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3 Pillar Blog

Blog Category - Newsletter

Punch List: Insuring Homeowner Satisfaction

Categories: Build Process, Newsletter | Posted: February 17, 2016

The idea of a “punch list” may not sound very appealing at first, but the “punch list” is an invaluable tool for making sure our homes meet the standards and expectations of our homebuyers. A punch list — industry slang for a short checklist of items that need to be completed, repaired, or replaced — is also an effective communication tool with our trade partners and our clients. It acts as a quick and easy reference to the status of the project and its state of readiness.

Most commonly, punch lists are used as the house nears completion. Increasingly, one is created and addressed internally (by our staff, without the homebuyer present), and a second one developed as a homeowner and one of our associates walk through a new house just before the homeowner moves in. In either case, the punch list typically contains minor items that can be addressed quickly and easily.

Conducting an internal inspection and addressing punch list items before the final client walk-through has proven to boost our homebuyers overall satisfaction.

Lesser known (but common among the most professional builders) are the punch lists that are produced at almost every phase of the building process. This enables us to communicate and collaborate with our product suppliers and trade partners regarding the quality and status of their work in progress. Like those created during a final walk-through with a homebuyer, punch lists during construction ensure that each stage of work is complete and ready for the next phase. We can then call for an inspection by the local building department or schedule the next wave of trade partners and material deliveries to start the next stage of work. This formal process is key to managing the thousands of details in building a new home, helping us stay on schedule and on budget.

Still, no matter how many times we conduct inspections and develop punch lists, no house is perfect. There are bound to be some things that homebuyers notice and identify to the builder during a final walk-through; in addition, there may be items a builder will point out as already on the punch list, and explain the policies and procedures in place for taking care of everything on the punch list in a timely manner.

Builders differ in their approach to satisfying the punch list. Most of them work to cross every item off the list prior to homeowner possession so that the closing process is hassle-free. Depending on the punch list, a builder may try to schedule the necessary labor to address every item on the same day, rather than over several days, out of respect for a new homeowner’s time and busy schedule.

With a reliable and consistent punch list system in place, we are able to deliver a completed house that regularly meets or exceeds the expectations of our homebuyers.

When we communicate effectively with our clients, trade partners, and materials suppliers throughout the process, punch lists are typically short and easy to complete, helping us deliver the most positive overall experience and best possible new homeowner experience possible.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

Controlling Allowances

Categories: Build Process, Newsletter | Posted: February 3, 2016

Strict allowance policies benefit homeowners as much as builders.

Why do builders prefer that the homeowners choose every single item that will go into the house before they break ground? It’s not just for the builder’s convenience. A choice postponed may end up being made at a time when the homeowners are feeling a lot of construction stress. Decisions made under stress raise the chance of buyer remorse.

But the reality is that some people have a difficult time choosing finishes like flooring, light fixtures, tile, and carpet before the house has at least been framed and they can walk through the spaces. Allowances are a necessary concession to that reality. They let the homeowners choose a limited number of products after the project is underway, while still keeping the job on schedule and on budget.

It’s useful to think of an allowance like a Visa gift card. Say, for instance, that the builder and homeowners agree on a $20,000 allowance for kitchen cabinets and countertops. The homeowners can spend that money any way they want. They may want mid-range solid surface countertops and ornate cabinets with intricate moldings, or they may opt for plainer, less expensive cabinets and marble surfaces. They just need to stay within the allotted $20,000.

Like a gift card, an allowance will have an expiration date. That’s the date by which choices have to be made. But there’s an important difference: if someone doesn’t use a gift card on time, they lose the money; if the homeowner doesn’t make allowance choices on time, the money will still be there, but the delay will throw off the job schedule and may raise the final cost.

Because of their potential to cause trouble, most builders limit allowances to a few line items. These vary by builder, but common ones are lighting, plumbing fixtures, exterior doors, ceramic tile, and carpet. During the planning stage, the builder will suggest an amount that makes sense given the budget for the overall home. Homeowners who want to spend more—or less—on these items need to tell the builder at this point.

