Is Home Automation Worth It? The Answer Might Surprise You.
Before you fully commit and turn your house into a smart home, you may be wondering whether or not home automation is worth it in the first place?
Is home automation worth it?
Yes, home automation is worth it. It can make every day routines easier and more enjoyable. It can even help you significantly cut down on energy costs in the long run. That said, it can be expensive to get started and you have to be willing to spend time tinkering.
It also depends largely on your goals and what you’re trying to achieve. It depends on your budget. It depends on your current living situation and lastly, it depends on your personality. Are you somebody who enjoys new technology and tinkering, or are you a Luddite?
Your answer to that last question, are you a luddite, is the best place to start.
Are you a Luddite?
If you’re not a fan of technology and the time and effort it takes to get new technology setup and running (correctly), then home automation is likely not worth it for you.
Speaking from experience, home automation takes time.
It takes time to know which products to buy, how to set them up, how to get them working with other products, what automations to create, tinkering with those automations until they’re just right.
And so on.
That said, there are plenty of companies out there who specialize in setting up and installing smart homes on your behalf – but they all come at a cost.
If budget isn’t a consideration for you then this might be a good option.
Just be aware of the additional cost down the road when/if things start to break.
Since you weren’t the one who got everything working in the first place, you’ll most likely have to rely on someone else to fix things.
For the rest of us who are cost conscience and still excited about home automation, doing the setup ourselves is the best way forward.
Ok, we’re past the first hurdle. We confirmed you’re excited about new tech and are willing to put in some time to learn how it works.
What are you trying you accomplish?
The next hurdle is getting a sense for what you’d like to accomplish with home automation.
If you’re disillusioned about smart homes and think that once you set yours up you won’t have to lift a finger ever again, you’ll be extremely disappointed.
In my opinion, home automation is about making every day routines easier, and in some cases more enjoyable.
For example – my wife and I always hated coming home to a locked door.
Sounds silly I know, but I bet you’ve felt this way at least a handful of times in your life:
You get home, your hands are full with bags of groceries and your door is locked.
You try fishing your keys out of your jean pockets but you just can’t quite get them out.
Your biceps are burning at this point and you’re starting to accept the fact that you’re going to have to put down all 50 of these grocery bags (because one trip or bust) on the front steps in order to get this door unlocked.
That happened one too many times for us until we finally decided to do something about it.
Our August Smartlock Pro has completely solved this problem for us. Now, when we get within a certain distance of our home, our front door automatically unlocks for us.
Plus we never have to worry about getting locked out since August smartlocks utilize your existing bolt lock and key slot. So you can keep your current keys as back up.
Not to mention the ability to give some of our family members access from their phones as well and the ability to lock, and unlock our door when we’re away.
And it only took 10 minutes to setup!
That’s the type of every day annoyance home automation can solve.
If that excites you then it’s starting to sound like home automation just might be worth it for you.
But at what cost?
Are you currently in debt?
If I wasn’t writing about smart home tech I’d likely be writing about personal finance, so I’m passionate about this one.
If you have a pile of credit card debt, student loans, car payments etc. then my advice to you is stop now. Take what ever money you were thinking of putting into smart home products and throw it at your debt.
Ultimately smart home tech and home automation is really just a hobby. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of real and useful applications. But let’s be honest, it is not a necessity!
Getting out of debt is. Or at least it should be.
Ok, so maybe you have no debt, or maybe you have some but you still want to have fun with your new home/apartment/condo.
Setting a budget
The next step is to think realistically about how much you want to spend.
If you don’t have a lot of money, don’t worry – you can get started with as little as 20 dollars. Over time you can build your smart home from there.
But regardless of how you decide to approach creating your smart home, set a number of how much you want to spend.
I’m sure a lot of others have had this experience but when I first started in home automation I found myself buying something new every other day.
One thing led to the other and I was already 500 dollars into my smart home project by week one.
Between a smart lock (150), the Echo Show (150), smart plugs (40), and five smart switches (160) – I was just getting started.
Set a budget in the beginning and stick to it. Otherwise things will snowball faster than you (or your significant other) are comfortable with.
Once you hit your budget stop and take a breath. Ask for things at Christmas or on your birthday and build up your home over time.
That’s just my advice, but do what you gonna do.
What’s your current living situation?
The last big thing to consider is your current living situation.
Are you a homeowner or do you rent? If you rent, how long do you plan on staying for?
My advice is usually to wait until you own.
There are definitely products and home automations you can set up as a renter but you’re a bit more constrained.
When you own you can do what ever you want.
Want to bust a hole in the wall to add a new window? Go for it. Thinking about adding pantry shelving to that vacant closet in your kitchen? Have at it.
The same is true for your home automation projects.
While it is true that some smart home products are less involved than others, most will involve at least some alteration to existing structures/fixtures.
And once you spend all the time it takes to get everything setup and working, you’re not going to want to take it all down/apart and pack it up with you.
Again, that’s not to say you can’t do this as a renter. It’s just a bit trickier.
So, is home automation worth it? Well…
- You need to be into technology and excited about the idea of tinkering with it.
- Then understand that smart home tech isn’t going to solve all of your life’s challenges and instead is best for automating some of your every day routines.
- If you’re in debt, pay that off first! Then set a budget and make sure you stick to it.
- Last, if you own your home, great, do as you please! If you rent, think a bit more on what you’d like to accomplish and decide if it’s really worth the effort.
Has home automation been worth it for you? Let me know in the comments below!