Home remodeling projects usually consist of upgrading current décor to match the latest trends, styles and appliances. Homeowners may work tirelessly (or pay someone else to work tirelessly) in an effort to create a room that reflects their tastes and usually adds value to their homes. These projects can involve a fresh coat of paint or new lighting fixtures, possibly knocking out a wall and sometimes even hiring an entire crew of contractors to get everything just right.
In addition to color palettes and accessories, though, there's also the increasingly common practice of introducing smart-home technology into remodeling projects.
While items like new paint and new appliances will always play a big role in home renovation, an emerging trend making its mark on the industry involves automated "smart home" controls.
Cool ways to make a ‘smart home’
Traditional renovation projects usually focus on creating a space with aesthetics – whether it's a style overhaul or replacing old or damaged flooring. But a home remodel focused on smart home technology also means changing not just how the home looks but also how it functions.
Many people may have heard the term "home automation" even if they’re not familiar with its vast capabilities. Some home automation features include:
- Automated operation of blinds and curtains
- Remotely controlling door locks and other security functions
- Using voice commands to control lighting, temperature, entertainment devices and more
Since many home automation capabilities involve controlling appliances and systems such as HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), homeowners can also program a customized schedule for their thermostats. Reducing usage during peak demand times could help homeowners cut down on their energy bills.
Trends in the home renovation industry
It seems that the people who are most likely to choose these types of smart home renovations and upgrades are homeowners ages 55 and older. In fact, over the past 20 years, the Baby Boomer generation has been responsible for one-third of all home renovation projects.
Meanwhile, home technology for aging adults continues to evolve. Projects in development include home-based sensors that remotely monitor vital stats so that the patient doesn’t have to leave the house to get his or her glucose levels measured. Clearly, technology and markets are moving to meet the needs of the largest generation that's also expected to live longer and more independently than any other in history.
The future of smart home improvement
As smartphones started to become more and more prevalent, it was inevitable that people would seek new ways to incorporate them into their lives, including their homes. The final frontier may be integrating control every single one of your home’s systems – HVAC, lighting, entertainment, security and more – into one centralized unit, like a tablet.
It’s probably just a matter of time before this sort of technology becomes widely available in mass markets. If companies make everything smart, it could not only change the way we live but also optimize the places we live.