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post #1 of 6 Old 06-16-2014, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Budget Home Automation for New Construction Build

I have been contemplating installing a home automation system for a home that we are planning on building soon.. I am trying to see what the best route would be to go..I am not sure if I truly need a home automation system or if I am better off just doing individual systems. I don't have a huge budget and trying to determine if what I am looking to have is achievable with my budget. Below is a list of the basics of what I want. For everything listed below including install I would want to keep the budget at 15k..

1. A Full Hardwired Alarm system with remote control ability and also ability to be monitored through separate company. (ex. adt)

2. Whole House Audio/Intercom system - I would like to have the ability to listen to music throughout the home and also have the ability to speak with certain rooms.. I would guess I would need 8 zones.. 1 zone for each bedroom (4 bedrooms), 1 zone for the garage, 1 zone for the outdoor space, 1 zone for kitchen/living room/dining room, and 1 zone for office. I would like this system to have bluetooth technology and also control system via touchscreen panels and also iphone/ipad/etc

3. I would like to control ceiling lights and fans from the touch panel and my phone if possible.

4. I plan on installing a separate extreme high end camera system with 24-32 cameras. For the home automation aspect I just want the ability to add 1 camera at each entry location (3 entry locations) and be able to view them from touch screen in house.

5. I would like the ability to have multiple touch screen monitors strategically placed throughout the home.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-16-2014, 08:34 PM
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I'm a fan of Control4 and others will suggest something else, but for your requirements I do see it as a good fit and depending on what you are considering in that $15k should be in budget.

1 - Alarm
There are many alarms that with the right interface box will interface very nicely into Control4. Get the right one and all the alarm functionality becomes available to control4 for automation use, e.g the hallway motion sensor could be used to activate a light or a warning message and so on. The GE Concorde and Superbus gets praise for integrating nicely.

2 Whole House Audio / Intercom
Audio and Intercom. Will you really use the intercom system? On the audio side, an 8x8 matrix amp will get you 8 zones with a good amount of power to each zone. Clearly each zone will need speakers (and cable to get to those speakes (which is where I ask what is included in your 15k). Add a Sonos Connect to this and a NAS drive or HDD connected to the controller and you would have 3-4 different streams of audio to send to those zones. Bluetooth to do what? Control4 make a Wireless music bridge that allows you to use AirPlay, Bluetooth and DLNA to stream music into the system (another music source).

Intercom is expensive with Control4, mainly because the touchscreens are expensive. You can save some money picking them up used on eBay. You can save more money using iPads and Android tablets instead but they do not have the com functionality. This would be an expensive or part of a C4 proposition or something to consider later / scaling back on. It would not stop preprogrammed announcements. A button press in the kitchen sending out a whole home audio announcement to get your asses down to dinner.

3 - Ceiling Fans
Getting Control4 Ceiling Fan Controler switches would make the fan bit easy.
Lighting also, the light switches are expensive. Again you could look to eBay, or you can add a bridge to a different lighting system.

4 - Cameras
Again, this is something that will install well into Control4. The latest OS 2.5.3 had a number of camera upgrades and expanded video codec streams. You could then have the High end system also tapped into the C4 system so the entry cameras etc do double duty. Those cameras can stream locally and over VPN to the iPhone/iPad/Android apps and to your PC. By those I mean all 24-30.

5 - TouchScreens
Control4 does touch screens but like all proprietary screens thay are expensive. LaunchPort and iPad is often a more functional way to go, the screen doing double duty. Though you may want a couple of C4 screens with camera function and the same at the front door for welcome duties. You won't need many touch screens as the i/Android app is great and covers most the features and they have plans to consolidate all features onto those apps so that should mean in time comms functionality comes to the apps.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-16-2014, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMHarman View Post
I'm a fan of Control4 and others will suggest something else, but for your requirements I do see it as a good fit and depending on what you are considering in that $15k should be in budget.

