Technology in Custom Homes: The Devil’s in the Details
Smart Home Technology isn't just gaining popularity in Residential construction… it's here to stay. When building a luxury home, technology will inevitably be included. Still, the homeowner must decide what technology is installed for how they intend to use the home on a daily basis. This sounds like a tall order, but a great builder (and a great integrator) will strive to see the end product through their clients' eyes and work with them to make it happen.
How do you want to live in your home?
Builders and integrators should ask many questions to get a clear picture of how the client intends to live in their home and guide them through the process. They may ask you to walk them through your typical day to better understand what technology to include. For example, do you travel all the time? Do your work habits keep you out all day, and you're coming home after dark every night? Would you rather use ipads and iphones, have Lutron lighting keypads in each room, or both? Are music and speaker placement important throughout the home, or just in certain areas? These questions aren't intended to be nosy. Instead, they're intended to figure out what a client's lifestyle is like to recommend the most appropriate technologies for them.
Why do you need to know that now?
You may hear specific questions early on and think… "isn't it too soon to be discussing these details?" It's not. If you're not thinking about how you're going to live in a house when you're building it, you're not going to be able to build it in a way that you want to live in the house. Early design decisions are critical to a successful plan and final project. When planning a new home, it's best to think with the finishes in mind first. If you know what the finishes are now, it's much easier to make changes in the structural planning stages. Changes affect the way a builder frames the home. A great example of this is planning for Lutron shading in a custom luxury home. Most high-end builders aim to enhance the function of the shade while maintaining the beauty of the finishes, architecture, and design of the home. To do that, you need to plan ahead of time. Shade pockets with specific dimensions are built into walls, and in some cases, the house is framed a year and a half before move-in day. After moving in, making significant changes to shades - like deciding you'd rather have a dual roller in the master bedroom or even changing to a thicker shade fabric, can result in the new roller not fitting in the existing space.
A good motto when building a home is the later in the process - the more options you lose. Talk to your builder and BRAVAS in the early planning stages to ensure your new build is the home of your dreams.