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Creating an Automated Home: Smart Technology for Your Chicago Home

Creating an Automated Home: Smart Technology for Your Chicago Home

Smart home technology is soon to become indispensable in home remodeling and design. From the bathroom and kitchen to the basement and backyard, smart home features bring convenience, energy efficiency, safety, and comfort to your life. 

When to Include Smart Technology in Your Home

Upgrading your home with smart technology is a fantastic way to boost convenience, security, and even energy efficiency. But what's the smartest way to integrate these features? While some retrofit installations are possible, they can be costly.  Here's why: expect to pay around $120 per hour for labor alone, not to mention the additional expense of patching and repainting after the fact.

So, when is the best time to integrate smart home automation? Home remodeling is the perfect time to integrate smart home automation seamlessly. With open walls and exposed wiring, adding necessary elements becomes a breeze. This saves you money on future repairs and lets you enjoy a fully functional smart home from the get-go.

When planning your remodeling project, discuss smart home aspirations with your designer during the design phase. They can help determine the ideal installation timeline and ensure these upgrades fit comfortably within your budget. This collaborative approach paves the way for a smooth transition into your dream automated home.

Smart Home Features and Home Automation to Consider

Imagine waking up to gentle lights automatically adjusting to the sunrise, brewing a fresh cup of coffee with just your voice command, and effortlessly setting the perfect mood lighting for a movie night.  This is what you can expect of a well-integrated smart home, and during your remodeling project is the prime time to make it a reality.

As you collaborate with your design-build team, brainstorm how smart technology can enhance your daily life in every corner of your home. Their expertise can be invaluable in informing you about the latest smart home automation trends and innovations. We'll delve deeper into both whole-home features that elevate your entire living experience and room-specific features that can transform each space into a haven of comfort, convenience, and personalized automation.

Whole Home Smart Features

Some smart features are designed to improve the function of your entire home. These features will optimize every part of your daily routine, often working in the background of your everyday life. Whether you’re planning a whole-home remodel or finishing your basement, be sure to ask your designer about all of these features during the design phase. 

Thermostat Smart Home Features for Your Chicago Home

Smart Thermostat

Keep your home’s temperature consistent and even with a smart thermostat. It can also monitor the quality of your indoor air and predict your patterns over time to reduce energy use and the tedious task of changing the temperature manually every day. Some smart thermostats use geo-fencing to know if someone is home or on their way home and can adjust their settings accordingly. Weather and temperature sensors on your window can even communicate with a smart thermostat to fine-tune the temperature for your comfort. 

Installation prices can vary depending on the system you select, its complexity, and the transition from your existing system. For example, Ecobee will adjust the temperature in your home depending on whether you’re there and keep the temperature balanced across the home. It also has sensors that can be used as a backup security feature. Connect the system to your home voice assistant for convenience. An added bonus? The whole system starts at $370. 

Home Automated Security Systems

Automated security systems are a staple in today’s home. They offer increased peace of mind, giving you more control and awareness than ever before. Control your locks, security cameras, doorbell cameras, and lighting, all from your smart device. Program your security system to your regular patterns and override the settings when necessary. Get notifications when your cameras are triggered, lock your doors from bed or when you’re not home, and even install a keyless system for hands-free entry. 

An example of a smart security system with these features is Zigbee. It uses mesh networking to link all your devices, including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide, bedside panic buttons, and water leak monitors. The whole home package plus monitoring starts at around $500. 

Smart Entertainment Systems for Your Home in Chicago

A smart entertainment system can be programmed to tailor your visual and audio experience to what you’re watching, your music, or your news. You can also program your system to turn on just before you wake up to get your day started. Have the news in the kitchen as your automatic coffee maker has finished brewing. 

You can also like your TV, which is linked to invisible in-wall wire-free speakers in your bathroom, kitchen, and living room, and you can control which room is playing via your smartphone or voice assistant system. Include smart electric fireplaces in the living room and bedroom that can also be controlled through your smartphone, so you don’t even have to get up to enjoy the glow of a fire, with or without heat. Drywall-style speakers blend seamlessly into the drywall for a truly upgraded feel. Automating your home with entertainment features and other conveniences will vary significantly depending on the extent of the system that you're looking to add. 

Innovative Lighting 

Don’t ever trouble yourself with opening and closing your shades again. Program your shades to rise with the sun and close as the sun goes down. Or, invest in a system that will self-adjust to the sun. Set a weekend mode to sleep in, and override the settings to keep them closed when you’re away. 

Automatic lighting uses sensors to tell if no one has been in the room for a while and turns off automatically. You can also control your lights when you’re on vacation to make it look like someone’s home. Lutron offers a variety of automated lighting features, like wireless automatic shades, dimmers and switches, sensors, and a bedside master switch.  


Smart Tech in Your Bathroom Remodel 

Technology in the bathroom has come a long way in the past few years and can deliver an incredibly satisfying spa experience. Smart features in the bathroom can also conserve water and electricity. Your smart vanity mirror, lighting, shower, bathtub, and in-floor radiant heating can all be programmed to your preferences to make the most personal room in the home even more personalized. A complete bathroom gut and remodel or addition is the perfect starting point to include all of these relaxing and convenient features. 

Create a steam shower with body sprayers set to perfect temperatures and pressure. Include a freestanding tub with programmed jets, heated tub walls, and even accompanying music for a sound bath experience. ThermaSol is just one company that offers a full steam shower package that considers your perfect lighting, music, and temperature.

Kitchen Smart Home Features for Your Chicago Home

Smart Technology in Your Kitchen Remodel and Expansion

Consider incorporating smart features that streamline tasks and elevate your culinary experience. Imagine pre-programming your oven and monitoring its progress from your smartphone or with simple voice commands. This is just one example of how smart technology can transform your kitchen from hard work into a playground for your inner chef.

Simplify your grocery shopping and food management with a smart refrigerator. Imagine glancing inside your fridge while you're at the store using a built-in camera. No more forgotten essentials or unnecessary purchases! These smart fridges can even do more. They can automatically adjust the temperature based on contents, keep your groceries fresh with UV light sanitation, and even help you plan meals with on-screen recipe access.

Dishwashers, stoves, coffee makers, and more are available in smart models that suit your function and style needs. Programmable lighting, smart outlets, in-floor heating, and a smart speaker system can also be handy in your smart kitchen. Depending on the features you include, installation of your kitchen’s smart features could range from $9,000 to $25,000. 

Your Chicago Area Home of the Future, Today

Smart features in your home will increase energy efficiency, security, ease of entertainment, and streamline daily routines. That’s why 80% of homebuyers prefer homes that already have this technology installed. Improve your quality of life with smart features across the home. Planning for smart tech is best completed in the design phase of your project, so consider working with a design-build firm to help you maximize the future technology in your home. 

Uncover more essential considerations for your home remodel project. Download our free guide, "The Ultimate Step-by-Step Home Renovation Transformation Guide," for a comprehensive planning process overview.