The basics for building a Smart Home


According to the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council of the National Association of Realtors, about 45% of all Americans either own smart home technology or plan to invest in it in 2016. Here are the basic building blocks of Smart Homes… using devices controlled by an app, providing homeowners with benefits like security, performance tracking, and lower utility bills.


Most people building a Smart Home are interested in one particular aspect of smart home technology, with options falling into many different categories, such as the ones below.

  • Door locks
  • Security systems
  • Climate control
  • Entertainment
  • Window shades
  • Kitchen/laundry appliances
  • Lighting
  • Automated sprinklers
  • Safety (fire-carbon monoxide detectors and nightlights)


If you're going to use one program to control all your smart devices (like a universal remote), make sure you're interacting with an app that's fully functional, attractive and intuitive.

  • Does the app only work when you are nearby, or can it also control devices when you are away via the Internet?
  • Does it offer voice activated controls?


If you have multiple system controls for security, lighting, climate control, etc, you will likely want to add a hub to connect all of them to be controlled by one device. There are many different connectivity protocols, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, to name a few… make sure you choose one that includes all the standards used by your different devices. Some examples below…


Some products are offered under familiar brand names, potentially simplifying decisions regarding hubs and connection languages, or even eliminating the need for a hub. Examples include…

  • Apple's HomeKit – over 50 brands, including products for lighting, locks, heating and cooling, plugs and switches, sensors, window shades
  • Nest Weave – since purchasing Nest Labs, Inc., Google has worked on integrating home products/suppliers such as video doorbells, lighting, locks, baby monitors and more

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – Green Realtor

The HomesMSP Team - SharleneJohnAngela Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtors


Written By

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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