, too, usually have insulated flaps, keeping your home’s temperature at an even temperature. Many pet doors enable you to program the door to keep pets from going out or in during certain times of the day. Some smart pet doors, just like human smart door locks, will operate from an app on your smartphone.
18. Smart Refrigerator
Ever gone out to the store and facepalmed yourself when you got back because you forgot you were out of something? With a smart refrigerator, this scenario will become obsolete, smart refrigerator manufacturers hope. Smart refrigerators house cameras inside your fridge that take pictures every time it’s opened or closed. Those pictures are stored, so you can access them while you’re out shopping via a smartphone app. Although these devices aren’t cheap, they are a convenient upgrade for a kitchen remodel, especially if you planned to replace your old fridge with a high-end model.
19. Smart Carbon Monoxide Alarm
You can connect these wireless devices to your home’s complete security system to make sure that this “silent killer” isn’t present in your home. Because carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it can overcome you even while you sleep. Protect yourself and your household with one of these essential alarms.
20. Smart Doorbell Camera
Connected seamlessly with your smart home security system, a smart doorbell camera allows you to see who comes to your door, even when you’re half a world away. Most of these devices allow you to have a conversation with visitors, deterring burglars or door-to-door salespeople. These devices allow you to record video clips activated by both the doorbell and the inbuilt motion sensor. You can rig the motion sensor to trigger your porch lights to further deter intruders. For friends and family, you can unlock your door remotely, allowing them to come inside even when you’re not home.
Once you have enjoyed all the convenience a smart home brings, you will wonder how you lived your life without them for all these years, just like most people do about today’s smartphones. Plan your smart home upgrades carefully with your contractor, and you’ll save money while adding convenience, comfort, and safety to your home.
To discover more about the advantages of smart home upgrades for you and your household, contact the knowledgeable team at Smart Shield Systems today.