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5 Steps to Designing a Smart Home

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Home Automation is an amazing new and growing industry. A smart home can help many of us improve our safety, energy efficiency or just upping the cool factor of everyday mundane tasks and jobs. There are so many new products that are coming out every week and there is no reason why they can't become a part of your life too!

Here are the five steps automation design and installation specialists follow to achieve that goal.

1) Mapping It Out

The best way to begin a custom automation project is to look at the blueprints of a house or map out the layout of the home and the property. You can even do this by hand on a few sheets of paper.

This step is crucial to really understanding and organizing a full home project. Features of the property that might hinder or help a project can be highlighted at this point and it provides you with a wonderful visual tool with which to organize the automation plan.

2) Capture Your Vision

Visualize what your end goal is.

  • When you come home from work what do you want to happen?

  • When it's bedtime what should your house do?

  • What safety and environmental features will make you feel more in control of your property while at home or away?

For many people this might look like lights turning on, coffee starting to brew, the heat turning up and the TV turning on your favorite news channel.

Write it all down and create a wish checklist. This is where the blueprint or layout can start to come in handy as you envision you and your family moving about your property.

3) Research

Now it's time to look at what other smart home products are important to the safety and convenience of your home.

At this point, if you're working with a smart home integrator, they will suggest elements for your smart home plan that you may not have thought of yourself.

  • They might ask things like "do you host parties where you, a friend or a professional will use DJ equipment with your sound system?"

  • They could suggest adding an energy efficiency monitoring system or adding smart window shades with photo sensors to keep the house cool in the summer or add some warmth and sun to a room in the winter.

  • If your property is in a radon gas hazard zone your automation designer might suggest adding a smart monitoring device for this.

  • Perhaps an elderly family member is alone for a number of hours during the day. Adding a health monitor wearable and fall detector could be a smart addition to your home system as well.

  • A smart home installer can suggest improving your WiFi coverage and network security to better carry your new devices and to protect your privacy from being compromised by any hacking of your smart devices.

Even if you are not tackling this project on your own, do some research. Read some articles and product reviews. Check out reputable technology reviewers like c|net and PC Magazine and watch some YouTube videos to get ideas and inspiration as well. This expansion of your smart home vision and plan is an important step not to miss.

4) Products and Systems

At this point you match devices to the automations you want. Shop around and see what is the in the market for you and your plan.

If you have a smart home professional they will combine your vision with their expertise to compile a list of equipment and labor costs to fit the project's budget and end goal. This can really go a long way to help you get the best value for your equipment needs and not exceed what you can afford for your smart home system.

Some smart home products don't integrate very well with others. Depending on the system you want you will need to settle on a hub or smart home system that can help all of your devices talk to each other and work together. If your list of automation isn't very long you might be happy with using the individual apps on their own.

Finally ask yourself if you would like to include a voice assistant like Alexa or Google Home to make automation even easier. By choosing one of these systems you can improve the way that you connect with and control your new smart home.

5) Finalize Your Smart Home Plan

Now that you have a map, you have a vision and you have a list of what smart home devices you would like and which hub or smart home system you plan on using its time to map out a final plan. If you are working with a smart home integrator they will finalize things like:

  • the ideal placement of security cameras,

  • wifi coverage,

  • laying out the wiring for smart switches and climate control

  • budget solutions (if you seem to be going over yours)

Your final plan should include:

  • where your devices are going,

  • how they will all integrate with each other

  • a working budget

Now it's time to begin bringing your smart home dream to life. If you choose to work with a smart home specialist make sure they are industry certified and qualified to bring your dream to life. Check out our blog for installation tips and product suggestions.

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