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Need help planning my house out as I build it to automate as much as possible


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Hi guys,


I have been a short time Vera user to just get my feet wet and figure out how the technology worked and am now building my house.  So I want to make sure I put in any needed items now while the walls are all open and design a system that can automate most of the features in the house.  I don't want to restrict this to just common items but including:


- locking/unlocking house

- arming/disarming self built alarm system

- turning on/off lights

- controlling hvac*

- garage open/close

- garage open/close sensing

- water leak detection

- sprinkler system*

- hot tub in back yard*

- turning on tv/music/entertainment system*


The items in * I am not sure on whether this is possible.


In addition, I am struggling to figure out where to place things.  I originally had a rack storage I designed in the middle of the house where I figured everything would go such as:

- cable modem

- cable box

- home theater computer

- wifi (not including repeaters throughout the house)

- network switch (where all room network ports route to)

- cat6 wiring from this rack that goes to each room in the house

- stereo amp (since speakers are spread all throughout the house in the ceilings)

- etc


Does anyone have any suggestions first on if I can automate these items, and then secondly, whether I am going about the organization of all my components in the right fashion?

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  • 5 weeks later...
I can't speak to all your automation desires, but most of the stuff listed there have automation solutions.  HVAC can be a Nest or some other "smart" thermostat.  I don't know about the sprinkler/hot tub... those should probably have an arduino/rasp-pi solution out there.  Turning on the tv/music/etc can be accomplished with a Logitech harmony hub connecting to your HA hub.  I know you can create rules/triggers on the SmartThings hub to do this.  All the other items you want to automate definitely can be solved with a device that will connect to the SmartThings hub.  That's all I can speak to, since that is the only hub I have used.  But I am sure your Vera or a HomeControl or others would work similarly well.


The most important suggestion for your next set of ideas is putting in cabling everywhere.  As far as having all the other things in the middle of the house probably doesn't matter too much.  If you put in CAT 6/a or 5e wiring, then you can locate most of those other things pretty much anywhere.  The 6a/6/5e wiring will allow you to install PoE cameras if you get a switch that supports PoE.  The only benefit of all your other devices being located in the middle of the house would be maybe that they are easy to get to when you need to troubleshoot issues.  But once those are configured, you should never need to visit those physical devices.


And for the stereo amp, I don't think the ideal solution is to have a single stereo receiver send audio to speakers around your house.  Having Sonos speakers, a Sonos clone using Raspberry Pis and squeezebox software, or possibly using the new Google Chromecast audio devices... that's a more powerful setup because you aren't limited to zoning your speakers based on your receiver's capabilities.  You'll be able to send sound to any speaker or many, based on software configuration vs. hardwired connections.


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  • 1 month later...

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