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Including Home Automation Systems With New Homes

By Mike Wheatley | March 1, 2016

As new home designs have become bigger and more elaborate in recent years, so too have the expectations of homeowners regarding what goes into these houses. It seems as though the idea of the “smart home” has been around for decades, with people envisioning robotic servants and appliances that respond to homeowner demands included as a part of the homes. While today’s home automation systems aren’t quite there yet, those such as the units offered through Savant Systems are not that far off. People can control lighting, a home entertainment system, heating and cooling, and yes, even appliances from their wireless devices while away from home. While robotic servants may still only exist in science fiction, one can have a robotic vacuum deliver consistently clean floors.


Lessons Learned From Those Offering Comprehensive Service Packages

However, the ability to automate even the most basic of features comes at a cost. While most aren’t typically in the market for high-end, extremely high-dollar systems, incorporating basic home automation technology into a new build can easily add an additional $18,000–$20,000 to a home’s purchase price. Home builders have a standard practice of trying to incorporate the latest and greatest technologies into their new builds, as prospective buyers have often shown a propensity to add such elements during construction. This has prompted some contractors to go all out and offer comprehensive home automation solutions in new homes. However, if the most recent results of this trend are any indication, such a strategy may just be a little too far ahead of its time.

Buyers of homes that have incorporated full home automation systems often report that their unfamiliarity with these systems’ functions as well as glitches in their operation have caused them to question their investments in them. The net result has been decreased customer satisfaction with the builders themselves, who end up suffering due to factors outside of their control. Even though most understand that home automation systems are operated by third-party providers, the fact that contractors put their names behind them automatically makes them guilty by association.

The Benefits of Basic Home Automation Packages

Many, however, are quickly learning the lesson that examples such as these have to teach. Currently, those home builders that are choosing to offer home auto automation elements to home buyers are only offering basic packages. These allow new homeowners the opportunity to see the benefits that these systems offer firsthand without having to commit to the expense of a full home automation network. This latest contracting trend certainly seems to be more in line with current consumers’ spending on home automation. Statistics show the average amount today’s homeowners are spending on automation to be around $1,200.

Today’s home builders are proving themselves to be more than capable at getting close to providing the proverbial “home of the future.” However, recent history seems to suggest that today’s homeowners may not be ready for it, at least not at the moment they first walk through the door. While a lot of that may have to do with inconsistencies in the technology currently supporting home automation, one can’t overlook the fact that so many value the ability to customize such systems to meet their own unique needs. Having home builders outfit their new builds with only basic home automation systems that allow residents the ability to upgrade in the future may be the ideal compromise in the push to deliver the ideal smart home.

Photo Credit: eak_kkk via pixabay

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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