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Smart Home Features Guide for 2023 - New Ideas and Cost Info

Smart home features are available for the entire home. Appliances, lights, entertainment, locks, and nearly every part of your daily routine can include automated smart amenities that streamline your life. 

The future is now, with whole home automation. Now more than ever it is possible to reduce those tedious tasks, reduce your energy use, and simply home entertainment. While some smart features are controlled at the press of a button on your smart device, many others can be programmed. Home automation is a smart system that learns patterns and anticipates our needs. Home automation is a luxury home feature that offers the epitome of convenience, comfort, and peace of mind.

Table of Contents:

What Custom Whole Home Automation Is

Cost of Adding Smart Technology

Smart Home Costs by Category

Kitchen

Bathroom

Climate Control

What is Smart Lighting?

Dedicated Home Theatre

Security in Home Automation

contemporary home windows exterior looking inside colourful kitchen in toronto

What is Custom Whole Home Automation?

At the end of the day, is it being welcomed into a brightly lit home with your favourite music playing and the blinds drawn? Is it settling down with the family in your Home Theatre with Dolby quality sound and screens? Is it controlling your security cameras and thermostat while away on vacation?

The answer is yes. It is all of these things and much more. 

Custom Home Automation is just that, a system customized to every individual. The ability to control all aspects of your home with the touch of a button, or through voice assistance. Throughout your life, you may have acquired dozens, if not hundreds of different “smart” accessories for your home. All are managed through different apps and platforms. A Custom Home Automation system designed and installed by a dedicated Automator uses a solitary platform to unify all of your technology to work in concert with one another. Control your home from a wall-mounted touch panel, your smartphone or tablet, or even your choice of voice assistant using one simplified application.

A Custom Home Automation design can include as much, or as little technology as you are comfortable with. By automating your lighting system, you can avoid unnecessary wall scars by reducing 8 different switches to one elegant keypad. There are dozens of designer styles and architectural finishes to choose from to suit every style of decor. With a Custom Audio installation, enjoy music throughout your home without interruption. Dedicated invisible speakers buried behind the drywall provide superior sound quality for audiophiles and movie lovers alike. The accompanying equipment is hidden out of sight in a basement or rack room. Allowing you total control without sacrificing design aesthetics. Motorized shading can be programmed to lower at dusk, or to deliver daylight control to prevent fading of artwork and furniture.

Home Automation…making life simpler so that you can enjoy what’s most important.

modern minimal custom kitchen renovation in toronto

How Much Does Adding Smart Home Technology Cost? 

The cost of adding smart tech is less when you have it installed during your renovation or while your custom home is being built, rather than afterward. Discuss your home automation with smart home features with your home building team during the design phase to consider the best options for your custom project. Waiting until after your project is complete will require cutting into your brand-new walls, ceiling, and even floors.

Smart Home Costs by Category

Your home automation installation can cost, on average, $20K and doesn’t include the appliances and gear. These costs can increase depending on the smart hub protocol, service provider, and square footage of your home. The cost will continue to increase when you add certain appliances and features, like a smart tub, refrigerator, fireplace, and even bed. Installation labour by a technician could cost up to $120 per hour, which is another reason to have your renovation team install for you, especially as you continue to add smart appliances and features to your home.

Kitchen Smart Tech

A kitchen is a common place for homeowners to integrate smart technology and automation. It’s a big part of your morning routine, it’s the room with the most gadgets and appliances and the room where we could all use an extra hand. Smart coffee makers, stove tops, ovens, and dishwashers are common features.

The refrigerator, however, is the most frequently sought-after smart appliance. With your smart refrigerator, access recipes, order groceries online, regulate temperature depending on its contents and even know when your eggs are close to spoiling. Add smart lighting, speakers, and plugs to completely automate your kitchen to simplify your life. The cost of installation could range from around $9K to $25K depending on how many features you include.

modern home kitchen with large window pans looking in backyard and kitchen island in toronto

Smart Technology in Your Bathroom

The bathroom is another popular room for home automation with smart tech, but more so for comfort. Some features that can be made better using smart technology are the bathroom mirror, in-floor radiant heating, the commode, and lighting. But the most impressive smart features will likely be found in the shower and bathtub. The installation costs for these features can range from $2K to $9K. 

