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post #1 of 7 Old 06-29-2014, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Purchase review and advice needed for new home

Hi Everyone,
First off, I am just getting into this, so bear with me. Any advice/pitfalls/ideas welcome!

Were building a new home in the country, my wife and my mother have decided the home needs automation... so I have no need for WAF however budget is my biggest hurdle (rather tight).

Layout with coverage:
~5000 sqft house (House with mother-in-law suite)
Shop (about 1000ft from the front door)
Front gate (another 300 ft from the shop)

Goals:
Lighting control (On/Off) Font porch, Back porch, Garage Area and shop porch
Light dimmers (main rooms)
Smoke detectors (6 for coverage of house and shop)
Thermostats (4, 1 per air conditioner)
Door Locks (3, 1 per each main door)
Garage door control with sensor (3, 1 per each door)
Window open detection (bunch)
Washing machine (monitoring)*
Camera (At the gate)*
Gate control*
Security (Shotguns)

I've been doing research and I feel Wireless is the best solution for most of these with the exception of the windows. From the looks of it Z-wave with a Homeseer (HS3 pro) controller is what I am leaning towards. I have no desire to maintain my own equipment (PC) so the HS3 seemed ideal. I have no issue with the programming to build the interface either.

Below is what I have pieced together:

House:
Thermostat - Evolve T100R Z-Wave Thermostat
Light on/off - Cooper RF9501 Z-Wave 15 amp Relay Wall Switch
Light dimmers - Cooper RF9534 Z-Wave 2-Wire 600 watt Dimmer
Door Locks - Kwikset 99100-006 Motorized Deadbolt w/Home Connect - Venetian Bronze
Garage door sensor - Ecolink TILT-ZWAVE2 Garage Door Tilt Sensor
Smoke Detector - Everspring SF813-2 Z-Wave Smoke Detector
Windows Detector - Everspring SM103-1 Z-Wave Door / Window Sensor***
Siren - FortrezZ SSA1 Z-Wave Indoor Siren / Strobe (clear lens)
Repeater - Aeon Labs Aeotec DSD37-ZWUS Z-Wave Repeater
Controller - HomeSeer HomeTroller-SE3 PRO Home Automation Controller
Washing machine (?)
Gate Sensor (?)
Camera (?)

Shop:
Thermostat -Evolve T100R Z-Wave Thermostat
Light on/off - Cooper RF9501 Z-Wave 15 amp Relay Wall Switch
Light dimmers - Cooper RF9534 Z-Wave 2-Wire 600 watt Dimmer
Door Locks - Kwikset 99100-006 Motorized Deadbolt w/Home Connect - Venetian Bronze
Garage door sensor - Ecolink TILT-ZWAVE2 Garage Door Tilt Sensor
Smoke Detector - Everspring SF813-2 Z-Wave Smoke Detector
Siren - FortrezZ SSA1 Z-Wave Indoor Siren / Strobe (clear lens)

Gate:
Gate Sensor (?)
Camera (?)

Now the list of questions:
1) For the windows, the wireless detectors, seem... bulky. Is there a way to do it wired and not visable that will work with HS3?
2) The Garage, I think I am missing something, how do you control the opener? Is the tilt sensor necessary?
3) Any suggestions on how to connect the house, shop and gate? (Cat6 will only go 700ft) (Heavy woods between the house and shop)
4) Any thoughts on the devices I've listed?
5) Am I going in the right direction? Missing anything?
6) The Camera is a must for the women, they want to be able to see people before they open the gate. Any suggestions on this? Or work with the gate company?
7) Are there lock for sliding glass doors?
8) Touch Pannels, we would like 1 on each side of the house (Considering elo 1541L 15-inch LCD) how would you throw the video (interface) ~40ft?
9) I feel lost on the appliance monitoring side, how would you monitor the washing machine?

Thank yall for any/all help!
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-30-2014, 01:00 PM
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Homeseer is a great platform, there latest release is much improved over previous releases.


