Posted Jul 14, 2010 in Tech | 1 Comment

Make My Home Smarter 2

Since our last post on this subject, unfortunately not a whole lot of work has been done. Since the building is over 20 years old, we wanted to get the condo electrical system inspected by an electrician. It was very saddening to find out that in Montreal, in the summer time, not many people work, and because of this it has taken us three weeks to have three different electricians come and inspect the wiring. However one solid piece of the puzzle came out of this experience. The advice was unanimous: Stay away from wireless devices like INSTEON because of interference with all the other wireless gadgets and the security risk. Well, that makes our decision both easier and more expensive, since we’ll have to take out the carpet and install hardwood, passing the control wires underneath. Since we have to wire the switches, we’ll also put ceiling spot lights in every room. This is definitely not advised for our low budget variation, but for our “go nuts” no budget followers, it’s sledgehammer time! It’s by far easier to take off all the walls and install the new wiring. At this point, if budget is not a concern, we would also recommend the installation of soundproofing panels and heated floors.

heated floors

With our initial budget being $12,000, we had to make a tough choice. Since we will have to take out the carpet and install hardwood floors to pass the control wiring underneath and our condo is positioned just above the garage, it makes great financial sense to install the heated floors all over. However, for our 1,700 square feet surface, the cost is about $14,000. We decided to bite the bullet and increase the budget to accommodate the heated floors but, since it doesn’t change much for our automation plan, we’ll exclude this expense from our project cost and label it as an extra option. If we were to stick to our low budget target, the best option would have been to take out the moldings, make a trench at the bottom of the gyprock walls and pass the wires along the walls from a central location to the entire home.

Now we have to start the search for the brains of the operation. The home automation server will be one of the most important pieces of hardware for our project, and with so many companies that make them, our task will not be an easy one. Join us next month when we’ll compare the top products.

Back soon… Enjoy!!

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  1. Hi, Good post. Just bought a 1200sqft condo in Montreal & considering home automation solutions too as part of an overall upgrade program. Love the fact that you included some cost figures. Right now I don’t really have any. Do you have any additional ball-park figures for various components of automation? What sorts of things did you have the electricians looking into for you? Cheers,

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