Written by @properties
From money-saving gadgets to devices that provide an extra level of security, it’s easy to see why smart-home technology is becoming more and more popular. In fact, it can even increase the appeal of your home to potential buyers should you plan to sell.
Here are five smart upgrades that can potentially add value to your home and make life a little easier in the process.
Thermostat – You’ve heard that you can adjust the temperature of your home from your smart phone, but the technology doesn’t stop there. The newest thermostats will go so far as to learn your habits – when you’re usually at home and at what times of day you change the temperature – so they can make adjustments automatically.
Lighting – Control your home’s lighting from your phone or voice control device (looking at you, Alexa) with a smart lighting system. Philips Hue is one of the most popular systems, giving you full control over every aspect of lighting so you can create the right mood for any moment. By simply replacing your existing light bulbs with Philips Hue, you can do everything from change colors to set timers that control the lights remotely so it seems like someone is home.
Doorbell – Gone are the days of “ding-dong-ditching” thanks to smart doorbells. With video cameras and intercoms, these gadgets allow you to see who’s ringing your doorbell through your phone. While most smart doorbells have two-way talk functionality and motion detectors, others like the Nest Hello take it a step further with facial-recognition technology.
Keyless entry – Can’t find your keys? We’ve all been there – and that’s why products like the August Smart Lock come in handy. Automatically lock and unlock your door as you leave or approach your home, and keep track of who’s coming and going with a 24/7 activity log. You can also give your guests keyless entry through the August app so you never have to hide (or lose) another key under the doormat again.
Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors – Homeowners rarely test smoke alarms as often as recommended, but that’s not a problem with smoke/carbon monoxide detectors like the Nest Protect which do all the work for you. The Nest Protect not only performs tests automatically, but also alerts your phone to tell you if there’s danger and lets you use hush those irritating false alarms when you’re cooking dinner.
For more advice on how to prep your home for sale or increase its marketability, click here to read more on our blog or contact an agent any time.doorbell, home appeal, home updates, keyless entry, lighting, preparing to sell, Real Estate, real estate technology, selling a home, smart home, smart home updates, Technology, thermostatDecember 6, 2018by Amy Corr
This post originally appeared on the @properties blog. Written by Amy Corr Amy Corr is the managing broker for the @properties Highland Park, Lake Forest and Bannockburn offices. Outside of work, Amy can usually be found with her husband, two daughters, and their pup Stanley.
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Published: October 15, 2010
Adding radiant heat is an easier remodeling project for your family room, bathroom, and basement than you think.
Any time is a good time to warm your family room, bathroom, and basement with radiant heat. While forced air systems heat the air, radiant heat warms people and objects. Although adding some radiance to your home is easiest when you’re starting from scratch–everything is easier when building new–upgrading to radiant heat when you’re remodeling will work, too. Here’s how to radiate warmth to your family room, bath, and basement.
Heat your family room from the bottom up
Radiant heat is a natural for family room floors. If your basement ceiling is unfinished, installers can snake hot water-filled tubes between floor joists, and then cover and anchor them with aluminum heat-transfer plates. Toasty transfer plates and the warm air trapped within the joists heat the floor above, which radiates warmth to kids leaning on elbows in front of TVs.
Turn your bath into a spa
Stepping out of the shower onto a radiant-heated ceramic tile floor is not only bliss, it’s energy-efficient and easy to accomplish. Install either:
- Half-inch radiant heat plywood panels pre-grooved to hold hot-water-filled plastic tubes. They’ll raise the height of the finished floor slightly, so you may have to adjust doors or add a new threshold to ease the transition.
- Electric radiant heat mats wired to, best of all worlds, a dedicated circuit. Some companies makes a fiberglass mesh mat that is only 1/8 inch thick, so you don’t have to mess with doors or thresholds.
Cozy up your basement
Radiant heat flooring panels, which operate between 150 and 170°F, rid your basement of that dank feeling fast. Installers can lay radiant heat panels over the existing concrete floor (it’s about 30% cheaper than snaking between floor joists) or embed tubing or electric coils within a new pour.
Radiant heat panels are usually 1 inch thick, which could be a problem if you’ve got a low ceiling or a tall family, so measure carefully before deciding. Also investigate local building codes, which may require you to change the tread height of the bottom step or, possibly, redo the entire staircase.
Published: December 12, 2011
Last year we started a conversation about the energy costs of Christmas lights displays. We think it’s worth pursuing this year: What’s your take? Are they a waste of energy or something that shouldn’t have a price tag attached?
Last Christmastime, we were so blown away by the Faucher family’s million-bulb holiday light show in Delaware that we did what HouseLogic does — calculate how much the dazzler costs to power up for a month: $82,320!
At least according to an online calculator we found.
Well, the post went viral and caused a quite a hubbub.
Some commenters called the Fauchers planet killers: “OMG does this guy not realize that there is something called GLOBAL WARMING that is threatening to destroy the planet and that all of these useless and ugly lights are making this problem so much worse!”
Some called dissenters the Grinches who stole Christmas lights: “I think it’ s great, something bright and happy to look at in these days of doom and gloom.”
And some just disputed our math and called the numbers “bogus.”
Our favorite comment came from “Santa Claus, New Castle, Delaware” (but we’re pretty sure someone in the Faucher family wrote it.)
The writer called the article “informative and very well written” — thanks Santa! — but said that his energy bill isn’t anywhere near $82,000.
“I use very energy-efficient lights,” he wrote. “However, it could be 5 dollars and still someone would find a reason why I should have spent it elsewhere for something more worthwhile … To me and my family, if for about a penny a child we can bring a smile and a memory, it is all worth it!”
We tried to reach Wilmington’s Santa for an update, but this is his busy season and he didn’t call us back. Instead, we talked the Smith family in North Delaware, who told us all about their 400,000-bulb light display. (What is it with Delaware and over-the-top holiday lights? Anyway, I’ll be posting some tips from the Smiths tomorrow.
But mainly, we’re curious about your reaction, since saving energy is pocketbook-smart — but holiday cheer, after all, is priceless.
So, do you vote for “pocketbook” or “priceless”? Why?