Now that you've selected your building site and your interior decor, upgrade the security and control systems in your new home while it's being built. Whether you've chosen a model home or a custom design, it's easy to work with your contractor to add simple elements to your home's wiring design to make it safer and more convenient for living, working and playing.
Many security and home-management upgrades need to be done before your walls are finished to avoid the tacky look of exposed wiring that's common with post-construction electrical, electronic or cable additions. Research and discuss with your contractor any of the following upgrades before the licensed electrician, cable guy and phone tech start running their wires:
Security features for everyday living
When you have a centrally wired and connected alarm and HVAC system, you safeguard your home from intrusion, property damage and fire no matter where you are. Smart homes can be programmed to be warm and well-lit as you return from work, protecting you from injury at night and ensuring your comfort while conserving energy when no one is home.
A central smart-home system alerts you to a malfunctioning heating system, a broken hot water heater or a pet on the loose. Use your phone and the home-management system to lock the garage door from work if you forget, or let your spouse in the door if they've been accidentally locked out. Many of these features work with voice commands so people with disabilities can manage their households more easily.
Extra lighting for safety and security
Most new home construction includes standard outdoor lighting. Visit your new home construction site in the evening to learn where any dark areas are, and arrange with your contractor to include additional exterior lighting in those spots. You want good visibility along walkways and driveways for safety. Entrances, exits and porches should also be wired for lighting fixtures. Wiring your home for motion-sensing floodlights is additional security if you live near predatory wild animals, in dimly lit rural areas or in busy neighborhoods.
Lighting along stairways, hallways and other dark interior areas of your home is also a good idea, especially if you have small children or people with vision impairment. Battery-back-up LED lighting and night-activated lights that are flush with walls and stair bases look good as built-ins. They keep stumbles to a minimum during power outages and nighttime trips to the kitchen.
Wired and wi-fi connections for life and work
Wi-fi connectivity is great when you have a household full of devices that need a signal. Create a hub for all of your devices, or ask your contractor to hire a trusted sub contractor to install one for you as your home is being built. A hub allows you to automate, create routines and personalize your entire system.
Running a fully wired internet connection with ports throughout your home is a more secure set up for work-at-home web use. It's a smart idea to have CAT5/6, coax cable, alarm wires, camera wires, audio wires and fiberoptic wires run as the home is being built if you plan to use any devices or electronics using these types of connections. For example, if you plan to install a home theater later, have audio, cable and internet wires routed to the future theater site. A licensed contractor will make certain the wiring is safe, secure and ready for future use.
For any similar application from floodlights to security cameras to window alarms, having the wiring in place from the start makes it easy for you to upgrade your home security and management systems as your needs change, so keep these ideas in mind as you have your home built or when you're looking into new homes for sale.