1 - Alarm
There are many alarms that with the right interface box will interface very nicely into Control4. Get the right one and all the alarm functionality becomes available to control4 for automation use, e.g the hallway motion sensor could be used to activate a light or a warning message and so on. The GE Concorde and Superbus gets praise for integrating nicely.

2 Whole House Audio / Intercom
Audio and Intercom. Will you really use the intercom system? On the audio side, an 8x8 matrix amp will get you 8 zones with a good amount of power to each zone. Clearly each zone will need speakers (and cable to get to those speakes (which is where I ask what is included in your 15k). Add a Sonos Connect to this and a NAS drive or HDD connected to the controller and you would have 3-4 different streams of audio to send to those zones. Bluetooth to do what? Control4 make a Wireless music bridge that allows you to use AirPlay, Bluetooth and DLNA to stream music into the system (another music source).

Intercom is expensive with Control4, mainly because the touchscreens are expensive. You can save some money picking them up used on eBay. You can save more money using iPads and Android tablets instead but they do not have the com functionality. This would be an expensive or part of a C4 proposition or something to consider later / scaling back on. It would not stop preprogrammed announcements. A button press in the kitchen sending out a whole home audio announcement to get your asses down to dinner.

3 - Ceiling Fans
Getting Control4 Ceiling Fan Controler switches would make the fan bit easy.
Lighting also, the light switches are expensive. Again you could look to eBay, or you can add a bridge to a different lighting system.

4 - Cameras
Again, this is something that will install well into Control4. The latest OS 2.5.3 had a number of camera upgrades and expanded video codec streams. You could then have the High end system also tapped into the C4 system so the entry cameras etc do double duty. Those cameras can stream locally and over VPN to the iPhone/iPad/Android apps and to your PC. By those I mean all 24-30.

5 - TouchScreens
Control4 does touch screens but like all proprietary screens thay are expensive. LaunchPort and iPad is often a more functional way to go, the screen doing double duty. Though you may want a couple of C4 screens with camera function and the same at the front door for welcome duties. You won't need many touch screens as the i/Android app is great and covers most the features and they have plans to consolidate all features onto those apps so that should mean in time comms functionality comes to the apps.
Thanks for the fast reply.. I had seen the Control4 system online and it looked good.. The good thing with the home is that right now it will just be me and my fiance (soon to be wife).. So the two spare bedrooms don't have to have all the goodies, just need to be wired for them.. For the touch screens I figured on having 5 for now.. 1 in the kitchen, 1 in the loft, 1 in the master bedroom, 1 in the living room and 1 in the foyer/mudroom.. Im actually going to take a set of plans out to a local control4 dealer and see what he can do..
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-17-2014, 06:59 AM
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Some of those spaces a keypad with up to seven buttons of most used commands would likely be cheaper ans better.
Eg the mud room with lights, away, home, stay. You are not selecting music or lighting scenes or adjusting the hvac from there.
Kitchen and living room reads like duplication as you want this as the same audio zone. And the loft appears out of nowhere. If no audio or video then why?

You may want t a separate kitchen and living WHA for better control in that zone.

You could wire for 8 zones and start using 4 only to save costs.

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-18-2014, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fearthisinc View Post
I have been contemplating installing a home automation system for a home that we are planning on building soon.. I am trying to see what the best route would be to go..I am not sure if I truly need a home automation system or if I am better off just doing individual systems. I don't have a huge budget and trying to determine if what I am looking to have is achievable with my budget. Below is a list of the basics of what I want. For everything listed below including install I would want to keep the budget at 15k..

