A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Smart Home on a Budget
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A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Smart Home on a Budget

Installing smart home technology in your home makes day-to-day life easier, allowing you to control everything from music to temperature with the touch of a button or a voice command, whether you are on site or on the go. Given the advantages, it's no surprise that smart homes are becoming more popular in the United States. The number of smart homes on the market is expected to grow up to 28% by the year 2021.

 

Homeowners who are taking steps to upgrade their technology will also benefit due to the fact that this increases property value. Real estate with smart home capability can increase in value by 5%, according to HomeAdvisor. If you outfit your home with state-of-the-art tools now, you will reap the rewards if you choose to sell later. That doesn't mean you have to spend a huge amount of money to get up-to-date. Find out how to create a smart home for minimal investment below.


Figure out what types of products you will benefit from


The diversity of smart home products available can be overwhelming. In the interest of saving yourself money, don’t simply splurge on every gadget you can find. Take the time to assess your needs, do your research into the types of technology available, and figure out where you could use help. For example, if you want to tap into a smart home’s potential to save on utilities, you should be looking into a smart thermostat, which offers automatic temperature control tailored to your family’s habits.


Security is another popular topic of concern for homeowners. Smart home security systems include tools like a video doorbell camera and motion sensors to keep you safe. These let you check on unusual activity by your front door even when you aren't home, for example by linking the door camera to your mobile phone. If you spot an issue, you can alert the police. An added bonus: Your home insurance premiums may decrease if you install such security devices.


Comparison shop different brands and models to find affordable options

Once you’ve narrowed down the list of devices you want to invest in, you can start checking out different models. Shop around between brands and look for rebates and other online deals to save money. Say you want to buy a smart home thermostat, for example. Nest is a well-known name in the field. This Google-owned product is known for being easy to install and simple to use. It relies on a motion sensor to detect when people are in the house or not, and adapts the temperature accordingly. 

There are also more budget-friendly brands, however, such as the Honeywell Lyric T5. Running around $100 less than a Nest device, it still covers the essential points. While it lacks motion sensors, you still pre-set controls for preferred temperature ranges at set times, or control the temperature remotely via an app. Though it requires a bit more active attention, it can still achieve the same cost-savings in terms of utilities as a Nest if you’re vigilant.


Opt for cost-efficient aesthetic tricks to blend in your new gadgets


While you may love the convenience that a smart home offers, you might not love the look of having these gadgets and gizmos strewn throughout your house. There are many ways to make your tech-driven home stylish as well as practical. Start by dedicating select space for your devices: When it comes to routers, for example, tuck them away on high shelves, out of sight (as an added bonus, the router will work better when it’s up high). Bundle cords together with plastic zip ties to cut down on the clutter of electrical wiring. Another way to hide devices is to simply tuck them behind potted plants, which you can get at an affordable stores like Lowe’s.


Follow the above tips and you will be able to create a smart home that is tech-savvy yet stylish, without worrying about costs. The small investment you make will pay off as you benefit from practical advantages and increased home value.


Photo Credit: Rawpixels

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