The promise of the automated, “smart” home has been around for decades. Remotely controllable, whole-house audio/video systems, automated lighting and window treatments, integrated monitoring, and security systems have all existed for a long time. So have computerized control systems to connect everything together and operate the various components from a single device.
So why doesn’t everyone have a smart home? Well, until only recently those technologies have only been available to the social elite. With technology advances, these solutions have moved down in cost significantly, opening it up to the more people.
The challenge that remains today is to create a system with components that are compatible with one another and that work together seamlessly to provide an easy and enjoyable user experience. Do-able? Absolutely. Do it yourself? Not so much.
If you’re thinking about adding automation to your home or upgrading smart home components you may already have, here a few things to keep in mind to ensure you get the satisfying results you’re looking for.
Know when NOT to automate
Just because you can hook certain systems together doesn’t mean you should. Sometimes separate systems that are individually controllable will fit your needs better. The more components and functions that are combined under a single control system, the more complex the programming and the more challenges that can arise if one piece is replaced or fails. And don’t forget ease of operation. The more complex the system, the less likely everyone in the house will be able to use and enjoy it.
Choose the right firm, not the product
Most companies carry the same top tier brands, but every project is different. Select the firm that best listens to your needs and has the expertise to integrate products from various suppliers into a system that gives you what you want and works the way you want it to. Backend support is important, too. Sophisticated smart home systems require serious engineering skills to properly design, and professional project management to install, especially as part of larger construction or remodeling projects.
Invest where it counts
A smart home can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s important to invest wisely, in the performance and features that matter to you. Is music an important part of your life? Upgrade your audio and emphasize music listening in our system design. Are you a Type A personality who needs everything in the home monitored and controlled? Steer your budget there. Cinephile? Forego a couple rooms in home and get that dream private cinema.
Office IT systems, HVAC, cars…all complex systems require maintenance and the occasional tune-up. Choose a company that is responsive to requests for service and that has the expertise to diagnose problems quickly and fix them right the first time.
Beware the one-man band
There are many talented individuals out there offering smart home design and installation services. Because they don’t have the overhead of an established business, they can often offer a low price. We don’t mean to put them down, but the simple fact is that, today, no single individual can be truly expert in every facet of home automation technology and take detailed care of every stage of the process. Their expertise may be audio/video, but what about networking and IT, or lighting, or security? Will they be able to respond to your service needs? Will they have the infrastructure to take care of you after the installation or are they too busy installing new projects? You get the point.
Choose RSI for Peace of Mind
With Residential Systems, you get a team of over 30 high quality people who are experts at what they do, proven with the over 280 years of combined experience that RSI has in house who collaborate every day to design and install individually customized systems using the latest in home technology. We design systems to integrate with the way you and your family live, creating safer, smarter, intuitive spaces that allow you to transform the way you live in your home.
It all starts with a professional free in-home consultation. Contact us to schedule yours today.