Potential in smart property

A retired property developer took this on as a personal project to create his first smart home. Amy Wallington finds out how he got on.

When looking for a new home, some buyers, especially those in the higher end of the market, will not only be looking at the house from a practical point of view but also at its technical capabilities. Smart homes are attractive to buyers who are looking to have more control over daily tasks to make their life easier.

Realising this potential, a retired property developer saw a unique opportunity to create a three-bedroom, single-storey house packed with home automation to sell on. As a smart home novice, he knew he would have to seek help from a professional to make the project a success.

Calling upon integrator, Lake Home AV, the client was able to outline what he wanted to achieve with the development, which was named Hawkes Place. Luke Kavanagh, director of Lake Home AV says: “He wanted to build a bespoke house of the time with lots of technology without blowing the budget. He advertised for a home automation specialist and had a few quotes, but he chose us because he liked our bespoke solutions and willingness to work with his budget instead of against it.”

The property developer was not fussed about any high-tech gimmicks with this property, he simply wanted everything to be connected and controlled easily for himself and the eventual buyers. As he was completely new to home technology, and there was a high possibility that any potential buyers would also be new to it, the main stipulation was that it had to be a simple, all-in-one, and easy-to-use system.

The client’s brief was to connect the heating, lighting, blinds, and audio, while also having a secure and controlled entry system. He also wanted every room in the house to have its own touchscreen for individual room control.

The property was a new build development meaning that the integrator had a clean slate to work with. They worked with the electricians early on to design the system to ensure there were no later issues or unwanted surprises.

“Our client liked the app programming, so they were confident making changes without having to employ a specialist.”

When choosing the equipment to install, the integrator focused on the ease-of-use and user-friendly programming capabilities so recommended Legrand’s User Interface range, including its MyHOME_Up system. “Our client liked the app programming, so they were confident making changes without having to employ a specialist,” Kavanagh explains. A Legrand representative travelled to the client to discuss different options to cater to what he wanted. “This was really useful as it enabled the owner to see exactly what was possible for the size of the property,” he continues.

Alongside the main automation system, Kavanagh also specified a Bticino door entry system, Nuvo audio, and security systems from Pyronix and Hikvision.

Once the systems were decided on, installation began throughout the property. Every room in the house now has at least one element of smart home technology installed, including a touchscreen to control the elements of that room.

Legrand’s MyHOME_Up system gives the user control of the heating, lights (both indoor and outdoor), and the blinds, while automated access to the property is integrated through the Bticino door entry system, adding extra security to the home.

Multiroom audio was enabled throughout the home using a Nuvo audio system. The residents can manage and control what they want to listen to in each room or throughout the house by connecting their music and audio streaming services to the speakers.

For extra control options while at home and also while away, they can access the full home automation system on their mobile phones or tablets through an app, enabling them to stay connected and have full control wherever they are. When guests stay at the property, they can use the standard system, allowing them to control the critical functions of the home without having app access.

Not only is the MyHOME_Up system easy to use for the end user, but they can also manage their home automation scenes whenever they want without needing to bother the installer. Kavanagh says: “The whole installation process was very easy, not just from my point of view but from the end user’s as well. The customer has gone from being a smart home novice to confidently creating scenes which improve day-to-day living habits.”

With an overall cost of £25,000 plus VAT, the project has resulted in a simple and easy-to-use smart home that any potential buyer could walk in to and get to grips with straight away. A young couple have since bought the house as their own. “They now have control at the touch of a button, the ability to set scenes and control all the elements of the property with the flexibility to programme and tweak the system without ongoing costs within their budget,” concludes Kavanagh.

Tech Spec

Automated Curtain Control (Controlled by MyHOME)

External Switched Lighting Circuits with MyHOME_UP Two-Channel Relays

Hikvision CCTV System with Remote App

Legrand Bticino Video Gate Entry System with Keypad

Legrand MyHOME_Up Two-Channel Dimmers

Legrand MyHOME 7” Touchscreen

Legrand MyHOME Scene Lighting Controller

Legrand MyHOME Server 1

Legrand Thermostats for Underfloor Heating System with Seven Zones using Legrand MyHOME_Up Heating Relays

NUVO P3100 3-Zone Smart Home Audio Player

NUVO Series Two 6.5” In-Ceiling Speakers

NUVO Series Six 6.5” In-Ceiling Speakers

NUVO Series Six 8” In-Ceiling Speakers

Pyronix Security alarm with Remote App

Sonance I8 Subwoofer

Yamaha AVR A680 Receiver