Those who love vintage homes don’t need to go without the conveniences smart technology easily integrates into modern houses. Retrofitting a historic home requires a skilled team, but the results are worthwhile.
There is nothing like a beautiful old home. From carved staircases to pocket doors, artfully tiled fireplaces, and elaborate cornices, the details and craftsmanship simply aren’t found in newer houses. Whether your house is a Spanish Colonial or grand Mediterranean style, with the vintage aesthetics you love, comes the challenge of integrating new technology. However, these upgrades are well worth the effort.
Many older homes aren’t insulated as efficiently as new homes and can be unpleasantly humid or warm. Adding automated window blinds and shades that are programmed to lower, blocking sweltering summer sun, or rise, letting in warming winter light, can aid in the cooling and heating of your house. Smart thermostats controlled from the ease of an app (whether home or away), set to conserve energy during peak usage times, or that learn your preferences not only make your home as comfortable as a new build, but save on energy costs.
Certain fixes are quite easy to add to an old home. Security cameras, thermostats, and appliances are easy to mount or install. Recessed lighting, invisible speakers, and flush-mount control pads may require a professional’s touch, and that’s where the team at Acoustic Architects can offer insight and expertise. Acoustic Architects works with architects and interior designers to ensure the historic architectural elements of your home will be preserved during integration. And, with so many wireless and app-controlled smart devices, major renovations aren’t as necessary.
What if your home has landmark status in a historic district? Those plaster and lath walls can’t come down, yet the wire framework within them is deadly to WiFi. Don’t despair. As Acoustic Architects’ Service Manager Matthew Roller reminds homeowners, bulletproof internet is the foundation of a smart home. “I’m always going to suggest whatever it takes to make the internet 99.9% reliable. When the internet fails, there are very few things we don’t rely on it for.” Start with the best connection, highest speed, and widest bandwidth, then couple that with internet boosters, and you’ll be able to blanket your home with coverage.
Location, location, location
An ideal time for integrating any smart tech is during renovations, so if reno is part of your plan, be sure to factor in things like recessed lighting, hidden speakers, control panels and wiring.
If you like your home as-is, there’s good news. Sensors and touchpads are getting smaller, sleeker, and more customizable in design. They can be tucked away in closets, on bookshelves, or under countertops. Touchpads like Lutron’s Alisse offer a retro look in an array of colors, tailored button arrangements, and engraving options. You won’t want to hide them because they’re sure to look right at home.
An out-of-sight, out-of-mind location can be ideal as the smart hub for your home, like a laundry room or basement. Wires and cables can be snaked through floor joists without having to break into mural walls or coffered ceilings. However, more and more devices are app-controlled, and as interconnectivity becomes more common, invasive wiring is becoming a thing of the past.
With the right team, smart planning, and the ever-evolving Internet of Things, your old home is as good as new. Maybe even better.
Responsive Living, the term coined by Acoustic Architects founders, Aaron Flint and Spencer Hauldren, is the concept of seamlessly enhancing the client’s unique lifestyle using smart home technology. Responsive Living allows you to interact with your space via touch input, voice command, and predictive automation, placing you in full control of your home.
If you would like to learn more about integrating new systems into your smart home system, feel free to connect with us. We will be happy to schedule a demo with you.
For more information, visit acousticarchitects.net.
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