Benefits of going smart in your listed home

There is a general view of listed homes as being old, out of date buildings with homeowners that are hankering for the past. While it’s true that most listed homes are indeed old, many were an icon of modernity in their day and were built using the best technology available at the time! Why else would we want to preserve the history and style associated with these gems? A listed home and smart home technology should not be looked at as mutually exclusive but as complementary.

Before we go any further, it would be useful to define a few term like; what is a smart home?

A smart home is a home with connected and interconnected sub systems. These systems not only connect to the internet but connect and interact with each other to enrich the homeowner’s day to day living. The systems could either operate on a reactive basis to prompts from the homeowner, or be preconfigured to react automatically to events from other systems in the home or changes to the environment.

An example would be a home with smart heating and smart blinds. The heating could be scheduled to come on at specified times of the day and react to environmental changes such as temperature. ‘Big deal’ I hear you say, ‘even my non smart home heating can do that!’ But what if you had a room with large windows that got very hot in summer due to sunlight flooding in? Since you have smart heating, your home will be aware of the temperature in that room, plus it can control the blinds, so it can be preset to close the blinds if the temperature got up to a set level, even if you are not at home – so the room isn’t too hot.

What can be made smart in your home?

Your heating, comfort cooling, music, video distribution around the property, security, blinds, curtains, and lighting can all be integrated for ease of use and control. A good solid network infrastructure with excellent Wi-Fi coverage inside and outside the property is essential.

There are many benefits to a properly designed smart home such as convenience, security, accessibility, and entertainment. Imagine being able to press a single button as you leave home – let’s call that button “away mode”. Pressing this switches off all the lights, music, TVs and arms the alarm system. Similarly, you could switch of all the lights in your property from your bed at the touch of a button.

Entertaining can be enhanced with lighting and music. With a well-planned lighting system, the ambience of a room could be changed to match the activity. With discreetly installed speakers in a dining room, you could play background music for your dinner guests or provide entertainment by the pool, patio, or garden.

The use of smart CCTV and integrated alarms and lighting also enhances your security. All TVs in the home can be connected to the CCTV system and at the click of a button you can see cameras around the property or receive prompts if someone is at the door and you are not at home. You can also simulate occupancy with automated lighting and blinds.

So how do you go about making your listed property a smart home?

Very similar approaches are taken when planning a smart home for a listed and non-listed building, it’s all about understanding and designing a home to suit your lifestyle, current requirements and anticipated future needs.

However, with a listed home, extra sensitivity is given to the history, status and décor to ensure significant elements of the property are not compromised by the design and installation of smart services.

The best way to approach installing a smart home would be by speaking to an experienced smart home installation expert. Speaking to the expert early in planning will allow for all the wiring to be planned and fitted during first fix, and space allocated in plant rooms or AV cabinets for equipment. Early discussions also ensure design is not a compromise and most important of all, early discussion and costing of the smart services allows for budgeting whilst planning for the rest of the home, as opposed to smart home services being installed as an afterthought.

What should you expect from your smart home expert?

Your smart home expert should be available to discuss plans with your build team, especially the architect, builder, electrical contractors, and interior decorators. They would produce or contribute to small power drawings, and help with providing discreet systems that blend in with the design of the property.

Following on from the installation, they would help with familiarisation and after care services. Don’t forget a smart home consists of multiple devices that interact with you, your home and other systems within the home. Scheduled proactive and reactive maintenance is recommended to keep systems in tip top condition.

To sum up – a smart home system, designed around the anticipated needs of you and your family is not daunting but essential to fully enjoy your listed property. Once installed you will wonder how you ever lived without it.

A 137-Year Old Smart Home

Discover how we brought an imposing eight-bedroom Victorian house into the 21st century with non-intrusive smart home solutions.

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