How do you document your HA infrastructure?

HA takes more and more importance in my home. I already have no physical switches to control a motorized window and I’m now looking at severing some 120VAC connection between switches and lights. In a few days, the doorbell on the wall will be simply “decorative” as it gets switched to a MP3 playing on the wall console. How do you document the infrastructure your HA instance manages?

One of these days, we’ll sell the house and the new owner will have to figure out what’s what. Or worse, I won’t be able to do the upkeep/maintenance and I’ll have to communicate to someone else what’s what. Or worse still, I’ll have a heart attack and my wife won’t know where to even point someone else to where what’s what.

Off the top of my head:

  • WiFi mesh network
  • Zigbee devices and mesh
  • ESPHome devices and controls
  • Tasmota/MQTT devices
  • Alexa integrations

What’s your plan?
Are there any “standards” that would make the life of an external technician easier?

My wife says she would sell the house and find another one if I die because she would not know how to take care of all the automation. She asks what we are going to do when we sell the house and how the new owners will manage.

I’ve told her that everything still works if all the automation fails: You can still use the light switches, alarm system, thermostats, everything - you just have to do it manually. All the critical sensors (flood, gas, fire) will still sound an alarm. This design is intentional - automation is for our convenience - not a necessity and not mission critical. I could sell the house today and pull all the networking gear and HA server and not worry.

But, if someone wanted to buy the house with the automation, I would ask for more money :wink:. Then I would provide documentation and training.

So, I have a list the components, functions, and links to the component documentation (my wife has a simple block diagram of all the components and their functions). And I have the access instructions for every component (username, password). I think a “technically competent” person could figure it out with this basic information (and perhaps some help from this and other forums :slightly_smiling_face:).

I would have much more detailed documentation if my setup was mission critical.

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I urge you to search selling a home in this forum. Most reccommmendations are to ‘stupidify’ your home before listing.

That said. My documetation is very lightweight (compared to how I document stuff for work) and is basically limited to scans of manuals for devices, and screenshots of critical configuration.

Everything else i have doc-wise is based on operational recovery at speed. Specifically, I have instructions on how to rapidly rebuild a Pi4 B with HAOS, load the Google Drive Backup addin and restore the latest known good at the ready.

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