What is considered a smart home? Smart homes feature appliances, heating systems and utilities homeowners can control remotely with their phones. They make life easier at the push of a button. Smart home devices connect to the internet and include lights, HVAC systems, refrigerators, televisions and more.
Although many of these devices are wireless, smart home wiring for new construction still requires the use of traditional cables. Builders and homeowners should consider these six smart home ideas for new construction projects.
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Smart Home Ideas for New Construction
Smart homes offer so many options that homeowners may need help knowing where to start. However, there are a few standard features many contractors and developers integrate into their buildings. These smart home ideas for new construction projects include the following.
1. Temperature Control
One of the biggest differences between what is considered a smart home compared to a traditional home is the use of sensors. A smart HVAC system uses sensors integrated into the building to detect temperature, fan speed, thermal conditions and even room occupancy levels to adjust the ambient conditions automatically.
When constructing a new home, builders can install a smart HVAC system to heat or cool each part of the house on demand. If more people enter the living room than usual, the HVAC system can start cooling the room. The heater will kick in if the kitchen gets less sunlight than usual on a cold, snowy day.
In addition to the convenience, a smart HVAC system also helps people conserve energy. Its wireless technology allows users to adjust the temperature and humidity levels in each room from their phones, even if they aren’t at home. Did somebody leave the heat on by mistake? No problem — they can shut it off mid-flight during their vacation.
2. Water Leak Detection
In the United States alone, water leaks waste around 900 billion gallons of water annually. That’s the equivalent of over 1.3 million Olympic swimming pools per year. In addition to the wasted resources, water leaks incur high costs for home and business owners.
That’s why one of the best smart home ideas for new construction is to install smart leak detection systems. Builders can install these devices on pipes so homeowners can monitor water flow through their houses. If a leak occurs or the temperature in a pipe drops below freezing, the smart sensors will notice it and shut off the water immediately. The sensors will also notify the homeowners of the leak’s location and when it started.
3. Smart Home Wiring for New Construction
One of the most unique features of a smart home is the electrical wiring. Although putting together the smart home wiring for new construction projects isn’t rocket science, it does entail a bit of forethought. The first thing builders should keep in mind is that although many smart home devices are wireless, others need a physical, hardwired connection to function.
A smart refrigerator, for example, may have to be wired directly into the house. A smart washing machine — which uses about 10 amps of power — will likely also need a physical connection. Smart smoke alarms should also feature a hardwired connection in addition to their wireless setup. They’re critical devices, so they need more than one avenue of connection.
The second consideration is that as more wireless devices connect to a home network, the signal transmitted to each component gets weaker. It’s important to test the signal strength of the devices in different areas of the house as builders and homeowners install more of them.
4. Security Measures
Homes are safer than ever. In 2022, 38% of Americans aged 18 to 29 used a smart home security system and so did 37% of respondents aged 30 to 49.
Smart alarm systems, door keypads and cameras have enabled great strides in home security. Phones can notify homeowners when someone is at the door or trying to open it, and remote-controlled alarms let people enter the house safely while preventing burglaries.
Since many smart home devices must integrate into the building, the best time to install a hardwired security setup is during the initial construction phase. This type of smart home wiring for new construction projects has a few advantages over wireless systems. Hardwired security systems are generally cheaper, can record video even if the internet goes down, are less susceptible to radio or electrical interference and can cover a larger area than wireless setups.
5. Strong Internet to Support Smart Home Devices
The difference between what is considered a smart home versus a traditional home all comes down to the smart home devices. Every smart home device has an online connection, so it’s essential for builders to integrate Wi-Fi or fiber internet cables into new homes.
Certain building materials like underfloor heating can block Wi-Fi signals. Concrete, masonry and bricks are also notorious for slowing down internet speeds. In contrast, plywood and drywall allow a better connection. Contractors should stick to using materials that enable a strong internet connection throughout the entire house.
6. Custom Lighting
Many homeowners are drawn to smart homes because of their flexible lighting options. For example, smart lights can turn on and off at certain times, slowly change color throughout the day or turn off when people leave the house. Builders can either install smart light bulbs or smart switches to achieve this effect.
Homeowners can install smart lights themselves if they’re just changing a bulb, but putting in flush-mount LEDs or smart switches requires the work of a trained electrician. Installing this type of smart home wiring for new construction projects can be dangerous. Therefore, contractors should ask their clients which lighting style they prefer to determine how much electrical work is necessary.
What Is Considered a Smart Home?
The guidelines for what is considered a smart home may change someday, but it usually features several internet-connected devices integrated into the house itself. Smart home devices can do everything from improving security measures to making a house more comfortable for its inhabitants.
Hopefully, these smart home ideas for new construction projects will give contractors more confidence when building an ultramodern dwelling. Future homeowners should dream big when creating and controlling the perfect smart home — without them, it would simply be a house.
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