building smart home

Guide To Building Your Own Smart Home

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What does life imply? It’s a question that has bothered scientists since the beginning of time. Is it the existence of a certain intelligence or autonomy, a consciousness, or something more? Does it require the inclusion of an entity higher than is currently measurable by scientific systems, a soul? How else can we explain how a human being is alive and a sentient chess bot isn’t? How else do you justify humanity’s inborn right to lord over the machines?

Born in 1842, William James was a pioneering American philosopher and psychologist, one of the most innovative thinkers that the country has ever produced. Alongside some serious work in the realm of physiological psychology, exploring the connections between the body and the mind, he was also one of the leading champions in panpsychism, a theory that proposed a united consciousness, or psyche, that encompasses all elements, living and non-living. The idea was pretty far-fetched for the time, which is probably what led more recent philosophers and scientists to not allow it into mainstream philosophy. However, as more and more researchers face the hard question of consciousness, panpsychism seems to be hitting the roads once again.

As science and technology move headfast into the 21st century, we are well entering a point where the lines of consciousness are severely blurred. What distinguishes a living being from a non-living one? Is the right to life and liberty exclusive to living beings only? These are questions we may yet face as artificial intelligence ushers us into a vast new age of automation. What if your home was alive? What seemed like the premise of a sci-fi horror show in the 80s is now a trending reality. But how do you join in on this trend with the least hassle? Let’s find out.

Not everything about building your next smart home is going to be interesting, and you will have to get used to the grunt work as you skip from page to page trying to find yourself the best kind of infrastructure to support your new home. The root infrastructure required for the proper functioning of any smart home, just like the network of roads and freeways that connect your entire city, is the home network. The home network is the one giant mesh-like system that connects all the various smart appliances within your home, from intelligent toasters to smart refrigerators, and depending upon your requirements, you may even consider having more than one home network powering your smart home. There are a variety of home network technologies to choose from, wired and wireless and wired-and-wireless, each with its own set of benefits and shortcomings.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are probably the most commonly heard of technologies in smart home networking, though not always the most efficient. Wi-Fi networks have long been avoided by manufacturers of smart home appliances due to just how resource-intensive they are, while Bluetooth connections can only be used to transmit data across smaller areas. Other alternatives include the wireless ZigBee and Z-Wave, both of which are mesh networks that use radio waves to foster communication between the many appliances within a house. There’s also Insteon, a smart home technology that uses both radio waves and wired networks to ensure constant connectivity in a dual-mesh network where every smart appliance acts as a peer.

Next to your smart home network, you’ll need a smart home hub that acts as a central communication system between the different devices in your network and allows you to issue commands and get results. The smart hub serves as the brain of your home automation system, allowing you to connect the various devices within your network to a single control center. Of the many smart hubs available in the market, Samsung SmartThingsand Wink are the most popular ones, recommended for both popularity and the quality of service they provide.

While smart hubs like Samsung SmartThings and Insteon Hub Pro each come with their own smartphone applications to help transmit commands across your entire smart home, you may want to spice things up a little by adding some artificial intelligence into the mix. The best way to do this is to use products like Google Home and Amazon Echo, both of which are voice-activated speakers that come power-packed with their own virtual assistants, allowing you to take advantage of their machine learning techniques in controlling your smart home.

Now that you have set up your framework, it is time to go shopping for your favorite smart home appliances to breathe life into your house. From must-haves like thermostat regulators and smart televisions to the more unusual options like intelligent egg trays and Wi-Fi enabled juicers, there is a whole arsenal of scary and beautiful appliances that you can connect to your smart home. While you can take a look at this article for a walkthrough on the best appliances for your home, a security system, a thermostat and a lighting network seem pretty basic for any home. The Nest Learning Thermostat, combined with the Philips Hue Lighting System and a Vivint Smart Home Security Solution will do the job just fine. Next, consider connecting vital work and entertainment devices such as your desktop, laptop, speakers and television set on to your network before looking elsewhere. And of course, don’t forget to download the smartphone app for your preferred smart hub or home kit to go along.

Building yourself a sentient house is no easy task. It requires hours of studying and a whole lot of technical jargon. But if you are patient enough, the effort feels totally worth it as you watch your lifeless home usher into being as a fully-automated, sentient being.


After two decades in the home building industry, Steve Sagerson decided to create Legacy Classic Homes so he could pursue his own vision of what a true custom home building company could be. “I really wanted to focus on the creative and customer service aspects of the custom home building process. I’ve always loved helping buyers visualize their dream. By creating a low volume custom home building company I can focus on making the process of building a home exciting and fulfilling for my clients and give them the attention they deserve.  My clients deal directly with the owner of the company which I believe helps create a trust that is rarely possible when working with a sales person.”

Steve also believes that being a true custom home builder doesn’t have to mean he only builds expensive homes. Legacy Classic Homes can build custom homes starting from the low $300’s up to $1,000,000, and every client receives the same service regardless of price point.

Portfolio floor plans are available across a wide range of designs, styles and sizes, and custom plan design is available through our referred floor plan design firms.

Please feel free to contact us today with any questions at 817-903-1627