Plugged in: with this new option, adding home automation to a home plan is as easy as flipping a switch

Installing structured wiring typically hasn’t been that easy when working with a pre-drawn home plan–until now. A new option for the plans in this magazine allows you to include home automation details for just $250.

These details provide direction for wiring every room and beyond–from the front porch to the backyard, and from the attic to the basement. This infrastructure will give your clients centralized control over the systems and electronics in their home.

Unlike robot maids and other gadgets of an imagined future, home automation improves upon the functionality and convenience of devices today’s families already depend on–televisions, smoke detectors, thermostats, speakers, security systems, and motion sensors.

home automation

For example, the door and window sensors of a typical home security system are triggered separately wherever monitored doors and windows open or close. Any motion sensors located on the property are also triggered wherever the hardware senses motion. The triggers are isolated, binary events in a typical system and are not interfaced to provide a more meaningful report of the home environment. By contrast, an integrated home-automation system creates relationships between hardware components.

An automated system can distinguish between “motion sensor triggered, window contact triggered” (homeowner walks across room, opens window) and “window contact triggered, motion sensor triggered” (someone opens window, enters home). The first event has bearing on the temperature system, which would compensate by lowering the thermostat in the affected area of the home. The second event concerns the security system, which would notify the monitoring center about a possible break-in.

Home automation providers can work with pre-drawn plans to provide a whole-house wiring map and components list in the same way modification designers provide customized blueprints. The components list also serves as a cost estimate and payment schedule that the subcontractor or “system integrator” will use to order the hardware used in the design. The integrator will, of course, also charge for labor and any additional design that becomes necessary on site.

Developed by Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA)-certified installers, the Home Automation Upgrade package equips your blueprints with everything you need to hire and work with an installer during construction. It provides a short explanation of the various subsystems, a wiring floor plan for each level of the home, a detailed materials list with estimated costs, and a list of CEDIA-certified installers in your area.

Flip a Switch

Among the systems Home Automation can manage:

  •  Security
  •  Lighting
  •  HVAC
  •  Telecommunications
  •  Home computer networking
  •  Whole-house audio
  •  Home theater
  •  Shade control
  •  Video surveillance
  •  Entry access control
  •  Video gaming
 

Custom Blend

Home automation is just one of the ways the blueprints in this issue can be customized. If you want to add living space, change a roofline, adjust ceiling heights, or just about anything else, there’s no need to wrestle with redrawing blueprints or finding a local architect to make changes. Hanley Wood can help you customize a plan in five easy steps:

  1. Purchase the reproducible master for the chosen home plan;
  2. Pay the $50 consultation fee and you will be sent a customization Change form via e-mail or fax. Complete and return the form, outlining the changes and tensions you want the customization specialists to make. (Note: if you decide to use the customization service, the $50 consultation fee will be applied to the total cost of the modifications.)
  3. The customization specialists will review your changes and provide a detailed cost estimate within 48 hours or two business days.
  4. After you review and approve the estimate. return a signed copy and the customization specialists will complete the plan.
  5. The customized plan will be completed in two to three weeks following the approval of any preliminary designs. You’ll receive either five sets or a reproducible master of your modified design, plus a detailed materials list and any other options you select.

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