Most builders also insist that the customer purchase allowance items from their regular suppliers and that they be installed by the builder’s regular trade partners. For one thing, the builder can’t be confident in the quality of unfamiliar products from unfamiliar vendors. For another, the use of regular suppliers and installers is crucial to controlling costs. It eliminates situations like the customer who chooses carpet from a supplier unfamiliar to the builder, only to find out that it is European carpet in metric sizes that will leave a lot of unwanted waste (that the homeowner has to pay for) and that takes 20 weeks to get, while the house will be done in five.

When choosing multiple items like faucets and light fixtures, a budget-conscious customer will match styles. Using a different faucet style in every bath raises costs; keeping the fixtures consistent brings more purchasing power.

The bottom line is that a well-defined allowance policy benefits the homeowners as well as the builder by controlling costs, keeping the job on schedule, and reducing unwanted stress for everyone. People who have built homes in the past usually understand this, which is why they generally prefer to work with a builder with a clear policy.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

New Technologies are Lighting the Way

Categories: Newsletter | Posted: January 21, 2016

Remember the old center-of-the-ceiling light fixture? You entered a room, hit the wall switch, and a couple of light bulbs behind a semi-transparent plate shed general, flat light over the whole room. All features of the room, good and bad, got the same emphasis. There was enough light to avoid tripping over the dog, but not enough light to read by.

Things have changed. Lighting is now a sophisticated design element of the modern home, whether that home is traditional or contemporary in style. Every aspect of lighting—placement, function, control, style, energy-efficiency—has evolved to offer exactly what is needed in each room.

The thoughtful placement of lighting fixtures with specific function can make a dramatic change in a room. For example, instead of a big overhead fluorescent panel, new kitchens now feature task-specific fixtures such as recessed spot lights over the sink and other work stations, strip lights under wall cabinets, or dropped fixtures over work islands or eating areas. Other examples of task lighting include automatic bulbs in cabinets and pantries, up- and down-lights that showcase landscaping or artwork, and fixtures positioned to throw light on stair treads.

Lighting controls have also come a long way from the simple wall-mounted switch. Homeowners can program or manipulate lighting schemes to create custom ambiance for a casual dinner party or an intimate evening at home. Timers, remote controls, dimmer switches, and motion sensors enhance the flexibility, beauty and convenience of a lighting design using both wired and wireless technologies.

Besides increasing the technical sophistication of their products, lighting manufacturers have had to keep up with current styles and fashions. Pendants, wall sconces, chandeliers, and domed fixtures are available in an almost endless array of styles and finishes. In addition, lighting suppliers have developed a greater range of compatible fixtures to achieve a coordinated look for all lighting products in the house.

Security lighting has also grown in popularity in recent years. Inside the home, high tech wired and wireless timers can be programmed to create the illusion of activity while the owners are away. Outside, motion-activated lighting is a basic feature, especially at entries. Outdoor fixtures can highlight house numbers to assist emergency services. Lights in the garage and house can flash on and off as part of a security system that alerts neighbors or police of an unauthorized intrusion.

Outdoor light fixtures are increasingly powered by solar energy and light sensors to save even more electricity. Small photovoltaic cells are built right into path and landscape products to power them only at night. These systems require no wiring or current from another source, making them safe and easy to replace as needed. Homeowners enjoy the added convenience and beauty of outdoor lighting, whether or not they remember to turn them on or off.

Professional builders incorporate modern lighting design and products in their new homes, adding long-lasting value while enhancing style, convenience, comfort, security, and efficiency.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

What Quality Looks Like

Categories: About Us, Newsletter | Posted: December 16, 2015

Builders are always talking about “quality,” but few can explain what that means to their new-home clients. This should not be a mystery; construction quality is easy to see when you know what to look for. As a professional builder, we not only take pride in creating high-quality homes, but also in making sure that our homebuyers experience quality and understand the difference it makes.

