I’ve yet to find a client who’d pay 5¢ extra for this stuff

smart house

“Hey y’all, watch this!” Famous last words of spec builders

“The smart home” is coming, or so says Greenwich Time. I say, don’t hold your breath.

As smart technology rises in popularity more and more people are looking not just to add smart technology to their homes, but to make the home itself “smart.”

Any home can be made “smart” by adding technology to solve such problems, but building a home specifically to be smart is rare simply because the technology is still so new.

In Greenwich, the This New House project by realtor and developer Sabine Schoenberg will be a smart house from the very beginning. Through strategic planning and implementation, the home will be completely wired upon completion, though all the technology will be hidden within the walls.

“This makes owning a house very simple with these kinds of technology controls,” Schoenberg said. “If you want to watch a movie you push a button and it’s exactly how you set it. Obviously you can change it at anytime, but once you set it you don’t have to think about it again.”

Though the home is the first smart home to be built from the ground up in Greenwich, 25 percent of people in the Northeast know someone with a modified smart home, according to the Icontrol report. Almost 54 percent of Americans surveyed for the report said they plan to buy at least one smart home product in the next year and Northeasters are the most likely to purchase a connected home monitoring camera within the next 12 months.

While 46 percent of respondents said their life would improve if their fridge encouraged them to eat healthy, [you really want your ice box nagging you that you shouldn’t have that pint of Ben & Jerry’s? I don’t think so – ED] the majority of respondents were a bit more practical in their desires for smart home technology. Home security topped the list of priorities in smart home tech — 90 percent of respondents said personal and family security is one of the most important reasons for using a smart home system.

Increased security was popular among parents in particular. About 18 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to leave their kids at home unsupervised at a younger age if they had live video feed into the home and could automate home functions, such as lights, locks and TV.

The technology is still new and can be expensive to install in a pre-existing home, but according to Schoenberg, installing it in new construction is usually easier for electricians than traditional wiring andsomeday, could be affordable and standard in new homes. According to the Icontrol report, 51 percent of Americans said they would pay up to $500 to make their existing home smart, with 32 percent showing willingness to pay between $500 and $3,000.

“These are the homes of the future,“ Schoenberg said. “Smart, healthy and green … you have to do it all together and holistic thinking is key.“

Over the years, I’ve seen houses go up with “sustainable” bamboo flooring, “safe” paint, and multi-hundred-thousand-dollar entertainment/smart wire technology, and none of that has induced any buyer I’ve dealt with (or, seeing the final selling price, anyone else’s) to pay extra. No one except the builder really give a rat’s ass about saving an oak tree, and as for the super circuitry, the high-tech buyers know what they want and will have it installed themselves, the low-tech people are intimidated, and everyone, high-tech, low-tech, or just bored, focuses on the local schools and what brand appliances are in the kitchens.

My advice: if you want to save the world by laying in bamboo floors, or move into “the house of the future” (which will be obsolete in the future 10 years fro now), go for it, but don’t count on anyone paying you for your pioneering spirit – they won’t.


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16 responses to “I’ve yet to find a client who’d pay 5¢ extra for this stuff

  1. AJ

    Speaking of smart deals, it would be hard to top Obama’s: none of the freed prisoners in Obama’s Iran deal showed up for the flight home and several have gone missing. https://quittingiseasy.com/2016/01/freed-iranian-prisoners-refuse-to-return-to-iran-trumps-got-it-right-does-obama-know-how-to-make-a-deal-or-what/

  2. Libertarian Advocate

    Bamboo flooring scratches easily and will look nasty in short order.

    • Anonymous

      And it’s nearly impossible to refinish bamboo floors.

      • Pat Magroin

        And it’s grown in Asia, harvested and manufactured in less than ideal conditions by unskilled, underpaid labor, then packaged and shipped across an ocean.
        Your basic strip oak floor is grown in the midwest and milled by Americans.

        • Well that’s exactly what’s wrong with it. Greens prefer their better than though products to be produced out of sight and certainly not by people who cling to their guns and religion. The rare earths that make the batteries for electric cars, for instance, are strip mined in Outer Mongolia, under horrendous labor conditions and with devastating ecological effect.

        • Cos Cobber

          CF, I have pointed this out several times before, but its worth repeating. The mid Hudson Valley region is rich in limestone which is quarried to created cement dust which is then used to make concrete. Several of this mines have been unable to expand (or restart) and so, rather than producing cement here in the Hudson Valley for use in NYC (a tremendous consumer of cement needless to say), it comes from Spain and Turkey and other points abroad on barges. So, the Greens shutdown Hudson Valley cement, but all they have done is moved jobs overseas to places with lower labor and environmental standards. Furthermore, greater emissions too for all that global carting. Dumb.

          Quaint tours are available.

          All we have accomplished is to push our polluting ways overseas. This is a tale that rings true in every US heavy industry.

          Click to access cement.pdf

    • Cobra

      And, if you spill water on bamboo flooring more than once a day, little green sprouts emerge and soon a dense thicket emerges.

  3. edgewater

    key word for me is the builder’s reference to ‘holistic’. almost always designates a dumb idea.

  4. Flash

    Remember the “all electric house-thermostat in every room”, hey CNGas would pay all installation to switch you from electric heat (that was a good one), so the halcyon days of electric stoves and dryers are over, Chinese Sheetrock, and of course there’s asbestos insulation, where did Formica go?, can you live without the microwave?

    Seems to me we keep going back to standards.

    The definition of holistic is relating to the idea that things should be studied as a whole and not just as a sum of their parts.

  5. ShovelReady

    Smart homes and whole house wiring has been happening for over a decade.
    It failed then, so not sure why anyone would wire up anything now.
    You can just use wifi for multi room speakers, garage doors, lighting, heating/cooling etc.
    Anyone that spends money on this stuff is a moron.

  6. I had a client who wired up his house with all sorts of gadgets, no one who looked at the house understood what all the gadgets were. My brother, a tech guy from way back, started a “smart house,” design company. His bread and butter was installing flat screen TVs. No one bought the smart house concept. No one.