New Florida Home Shows How Much Home Technology Your Remodeling Dollars Can Buy

Ask any new owner of a home automation system why they wanted to upgrade their home’s tech and the answer will almost always be some version of, “We just wanted things to be simpler.” Whether it’s conserving power, managing security, operating heating/cooling or having a music system in every room, controlling everything from a single device and interface is what people want today. Mark van den Broek, owner of Smart House Integration in Sarasota, Florida, has known this for years, and his recent award-winning ELAN g! installation proves that it’s no longer a millionaire’s game.

According to van den Broek, “The average cost of a United States bathroom remodel in 2014 was just under $18,000, and many kitchen remodels cost upwards of $30,000-$40,000. For that price or less, homeowners can now completely transform their entire home and home life through advanced technologies like the ELAN g! system in conjunction with smart heating, security, lighting and media products. People love new appliances, new furniture and such, but those things can rarely match the ‘Wow’ factor of having all your music and TV in every room at the touch of a button on your smartphone. With a few taps you can watch the shades drop, feel the heat come on and hear your favorite song start playing. With all of the possibilities, yearning for a new stove can seem a bit old-fashioned.”

The homeowners in this Sarasota project, recent retirees, had some simple requests. They wanted control of as much of the home as possible in as simple a way as possible, and they wanted to conserve energy and limit energy costs. Building the home out of foam blocks filled with concrete helped address their energy goals, and using the ELAN g! system to automate everything helps to ensure that nothing is left running in the house that isn’t supposed to be on. This includes Lutron Radio RA 2 lighting, Leviton thermostats, a Pentair Intellitouch pool system, Rainbird irrigation, a Vivotech CCTV camera system, a DSC security system, ELAN multi-room audio distribution and Atlona video switching.

It might sound complicated, but it’s as easy to use as any tablet or smartphone. The house has two 7-inch wall-mounted ELAN touch panels in high-traffic areas, and the ELAN g! app for iPhones, iPads, smartphones and tablets works exactly the same as the touch panels. This means this family can change whatever system they want to whatever settings they want quickly and easily, from anywhere in the world. Smart House Integration even programmed a ‘vacation mode’ that sets the whole house to minimal energy usage and full security. The family can check on their cameras while on vacation, turn on the heat while on the drive home and there is even a Water Bug monitor that can detect pipe leaks and shut off the main water valve when no one is home.

“And of course the whole-home media is always a huge selling point,” van den Broek added. “Some people don’t watch a ton of TV, but almost everyone likes having high-quality audio in every room. Music is universal and having instant access to turn it on in any room or outdoor area is something homeowners have wanted for decades. You no longer need haphazard systems or clunky boomboxes thanks to the professional multi-room audio systems from ELAN and the incredible audio quality of Niles in-ceiling speakers.” 

What’s more, today’s best installers recognize that technology is ever-changing and often take efforts to ‘future-proof’ homes with extra wiring for any new products down the line. Smart House Integration made sure this couple’s home would be ready for anything they might want, with extra wiring and fiber optic cables available at each TV location. So it turns out that for less than the price of a new kitchen, homeowners can transform their entire home to give themselves a simpler and more enjoyable home life.