The building process is relatively foreign to those outside of the industry. The best way to help a homebuyer understand the construction process and appreciate the value of the high-quality materials and methods we employ is to schedule visits to the job site at key milestones. Walking through a newly framed home, for instance, allows us to point out the tight tolerances we require from our framing crews. On-site, we can show examples and explain why these standards help to ensure reliable performance and comfort in the finished home.

After framing, homeowners can watch the ways that we install the home’s wiring, plumbing, and mechanical systems. Our exacting specifications make sure that those systems perform as designed and promised. As construction continues, we encourage new homeowners to schedule similar walk-throughs so we can showcase the high-level materials and methods we use to build homes. What is difficult to articulate in the office becomes clearly demonstrated as the house takes shape.

We also consider the conditions of our job sites as an indicator of quality. We expect, for instance, that our crews and trade partners maintain a clean site. Disposing of trash and scrap materials not only makes for a professional work environment, but also a safe one. We believe that our insistence on a professional looking job site translates to professional, superior-quality workmanship.

As a new home nears completion, quality is even easier to see and understand from a homebuyer’s point of view. Again, adhering to tight tolerances, we work hard to make sure that walls are smooth, that cabinets, trim, and other fixtures fit snugly into place. We make certain that windows and doors operate smoothly, and that flooring and other finishes are installed to meet the expectations of our discerning clientele.

But the true test of quality construction is occupancy. New homeowners will understand what we mean by quality after living in their home for a while. How our homes stand the test of time and the rigor of everyday living is a testament to the quality we strive to achieve from the foundation to the rooftop.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

Why Builders Must Be Learners

Categories: Newsletter | Posted: December 2, 2015

Continuing education is no longer optional.

What do today’s best builders have in common? Although the answer includes many items, there’s a common thread running through each of them: a commitment to ongoing learning. The know-how needed to build high-performance, durable homes is evolving faster than ever. That’s why top builders commit to continuing education in a variety of disciplines, including architecture, engineering, law, materials science, and management.

Here are three examples.

Processes. A custom building company assembles a massive product with thousands of interrelated parts: the finished home. That home is far more complex than most things people buy, except perhaps their car, and today’s customers rightly demand that it be completed for the contracted price, on the agreed-to schedule, with few or no defects.

Builders actually face steeper hurdles in meeting customer expectations than do carmakers. Not only must they coordinate and motivate teams of independent contractors to get the job done, but they have to do it outside in all types of weather including snow, rain, and summer heat. Keeping things on track under these circumstances demands bulletproof management and quality control, all of which must be continually honed.

Products. Building products and processes are changing more rapidly than at any time in human history. Industry trade journals showcase a seemingly endless stream of new materials and technologies, from engineered framing components, to high-tech windows, to security systems and smart appliances. The builder has to know how to evaluate these products and, if they’re worth adopting, how to make sure they’re installed correctly and in a manner that fits into the workflow.

Regulations. Governments are exerting more control over what types of homes can be built, how they get built, and how they perform when finished.

Zoning, building, and mechanical codes govern where the house is placed and how it’s framed, plumbed, and wired. Energy codes attempt to reduce the amount of heating and cooling the home uses, with the latest codes mandating that new homes be built nearly airtight. The need to satisfy energy codes while avoiding moisture problems and maintaining a healthy indoor environment has helped spawn the field of Building Science, which maps and quantifies heat and moisture flows through the structure. Every builder needs a working knowledge of how to apply its principles.

Work crews are also more regulated than ever. Federal agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency write new work rules each year, and states impose additional rules. Most of these rules include work process and recordkeeping requirements, both of which are increasingly enforced. To stay compliant, builders have to learn the regulations and keep current with annual changes.

Keeping up with this expanding web of new products, processes, and regulations is just half the battle. Builders who want to stay in business have to adapt to these changes in a way that controls costs and keeps customers happy. Seat-of-the-pants management doesn’t cut it any more—the builder needs a commitment to continuing education.