A smart shower that includes steam and body sprayers can be preprogrammed to the temperature and pressure you prefer. Include speakers and special light therapy settings for a custom experience that can either wake you up in the morning or help you unwind in the evening.

natural stone finishes in custom modern bathroom-1-1-1

Smart Climate Control

Automating your Toronto home’s heating and cooling offers both comfort and energy efficiency. Preprogram your thermostat to follow your routine throughout the day and manually override the feature through your smart device or can be triggered by your security system or geolocation, adjusting automatically when you’re home and away.

This reduces overusing your A/C or heat when you’re not home and can learn your patterns over time to form use patterns. Your thermostat system can even use information, like local weather and temperature sensors on your windows, to automatically adjust. Installation can range from $750 to $2.5K and include automating your ceiling fans as well.

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What is Smart Lighting?

Smart lighting has evolved from just fancy switches and dimmable bulbs. It is an automated system that allows you to control your lighting across multiple fixtures and floors. You can have preset scenes programmed to your exact specifications. Never walk into a dark house again. Have the mood set for your next dinner party or family gathering with one touch. When away, have your home mimic your regular habits for security. The programming choices are endless and are only limited by your imagination.

Modern Custom in lytton park Toronto exterior with interior lit with smart lighting

Do I Need a Dedicated Home Theatre?

That depends. Do you spend the weekends cuddled up with the family watching the latest offerings on Netflix? Or huddled with your squad watching the big game? Then maybe you do want to devote some space in your home for a dedicated screen, projector, theatre-style seating, Dolby sound, and acoustical wall treatments.

There are also options using motorized shades, lifts, drop screens and invisible speakers to transform a family room into a performance-driven entertainment space. One touch lowers the blinds, turns on the TV to the correct streaming service, dims the lights and sets the mood all without having to designate a separate space.

modern toronto home with 11 foot vaulted ceiling and custom built in shelving home automation sound system with mounted tv on wall

How Does Security Fit into Home Automation?

Have you ever been distracted on vacation by worrying if you closed the garage door or if anyone will notice that your dark home is unoccupied? Have peace of mind by adding in a security element to your Home Automation design.

Check into your cameras any time of day or night. With superior night vision quality, wide angles, audio and zoom functions, today's cameras will leave you feeling safe and secure. Receive real-time alerts about basement leaks or open windows. Your lighting can be set to mirror your daily habits to deter thieves. Even your shading systems can be controlled and programmed to rise during the day and lower at dusk. Manage your door locks from anywhere in the world. Add or delete users and grant temporary access to any lock in your home. You can even receive text alerts and push notifications when a user's code is activated. Making it easy to know when the kids have come home from school or a delivery made.

In a nutshell, Custom Whole Home Automation is the implementation of as much or as little technology into your home as you are comfortable with resulting in a more comfortable and enjoyable environment for life, work and play. Our Home Automation Partners, Simply Sound Solutions, will educate you and help you choose and design the right Automation system for you, your budget and your lifestyle.

Modern Toronto Custom Home (1) (1)

Why Toronto Homeowners are Choosing to Include Smart Tech in Their Homes

Nearly 80% of homeowners prefer smart home technology and report that they are more likely to buy a home if automation is already installed. Why? Whole home automation increases energy efficiency, security, ease of entertainment, and streamlines daily routines. Improve your quality of life with whole home automation and smart technology during your next renovation or custom home build. 

SevernWoods is a Toronto-based luxury custom home builder and renovator that understands the homeowner’s appreciation of a smart home. Contact us about including these and many other smart features in your next custom project. 

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