Home automation has grown very quickly in popularity. From something only the wealthiest could afford to a regular part of millions of homes, automated control has now arrived in a big way. But many homeowners still think this technology is only for their primary residence. As prices become more and more competitive, wireless technology increases and vacation homes become better equipped, it’s time to consider automating your cottage, chalet or lakeside retreat. Of course, the automation needs of a vacation property aren’t exactly the same as those of a full-time residence. It is unlikely that you will install a 7- speaker home theatre in a cottage. There are, however, many things that home automation brings to the table that you may find appealing for a vacation property. Here are a few of them:
This is the number one concern of vacation property owners. Many cottage owners have experienced the disturbing surprise that comes from finding that someone has broken into their property in the off-season. It is a bad emotional experience, but it can also be expensive. Vandalism and doors or windows left open to the elements can cause thousands of dollars in property damage. There’s no need for this to happen. If you have access to phone lines, the internet or satellite capability, it’s possible to keep an eye on the property all year. Window-break sensors and motion detectors can alert you at once to any intruder, human or animal. The very same security systems can protect you from intruders when you’re there. That can be an added comfort if you’re in an isolated area far from the authorities.
Lighting is also a safety factor. Wouldn’t you rather drive up an illuminated driveway to find a fully lit cottage? No problem. Just send the command with your iPhone before you arrive.
If you rent your cottage, you may want to install a programmable number pad in place of the lock. No more keys to deliver or return when the place is rented, and you can change the code so no-one can copy your keys and use them later.
Protect your property
Intruders aren’t the only source of damage to vacation homes. Frozen water pipes, flooding in the spring, fire and many other hazards can damage your property. A home automation system can detect any of these problems and immediately alert you allowing you to contact local authorities or trades to deal with the emergency. With automated door locks, you can let them in when they arrive, all without going to the property. A lot of this can be done even in areas without internet access. Products like the Sensaphone 400 will perform many of these monitoring functions on a simple analog telephone line.
Irrigation control is also a good feature to consider. If you can’t get to the property for a few weeks, you may still want to water the lawn and irrigate the flowerbeds. Your cottage automation system can easily do it, either on a regular schedule or by a remote command.
On a chilly night, who wouldn’t prefer to arrive at a chalet that has already been preheated before you get there? Your automated comfort control can keep the property at a temperature that protects it from ice damage. When you’re on your way, send the command to warm the building up and arrive to a warm cozy welcome.
While you’re there, make sure you take advantage of controlling the many devices you now use at your vacation property. Satellite TV, DVD players and video games are all regular parts of the summer lifestyle. Why not add a radio frequency gateway to the system and wirelessly control all these devices? You may want to add control of the temperature and the lights in the hot tub too.
And don’t forget zoned audio. Whether it’s background music or the latest marine weather report, it’s easy to have the sound you want in any room. Add a CEN-NSP and you can easily access your favourite summer songs on your iPod.
At OneTouch automation, we believe that easy control of your home or cottage is not a silly luxury. It is simply the logical way of using and living with today’s home technology. We want to show you how convenient and affordable it is to put all this safety, comfort and convenience at your fingertips. Call the experts at OneTouch for a no-charge consultation. We know you will get excited about how different your new automated lifestyle is, whether you’re in the city or the country.
If you would like to design your audio visual or home security systems please feel free to contact us.