If you have recently purchased a new home and are looking to add smart home technology, Congratulations! But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right products that fit your lifestyle and budget. In this article, we will walk through a $1.2-million-dollar home and I will share my recommendations on the smart home tech that I would personally add.
Smart climate control upgrades
The first thing most people want to do is replace their thermostat with a smart thermostat, like Nest or Ecobee. However, many builders already install thermostats with Wi-Fi capability. For homes with multiple thermostats, it can be more cost-effective to use a Z-Wave thermostat that ties into the system. In this home, we recommend sticking with a simple Honeywell Wi-Fi setup.
Smart lighting upgrades
Smart lighting is essential in any home, especially for a house of this size. With numerous switches for multiple zones of heat, it can be confusing to navigate. We recommend Lutron’s Caséta lineup or the professional-grade RA2 or RA3. They are seamlessly integrated throughout the home, with switches that work with every voice assistant and major control system.
Lutron also offers shades, which are a must-have in a home with many windows. While the cost may add up, automated shades offer convenience and energy efficiency. If not Lutron, other reputable brands like Crestron offer a good setup. Cheaper brands like sound feet may be louder and challenging to integrate with other products.
Smart security upgrades
Another upgrade that many homeowners make is the doorbell. We recommend the Ring doorbell pro 2, which can connect wirelessly to your existing chime. For homes that are pre-wired with ethernet cables for cameras, a system like Reolink is an excellent option.
In the garage, we recommend adding a wall connector for electric vehicles even if you don’t own one yet in order to future-proof the home. Most new garage door openers being sold now include MyQ for connection to your home network, and there are add-on modules available as well.
Smart plumbing upgrades
For the bathroom, automated lighting and heated floors are recommended. Smart speakers like Kohler’s Moxie or the Sprig shower infusion kit are excellent additions to make your morning routine more enjoyable.
While the secondary bedrooms may not need smart lighting, motion switches in the closets can help save energy. The exercise room is an excellent place for state-of-the-art connected equipment, while the bar is an opportunity to impress friends with a smart faucet.
In the utility room, a rack may be necessary for homes with video or audio distribution. Still, for this home, it’s where everything is routed, and a network switch and modem can be placed. Using the pre-installed ethernet cables with a network switch and a mesh router will provide a much better experience than just using the modem/router combo that is typically provided by your internet service provider.
There is a vast opportunity to add smart home technology to any new home, and there are lots of builders offering new homes that come equipped with the technology included. It’s essential to consider the products’ quality, compatibility and cost before making any purchases. With the right products, your home can become a smart, convenient and energy-efficient living space.
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.