Even though it may not be readily apparent, homebuilding is a high-tech business. Or at least it is for us! From the software that facilitates our estimating, scheduling and purchasing to keep every home we build on-time and on-budget, to the smart-home features that continue to get, well, smarter, we've always been at the front of the pack, eagerly integrating the best of tomorrow, today.
"Smart home" is a word used prolifically these days. We sat down with David Wilson of Home Run Electronics, our preferred low-voltage partner, to learn more about what it really means, where wired trumps wireless, and what their most popular features are. Here's what he had to say.
How can technology impact the day-to-day livability of a home?
"Things like lighting control and motorized shades allow you to automate when lights are needed based on how much sun is coming into a room. In other words, automatically raising the shades on a random cloudy day gives you natural light, thus no lights need to be turned on. Obviously something like this can be done by “hand” but it can also be done automatically.
Security cameras can let you know that a package was delivered (or stolen…), show you that your child got home safely, remotely see what the weather is like at home, or show you that you left your garage door open.
Smart appliances let you turn on the oven on your way home from Papa Murphys so that the oven is ready to put the pizza in, or create a grocery list when you are getting low on certain staple items."
What home technology features does HOME RUN ELECTRONICS offer?
"We offer everything from phone/cable/internet wiring to security, house audio, surround sound, central vac, window coverings, lighting control and home automation (which allows a lot of these technologies to be tied together)."
Which features have been the most popular for KELLER HOMES HOMEBUYERS? Why?
"Our most upgraded technology is probably security. We install a lot of security systems. I think that people like to have the option of paying for monitoring. When someone goes with a “national” security provider you are forced into a monitoring agreement (or monthly payment), this is optional with Keller Homes clients that buy a system from us."
Are there any features that you feel buyers often overlook but shouldn't? Why?
"It is all based on what someone wants to spend. The things we install are “toys” - they make a house more livable, convenient and fun.
Everything is not wireless; sure you can do some things wirelessly but those items never look as nice as a wired device (when the wire can be behind the drywall). For instance, wireless security devices are larger because of the batteries. Wireless music products play your favorite playlists but they also sit plugged in on a counter top (collecting dust), where wired speakers can be installed into your ceiling and still play that same playlist. Wireless internet is not as fast or reliable as a wired connection, so we recommend that anything in your home that does not move around should be wired to the internet. This will add stability and leave the wireless connection for the devices that cannot be wired (like tablets & phones)."
A special thanks to David and Home Run Electronics, for your assistance with this post!