Creating A Budget

Estimating Costs

There are many cases where a homeowner is not sure what to budget for their technology wants and needs. When starting a new build or remodel, your builder, architect, and interior designer can quickly estimate a pool, kitchen, or shade will cost. However, they often shrug their shoulders when it comes to technology because there are so many variables. 

Some clients want a basic system while others want Tony Stark levels of home automation. With many people not knowing this technology, it is hard to estimate.

Eco Smart Home Pros can help! We will work with you to discuss your wants and needs and put together an estimate so that you know how to plan for the entire project. 

Budget Guidelines

With the amount of technology available and everyone’s personal preferences it is difficult to give an estimate without knowing the variables. 

However, here are some industry standard figures:

Lighting Control System: $5-$12 per square foot
Personal Home Theater: $20,000+
Smart Shades: $550+ per shade
Basic Technology Setup: 4-9% of home value
Advanced Technology Setup: 10-35% of home value

These values include an estimate for the cost of design, hardware, installation, programming, and initial setup. 

How To Control Your Home Technology Budget

1. Invest in the Network / Wi-Fi

Our life runs on computers and technology. From phones, tablets, doorbells, cameras, televisions, and everything else; they all require an Internet connection. Your home’s network is the backbone for all of that activity.

We recommend that you invest in a quality system that will be able to handle your digital life as you add more devices each year. The devices that you can get at your local store are no longer adequate for advanced smart home systems. Which is why we recommend an enterprise-grade system from Ubiquiti. These systems are business-grade products that have better security, reliability, and speed compared to a DIY router. 

If you are going to splurge anywhere, spend it on the home network. Your entire family will thank you. 

2. Do Not Underestimate Your Needs

Surveys have shown that most Americans would rather lose electricity or water temporarily than their Internet service. This speaks to the role that technology plays in our daily lives. 

We spend a lot of money building beautiful pools, kitchens, gyms, and backyards when those are used minimally when compared to the technology we rely on every day. Technology is constantly being touched by all members of the household. When implemented correctly, there is no area of a home where technology does not have a positive impact. 

Whereas the opposite is true as well; a home with poor technology design is a source of frustration and stress. We suggest that you consider shifting some budget dollars from lesser-used rooms to the most used technology in your home. 

3. Divide the Project Into Parts

A first glance at a technology budget might be scary. Typically, it represents many systems that work together to makeup the entire home technology solution. It can seem like costs add up quickly; so here is another way to separate those budgets.

  • Access Controls
  • Audio Systems
  • Automation Control
  • Home Theater
  • Lighting Controls
  • Security Cameras
  • Television Systems
  • Wi-Fi / Networking

4. Don't Assume You're Being Oversold

Many homeowners tend to underspend on technology. Feeling like they are being oversold on their technology needs, they may keep asking for bids until they get a low price that they want. Experience shows that the majority of people who settle for cheap-priced systems, get cheap hardware and service. 

Keep an open mind when listening to suggestions from your technology professionals, though be very clear what is important to you. Define your needs as specifically as possible so that the right recommendations are being made. 

Do not be afraid to ask questions, make sure you understand why your technology professional is making the recommendations that they are. We know what makes clients happy, and we want to deliver the best experience for you and your family. 

If you have communicated that you are hard-of-hearing and your smart home integrator is recommending an audiophile-grade sound system; it may be time to look for someone else. However, if their recommendations are logical solutions, resist the urge to be cynical. We hope that you build trust with your technology professional, but verify their recommendations. 

Ready to start planning your budget?

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