1. A Full Hardwired Alarm system with remote control ability and also ability to be monitored through separate company. (ex. adt)

2. Whole House Audio/Intercom system - I would like to have the ability to listen to music throughout the home and also have the ability to speak with certain rooms.. I would guess I would need 8 zones.. 1 zone for each bedroom (4 bedrooms), 1 zone for the garage, 1 zone for the outdoor space, 1 zone for kitchen/living room/dining room, and 1 zone for office. I would like this system to have bluetooth technology and also control system via touchscreen panels and also iphone/ipad/etc

3. I would like to control ceiling lights and fans from the touch panel and my phone if possible.

4. I plan on installing a separate extreme high end camera system with 24-32 cameras. For the home automation aspect I just want the ability to add 1 camera at each entry location (3 entry locations) and be able to view them from touch screen in house.

5. I would like the ability to have multiple touch screen monitors strategically placed throughout the home.
$15k won't get you Control4.

1. I use an ELK M1 Gold which has a third party app which works great. If I had to do it again I may install a DSC alarm that integrates with HomeSeer and MiCasaVerde
2. I have been researching this as well. Check out this HTD system http://www.htd.com/Products/Whole-House-Audio. They have videos which show their intercom feature alongside the whole house audio. Other brands that are affordable are Monoprice, OSD. A bit more expensive is Russound, and then you have NuVo, and it goes up from there.
3. Your affordable choices are HomeSeer, MiCasaVerde, and SmartThings. I have SmartThings and I love it.
4. Foscam or Dropcam would do what you want. Get the IP cameras
5. I would use iPad minis, they're $300 and more flexible than other single purpose screens.

You can check out iRule, it's really cool. http://www.iruleathome.com/devices/i...atible-devices. It can go a long way to integrating your stuff if you pick carefully. Maybe check out their forums and ask the same question. If I were you, I would consider the MiCasa Verde, the HTD lync (add a Sonos connect), the ELK m1 gold or DSC, foscam cameras, and lots of wires so you can change your mind later if necessary. You should be able to do everything you want for well under $15k but it won't be as "integrated" as C4. SmartThings is a great app with huge momentum going forward but for now, it seems that the micasa system has a more robust third party integration. For a standalone app to control lights/locks/outlets/garage etc, SmartThings IMO is the way to go.

Good luck! Keep us posted!
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-18-2014, 07:12 PM
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You see, I get confused, an extreme high end camera system with 24-32 cameras is your $15k budget done and personally I can't see why anyone would want that in their home anyway.

So lets back this up. What is left to spend when you have spent money on Security
1) Alarm
4) Cameras

That then gives you the HA spend. As I said you can easily blow through 15k on 30 'high end cameras' as say $300 each. And that does not even cover the DVR.

2 Whole House Audio / Intercom

Product Price Notes
HC250 750 Gives Rhapsody / iTunes / TuneIn as music sources
8 Zone Matrix Amp 2495 <Start with 4 zones and a $1195 amp
Wireless Music Bridge 300 Bluetooth / AirPlay / DLNA source
Total $3,545.00

3 - Ceiling Fans

Product Price Notes
Ceiling Fan Controller 190 4 Speed Fan Controlle
Light Switch 140
Light Dimmer 180

Getting Control4 Ceiling Fan Controler switches would make the fan bit easy.
Lighting also, the light switches are expensive. Again you could look to eBay, or you can add a bridge to a different lighting system.

5 - TouchScreens
As above, the iPad Mini at $300 is also my suggested option, add some launchports to fit them to the wall and keep them charged http://www.launchport.com/
Control4 or most other touchscreens will blitz the budget. $999 each for the 7in with camera.

Fit an Axxess doorbell button
http://axxind.com/automation/doorbell-button/
and have an automation event to display the output of the door camera on the iPads, TV etc.

Other considers would be
Product Price Notes
SR250 199 If you want the HC250 OSD on your TV and integrating the main TV and devices
EV Sonos Driver 200 To control the device below
Sonos Connect 349 To give streaming audio to the system with feedback

Add install and programming, C4 is more than the alternates above but will be one point of input, one app, able to consolidate all the devices and video streams from the 32 cameras above and also set and forget.

Last edited by SMHarman; 06-18-2014 at 07:14 PM.
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