Smart Home Upgrades for Your Remodel

Smart Home Upgrades for Your Remodel 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