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Setting up a new cottage as a programmer


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Hi all,

I'm just going into an extensive renovation of a cottage. The contractor is great, but his electrician isn't experienced with smart homes. The contractor has worked with a consultant in the past, but it's added thousands of dollars in overhead. And I'm a programmer, so I'd like the most programmer-friendly setup possible. So I'd like to set it up myself, over time. However I need his crew to put the right wiring infrastructure in place.

I see smart home components as just becoming mainstream now, but in the meantime they're more expensive than they should be and the standards haven't settled down, so I want to start slowly. Within a year what I want is this:

* Remote and local access for heating, hot water heater, smoke/co2 alarms, and security. Heating is going to be electrical, baseboard or radiant, maybe heated floors in the bathrooms.
* Using an app or browser or my own code (for example based on [1]), I should be able to view and adjust these features. Of course, everything should operate regardless of any programming.
* Complete interoperability. I gather than OpenZWave is the best protocol to focus on.

So, what do I need the contractor to put in place to enable this to happen over time? I'm specifically wondering how to remotely control all the heating in the house, and anything I can ask for now that will save work and expense later.


1. https://github.com/OpenZWave/node-red-contrib-openzwave

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What you are describing for heating, hot water heater, and smoke/CO2 alarms has more to do with the devices that control these items (thermostats, water heater control, smoke/CO2 alarm) then it does with the wiring in the home.  In order to communicate with these devices (especially with your own code) you will have to find the devices that have an open API that you can connect to.  That itself doesn't rely at all on your home wiring.


Security is a different situation since you can go with wired door / window sensors or you could go wireless.  There are also camera installs that could be done wired (network and power) or just wireless net and wired power.  You have to decide what you really want and this is often tough to do if you haven't messed with any of this stuff in the past.  If you want wired cameras then the best time to configure for that is while the walls are open.


I always suggest buying some hardware and begin messing around with it.  See what you like or don't like.  However, its tough to make an quick decision on what you might need down the road when you have the walls open for a remodel and you have to decide now.

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