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4 things you need to factor in when building a smart home

Presented by nbn / realestate.com.au / 11 May

Building a home for the future involves a lot of decision-making.

Where will we build? How much will we spend? What design features do we want?

They’re just some of the important considerations that will need to be discussed. But get it right and you’ll have a home that will serve you and your family for a decade or more, so it pays to take the time to plan things carefully.

Here are four of the most important things you should factor in when building your own home.

1. Get on the network

The nbn broadband access network is rolling out around Australia, and while it has reached 6.3 million homes already, it’s not yet in every area.

So check whether the house and land you’re buying is going to be nbn ready, as the network will soon be the standard.

Homebuyers Centre general manager, Victoria, Simon Mongan says it should be one of the first things you investigate.

The nbn is becoming pervasive, giving fast-speed internet to more and more areas around the country. Picture: Getty

“I think it’s important to make sure you are set up for it when you build your home. You’re kidding yourself if you don’t get yourself set up with nbn™,” he says.

“It’s very straight-forward these day. The developer does the run-in and the fibre optics are in the street. It’s maybe $700 or $800 to have two internet ports, you can just plug your modem in and you’ve got Wi-Fi throughout the house, at top speeds.”

2. Smart wiring

Home automation is becoming cheaper and more user-friendly all the time.

And with that ease of accessibility and use comes a wealth of new options and choices for wiring up your home, but that doesn’t mean all options are good options.

“From a home automation perspective it’s pretty important to look at where technology is going. A lot of people are still wiring their houses with an Ethernet cable, which is all well and good, but everything’s going wireless,” Mongan says.

nbn™ has a number of guides on how best to set up your home, and your builder should also be able to advise you on the best solutions for your needs.

Voice-controlled home automation systems, like the Amazon Alexa, are paving the way for a wireless future in the home. Picture: Eugene Hyland

3. Approach on-trend smart fittings with caution

While it’d be great if our technology choices lasted us a lifetime, in reality things are changing at such a rapid rate that the technological landscape could be wildly different in just a few years’ time.

So when selecting fittings to take your build to the next level, avoid the trap of installing every latest and greatest feature on the market. History tells us that only a handful of the best ideas survive, while others are soon superfluous to our needs, or simply overkill.

Mongan says you’re best to choose appliances and gadgets that are expected to be here for the long haul, such as smart lighting and security, rather than fads that could be gone within a couple of years.

TV, music and entertainment systems that all talk to each other and are controlled through your mobile device, smart lighting, doors that can be opened via your smartphone and other appliances that control themselves or can be operated remotely, are all things expected to become more commonplace in the very near future.

In the kitchen of the future, it won’t be uncommon for fridges to come with LCD screens. Picture: Getty

4. Optimise your connection

Wi-Fi continues to evolve and improve in Australia. You may not realise it, but there have been five major progressions to the Wi-Fi standard in Australia since it first reached Australia in 1999 – most recently in 2014.

But not everyone is fully taking advantage of it. Some of your older devices or routers might only support one of the superseded generations of Wi-Fi. It will still work, of course, but you won’t be enjoying anything like the speeds you could potentially achieve with the latest routers and latest devices.

So it pays to check that your router and devices are running the latest standard, which is 802.11ac, or 802.11n at the very least.

Energy Stuff specialises in Residential Solar. We also provide smart monitoring systems that go with any smart home setup. Call us for further information 1300 656 205 or go to our website at https://ongrid.energystuff.com.au/smart-energy/

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