Creating the smart home of your dreams is no longer a pricey luxury. The marketplace for all things “smart” has exploded and now stands to offer homeowners of all income levels the opportunity to tackle pet projects like security systems, remote appliance controls, entertainment centers and telephonic communication coordination, to name a few. Your smart home can be as complicated or as simple as you like. That’s the beauty of starting out with DIY options and upgrading whenever you like and as your budget allows. Here are five smart home automation projects you can do on your own and on a budget.
Even for the technologically challenged, it’s possible to install dozens of different home automation projects that run on a simple electric current. Things like door sensors, window alarms, light controls and kitchen appliances are near the top of everyone’s DIY project list. With the proper attitude, a limited budget and minimal skills, anyone can create an electronically sophisticated home in the course of a weekend.
Whatever electric project you decide to pursue, remember to research it before buying any components. That way, you can make sure that it allows for future upgrades and integration into more sophisticated systems. Whether you install remote-controlled music and video systems or driveway motion detectors, check the specs of any project before you splice that first wire. Thinking ahead will save you lots of money later on.
There’s no reason to strive for complete integration. Indeed, many homeowners like to keep their security projects unconnected to deter hacking attempts and keep systems decentralized. Some providers of home security are exclusively DIY, which helps save you money on installation and service. DIY enthusiasts who want to boost their home security systems can opt for relatively fast and inexpensive projects like installing reed switches on windows and doors. These simple devices can operate on the home’s electric current or a battery pack. The switch will sound an alarm when the window or door is opened.
There are DIY projects and kits that let you connect any number of reed switch alarms to your smartphone as well. One of the best things about reed-switch alarms is that you can keep them utterly simple for now but easily integrate them into a whole-house upgrade when you have more money to spend.
For less than the cost of a typical restaurant dinner, anyone can install a smart temperature control device on any wall of the home. This is actually more of a “ready-made” project that you can purchase at a hardware store and install yourself. Even so, it’s also possible to buy a smart controller and run several thermostats off of that one location. This project is one that can pay for itself in a matter of weeks through lower utility bills during bouts of extreme weather.
One of the most popular choices for smart home enthusiasts is a sophisticated entertainment system. You can purchase a few components and have all your TVs, radios, and sound systems integrated and up to snuff in an afternoon. Big box stores all over the U.S. sell ready-made components that require minimal technical skill to install and operate.
Depending where you reside, flooding can be a major area of concern. This simple DIY project that helps warn homeowners about the presence of moisture in places where it should not be have been around for decades. For DIY enthusiasts who want to focus on a few low-cost projects, a flood-warning system is an ideal first effort.
You’ll have to make two decisions before beginning: whether are you interested in stand-alone devices or integrated ones, and whether you run the warning units on battery power or the home’s electric current. The most popular option is batteries, for obvious reasons. In a major flood, one of the first public utilities to go down is the electric grid. Stand-alone units in basements, hallways, near water heaters and washers are wise choices for this type of project.
Turning your house into a smart home need not cost a fortune. For example, anyone can install an effective DIY home security system in just a few hours, like this DIY smart mirror, for example! For smart home enthusiasts, the possibilities are endless. Remember that the best DIY projects for your home will allow for future upgrades. That helps you avoid having to start from scratch a year or two down the road when your budget isn’t as tight.