Hiring a consultant to automate my house

@HeyImAlex Who are they going to call? Literally, I do not care. Consider: You bought a house. 6 months later the furnace failed. You’re going to call the previous owner and throw a fit? LOL no, you’re going to replace the furnace.

Homes require maintenance. This fact should come as a shock to no one (well, apparently no one except the people I bought this place from). EVERYTHING needs maintenance. Paint the outside, mow the lawn, replace the roof every so many years, replace the windows every so many years, replace the furnace filter monthly, keep the AC condenser (or evaporator? The part on the outside of the house, I’m not an HVAC guy LOL) clean, pressurewash the deck (it’s composite), keep the water softener full of salt, have the chimney cleaned once a year, etc etc. My stance is simply that the “smart house” portion of the house requires maintenance as well. It’s not rocket surgery.

And yes, it’s pretty easy to disable updates. Especially when everything is on a segmented IoT VLAN that you can just firewall off from the internet. No internet, no updates. Pretty simple. New owner changed something and it broke? That’s not my problem - it worked when they bought it.

As for the rest of your legal concerns, I’m not sure where you live, but homes don’t come with warranties from the seller in the US. Sure, there are legal remedies for things like “failure to disclose”, and structural deficiencies, etc. But the argument you make about “being the manufacturer”, etc - there’s simply no standing, nor precedent, for it.

The way that your argument begins to make sense is if you hung out a shingle as a “smart home installer”, and started putting HA and various equipment into people’s houses, and charged them to do so - in fact, selling them a “smart house” solution. Absolutely you’d have some liability for systems you installed.

The fact that the buyers of a house chose to buy a house that has pre-existing smart-home tech in it? Yeah, no.

@123 Of course it will be functional when it’s sold. OMG, I would be CRAZY pissed if stuff worked when I looked at the house and then didn’t work at closing - not to mention that in THAT case, there may be legal problems. I agree, there are different approaches to wording the sale, and for that, a realtor would definitely be involved. But to be clear (I know some of my previous posts have been lengthy, so they may have fallen into the category of tl;dr), my house is not presently for sale, I have no interest in selling, and barring an offer for twice (or greater) what I paid for it last year, I won’t be selling it any time soon. LOL The discussion is purely academic, and my initial reply was in response to what the actual value of a smart home is. Nothing more.

When the time comes that I do sell, rest assured, this will all be accounted for - including transfer of management accounts and how to change passwords on said accounts. Or, if the realtor recommends instead leaving instructions on how to create their own new accounts and link them to the gear that has then been factory-reset and the smart home features are “included but require configuration”, then that will be that. If they recommend taking it all out and taking it with me to the next house - then that’s what’ll happen.

I suspect that by the time comes when I do sell the house, there will have been a sufficient number of smart homes sold nationwide that there exists better, more professional (and legal?) advice on how to transfer that ownership. But again - for now, I have no interest in transferring or selling anything, and I honestly don’t care if it adds one wooden nickel to my current valuation. I like it, I own it, I live here - so I’m doing it. If along the way it happens that “the realtors on the internet” were right, and it added 15% to the value of my house, then great. If they were wrong? Small investment for many years of enjoyment, and one I certainly will not regret.

Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s not how it works with HA. If you cut HAOS or HA supervisor off the internet, it will cease to work after a while. Actually it will fail in a catastrophic way due to a DNS avalanche. See here. Long read. And if you keep it connected, then the supervisor will update without asking and without being able to stop it. The only way to avoid this is using a bare metal install.

Uhh, if I bought a smart home and paid a premium for it being smart and suddenly the smarts fail and I realize they’re all DIY without anyone I can contact for maintenance, sure as hell I’m going to press charges.

Uhm OK. :man_shrugging: Thankfully it’s rather unlikely I’ll ever buy a house from you :wink:

What I meant when I suggested you ‘check with your realtor’ was to get their insight into your opinion:

I agree that a furnace that fails a half year after the sale is bad luck for the new owner and not your responsibility (especially if the home inspection noted that the furnace was antiquated or appeared to be on its last legs). However, anything that was demonstrated prior to the sale and is inoperative the moment the new owners enter the home isn’t quite so cut and dried.

I recall receiving a hand-written page from the previous owner explaining the basics of arming/disarming the security system, who to call to re-establish alarm monitoring, and the rudiments of operating the irrigation system plus who to contact for servicing/winterizing/etc. Why? Because these systems were mentioned as integral features of the home. They wanted to ensure that I could use them on day one (and probably because they didn’t want to become “customer service” for these systems).

FWIW, I’ve chosen the ‘fail-safe’ approach to structuring my home automation system by employing the principle of “interconnected but autonomous” systems. If I turn off Home Assistant, each system can continue to function nominally (meaning they maintain their basic expected functionality):

  • lighting can still be operated manually via wall-switches (and all interior lights can be activated via a dedicated button without reliance on hubs,etc)
  • security system works normally
  • HVAC is driven by the thermostat according to its schedule

So if the HA system is disabled, the house isn’t crippled and only the “niceties” of home automation are lost; the basics continue to function.


Thanks for the info about the problem, though - I will give that a read.

Oh you know, luck wouldn’t be a factor in that equation, but thanks anyway :wink: Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with this, but it sounds like you have it all figured out, so best of luck to you too :wink:

This is exactly the way to do it.

Indeed - and my own system has thus-far been designed the same way. To reiterate, none of the decisions I am making are for the benefit of anyone other than me - but yeah, if the system blows up and it takes me a few days to put it back together, you’re absolutely right I still want to be able to turn my lights on and off manually, and open my garage door, et al.

Not sure where you’re located, but… The handwritten note about those items? A nicety, to be sure - but certainly not required - legally or otherwise (where I live) - regardless what that other guy seems to think he knows about real estate law. :wink:

The bit about “anything demonstrated prior to the sale and is inoperative the moment the new owners enter the home”… I do feel as though you and I have already covered that point, have we not?

Ok, lets discuss this differently: Provide information that supports your position. Some random guy on the internet screaming “I’m gonna sue! I’m gonna have you arrested”… Well, that’s, like… What… At LEAST 50% of all social media posts? LOL I have learned - the hard way - that what you THINK you should have legal recourse for, and what you actually DO have legal recourse for, are far more divergent than the average human thinks - and I’d bet you $1000USD that is, in point of fact, the case here.


Dude, you do whatever you wanna do. Sell whatever smart home tech you wanna sell in your home. It’s really not my problem. Have a nice day.

I see. How very grown-up of you to shirk away from an actual discussion of the topic, you know, where you’d have to do more than rant and rave and threaten legal remedies that aren’t even available to you. Well done!


Thanks again for the reference to the DNS issue. Still reading about that - you’re right, it wasn’t a short thread.