The latest smart home technology offers homeowners ultimate convenience
and peace of mind.
Words by jane hoffman
PHOTOGRAPHY BY mary carol fitzgerald
Today’s homes are becoming smarter, thanks to several products on the market that allow homeowners to monitor their house from a smart phone. Once an attraction for the tech-savvy or the wealthy, smart homes are becoming accessible to all homeowners.
According to CNN.com, sales of smart home systems are expected to grow from $9.5 billion in 2015 to $44 billion by 2017, making it a fast-growing industry. Roughly 40 million homes will have smart home technology in the next decade. Many smart home systems are surprisingly affordable, easy to install, and offer homeowners more convenience, safety, and peace of mind.
You might think of a smart home as being one where you walk into the room and the lights go on automatically, but in reality, a smart home is a network of systems that communicate with each other and can be controlled remotely from a smartphone or other electronic device. Imagine being out of town during a heavy rainstorm. If you have smart home technology installed and there is water on the basement floor from a sump pump overflow, the water sensors will send a signal to your smartphone alerting you to the situation. Or, if you are at work or away from your home on a day when you need to give someone access to your home for service or delivery, you can remotely unlock the front or garage door to allow the person entry—all from your cell phone.
John Dawson, owner of Barrington-area building company Dawson Builders, Inc., believes in offering customers the services they might need for their homes. Whether it be a handyman job, a remodel, or the building of a custom high-end home, John wants to take care of his customers.
It was because of this philosophy that John recognized a need by many of his customers to have smart home technology in their homes, especially customers who travel south for the winter. Dawson’s team researched many different smart home systems and ended up choosing one called Insteon, which they felt was the best quality product for their customers.
There are many types of products on the market today that allow homes to be “smart.” In Insteon’s case, a hub is connected to the existing home router. The hub communicates with wireless monitoring devices set up on the smart home network and sends images or messages to your smart phone. The home does not need to be new construction to utilize the new technology, there simply needs to be a router in the home. The hub then becomes the home’s main operation center, where it monitors components such as thermostats, moisture meters, and light timers. It even includes cameras and door contacts, among other features.
Although smart home technology can be installed by the homeowner, Dawson Builders offers their customers the value-add of installing the technology, since it is not as easy to install as the manufactures lead you to believe. Once installed, you can monitor from your cell phone and Dawson will also monitor water leaks and temperature, sending a person to your home if something is wrong.
“We want our customers to know that while they are away, we can monitor their home, and, more importantly, send someone out to the home if something is wrong,” says John. “We will call and let the customer know we are on it, and, if necessary, that we are fixing it for them.”
If you are a homeowner, it might be the right time to start thinking about ways you can make your house smart.
Dawson Builders is located at 113 N Cook Street in Barrington, 847-846-4463, dawsonbuilders.com.