This education is widely available. Professional associations offer classes and certifications in a variety of disciplines. Private training companies show builders how to comply with new codes and regulations. Trade shows introduce new products and technologies, and most shows also include seminars on design, construction, and management. Where a builder and its staff get their training matters less than the commitment to getting it. Advanced training is one sign of a professional, so it’s a fair subject to ask about when evaluating a prospective builder.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

Got stuff? Consider these storage options

Categories: Newsletter | Posted: November 25, 2015

One of the by-products of a consumer-based society is that we all collect “stuff”. This ranges from sports equipment and garden tools to holiday decorations, craft and hobby gear, and clothing. In some cases, people have so much stuff that it commandeers their closets, outdoor sheds, and garages to the point of overflow and disorganization.

Homebuyers want relief from their storage woes. To that end, a variety of products and organizational ideas that can add convenient capacity have cropped up for every nook and cranny of the house.

Overall, the most popular trend in storage is the use of modular, adjustable systems that can easily be manipulated to accommodate changing storage needs. In any storage setting, be it a garage or a walk-in master suite closet, these systems employ a simple backbone of tracks or channels secured to the walls on which you can hang a wide variety of components without any penetrating fasteners.

In a clothes closet, for example, the system can include open shelves, door and drawer cabinets, tilted shoe racks, hanger poles, hooks, and laundry hampers. These pieces and parts can be arranged based on a homeowner’s particular needs; as those needs change, the components can be moved, replaced, or supplemented.

The garage is another area well suited to these storage systems. There are now wall-hung cabinets, shelving, hooks, and other handy components with the ability to be moved to any point along tracks or channels secured to the wall. Garage storage systems feature cabinets and work surfaces with lock-in-place castors that allow owners to easily bring those elements out into the open, or even to the outside, for better, safer, and more convenient access to their “stuff.”

In both of these settings, the storage system typically raises the wall-hung components above the floor, making it easier to vacuum the carpet or sweep out the garage. Doing so reduces the perception (or reality) of clutter.

In the kitchen, cabinet and appliance manufacturers offer several options to increase storage capacity. In addition to handy drop-down drawers and roll-out shelves, many of the latest cabinet companies provide in-drawer organizers, dedicated trash and recycling bins, and adjustable shelving to suit a variety of needs.

In the laundry room, pedestal drawers set underneath the washer and dryer provide additional and convenient storage while raising the height of the washer and dryer, making them easier to use, as well.

Today’s modular storage systems are available in a wide variety of styles and price points, from luxurious, all-wood components that enhance any master suite to ventilated coated wire sections that make sense for kids’ rooms and utility areas. Even if there is enough land and ample budget to build a large house with plenty of closets and space for stuff, it’s only smart to make those areas, and the entire house, as space-efficient and valuable as possible.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

The Value of Trusted Associations

Categories: Build Process, Newsletter | Posted: November 4, 2015

You can tell a lot about someone by his or her associates, and that’s as true for businesses as it is for individuals. Every successful business understands the value of ongoing trust-based relationships with other industry professionals.

Take the example of builder trade partnerships. If a builder has top-notch trade partners working on its jobs, it’s a sign that the builder is top-notch as well. Birds of a feather do, in fact, tend to build together.

The rewards that come from partnerships between highly professional companies go to everyone—builder, trade partners, and customers—in ways that are obvious and also not so obvious.

First, the obvious. A builder who has a trusted cadre of great trade subcontractors—and who treats them well—earns the best value and the finest customer service those subcontractors have to offer. The builder’s customers enjoy fair pricing and timely work. Builders are really no different than homeowners in this respect: once they find a plumbing or landscaping company that consistently gets things done right and on time, without the need for micromanagement, they use that company again and again. It’s smart business.

A reliable trade partner can also be trusted to take care of the customer without the builder having to act as intermediary. Consider the process of choosing ceramic tile. As one builder put it: “It’s a waste of time for me to be in the tile shop with the clients as they go back and forth making choices. I add no value.” The ability of the tile shop to manage the process makes scheduling easier and helps control costs.

