March 29, 2021

How to Build a Smart Home

Who hasn’t dreamed of living in a futuristic “smart home” like the ones we’ve seen in movies that tried to predict the course of human scientific advancement in the 21st century? While our society’s not quite there yet, the recent advancements in smart home technology are pretty impressive.

Smart technologies have been around for a long time, helping homeowners live more convenient lives and save energy, as well. It’s estimated that nearly 70% of consumers in the U.S. own at least one smart device, and those who already own them want more.  The smart homes at Pecan Square by Hillwood demonstrate how technology is being integrated into home building to make life easier, more energy efficient, and more comfortable for DFW homeowners.

Want to learn how to make your home smart? Take a read through our guide on how to set up a smart home.

Budgeting and Planning

When you look through the “smart home” category on home goods or electronics websites, you will find plenty of products available at lower price points that allow homeowners to do some simple DIY home automation. But these products come nowhere near the functionality of a fully automated smart home. It is important to note, however, that “full” automation is a subjective concept. While you can make your home a smart home for around a thousand dollars, you can also easily spend $20,000 on smart home design, if you make different choices.

The budgeting portion of your smart home planning phase is vitally important. The national average cost of creating a smart home is between $2,000 and $7,000. Most homeowners spend around $5,000 making a smart home by adding automation to outlets, lights, speakers, thermostats, and locks/security.

Determine how much you can afford to spend before you start shopping and make a priority list of the most important features you want to include when you make your home a smart home. Knowing your interests and your dollar limits before taking a look at the products on the market can help keep you from heartbreak when the gadgets you’ve had your eye on are way outside your intended budget.

Ecosystems and Smart Home Devices

Once you’ve finished the budget and priority list for your smart home setup, you’ll need to make another smart home planning decision. Do you want to choose one ecosystem for your smart home design, or do you want to create a custom system? The three most well-known ecosystems available are Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Homekit. It’s likely that you already own a device or two from these tech giants, but when working to smarten your home, a full kit from one of these ecosystems is an easy way to jump straight in.

There are connectivity benefits to choosing devices all on one system, because they already “speak to” one another. Just beware as these can be one of the more costly options for creating a smart home. An alternative that still allows you access to digital assistants, however, is to mix and match third-party devices with integrated apps.

When you’re building a smart home, here are some devices you may want to consider:

  • Smart outlets
  • Smart light bulbs/switches
  • Smart speakers
  • Smart TVs
  • Smart thermostats
  • Smart robot vacuums
  • Smart locks
  • Smart doorbells
  • Smart security systems

Tips for Building Your Smart Home

Now, a few pieces of smart home advice. If you do choose the mix-and-match smart home design method to create your own ecosystem, you may run into issues with devices from different manufacturers connecting to one another. That’s why there are smart home hubs and hub apps that help you set up specific scenes to automate your devices all in one place. You can also save yourself a headache by saving all your devices’ passwords in a password manager or writing them down somewhere secure. You’ll also want to name your devices something identifiable to you so that when connecting them to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, you’re not just staring down at a list of generically named speakers with no clue which one is in which room.

If you’ve decided to build a new home but are not interested in turning your house into a smart home yourself, take a look at Pecan Square by Hillwood. Each new home comes with our Canopy technology bundle. Learn more by visiting us in person or taking a virtual tour today.