Since more of us than you’d think might have difficulty figuring out why we should want to remotely activate our washing machine via a command from our smart phone, let’s take a look behind the scenes at what makes smart homes, well, smart.

We see you, all you folks who admit you need the process broken down. It’s not necessarily easy!

Smart homes controlled on tablet.

Still, it’s “smart” to get acclimated to the smart home concept because it’s a future that’s here to stay in the home-building industry. We’re more digitally and remotely connected than ever as a society — social media, anyone? — and the items we use every day will continue to evolve in that direction.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a smart home, let’s build it from scratch. It’s much easier and cheaper to lay strong digital and electronic foundations than it is to retrofit an older home for them.

Follow along as we take you behind the walls of today’s new smart homes.

The network comes first

For our exercise here, we’ll assume you want to build a new custom smart home. That’s a good choice, as mentioned above. Before we go further, realize that as of this writing, there are a number of recognized smart home networks that do a lot of the same things, and also different things unique to each network.

You’ll need to do your research here. You and your family are the only ones who know what you want. Do some googling or talk to friends, co-workers or additional family members who own smart homes, or are well-versed in the technology.

But, we can tell you that new custom smart homes generally include not only electrical systems, but computer systems and WiFi systems installed alongside. This is so every room in your home has access to both WiFi and your chosen network capability that powers smart home functions. Along with your traditional breaker panel, you’ll also have a computer control panel.

Imagine trying to install start-of-the-art network conduit and wiring behind the walls of a 15-year-old home. Redoing your kitchen might be cheaper.

The function comes next

So you’ve chose the smart home network for your new custom home. Your next decisions are even more personal than choosing a network. And no, we can’t tell you what to do here, either. But we’re happy to offer some guidelines.

A basic smart home system consists of a remote-controlled programmable security system, whole-house thermostat and the ability to turn off households lights from the comfort of your bed.

If you want digital door locks that open only when they read the code of your unique key fob, or refrigerators that talk to you about what’s stored inside them, you’re on a different level. You may need what’s known as a hub — a digital system that corrals all your different smart home functions from different manufacturers into one central place on your smart phone or computer.

No matter your choices, it’s still wise to install a network that can support five times those functions, because your smart home needs may change the longer you live in your home.

Ready for your new ICI Homes smart home? Talk to us here.