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The Smart Home...are you ready for this?

We have all heard the term “Smart Home” but what does that really mean?  Well, the term refers to homes where the entertainment systems, security system, window coverings, lighting and climate control are all capable of communicating with one another and are remotely controlled by the homeowners’ app on their tablet/laptop, phone, or an integrated system. 

This type of advanced automation is designed to accommodate the homeowner’s unique needs and schedule with regard to their home’s functions. If one wants to have the blinds down and the lights on when they come home, they can program that to happen. Heating and cooling temperatures can be on a pre-programmed schedule, but they can also be modified (turned up or down) via the app long before the home owner arrives home.

So what can be included in a smart home?  Well, here are just a few considerations:

  • Lighting can be turned on and off, dimmed or raised.
  • Heating and air conditioning temperatures can be raised and lowered for comfort or energy conservation.  Systems can be entirely turned off remotely, should the need arise.
  • Window coverings/automated blinds can be closed or opened at pre-arranged times, or as desired by the homeowner.
  • Appliances, pet feeders, etc. can also be controlled.
  • Clocks, phones, TV’s, video games, computers, speakers, etc. can be included in the automation.
  • Door bells  and camera’s that are incorporated into the security system that allow for interactive communication for the homeowner and the visitor, even when the homeowner is not there.
  • A full security system including motion detectors, cameras, window contacts, automated door access, etc.
  • Water/flood detection

Today, it is possible to incorporate some or all of the above elements into your home’s automated program so that you can control the aspects of them remotely from another room or from an entirely different geographical location. Technologies are changing rapidly and we are more reliant on them than ever. Our addiction to technologies is only likely to increase and considering smart applications or total home automation is likely to be the next must have…it’s not likely to be that far into the future.

Incorporating technology into your home obviously will have an initial cost, and monitoring it via a “cloud” may require additional monthly fees, depending on the system and the company providing it. These costs may however be offset by energy conservation and possibly some conveniences along the way. If you remotely unlock your home (via an app) for someone you trust instead of driving home, you may also save some on fuel costs. If this is a regular occurrence, savings could add up.Imagine being at work and having the ability to check in on or assist older children at your own automated home, or disabled or elderly relatives who want to continue with independent living in their own automated home.

Only you know what your anticipated plans are for your future…but life does change and sometimes without warning.  If you are planning a renovation or custom build, you may want to consider the value of planning for home technologies, even if you aren’t ready for it right now.  Your new home is a big investment; when planning your build look at its use on a long term transitional scale; you’ll be glad you did.  

If you are looking to build your custom home, call us at Vanderzalm Construction Inc. at (905)562-4463 or (905)684-5823.   Joe van der Zalm and his team would love to build your dream home.

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