If you want something done right – as the old saying goes – you have to do it yourself. If you come to the table prepared and with the right professional help, you’ll have much better success in finding a home plan that is tailored specifically to your preferences. While a lot of thought and imagination goes into choosing a house plan for its size and number of bedrooms, it will save you time (and money!) in the long run to begin construction only after you’ve decided on a home plan that matches all your must-have needs and aesthetic tastes.

Living in the 21st century, today’s home plan must-have’s center around the topic of developments in smart-home technology. With rapid advancements in everything from voice-recognition to at-home healthcare, never before have our homes been able to do so much. Choosing to incorporate modern “smart” features during the construction stage will add comfort, safety and – of course – resale value to the home.

Of course, more old-school considerations also come into play, like routing your plumbing system according to your kitchen and bathroom requirements and ensuring that there’s enough electrical capacity to run all your appliances. Don’t forget to include these factors as you look for a smart living home plan that will suit you and your family for decades to come.

Lighting

Proper illumination can set the right tone and atmosphere throughout the premises. Rather than making do with a mishmash of incandescent, fluorescent, and other types of bulbs, you can outfit your residence with smart LED bulbs. While they are a bit pricey, they last much longer than traditional lighting solutions, and they also consume much less power. Depending on the model you choose, you may be able to switch between millions of colors and adjust the intensity based upon your aesthetic sensibilities. Control your system from a hub, or use your cellphone to make changes even when you’re away from home.

Security

You can configure your own bespoke security arrangements according to your budget, lifestyle, and other personal circumstances. Planning for video cameras, motion sensors, automatic door locks, entry detectors, video doorbells and other home automation system hardware will enable you to secure your house effectively and at a reasonable price. Because the specific pieces of equipment being used will be uniquely tailored to your own needs, any would-be intruders will have a hard time determining exactly what the vulnerabilities of your setup are. Don’t forget to investigate any weaknesses in the wireless communications protocols you’re thinking of using, and always remember to keep your devices patched up to the latest firmware and software versions.

Audio and Entertainment

Whole-home audio and streaming video are rapidly becoming normal parts of everyday life. In order to utilize these innovations to their fullest, you’ll want to incorporate them into your plans from day one. Put 5- or 7-channel speakers in your family room or den, and augment them with 2-channel sound in bedrooms, bathrooms, your home office and other parts of the house. There are a number of options for video, including Roku boxes and Chromecast dongles. You may even want to forgo a cable TV subscription because you can probably craft a much cheaper and more versatile television experience by combining multiple online services.

Ethernet cables accessible from multiple areas of the building are a must-have. So is the ability to connect via Wi-Fi from anywhere on the property, including the front and back yards. Not only is high-speed connectivity desirable in its own right, but it acts as an enabler for many of the other advantages of a tech-savvy home.

Pets and Children

Small children and playful critters are members of your family that both need and deserve your extra attention, and your planning should reflect this. The benefits of a smart nursery include being able to observe your baby or toddler from elsewhere and receive a notification whenever he or she wanders out of the room. You’ll therefore want to make sure you have an area of the house that’s properly hooked up for automated home systems. Include a smart pet food dispenser within your building, and Fido or Spot will remain well fed even when you’re absent.

Cooking and the Kitchen

Kitchen appliances tend to be expensive and bulky, which is why it makes more sense to budget your time and space for them in advance rather than trying to accommodate them later on. An oven equipped with a camera will allow you to see how your meal is coming along without your having to strain your eyesight using an oven light or, worse yet, opening the oven door. Refrigerators are coming on the market that are capable of letting you know when their contents are running low, allowing you to make more accurate grocery lists.

Choosing your family’s home plan is an exciting, challenging process. There are a number of factors to consider before you even begin to search or shop around. But by blending the most up-to-date, tech-smart “must-have’s” with classic essentials, you can ensure your residence will be a place of welcome, safety and happiness for years to come.


 

Contributing Author: Beth Lisanne is a freelance blogger and researcher. In her free time, she likes fixing old cameras and learning to speak new languages. She was born and raised in Michigan but now resides in Chicago, IL.