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antneed

Building New Home, Questions on Home Automation

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We are getting ready to start construction on our new home (approximately 2900 sq ft) & I want to incorporate a whole house home automation system while it’s being built.

I have spoke to a few local AV dealers and read a lot of information on Control4, Savant, Elan G & Crestron.

I’m looking to integrate security, cameras, HVAC, 3 room audio, 2 room 5.1 surround, some lighting, some door locks, pool/heater control, irrigation maybe some shades.

 

All these systems seem to do the same things.

Was wondering what are the pros and cons of each system for people that have experience with them?

I am a very techy person and would love some do it myself future add on capability and troubleshooting etc.

 

I am open to any recommendations and have not really favored one system over another.

I do not like that Control4 charges you to remote access your own system. Hate having to pay to see my own home.

 

Thank you in advance.

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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If you dont like that control4 charges for remote access you won't love the fact that you need a dealer to add hardware

Sent from my BBF100-2 using Tapatalk

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I do not have experience with the other systems you mentioned above, but I have been using C4 since 2008 for AV, lighting, security, cameras, audio (16 zones), door locks and shades.

I never did integrate by HVAC or Sprinklers into C4 only because I have remote access to both and I seldom if ever change my programming.

In 2008, it took some work to get the system fully up and running.  When I built a new house 3 years ago, the full integration was very smooth, and in both houses, the systems have been rock solid once up and programmed to my liking.

I personally would not be worried about the fact that you need a dealer to integrate new hardware.  The fact is you can install the new hardware yourself and there a plenty of high quality “remote” dealers on this forum that will integrate the hardware into your system.  Once integrated, you can do most of the programming yourself.  But there are some programming or setup features you will want to use a dealer for so I would budget for 2 hours of remote maintenance per month for the first year as you tweak your system to your liking.

Once your system is up and running the way you want it, you will only need maybe 2-4 hours of dealer maintenance per year to install updates (only if you want).  Keep in mind that updates add new features or capabilities or fix stability issues which you do not need if your system is functioning well.  I know some users that never install updates.

I will add that I keep my entire system include network on UPS.  This includes my cameras, shades (hardwired), security, AV and audio.  My system never reboots unless I have updates installed or make other changes which is rare.

Since you are building a new house, I would recommend building an AV closet that is cooled or well ventilated depending on amount of gear you put in it.  In my house, everything is wired out of my AV closet meaning all hardware is in the closet.

Good luck and have fun.

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1 hour ago, antneed said:

I am a very techy person and would love some do it myself future add on capability and troubleshooting etc

 

None of the systems you listed are probably going to meet this requirement.

You will want to define the attributes you want from your whole home system. You have a relatively small footprint to manage. In many ways that's good and in some ways it presents more challenges.

Define the experience you want and how you see yourself interacting with the system. It's a good exercise. Like:

  • I want my home to react to my wishes without requiring me to flip switches.
  • I want all of my friends and party goers to see my new home as advanced and luxurious like a five star hotel.
  • I leave my property vacant for weeks on end and I want full control of all systems remotely.
  • I want to leave the house and push one button or say one thing and have the house secure itself, turn off lights, put the pool in away mode and then act like a person is home at night.
  • I want my kids to be able to use the media center by talking rather than using 6 remotes or any remotes.
  • I like audiophile quality in all rooms of my home.
  • etc etc.

 

That will help you with all conversations with dealers. It may also end up telling you that you don't really need or want a whole home system. Hard to say. It may also clearly illustrate that you would be comfortable with all an all open DIY system or a hybrid approach.

Based on your post I'm thinking C4 is not going to be your thing. Others here might attack this, but we are at a point where the waters are murky and there are many new options for interacting with various parts of our homes. It is very true that something like Alexa is disrupting the markets. Some people are now content with some alexa devices scattered around the home over 100k systems. In contract my neighbor spends maybe 80k a year on his Crestron system and it works great. About every other month there are 3 AV vans in his driveway and 6 guys servicing the system. He's only there a weekend a month and the place is like a hotel. For what he wants that house to be I think he's getting the value.

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28 minutes ago, Pounce said:

None of the systems you listed are probably going to meet this requirement.

You will want to define the attributes you want from your whole home system. You have a relatively small footprint to manage. In many ways that's good and in some ways it presents more challenges.

Define the experience you want and how you see yourself interacting with the system. It's a good exercise. Like:

  • I want my home to react to my wishes without requiring me to flip switches.
  • I want all of my friends and party goers to see my new home as advanced and luxurious like a five star hotel.
  • I leave my property vacant for weeks on end and I want full control of all systems remotely.
  • I want to leave the house and push one button or say one thing and have the house secure itself, turn off lights, put the pool in away mode and then act like a person is home at night.
  • I want my kids to be able to use the media center by talking rather than using 6 remotes or any remotes.
  • I like audiophile quality in all rooms of my home.
  • etc etc.

 

That will help you with all conversations with dealers. It may also end up telling you that you don't really need or want a whole home system. Hard to say. It may also clearly illustrate that you would be comfortable with all an all open DIY system or a hybrid approach.

Based on your post I'm thinking C4 is not going to be your thing. Others here might attack this, but we are at a point where the waters are murky and there are many new options for interacting with various parts of our homes. It is very true that something like Alexa is disrupting the markets. Some people are now content with some alexa devices scattered around the home over 100k systems. In contract my neighbor spends maybe 80k a year on his Crestron system and it works great. About every other month there are 3 AV vans in his driveway and 6 guys servicing the system. He's only there a weekend a month and the place is like a hotel. For what he wants that house to be I think he's getting the value.

Thank you, it certainly is alot to think about.

what are some of the DIY/hybrid systems ?  what are some good examples of them for me to read up on.

thank you for detailed explanations .

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9 minutes ago, antneed said:

Thank you, it certainly is alot to think about.

what are some of the DIY/hybrid systems ?  what are some good examples of them for me to read up on.

thank you for detailed explanations .

Wont work as may subsystems and platforms but you can have more control

http://allonis.com/template-features/automation-software/myserver.html

https://www.charmedquark.com/

mad mentioned above once your c4 system is set up you can do 95% of programming on your own and only need dealers for hardware entry or OS upgrades.  It’s not as often as you think.  

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Home Assistant is another option if the desire is full control by a technical person.

https://www.home-assistant.io/

Integrates most everything.

C4 with a hacked license and MQTT driver can get you a nice mix. C4 has some good switches and components. Good AV control. MQTT can get you going on a whole 3rd party set of products that can work with anything.

Lots of choices and no obvious right choice really. We are in a time of a lot of change and uncertainty.

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