Here are just some of the many ways you can incorporate emerging technology into your custom home.
Building a modern timber frame home puts you at quite the advantage. You get to decide exactly how you want your home to look aesthetically and create a layout that works perfectly for your family. But by designing your home from the ground up, you also get the luxury of planning for the addition of smart home technology, allowing for greater control over everything from your energy efficiency to your ease of living.
If you’re not already familiar with the concept, smart technology uses internet-connected devices to automate specific tasks and can usually be controlled remotely via voice control or an app. While some devices can be integrated after the build, it’s much more cost-effective to plan for integration early in the design process. You may also want to designate a smart home hub, which is a special space to house all the electrical components.
But exactly how you integrate smart home features into your modern timber frame home is really up to you. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Home Security & Cameras
From making sure doors are locked to providing keyless entry for family members and hired help, smart locks can provide peace of mind that certain individuals can—or can’t—enter the property. Pet parents can even keep an eye on their furry four-legged friends from afar through video and audio feeds. Try the Eufy Video Smart Lock s330, which uniquely combines a video doorbell with smart lock all in one, with the ability to unlock via keypad, fingerprint, app, or key.
Level Up the Kitchen
Now, nearly every kitchen appliance can be purchased as a smart appliance. For example, dishwashers can monitor detergent levels and adjust how they wash and dry based on whether plasticware or ceramics were loaded. Smart refrigerators keep track of expiration dates and create shopping lists for you while smart devices like pressure cookers and toaster ovens take the legwork out of dinner. To see for yourself, try Samsung’s Bespoke 4-Door French Door Refrigerator, which, just like your timber home, is ultra-customizable.
From self-cleaning toilets with seat warmers to touchless faucets that turn themselves off once handwashing is finished, smart technology in the bathroom can help with everything from hygiene to energy use to dimmed lighting. Take the Numi 2.0 Dual-Flush Smart Toilet for example, which Kohler boasts is its most advanced toilet yet thanks to features like ambient colored lighting, a built-in audio speaker system, a heated seat with hands-free opening and closing as well as power-save mode for energy efficiency, emergency flush for power outages, and an app-connected remote control.
Enhance Your At-Home Gym
Take advantage of sophisticated workout stations that track your performance and adjust based on fitness goals. The Tonal makes efficient use of space yet packs all the perks of a gym filled with free weights and machines—all in a sleek, wall-mounted device that boasts mind-boggling weight resistance that adapts with your abilities.
Increased Comfort and Energy Efficiency
Crank up the heat or air conditioning without leaving the couch. Devices can learn homeowners’ behaviors to modify settings as needed, send an alert when air filters need replacing and keep people informed of their energy habits. With a smart HVAC thermostat, like the ecobee Smart Thermostat, you’ll never worry about forgetting to adjust the system before heading to the airport—plus you can set it to warm back up before you even return home. Smart whole-home air purifiers can guarantee clean indoor air by reducing dirt, airborne toxins and allergens; they may also help HVAC units run more efficiently.
Windows & Skylights
Specialized glass can keep heat in during colder seasons and release it during hotter months. By utilizing special materials that block certain wavelengths of light, smart windows tint and un-tint throughout the day. They can also cloud the glass with a push of a button, allowing for immediate privacy. Smart skylights, like those from Velux, automatically adjust their shading (or blinds) for optimum temperature control and humidity, and smart sensors can ventilate to create a healthier indoor air climate.
From individual light bulbs that can be controlled remotely to smart lighting systems that detect when people have entered the room, smart lighting options in modern timber frame homes come in handy by eliminating the need to flip a switch every time you enter and exit a space—a huge perk for messy hands or when carrying in groceries or chasing after little ones. Plus, these devices allow you to make your home look occupied even when you are hundreds of miles away, thanks to their programmable scheduling. Try out the Lutron Caseta, which offers smart switches and dimmers that turn regular bulbs into smart bulbs and are compatible with a wide variety of smart home systems, like Alexa, Google Home, and others.
Take It Outside
Smart homes can be extended to include the garage or even yard, whether you want special lighting for when you’re entertaining al fresco, help with grilling that steak just right, assurance your lawn and garden are properly hydrated, or peace of mind knowing your pool is clean and chemically balanced (enter: WaterGuru Sense smart monitor). In the garage, security-minded smart systems can manage who has access to the home while you’re away and allow maintenance workers to come and go.
One Step Closer
Looking to build your dream home with all the latest smart home features? We can help make it happen! Check out our gallery and floor plans, and reach out today to begin the conversation about what you’d like to build.