3 tips to avoid smart home frustration

It made national news when tech magnate Bill Gates built a technology laden home in his home state of Washington. With features like a high-tech sensor system that helps guests monitor a room’s climate and lighting, an underwater music system and computer screens that change artwork to match your preference, the home still seems ahead of its time.

However, high tech features are prized by more than just Bill Gates. A 2015 report by Wealth-X and Sotheby’s highlights the rising popularity of smart home features, particularly with those who own multiple homes:

“They often include numerous networking technologies and communication interfaces such as energy management systems, security and access control systems, HVAC control systems, entertainment control systems, and health monitoring systems. All these devices help to connect key electrical appliances with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and permit the users to remotely control, monitor, and access their residences.”

Monitoring your home’s security through your iPad while you’re away is ideal, but the reality can be a disappointment.

Candy’s Dirt, a popular real estate blog featured a Sebastian-built home, lauding the property’s high tech features:

“This Mediterranean villa marries Old World feel with state-of-the-art technology. The entire property is integrated with HomeTronics, and every room has an iPad for control. You can sit in chair and turn on fireplaces, open drapes and blinds, adjust temperatures, turn off lights, or lock doors, indoor and out. There’s also whole-house surround sound, controlled from smart devices and the iPads.”

Jerry Nogalski, Client Concierge for Sebastian Construction Group notes that the biggest post-move in complaint he hears from clients is that their overly-complex home frustrates them – particularly audio-visual systems and lighting control.

“I would tell the homeowner know what they are getting into and understand the limitations of the system. Most of our clients have whole house systems and have had good and bad experiences with them.”

Jerry offers a few pieces of advice to keep enjoyment levels high and frustration to a minimum:

1. Keep your systems as simple as possible. Avoid the temptation to connect multiple systems into one.

“The biggest issue is when the home loses power.  A generator or battery backup may turn on, but some of these systems are so sensitive that it may cause other parts of the system to go down, which causes client frustrations.”

2. Expect to invest in upgrades.

“People need to remember technology changes every day and their system can be out of date within a year of it being installed.  The biggest thing is to make sure that their system has the capability to upgrade. And know that the updates will come with an additional cost.”

3. Work with a reliable integrator.

The technology is nothing without an experienced company to install it, train you on its use and to be available when there are problems. Several of the companies we frequently work with offer 24/7/365 service teams to keep your smart home running optimally.