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      09-14-2018, 03:25 PM   #1
CANGRKE70
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Spend the extra money? (Home Reno ?)

Need some advice on smart home tech.

I'm going to be doing a full gut job of my existing home and basically all walls will be open.

-New electrical
-New HVAC
-New Natural gas lines
etc.

I'm looking to do the whole smart home thing, is it worth the money? NEST type everything etc.

Has it really made your lives easier?

I'm all for technology just wondering if the benefits are truly there. I'm not looking for re-sale value as I'm living there till I die.

Thanks.
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      09-14-2018, 03:49 PM   #2
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My brother in law just built a house and TBH it's all a bit ghey.

By all means wire the place right and future proof it a bit re. HDMI, USB, Cat6, built in speakers, lots of spare conduit etc etc but Nest is a gimmick imho and TBh I regard a lot of these overly digital services to just be a hackers dream.

One caveat is i generally get annoyed with non-analog inputs, I just find them slow and needlessly complicated as there's not enough buttons and too much is automated whereas i prefer to to manually adjust. So yeah, i absolutely loathe using apple anything for example. So i may not be the best person to ask

Who are you using for the GC part? We are considering a mild reno, kitchen, bathroom, basement and closest basically but need a GC.
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      09-14-2018, 04:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
My brother in law just built a house and TBH it's all a bit ghey.

By all means wire the place right and future proof it a bit re. HDMI, USB, Cat6, built in speakers, lots of spare conduit etc etc but Nest is a gimmick imho and TBh I regard a lot of these overly digital services to just be a hackers dream.

One caveat is i generally get annoyed with non-analog inputs, I just find them slow and needlessly complicated as there's not enough buttons and too much is automated whereas i prefer to to manually adjust. So yeah, i absolutely loathe using apple anything for example. So i may not be the best person to ask

Who are you using for the GC part? We are considering a mild reno, kitchen, bathroom, basement and closest basically but need a GC.
Thanks for the feedback, yeah I'm not sure about the whole NEST everything. Thanks for the feedback.

BRIKS Construction. Formerly POSCHE Design - Build Group.

They have been nothing but through and professional throughout the whole design process. Lots of good reviews on Homestars and they definitely live up to the 98% rating thus far.

Not the most expensive quote, not the cheapest. Hopefully the professionalism continues throughout the build phase. Keep you posted.
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      09-14-2018, 04:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CANGRKE70 View Post
Need some advice on smart home tech.

I'm going to be doing a full gut job of my existing home and basically all walls will be open.

-New electrical
-New HVAC
-New Natural gas lines
etc.

I'm looking to do the whole smart home thing, is it worth the money? NEST type everything etc.

Has it really made your lives easier?

I'm all for technology just wondering if the benefits are truly there. I'm not looking for re-sale value as I'm living there till I die.

Thanks.
I would say the smart home thing is gimmicky as well. Technology outdates itself constantly and there will always be the "newer or better" option. Traditional always will stand the test of time.

I would take the "upgrade" money and run radiant flooring throughout your house, that's a boss move.

May I also suggest running at least 1 extra independent circuit to each junction box for future use in case you want to add anything later. That way it's easy to access a dedicated line without having to snake through the whole house or put holes in walls. In addition, I would also say to make sure your GC has outlets for you every 6 ft in every room if not already there since everything is being re-run anyway.
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      09-14-2018, 04:21 PM   #5
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I agree with the gimmick remarks. It's one of those devices they create to fill a void the doesn't exist. Still, if you're already going to purchase new equipment, it's not a total waste. But i just wouldn't buy this stuff when my "old school" stuff still works properly.
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      09-15-2018, 05:16 AM   #6
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If you have security cameras I would recommend lines for those. The best cameras are hard wired.
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      09-15-2018, 11:06 AM   #7
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Not exactly what you're looking for, but I have the less immersive version of a smart home (google home and a few other wifi appliances), its completely useless and is a gimmick. its nice and is a cool party trick to change the color of the lights on your phone or yell at a device to play music but that's about it. if you have people over you can buy a google home mini for $50 and thats it

i'm willing to bet you wont change the temperature of the thermostat often, smart locks are kinda a gimmick too if you know how to use keys etc, though if you're getting a security system installed with cameras and whatnot it might be useful.

i'll put it this way - if and when i have my own house, i probably would go and do it because i find messing with electronics fun and not necessarily because it's an actually useful thing.
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      09-15-2018, 11:53 AM   #8
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This is my personal recommendation coming from a tech background:

Wire the house with usb/plug combos, as well as Cat6 Ethernet cable to all of the rooms. Average would be 2 ports per room (putting on an interior wall will make running the cables much easier) running them to a com closet. Doesnít have to be itís own room either. A small cabinet adds a decorative touch to a laundry room. Iíd also recommend adding a plug and Ethernet port on The ceiling in a room opposite to the comm closet. This will provide a wired connection for a wireless access point opposite from where youíre comm closet will be with possibly another wireless access point. HDMI ports for wall mounted TVs is a nice touch, but it forces room placement because the tv now has to be on that wall. Iíd also recommend running cat 6 Ethernet cables from the comm closet to each exterior corner of the house (4 at least) so you can put PoE IP security cameras at each corner should you need or want to install security cameras in the future. These cables would go to a security hub and not the switch/router used for your internet.

Last edited by Joe240; 09-15-2018 at 12:47 PM.
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      09-15-2018, 01:29 PM   #9
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I agree about running LAN drops but I disagree with running Cat6. You want Cat6a. There is a difference. Depending on the size of your home, you may or may not be running up on the max distance for 10GbaseT. I forget but Cat6 will support up 10GbaseT up to about just over 50 meters. Cat6a supports the full 100 meters in the standard Ethernet spec.

I agree with the recommendation to run at least 2 Cat6a drops per location. I would think about doing 3 to 4. There are various technologies out there which leverage the use of Category cabling for transmission.

Wireless. The big elephant in the room. If you're doing a full gut of the house, you can now pull proper drops into ceiling locations where you can properly place access points. You can now do a proper wireless system without resorting to using trash repeaters/extenders, have roaming, and the best performance.

I also disagree with doing a simple structured wiring cabinet. If you have to do it, opt for a large cabinet. You'll find the various switches such as PoE switches will not fit well or operate properly in these cabinets without ill effects from heat being trapped in there with the panel closed. I would find a central location where you can have a conduit nearby which you can pull additional wiring. I have a 2" conduit in the middle of my house going from the attic all the way down to the basement. I prefer a wall rack with your wiring pulled and terminated to a patch panel. Make sure there is available power in that location preferably on a dedicated circuit.

A couple of RG6 coax cables per drop location is also advised.

If you're considering security cameras, the suggestion to have the prewires done is a good one.
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      09-17-2018, 09:04 AM   #10
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All great recommendations. Thanks everyone!
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