New home - options


So I am new to whole automation scene however my background is in networking so hopefully not completely ignorant.

Been doing quite a bit of research over last 6 months ready for my new place.

So I’ve bought a new house and everything needs gutting which gives me the perfect opportunity to lay some of the key components needed for a smart home.

My setup I was thinking was:

  • server running Hass (not decided on pi or a large server config (is clustered possible for HIgh availability?)
  • HuSBZB-1 for z wave and ZigBee controller (please give me shout if anything better)
  • broadlink rm pro 2 for rf
  • physical network cables to each room (haven’t yet decided on whether to run to light switches)
  • I have asked the electrician as part of rewire to run neutral to all light switches

So some key questions I have are around automated blinds, I have a lot of bay windows and wanted to have 3 x motorised blinds per bay window automated, a key element is it must be able to have manual override, I was thinking using the Fibaro roller shutter blind.

In terms of security I wanted an integrated camera doorbell, with smart lock on door, does hass work with ring? E.g. I could see the video and respond fhen send command to open door without having to jump between apps?

Back on security I was looking to see suggestions around security cameras that integrate with hass and also the sensors and panel required to complete the security setup.

Of course heating will be required, was thinking nest however hive does allow zones now? Any views.

Anything I should be putting in now whilst house is being taken apart? I was going to have rack cupboard at back of office.

Be sure to wire ethernet or power and coax to potential exterior security camera locations.

Given that you already want to wire for blinds, wire for window sensors and doorways while you’re at it!

In general people will advise you to wire for every single possible device ever in every room. I think that’s excessive… but now is a unique opportunity.

Have you considered wiring for audio in your bedroom and “common” areas?

1 Like

Do what @Dolores said for the cameras. Also, I made a post about this a while back what I wish I did when I built my house:

If you build:

  • Add CAT-6 cables. This includes potential camera locations. There are other types of cameras that use different cabling. You could also investigate that as well
  • Plan for motion sensing placement. Depending on what you buy, you may or may not need a plug.
  • Request a neutral connection in all outlets/switches. Most smart switch / receptacles require neutrals so that the devices themselves have power. If you don’t have a neutral, you may not be able to make the house smart. Well you can, but it will be more expensive because you will be buying individual smart light bulbs instead of a switch that controls all your light bulbs.
  • Request the largest possible receptacle gang boxes. If your builder is cheap, you will get gang boxes that will barely hold z-wave/smart device switches. It will be a pain in the ass trying to replace them.
  • Have a server room or central location for your smart controller. These devices have a range that can be limited by your controller position in your house. Which brings me to my next point.
  • Put a cat-6 connection in your garage. The fire protection barrier that new houses have between the house and garage usually block a lot of signal.
  • Run a pvc pipe from your basement to your attic, leaving it open at both ends. This allows you to run cables from your basement to your upstairs if you need to later in life.

This a list of things that I wish I had before I built my house.

1 Like

Cheers I managed to pick up a ton of cat 6a cable from maplins the other week (closing down sales).

If your house is big you can place multiple zwave sticks around your house and share them over the network - if you have a lot of devices it really helps having more smaller networks than a huge one - may be a bit painful to setup but you get a very noticeable increase in speed.

If you can afford it, go with a Intel CPU j1900 motherboard at the minimum and a ssd (if you want to keep a long history / lots of services) and go with docker… I run 3 servers with docker swarm, with near-realtime-sync shared storage between then (glusterfs configured as a 3-way mirror) - only one is needed to run everything (well, a small subset of containers will stop of only one node is available to make sure everything is fast).

A very important thing g is also a reliable wifi connection because a lot of smart devices come with wifi. I would go with ubiquity access point at the least.

Also, vlans! Having vlan-capable switches and access points means that your guests will it be able to interfere with the home automation traffic

This might be obvious, but when installing blinds consider the standard of blinds you plan on using as well as the electrical considerations. For example Xiaomi offers an affordable Aqara Intelligent Curtain Motor but it wont work with a curtain rod. It also requires a power point nearby. I have no idea if its supported by HA however.

Further points:

Leave a length of string in the pvc pipe so you can pull more wires through, and when you do pull a second length of string with the new cable for next time.

Consider the benefits of POE with your ethernet runs.

Ethernet runs for computers, behind desks etc are wanted just above floor level, runs for wall panels are wanted at eye level.

Low power runs are what I would also run in a newly wired house. Most wall mounted tablets, esp/arduino devices, raspberry pi’s etc want 5v, rather than puzzle about how you are going to loop 120/240v off the nearest light switch and safely reduce to 5v, why not run 5v cables through the walls?