How Much Does a Smart Home Cost?
One of the barriers for many people when it comes to smart homes, or home integration, is the fear of cost. “How much does a smart home automation system cost?” and “How much does it cost to build a smart home?” are also some of the most challenging questions to answer!
The size, age, style, and materials used in the home all weigh in on what is possible with an existing home. In new construction, the same is true AND you have so many more choices to make that impact the long-term value you get from your home, not only in resale—but in lifestyle. Some equipment is more value-driven and some, more design-centric. Oftentimes, a ‘simple’ experience requires a level of sophistication on the back end. Sometimes that’s not the case, depending on what you deem as ‘simple’.
At Integration Controls, it’s our mission to understand what you mean by wanting to ‘make technology more simple’ and yet, it all comes at a cost. That’s why we’re putting down on paper (ok, in this digital blog)—for the first time ever—how much to budget when planning for a smart home automation system. We’ve broken it down into systems and concepts, including the home network, indoor/outdoor motorized shades, smart lighting, home entertainment, and home automation. You’ll also find a few tips to help you scale over time.
These tips and budgeting guidelines will help you understand more about the smart home, design options, quality considerations, and more. When the time is right to discuss your needs, please reach out!
Planning Your Home Networking Budget
Let’s start with home networking as it is the most crucial part of your home automation system because it’s the highway that keeps everything moving. If that highway is in gridlock, your experience will be subpar.
Many people consider adding wireless mesh extenders to act as a single network, with many points of connectivity around the home instead of just a single location. Because mesh networks broadcast from each point around your house rather than from a single location, they provide good coverage for simple networks in our local St. Louis homes around 2,500 square feet. For something like this, you should expect to pay $3,000 to $7,000, installed and configured for basic home needs. *Something to note: mesh extenders can only boost or extend the quality of the signal they receive. Receive three bars / extend three bars.
Say it’s summer and you work from home. Your kids are downstairs gaming heavily and your house guests are streaming Netflix. You may have more bandwidth needs than the average Joe. Likewise, if your home is simply larger, or adorned with higher-end interior finishes like metal and stone, you will need additional wiring for better network support. Sound like you? If so, budget for a more extensive network including a wired backbone from $10,000 to $20,000.
Budgeting for House-Wide Indoor and Outdoor Motorized Shades
Motorized shades and window treatments (sometimes called smart blinds) are one of the most requested features in today’s smart home, after a home network update. Shades and drapes that are intelligently connected and motorized will control glare, protect your art and furniture from sun damage, offer ambiance, privacy, and more!
Shades can also extend outdoors to make spaces more comfortable as a natural extension of your home. “Wall-to-wall” outdoor shades can create a “room” outside, keeping harsh glare and insects at bay—perfect for surrounding an outdoor kitchen, enclosing a patio, or creating a cozy, glare-free outdoor media space. (Read our blog on how to Extend Your Missouri Summer with Patio Shades to learn more.)
So, how much do smart motorized shades cost? The simple answer is $1,500–$5,000 per installed shade. This sounds like a wide range until you consider all of the factors that weigh in: the size of the window, the fabric chosen for the shade, whether it’s a single or dual shade, wireless or battery operated, and whether it has particular design details.
As a certified design partner of the Home Technology Association, we’d like to share this great article, “The Top 9 Ways Motorized Shades Can Make Your Home Better,” which has some nice insights when it comes to your shade options and schedule a shade consultation today!
How to Budget for Smart Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important home features to get right in a home for optimal comfort, ambiance, and wellness—especially if in the middle of a redesign, remodel, or designing a new home. With LED lighting as the forerunner for architectural recessed lighting, options like color temperature, shape, aperture, finish types, and more are design options to consider.