The Pros and Cons of Smart Home Renovations

In the last several years, tech companies have begun releasing more advanced, useful and affordable technology than ever before. With internet of things (IoT) connectivity integrating into so many aspects of our lives, it’s no wonder that smart home renovations are becoming more and more popular.

Transforming your house into a smart home with the many new devices available offers many benefits in regards to convenience and connectivity; however, there may be a few drawbacks to making these changes in your home. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular smart home renovations, then weigh the pros and cons of taking the plunge:

Smart Home Renovations

Before you consider whether smart home renovations are for you, it’s helpful to learn about what kind of devices currently exist and what they have to offer to see if they’re for you. Most of these devices can automate simple tasks for you, which helps free up your time. However, it’s important to consider whether they’ll fit in with your home’s environment.

There are a large variety of smart appliances to consider adopting, including:

  • Smart doorbells with cameras to see who is at your door
  • A cloud camera that streams a live feed of the inside of your home
  • An Echo or Alexa speaker that can answer questions, play music, or make calls
  • Even a smart toilet that can flip the seat and lid automatically, reduce your toilet paper consumption by including a bidet wand, and flush the bowl for you.

If you’re considering adopting smart appliances and technology, chances are you’re interested in contemporary decor. Smart appliances often look very modern because they’re the newest appliances being released, and their appearances reflect that. Therefore, they aesthetically fit best in a household with modern architecture, innovative features, open and flexible floor plans, and displaying little ornamentation or ties to the past.

Another smart home renovation that people often make is installing renewable energy sources. Switching to renewable energy offers a lot of benefits in the long term, such as lowering power bill costs, increasing the value of your home, and reducing your environmental impact. Although this may have a high initial cost, solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal heat pumps all qualify for the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which means the government will reimburses all or a portion of your investment.

Pros of Smart Home Updates

Smart home renovations are a big change, and there are several benefits that come with updating your home. However, these changes aren’t for everybody, as some people may consider simple and domestic tasks as a valuable part of their day. The following are a few benefits that come with making your home a smart home:

Prevent and Minimize Damage

There is a lot of technology designed around preventing and minimizing damage that occurs regularly in homes. These technologies include:

  • Water leak detectors that can shut off the water if they detect moisture
  • Smart thermostats that can prevent your pipes from freezing
  • Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, which can notify you through an app if they detect irregular amounts of smoke or CO2, respectively

Convenience for the Aging and Disabled Population

Another area of technology that people invest in is appliances that help increase the safety of homes. This is especially important for the seniors or people with disabilities. These groups often need a little extra assistance, which safety technology can provide through:

  • Smart locks that can be unlocked via Bluetooth or a code if someone forgets their keys
  • Smart lighting systems, which switch lights on and off by learning your daily patterns
  • Home healthcare equipment that can monitor a person’s health, ensure their safety, and notify authorities if needed.

Improved Home Safety

Livestream cameras and smart cameras that record different areas of your home are very popular now that they have become more accessible. These give homeowners peace of mind if they need to leave their home for a few days by allowing them to make sure everything is safe and sound at home. These cameras can also help ensure that your pets are safe while you’re away, and they can alert you if anything at all goes wrong while you’re out of the house.

Better Energy Efficiency

Along with green energy installations, several smart home appliances can help reduce the energy used by your home. In the next five years, smart thermostats are expected to be one of the most commonly used home devices, as they can create energy-saving schedules that reduce energy consumption of heating and cooling by up to 30 percent. This can provide a big relief for people that are concerned with the amount of money they’re spending on their heating and cooling bills.

Cons of Smart Home Devices

Although there are a great number of benefits to smart home renovations, every big change and new technology has a downside. These are a couple of the concerns that people have when investing in smart home devices:

High Startup Costs

Smart home devices are still relatively new, which means some types of appliances are not yet financially accessible to many people. Although the market is expanding, which is causing prices to drop, many systems and appliances are still very expensive. Some smart home devices can cost a few hundred (and sometimes thousands of) dollars, and when making a complete smart home renovation, the overall cost could take a toll on your bank account.

Due to the high startup costs of smart appliances, it can be a good idea to invest in homeowner warranties, which will protect your devices if they ever break down and need to be fixed or replaced. Wear and tear is a pretty standard and normal occurrence in any appliance, and protecting your investment with insurance can save you money in the long run.

Internet Devices Can Be Hacked

Internet connectivity provides a high level of convenience for its users. However, IoT devices still face many challenges in regards to security. In 2015, a tech company tested the security of 16 home automation devices, and out of these devices, there was only one that was not easy for its researchers to break into. While smart home appliances are developed by tech experts, they’re still made by appliance companies that don’t often have background knowledge in security.

Further, because these devices are so new, there are not yet industry standards for how secure these devices need to be before they hit the market. Although it may seem unlikely for anyone to care enough to break into the smart appliances in your home, the risk is there.

It’s too early on to know what the future of homes will look like as smart appliances become more widely adopted, but there’s no doubt that the world we know today will be very different a few years down the road. We are stepping into a futuristic and IoT environment, and as more progress is made, these renovations will become the new norm.

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The leading referral service in Canada helping homeowners realize their home improvement projects, we help you throughout your renovation experience via this blog, with articles on the home improvement topic, trends, new materials, tips and advice. In addition to referring you trusted contractors, SmartReno also offers you a blog to get inspired. Looking forward to help you with your projects !