Home Remodeling, Which Devices?

Hello! I recently bought a house that we are actively remodeling. I have a good handle on locks and switches/lighting using z-wave and ZigBee devices. But could use some help with the more advance features we'd like to add:

  • Mini Split AC/Heat: What brands/models should we be looking at? Anything easy/harder with HE? We'd be putting in a two-unit system. We are using a Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat for the main HVAC system.

  • Wall mounted Displays: We have a few rooms we are thinking about mounting displays, my first thought was android tablets. I'd like to be able to control lights, hvac and see the cameras. Are tablets the way to go or are there other options?

  • Outdoor Cameras: What are some good options that will tie in to a HE dashboard? Would really like 24x7 local recording (either NVR or on cam). motion detection would be awesome, can triggers be based on cam motion? (or maybe I need another sensor?)

  • Sensors - Door / motion / water / smoke / co2 / etc: I haven't done much research on these, Are there good options without another service? (We used SimplySafe in the past)

  • Kitchen: My Wife has been looking at stoves that work with Google. I'm Not sure I need them on HE, but are there models that work well with HE?

If you were remodeling a house and building your automation from the ground up, what you do differently?

Looking forward to reading your reply. Thanks in advance for the input.

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I believe the latest consensus is that Fire tablets represent the best price-to-performance, most flexible, easiest to implement touch panel option. Surely someone will disagree, but think I've been reading the room right on that point.

The most talked-about dash solutions seem to be Fully Kiosk running either HD+ or SharpTools app, although lately the native (built-in) Hubitat Dashboards app has been seeing a lot of air time. Maybe that's due to so many recent mods being released making it more usable and configurable?

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After trying several different solutions I am loving Camect for managing cameras and keeping all recording local. Works with most cameras that support ONVIF or RTSP.

The best home automation decision I made (IMO) was going with Lutron (Caséta) for all switches and dimmers - they have been really solid and the integration is great.

The one thing I would do with a new build would be to run conduit.

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^^^THIS 1000x, plus a centralized IT closet with ventilation and all the trimmings.

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Run more than you think you need/want. You never know what the future holds, and being able to go back and add wired sensors after the fact is very nice. I wish I would have run conduit and some boxes with blank faceplates so adding something later would be 10x easier.

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What type of automation do you want to do with the stove? We bought a KitchenAid commercial natural gas oven with burners with smarts. Connects via wifi to the house and is controlled by an app. My wife primarily uses it to preheat the oven when she’s on her way home from work. Make sure if you have a gas oven or range that you have proper ventilation to the outside. We do not have the oven connected to hubitat. I wanted to place contact sensors in the gas burner dials but the front of the unit gets too hot to do that.

Camect looks pretty interesting, but a little expensive! I'd like to find something without a monthly service fee. I had amecrest nvrs in the past, but never tied them to hubitat. Are there nvrs that work well or even some ip cams?not sure which is easier

My experience has consistently shown that NVRs are far less likely to play well with others. Didn't Hubitat just announce some new interoperability with Hikvision IP cameras? Pretty sure that approach (though not that particular brand) is the way to go. Also... PoE on everything!

FWIW you don’t have to pay their subscription service fee for the core feature of locally processed AI alerts.

I find it humorous that with all the effort to market "wireless as the way"
...we still find comfort, flexibility, and sure footed solutions in the ole "wire chases/conduits/and a central closet w/ multi-floor access" that we all knew as a best practice 30+ years ago.

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Buy the stove your wife wants and forget about the Google nonsense. They'll just discontinue support eventually anyway, because that's what Google does.

We have an LG induction range and we love it. There's WiFi connectivity and we use it, but I could easily live without that. It sends notifications to their mobile app when the oven is up to temp or if you use the oven timer, it notifies you when the timer is up, but that's barely useful when you're already home cooking. Most of the time I use Alexa for cooking timers and that notifies, and can be set/cancelled throghtout the house, so it's preferable. There's also the ability to remotely start the oven, but the restrictions are you have to put it in the remote start setting and you have only one chance to get it started. If you cancel, then you cannot remote start the oven without going home and setting up remote start again. Very dumb.

  • 200 amp sub panel in your garage for future electric cars
  • ethernet to you doorbell and for external cameras
  • GE Enbrighten (Jasco) Z-Wave Plus Smart Motion Sensor Light (or dimmer) Switch's in every room (smart switch and motion sensor all in one)
  • hot water return water line from the farthest water source to install smart hot water recirculation (no more waiting for hot water for your shower).
  • wiring for 5 volt 1-2 amp to each of your door sensors (to hard wire power instead of batteries)
  • I also installed 2 sets of copper contacts on the tops of my exterior doors/frames to hard wire 5 volts to my door locks (power is only on when the doors are closed) again instead of batteries.

perhaps instead of deadicated 5 volt wiring just a regular outlet near the top of the doors then you could just plug in a usb plug easier for changing out sensors.

I had some existing Xiaomi Mijia and Aqara sensors from the old house. In the old house I had started to use Home Assistant with Home Assistant Device Bridge to bring devices into Hubitat for Automation. That worked so well, that I bought a RPi and setup Home Assistant Supervisor with Z2M and a Conbee 2 Zigbee controller in the new house. Very happy with my decision. My devices were inexpensive, they're small, batteries last a very long time and they perform perfectly. A few of my non-xaiomi sensors are directly joined to HE and they work great too.

It's a mix of Aqara, Leaksmart, Thirdreality and one Insteon. All are connected to Hubitat direclty and all work fine. I'd protect your investment with something more than just leak sensors and an automated valve. I have a Leaksmart valve that I never installed because when we moved into this house, it had polybutylene pipes. We couldn't get a plumber in for about 8 months, so I bought Moen Flo. The plumbing has now been replaced with PEX, but I'm glad I have Flo. It has caught toilets running on and leaking hose bibbs. Couldn't have found that with a leak sensor. Even if you do get lucky and catch a leak with a sensor, that's not going to do anything to plumbing failures that occur elsewhere. I'm using the community integration for Flo and that works amazing too. I have picked up some accidental leaks and spills from my sensors and it reliably triggers the Flo everytime.

TIP: If you do decide to go with Flo, forget about the stupidly expensive Flo battery backup, and instead just plug it into an APC UPS.

For me, it's all Nest Protect (I have 8 of them). I integrate them to HE via Homebridge. Works perfectly and in my opinion, Nest are the best for multiple reasons. No other smoke detector can touch what they offer. Yes, it's Alphabet/Google and so I could be SOL on the features someday, but I think it's much less likely for that particular product than something like an oven. Time will tell, but so far (Since July 2015) they are fully supported.

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Two others are iSpy and Blue Iris.

I think the marketing has been so successful that congestion and interference are common problems.

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I googled hikvision, not sure i trust them..

Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., Ltd., often shortened to Hikvision, is a Chinese state-owned manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance equipment for civilian and military purposes, headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang.

Hikvision cams are great, many people use them all over the world. I like mine a lot (I’m up to six these days).

If you’re really concerned the Chinese govt will take over your Hikvision camera, you can block its access to the internet (incoming and outgoing) with router firewall rules.

If that is your concern Google "NDAA cameras". They're more expensive. I'd go with Ubiquiti for its ease of use. If you go non-NDAA cameras you can minimize any potential issues by keeping the cameras on an NVR and/or separate VLANs.