Homebuilders Embrace “Smart” Technology

July 6th, 2017 by Editor

More homeowners are demanding “smart” features such as door locks that can be accessed from a smart phone and windows that can be operated remotely, and residential construction companies are starting to respond in a big way.

Meritage Homes, the eighth-largest homebuilder in the U.S., announced this week that Wi-Fi-enabled home-automation solutions will be included in many of the company’s newly constructed homes. The M.Connected Home Automation Suite will allow homeowners to monitor and control key components of their residences, such as door locks, video doorbells and more.

“As automation continues to advance and become more affordable, Meritage Homes is innovating to meet growing demands and allow buyers to stay connected to their homes,”  said C.R. Herro, vice president of environmental affairs for Meritage Homes. “We are proud to make wireless technology accessible to buyers at all price points with a home automation system in our new builds.”

In June, Quadrant Homes announced that it would also be making several smart-home features standard in its residences, such as Schlage Connect front door hardware, which allows a resident to control their front door through a smart phone. Additionally, major builders such as Lennar and KB Homes have added automation options in recent years as well.

Many of these big construction firms appear to be racing to add these features before residents can.

According to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Smart Home Trends Survey, conducted in collaboration with CEDIA, nearly half (45 percent) of renovating homeowners are incorporating systems or devices that can be monitored or controlled via smartphone, tablet or computer.

Today, renovated homes are more than twice as likely to include a smart system or device than before the renovation (51 percent vs. 20 percent). Nearly a third of upgraded smart home systems or devices can be controlled via a central hub (30 percent), and a quarter include voice-controlled features (26 percent). Homeowners report greater levels of satisfaction with their upgraded smart features than their non-smart features.

Homeowners are installing smart devices for security/safety (25 percent), entertainment (18 percent), climate control (14 percent) and lighting (12 percent) in their renovated homes. The top smart security/safety devices include fire and gas alarms, and cameras (in 9 percent of renovated homes, each), followed by motion, glass breakage and/or door sensors, door locks and/or video doorbells (5 percent each). A third of upgraded alarms and two-thirds of upgraded cameras have smart features.

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