All your hardware choices look great however I prefer UPB technology for lighting (switches & lamp modules) I like UPB because the switches them selves are programmable, you can program a switch to trigger other UPB devices directly.


Interface your Homeseer PC to a Security panel such as a DSC Power series and you can trigger events based on zone status, I have a set of Optex IR beams across my driveway that is attached to a zone on my security panel, From there I have a Homeseer event that triggers homeseer to speak "driveway".


I use a few ipads spread out for touchscreen interfaces


I control my gate opener and garage doors using a Simply Automated CM-01's (UPB relay module)


I use a WGL Rain8UPB to control my irrigation


I don't monitor appliances


for door locks I have electric door strikes installed in the door jambs, There are Zwave locks available that are much easier to install


I have a geovision DVR and several cameras around my property however my cams are not interfaced with my Homeseer at this time
I keep my cameras up on my couch Ipad most of the time and when someone pulls into my driveway and im notified (via homeseer) I launch my HS Touchscreen and open the gate. When I get time I want to integrate my driveway camera into my Homeseer touchscreen. once that happens you can make your touch screen switch to you driveway camera automatically when you drive beams are broken.


I suggest hardwiring everything you can especially your window and door contacts, Personally I'm not a fan of wireless devices that have batteries


Hope this helps
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-01-2014, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in4ni View Post
I suggest hardwiring everything you can especially your window and door contacts, Personally I'm not a fan of wireless devices that have batteries
Great information, thank you!

Do you have any recommendations on what to use for hardwired window strikes?

Is there a way to extend Z-wave via a cat5 cable?
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-08-2014, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankySmurf View Post
Great information, thank you!

Do you have any recommendations on what to use for hardwired window strikes?
Not sure what you mean by "window strike" I just use standard magnetic reed switches for the window sensor,

Is there a way to extend Z-wave via a cat5 cable?
I don't use a lot of zwave however some zwave devices act as repeater, Also you can get an Ethernet to serial convertor and remotely locate zwave controllers
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-08-2014, 11:10 AM
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I would hire a local integrator to aid in the design, hourly rate. This will help diminish regrets later.

There is too much for you to learn, before the house is built, to achieve an excellent result.

As HS3 seems to be your controller of choice, you should be asking these questions in the HomeSeer forum.

And, as far as wireless goes, I hate changing batteries. Hardwire all power that you can.

Also, overwire. You can't have too many cables, and it can be painful to retrofit them.

Wired door and window contacts are the way to go, wired to a central controller. No idea how they would be controlled with HomeSeer, but I bet it's possible. My doors and windows are wired to my security system controller. Maybe you can hire an alarm company to install a DSC (or similar) system, that can be integrated with HomeSeer. Central Monitoring is not a requirement for home security systems - but mine is monitored. It would serve your need for wired door and window contacts.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #6 of 7 Old 09-25-2014, 10:11 AM
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You might also look into the ZSmoke (smoke alarm) or ZCombo (smoke and carbon monoxide alarm) made by First Alert and sold at Lowes ($30 / $40). They are Z-wave.

I have them on my SmartThings system and they work great.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-27-2014, 12:44 PM
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I work as a custom installer, so I will obviously recommend going that route, but I understand if you don't want to do so.

The only advice I will give is to have your builder/electrician/low voltage guy wire for a security system, and have them wire for security smokes. The total cost just isn't that great, and they are reliable, don't require batteries (backup power is provided by the battery at the panel) and have been proven for years.

If you can get a basic Lutron Ra2 system in your budget I highly recommend it. Yes it is expensive, but it is worth it. There simply isn't a more reliable, scalable comfort and lighting solution short of Lutron HWQS.

Finally, as others have said, prewire for all eventualities. Wireless is great for user interfaces and door locks, but for most things wiring is preferable, and since you are building you have that option for this short window of time.
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