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Is DIY Home Automation a Good Idea?


Home automation is the wave of the future, with wireless locks, automated zoned heating, home theater, and remote lighting and security systems. But the cost of components and labor can add up. Is home automation a good do-it-yourself (DIY) project?

If you’re wondering whether to tackle a DIY home automation project, here are some considerations.

A Home Automation Project Includes Several Components

Which components you need depend on what features you’re choosing for your home automation system. But in general, components will fall into these categories:

  • Primary controller component. The main brain of your home automation system, the primary controller sends commands to your electronic appliances.

  • Secondary controller components. These components are used remotely so you don’t have to be present at the primary control center. You might use a remote controlled handset, a phone app, or a switch to give home automation commands.

  • Appliances and electronics. These are the devices to be controlled by your home automation system, such as a TV, audio system, or home theater.

  • These mechanical devices are also under the command of your home automation system. They can automatically set alarm systems, control temperature, and turn lights on and off.

  • These components detect conditions that trigger change and notify your home automation system. Alarm systems, movement detectors, and temperature and light systems require sensors.

You Need Skills to Install a Home Automation System

Experienced DIY homeowners know that not every project will be theirs. If you have the understanding and skill set, you can set up a DIY home automation system. Here’s a selection of the skills and knowledge you’ll need.

  • Product Knowledge. A professional home automation installer knows what components are on the market and what problems they may have. A DIY installer will want to research this or consult with a professional. Consider compatibility of products, quality, and reliability when choosing components for home automation.

  • Wiring Skills. As a DIY installer, you will need to knock holes in your walls and pull cables throughout the house. You will want to be knowledgeable and comfortable with home wiring before you tackle the task.

  • Electrical Skills. You may need to replace or install new equipment such as lighting to make it compatible with your home automation system. If you’re not comfortable with this or with wiring, you should consult a licensed electrical contractor. In some places, it’s required that an electrician sign off on electrical work.

  • Audio Skills. There’s a world of audio equipment out there. You will need to decide what kind of amp to get, how many speakers, and how many zones you need for your space.

  • Computer Skills. Your home automation equipment will interface with satellite radio, cable TV, the Internet, and other sources. You want to feel assured about creating that interface and troubleshooting any problems that may crop up.

A typical DIY homeowner may find a home automation system a little beyond their scope. If that’s true for you, give Connected Home a call at (910) 317-0876. We specialize in home theater, home audio, home automation, and home security installation and support. We’re knowledgeable about the latest in great technology and our staff can help you choose the best options for your situation. Call Connected Home today!

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Connected Home in Leland NC has 8 Cedia Certified AV Technicians