When people think of home automation, they often think of a stately manor home in a gated community. While that may be the stereotype, it isn’t in line with the new reality especially not in the Toronto area. In new construction, the cost of land and the fact that most of the desirable urban locations have been taken means that buyers are looking at different options. While there are still single family homes being built, mostly to the east of Toronto, there are 132 new tall buildings going up in the downtown core. This is the new way of living – smaller condominium units, close to work and entertainment. Does this mean that you can’t benefit from home automation? Not at all. There are many reasons why the condominium owner will want to make sure that home automation is a major part of their smaller, smarter home style.
First, we should clear up a major objection to putting integrated home technology into a condo. The concern for condominium owners is that they are investing in something they can’t take with them. Condominium, owners tend to move more often than owners of conventional houses. The condo owners are worried that they will be filling the walls and ceilings with cables, then stocking the house with technology and when they move, it will all be left behind. That is no longer the case. When condominium owners move, they have a couple of options. One is to leave the home automation technology as a value added feature. It has been established that an automated home is worth more than a comparable unit without the technology. Why not make this a selling feature of the condominium to set it apart from other units? The condominium re-sale market is tougher than ever. This could be the feature that closes the deal.
If you do chose to take your technology with you, that can be easily done. The walls no longer need to be filled with wire. In fact, most of the functions like lighting control and home theatre is wireless. The only cable in the walls and ceilings will be small inexpensive Cat-5 cable that can stay behind. Equipment racks, control systems and even light switches can be easily removed and re-installed in a new home.
But there are many more reasons a condominium owner would want integrated home technology:
Privacy: The most common design for condos is to use many huge windows, even in bedrooms. This may give you a great view of the city, but the challenges to privacy are enormous. It is a great comfort and convenience for condo owners to have not one but two sets of motorized blinds. One allows light through during the day, the other gives complete privacy at night, and both are easily controlled from a single wall switch or a touch screen. There are many excellent brands we carry, from the long established Lutron line to exciting and affordable new options from Crestron.
Security: Virtually all condos have common hallways. That makes it much easier for strangers to have access to your front door. Integrated home technology can give you the comfort of seeing who’s in your hallway, and also allow you to monitor your home via the internet on your ipad, office computer or smart phone.
The end of clutter and cables: Condos are smaller than houses. They can easily become cluttered with DVD’s, CD’s, Cables, remotes, internet monitors, and all the other accessories that power our high-tech life style. Why not remove all the clutter, cables and loose media from your life with a home automation system? Make your movies and music easier to find. Surf the internet with a wireless keyboard on you giant wall screen. Maximize the smaller space you have and still enjoy all the benefits of a OneTouch lifestyle.
The best time to think about integrated home technology is even before you move in to a condominium. The Home Automation professional can work with the building trades and designers at the construction stage to make sure your system fits in perfectly with your taste, lifestyle and needs. However, even if you are already moved in, it’s easier than ever to add this technology to an existing condominium. The wireless systems won’t interfere with your neighbours, as these systems use unique frequencies. The use of almost no cable and the fact that there is no need for conduit means that there is minimal millwork and almost no disruption to your schedule during installation.
At OneTouch Automation, we have the experience to tackle any condominium automation project. Get in touch with our certified experts to find out if this technology is for you.