Future-proof your smart home without the frustrations when you learn from smart home expert Brandon Doyle’s biggest mistakes.

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Building a smart home from scratch can be an exciting yet daunting task. With advancements in wireless technology, it’s important to bring in professionals to help make the most of it. In this article, we’ll explore a property while highlighting mistakes made during the building process and discussing ways to future-proof your home.

Building the smart home ‘central nervous system’

Starting with low voltage, it’s crucial to think of it as the central nervous system of the house. This includes internet cable, security, audio, video, home automation control and anything below 50 volts. Wireless doorbells and cameras, like Ring or Google Nest cams, may be popular. However, if possible, it’s recommended to opt for power over ethernet cameras.

Building from scratch provides an opportunity to run ethernet to the entrance points and corners of the house. Even if you don’t want to add cameras now, this is recommended for futureproofing. 

For devices that require a lot of bandwidth like computers and TVs and streaming devices, ethernet cables are the go-to. It’s important to think ahead and have multiple access points in multiple areas of the home to distribute wi-fi evenly and reliably.

When it comes to mounting a TV on the wall, consider placing multiple Cat6 wires for internet, video distribution, control and backup. Additionally, think about where furniture will be placed, so speakers and ethernet ports are available where needed.

Think ahead when planning smart-home infrastructure

To future-proof your home even more, consider placing outlets in the floor for lamps or charging stands. It’s also essential to think about where to place a TV in the future and avoid areas that reflect signals like aluminum or concrete.

When pre-wiring a home, it’s recommended to have at least one spot per room and multiple in some cases, as it’s more cost-effective and easier to do during the building process than after.

All of these cables are typically routed to an automation distribution box, which is the central source for distribution. All the cabling in the house will come to this box, get terminated and distributed to a floor-standing rack that will house all the low-voltage equipment, amplifiers and control systems.

Building a smart home from scratch requires careful planning, and it’s essential to think ahead about where you might need a cable in the future. It’s recommended to bring in professionals to help make the most of wireless technology and run ethernet to key areas.

With proper planning and pre-wiring, you can create a smart home that meets your current and future needs.

Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.

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