New Build Smart Home Considerations
Whether you’re embarking on your own ‘Grand Design’ or planning something more modest, building a new home is an exciting venture, and the potential of having a place for you and your family that you’ve had a hand in creating is something that dreams are made of.
Regardless of the size and scope of your new build, one thing that everyone will – or indeed, should – have in common is the desire to future proof their property. Obviously using the latest construction techniques and advanced materials with considerations for energy efficiency and low maintenance are high on the priority list. However, we also want to stress the importance of getting the network infrastructure in place and ready for both the day you move in and for the years ahead.
For over 20-years, Majik House have worked extensively with architects, architectural technicians, construction firms and interior designs on new build homes and properties undergoing renovation, and our approach has always put the focus on ensuring the network we design and install will support the needs of the owners and the generations to come.
Getting the network infrastructure and capability right from the outset will support and manage lighting and light control, security systems and, of course, any TV, audio and mobile devices.
If this sounds a little unnecessary and feels like unnecessarily pushing a new build budget, then consider this: turn the clock back 20-years, how many of us were streaming our television versus how many were using roof-mounted aerials and satellite receivers, or watching movies from DVDs or our own cinema hard-drive?
And what were we watching back then? It certainly wasn’t on-demand blockbuster movies and programmes from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or AppleTV.
Moving with the Times
Think of what the world has experienced in the last two years through the Coronavirus pandemic: working from home and the ongoing shift to ‘hybrid’ working has put even greater demands on the technological capabilities of our homes.
Any home might understandably find its technology creaking when the demands of people working on Zoom or Teams, HD movies and music are all being streamed whilst social media is being browsed, but that’s become the norm for most of us.
Throw into the mix lighting control – both inside and out – and security monitoring, then it’s clear to see that we expect a lot from our constantly connected lifestyle.
“It’s not just getting the network right that’s the biggest concern for people constructing their new home.” Says Autumn Burrow of Majik House, “So often we hear people say that they wish they or their architect had planned ahead and given real thought to how each space in the house would be used in terms of smart home automation.”
“Basic things like having enough power and Cat-5/6 sockets are a given but having a truly smart home starts with the quality of the connection coming into the property and what happens to it from there.”
“There’s also the consideration of where to house the rack – the brains at the heart of a network and which controls all the technology that we take for granted. Racks have reduced in physical size over the years whilst their processing capabilities have increased and, although the Majik House engineers create some really beautiful racks, not everyone wants to have them on display.”
“The same applies to how you’d like to operate the lights, sound and TVs or cinema system: I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t want to have your beautiful home cluttered with a myriad of remote controls? A truly smart home will also have a smart solution for automation and, for Majik House, we are advocates of Control4 and their simple-to-use yet powerful multi-application remote controls.”
“And then there’s the subject of wires and power cables.” concludes Autumn, “Freshly plastered and painted walls, beautiful carpets or expensive flooring, new furniture and high-end TV and audio systems – the last thing you want is for all of this to be spoiled by unsightly wires trailing along the floor or trying to be hidden.”
“Hidden wires are a given today for any quality smart home installer and something a client shouldn’t even have to ask for, but you’d be surprised by how often we’re asked to ‘rescue’ a project and are greeted with such a sight.”
“Worse still, imagine the frustration – and unfortunately this still occurs – of those new walls having to be channelled into because enough thought hadn’t gone into the network requirements earlier in the project.”
“Proper planning and getting the network right, right from the start, will ensure that your new build smart home can be a truly smart, truly automated, truly beautiful home from the day you move in and for many happy years ahead.”