New House Build - what to incorporate into design

As I start to get more into home assistant and automation, my mind starts thinking what would everyone incorporate into a new house build if they had the opportunity to. My thinking is to ensure the automation looks less about ‘dev’ and more about being discreet and permanent with a professional touch and future proofing the automations


  • PIR sensor in every room, where would it be located, e.g on ceiling, or a PIR at ankle height in every room to automate the lights in every room?

  • Power - as each sensor required DC power, provisions for either a USB supply or a GPO in the roofspace/wall cavity for sensor nodes?

  • ZWAVE wireless dimmers for internal lights? Is there a better permanent solution than this? Sonoff’s? ideally a solution that still allows lights if the HA is down.

  • Security camera integration, ensuring pre wired back to central location, and integrate blueiris for alerting?

  • Potentially running in drawwires into the door frames, ready to install door sensors (ie inbuild door sensors that are discreet)

  • Drawwires into the window frames to supply power for automated blinds and/or windows openers

  • Using only A frame windows - windows that open outwards

  • IR - how to design IR into build? should every room be fitted with discrete IR flooders?

Please share your ideas!

Prewire door and window sensors.
Doors use embedded magnetic switch. Consider external for window as this allows you to open window.

Decide if you will go IP or analog for camera. this will determine what wire to run. I’ve seen nice systems for both but like IP (Ubiquiti) for coolness.

Plan for central location in house where all wiring and equipment will go(like IT or AV closet). Wiring for PIR can run back to this closet for connectivity and power, for example.

I like ceiling PIR for looks and coverage. They are slightly better for motion as many have sonic detection. Corner mounted PIR works just as well however. The ankle height you mention are more for detecting something blocking a path(think garage door sensor for car) and work well if you are looking to trigger door close.

Not sure of your experience level here. I recommend researching Home AV/securty install best practices or talking with a good custom AV installer. I can assist further if I have detail.

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thanks @tmjpugh lets keep the ideas flowing. HASS is my foray into HA, I’m learning alot each day, and plan on building up some custom sensors. For me its more about getting the design right, and making provisions during a house build when its alot easier :slight_smile:

Re the embedded magnetic switches - you mentioned ‘external for windows’? What do you mean exactly?

Whats the best suggestion on powering custom sensor nodes (yet to be built), eg ESP8266’s which are powered via 5v USB connector? Setup a central 5V PSU and distribute to each node around the house? What about voltage drop? Or should each sensor node be powered locally at each sensor?

Re the mouting the PIR in the ceiling, will this cover a decent area? Ie for bathrooms and toilets do they generally cover the entrance so if automation for lights on entry is setup, will it detect soon enough to auto switch the lights on?

Re the physical mounting of the PIR, whats a good suggestion on mounting plate? Possibly a blank such as in the link, then mount the 8266 PIR sensor on this for a flush looking setup? Any futher ideas?

One other question I have. If standard lights are powered by internal zwave (is there a better solution), what switch setup would would best? Do peoples HA allow for a failure of a HA device and still allow the standard switch to operate?

These window sensors

I prefer central PSU. Really, I try to keep all connection in one place. Makes for easy troubleshooting and reconfigure. Voltage drop has never been an issue for me. Just choose or design a source with appropriate current and utilize correct wire gauge.

Ceiling mount PIR can easily cover 10’x10’ room if placed properly I would expect. Ceiling is better for many bathroom as it can see over shower curtain/door. You can wallmount just as well but definitely ceiling for bathroom.

I was thinking buying ceiling PIR like,rt:2&prds=oid:10289129638096082503&q=ceiling+pir&hl=en-US&ei=O-b8V-PMMey0jwSsubKoCA&lsft=gclid:CjwKEAjwm_K_BRDx5o-sxq6ouXASJAC7TsFLkjLNOgQ6l902P6yRfn5BbUsO8qzXT9ziWH2il_4chBoCO8nw_wcB
Yeah, a wall blank with the diy PIR on top will work great actually. Maybe add temp sensor for room temp monitoring as well. Ceiling height and room design determines coverage. Low ceilings these will be easily seen and may look ugly or cluttered but high ceiling (10’+) I think it would be ok. You also don’t want motion detectors facing window or near air vent.

Most devices work as standalone items. WEMO light switch, zwave light switch, nest thermostat, etc. HA only uses api to display and interact with device. When HA goes down, the device will still work manually or through its OEM app. Sensors are another thing. If you connect sensor to GPIO of RasPi and HA goes down, for example, you will lose sensor feedback and automations. For trivial things like light operation or weather stats, this may be ignored maybe. I currently run HA on synology(handling automation and main interface) with second instance on RasPi (door,motion, temp sensors and other physically connected sensor). In this case I will add some notification to let me know when MQTT Eventstream is down or communication issue occur(power off or server down). The notification may be different depending on lost function. Alarm should sound if security item offline but logging only if temp sensors are offline for example. This monitoring would exist on both instances.

I plan to use electric door strikes to bring lock/unlock house doors into HA. This is possibly less convenient than a key but mainly for the times I leave key in house or lazy on couch and don’t want to open door for visitor. Doorbell will be connected to RasPi GPIO.