The online home remodeling source Houzz surveyed nearly 1,000 homeowners who are currently renovating their properties and found that more than half are implementing internet-enabled systems and devices that can be managed using a mobile device or computer.
One in three new smart-home systems and tools can be operated from a central control center, while more than a quarter offer voice control, the report found. Among the most common smart systems and devices are fire and natural gas alarms, security cameras, motion sensors and other home access technology.
Per-renovation investments in smart technology are highly dependent on application: three quarters of renovating homeowners spent $1,500 or less on their upgrade and just five percent spent more than $5,000.
Adoption of smart home technology is growing as the world of internet-enabled devices and systems expands. The residential construction industry is responding with legacy and startup companies seeing increased levels of investment around the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart homes are expected to account for 21% of Internet of Things (IoT) usage in smart cities in 2016, according to a recent report from analyst firm Gartner.
But even as new homes are overwhelmingly wired for broadband connectivity, the installation of smart devices has yet to substantially move the needle for homebuilders, particularly in what remains a cost-conscious, for-sale real estate environment. Beyond the bell and whistle factor, the per-door return on investment for a web-enabled thermostat, for example, isn’t likely to generate the kind of margin that builders can depend on from a typical demonstration kitchen with quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances.
Renovation projects, like those surveyed by Houzz, may provide an entry point for smart devices to gain traction in residential construction, offering remodelers in particular an opportunity to add value around IoT while addressing homeowners' individualized needs. However, younger buyers and renters are increasingly expecting smart features in their homes from the start, Cyril Brignone, CEO of Arrayent, whose platform Arrayent Connect bridges home devices and third-party IoT apps, told Construction Dive in October 2015. "Builders are realizing that they should take advantage of wiring homes from the foundation up to be 'smart,'" he said.