Less obvious but equally important payoffs have to do with continual improvement. A trusted trade partner won’t be afraid to tell the builder if something can be done more efficiently, and vice-versa. In fact, good builders schedule meetings with their trade partners at the end of big jobs for the specific purpose of sharing feedback. Over time, everyone becomes more professional and efficient, and customers reap the benefit of well-managed projects.

The best builders also go beyond their market. For instance, most professional builders belong to a trade association that keeps them up to date on trends in design, construction, codes, and business management. Some participate in the local chapter of a large organization like the National Association of Homebuilders, trading expertise and knowledge with other local builders. Others join networking groups with companies from noncompeting markets who work together to help one another strengthen and grow their businesses. By sharing what works and what doesn’t, each member company becomes more successful and better able to serve its customers.

Membership in a trade group is a good sign. That’s because these groups don’t attract builders out to make a quick buck. Rather, the willingness to pay (often steep) membership fees and to participate in the organization’s activities is the mark of a company that’s serious about adhering to professional standards and even helping to develop them. It’s a company that wants to improve the industry as a whole for the benefit of everyone. These are pros who treat homebuilding like the profession it is, and who take great pride in that fact.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

It is Your Choice

Categories: Newsletter | Posted: October 21, 2015

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The Professional Builder walks a fine line. It is our job to balance a new home’s cost and construction efficiencies while customizing our home design and specifications. We work closely with our clients to develop the ultimate look and feel of their new home so that it meets their needs and reflects their unique taste.

To that end, we encourage and enable new-home buyers to select from an increasingly diverse list of products and finishes before we begin construction. Most often, these selections are from the catalogs or websites of our trusted suppliers and feature familiar brand names with rock-solid warranties. This helps us to build efficiently and keep the budget in check.

Whenever necessary, we accommodate a special request from a homebuyer, assuming the product or system is available and within an agreed budget … or the budget is revised to include it.

This “customization” process is a two-way street of responsibility and respect. We rely on our clients to make their selections on time to avoid delays in delivery and construction.

We do our part by establishing deadlines and milestones as part of the construction agreement. We identify when materials and finishes need to be ordered so they are on the job site to maintain our construction schedule. Our schedule also confirms “lead times”—the time between when a product is ordered and when the supplier can deliver it—so that we can coordinate its installation with the proper contractor.

Every missed deadline almost always results in a delay in construction … which invariably translates to additional costs. Worse, it can trigger a domino effect, affecting not just its point in the schedule, but also several others that follow. Homebuilding is a linear process, often requiring one step to be finished before another can start; a glitch can therefore ripple through the schedule, affecting tasks and deadlines that might appear unrelated.

Over the years, we’ve not only come to expand the choices we allow homebuyers to make—from minor structural changes to any number of finishes—but also how to accommodate those choices in the overall scheme and schedule of the project. We leave plenty of leeway for lead times (especially for new or unfamiliar selections) and use technology to find reliable sources for special orders.

Our ultimate goal is to deliver a satisfying experience and exceed our clients’ expectations. We coach new-home buyers to understand the building process and the critical role they play in it, and leave ample time to enable comfortable, unrushed decisions. We are here to advise, offer choices, and ultimately fulfill dreams—as well as build homes that will stand the test of time and evoke memories that span generations.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.

What Makes a Project a Success?

Categories: Build Process, Newsletter | Posted: October 7, 2015

It’s as much about the experience as the result.

Some homeowners have asked: How does a builder know when a project has been a success? Well, there’s good news—the answer to this question is one of the things that defines a great builder.

To a pro, every successful project crosses the finish line with three outcomes. First, the homeowners are thrilled with their new home; second, they walk away with good memories of the builder and the project; and third, they are eager to recommend the builder to friends, family, and colleagues.

While homeowners tend to focus on quality and budget, professional builders work to ensure that the clients’ experience is a good one. Builders work hard to minimize stress and eliminate surprises. Their business processes and communication protocols are engineered to do just that.

This effort starts during the sales process, where the builder helps clarify the homeowners’ vision and creates a project concept that satisfies that vision. It continues during design, where plans and specifications become the first tangible rendering of that vision. It includes a contract that eliminates surprises and clearly defines everyone’s roles and responsibilities. It then moves to a successful handoff, where the project manager studies the vision and outlines a plan for building it. The time invested during this planning stage is the foundation of a successful project and satisfied homeowners.

A successful project isn’t without occasional unforeseen problems or errors—from a defective product that has to be returned to a long rainy period before the house is weather tight. The professional owns these problems, makes sure the homeowners understand how they will impact the schedule, and corrects them where necessary.

The common threads throughout the project are solid business processes, good service, and great communication. Builders at the top of their game have gotten there because they are skilled managers and good communicators. They understand how to listen to the homeowners’ needs, hopes, and concerns. And they know how to work with the homeowners to address them. This includes regular meetings where the homeowners are kept up to date about exactly what’s going on and what’s about to happen.

Professional custom builders understand that their success depends on satisfied clients. The most powerful advertising is a referral from a delighted homeowner. Builders work hard to raise their referral rate high above the industry average. This requires top quality work and strong, trusting relationships with clients. It’s a finish where everyone wins.

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035. You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659

The Connected Home

Categories: Design, Newsletter | Posted: July 8, 2015

Connected home technology in the early 2000s was a costly proposition. In most cases, high-priced “structured wiring” linked a central server to the devices it managed and also to proprietary, hardwired keypads and control screens.

Wired Speaker

Fast-forward more than a decade. Things are simpler and more affordable, with everything from security sensors to speakers to lighting controls available in wireless models controlled by a tablet or smart phone. The price of fully connecting a home is one-tenth what it used to be.

Few are taking advantage of this new affordability. A survey of 6500 households published in early 2015 by technology research firm Gartner, Inc. found only a handful using this powerful technology to do more than simply stream movies.

A new home is the perfect opportunity to join that select, modern few.

Ed Webb of Koncerted, a Boston-area home electronics integrator, says that most of the homeowners he talks with are familiar with remote control of temperature and security, but they seldom know what other automation is available. Once they learn about and try it, they want more. “My lighting control business is up 250 percent over last year, and my automated shade business is up 200 percent,” he says. That’s because the benefits are grand and the price is right. In just one example, wireless technology has cut the cost of automated shades by more than half when compared to hardwired versions.

Other affordable wireless products finding a ready market include Ring, a doorbell with a camera that displays on a cell phone; Nest, a self-programming thermostat; Hue, an LED bulb that can be dimmed or changed in color via a handheld app; and Sonos, a wireless speaker system.

One thing that stops people from wanting such devices is worry about getting them to work together. A good electronics integrator can set up an iPad app that controls the TV, the heating and cooling system, the lighting, and everything else.

When deciding between devices it’s best to focus on benefits. For some, being able to remotely control the thermostat sounds interesting. For others, being able to use a phone app to adjust the home’s heating and cooling system so it’s comfortable on arrival lights up the imagination.

The Nest

One common question is whether the home still needs a wiring infrastructure. The answer is yes, but the wiring is simpler than in the past. The basic requirement is to run data and TV cable to every room for bandwidth-hungry video services like Netflix or iTunes: streaming these services through a wire is a lot more reliable than streaming them wirelessly.

For sending data to all those new wireless devices, Webb recommends an enterprise-grade wireless router with 5 gigabytes of RAM instead of the typical 56K consumer model. Costs for the upgraded router are higher, ranging from $400 to $1000, but it can keep up when people are streaming movies on two or more screens. Video devices like the Ring doorbell can also eat up bandwidth. For remote areas of the house, consider wireless access points rather than repeaters.

The bottom line is that with a few affordable devices and a little integration work, homeowners today can easily set up automated systems to conserve energy, manage home security, provide a world of entertainment, and generally make their home more responsive and comfortable.

 


 

3 Pillar Homes is a custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio.  For more information about our new homes, please visit one of our model home locations in Jerome Village, located at 10602 Arrowwood Drive, Plain City, Oh 43064 or in Lewis Center, located at 2360 Koester Trace Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035.  You can always contact us by phone at 614-286-0659.