Newbie needs advice for new house

Hello all!

I'm a newbie to home automation, and am building a new house. Hope to pour by the first of the year, weather permitting.

I think Hubitat is the way to go for me, as I'm into reliability and have years of programming experience, though not in home automation.

But I'm a bit overwhelmed by the devices offered. If you care to join the fray, what advice can you offer as to approaches to automation, house wiring, wifi (currently use google mesh), favorite devices/features or any other aspect. Whatever is automated will be used by me and my non-technological wife, so ease of user interface for her is critical.

I am a Hubitat owner and hope to be making some contributions in the future.

Sorry if this is the wrong forum; if so, let me know and I'll repost elsewhere.



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I personally prefer z-wave devices, I like that it users a lower freq then zigbee and not in the range of WiFi, I have had my wifi and Hue system interfere.

As far as having a non-technical house hold member, Use smart switches instead of bulbs, in general switches just work. Smart bulbs do not provide the same behavior that non-techies expect.

I use Leviton z-waves, I dont want switches that need the WiFi and hub working, For many switches you will need neutrals in the boxes or use incandescent and some CFLs, without the neutrals I have had LEDs that would always be dim with a smart switch.

You should also investigate Lutron, Love the Pico remotes. Since your building new try to place wifi and hubs in a central location. I'd also hardwire network from there to TV, pc and game system locations to take the heavy bandwidth users off of wifi.

Thanks! I appreciate your help!

Got it, thanks!

As far as devices go.....If you can afford it I would have z-wave switches put in for EVERY switch. thesmartesthouse will do bulk discounts on their zooz switches. I just ordered 4 to test, but currently I only have inovelli (love the scenes feature, but I think you could accomplish that with that ABC app too) in the house. Inovelli and zooz both will work with a 'dumb' add-on switch so that would save some money if you have multiple switches controlling the same light in some areas. Personally, I don't use plugs very often, but you could always do those if you see yourself needing them. I have a few plug-in smart plugs I use every now and then for the christmas tree or something else that's not always in use. My smarthome footprint isn't very big right now so I can't speak on much else. I do have a bunch of Hue lights and a Harmony hub though.

Wiring....Not sure what you do at home or use your internet for, but my house is completely hardwired and I'd never go any other route. I have a network cabinet in my basement office with two patch panels. It goes from there to each room in the house with multiple runs at each box. If you plan to have cameras installed you could have cat5 ran to strategic locations for POE as well.

I can't really speak on interface for Hubitat. I just started migrating over from smartthings last night and I haven't played with the dashboard much. It seems pretty simple though. Click for on/off and sliders for dimmers. I haven't tried it on a phone or tablet.

Highly recommend UniFi for WiFi. I have six POE access points and have pretty much perfect coverage. Agree with running redundant cat6 back to a patch panel and switch. I try to hardwire everything that I can.

I’ve got a mix of z-wave and zigbee switches/dimmers which allows me to build out both meshes for whatever devices I want. They are all pretty much jasco switches of some sort. I’ve got some Lutron as well, which also have some nice features.

Thanks to all for your advice. Duly noted and will be a good starting point in my considerations.


I always recommend running CAT6 to any location you think you may want a camera in the future - under roof eaves, etc. Then you can use POE based cameras very easily.

Also consider using CAT6 for your doorbell wiring, too. Even if you aren't going to use a smart doorbell right now, it would allow you to use a hardwired one in the future.

CAT6 vs CAT7a vs CAAT8 ???

CAT8 $800 for 1,000ft - Cat8 Bulk Network Cable | Infinity Cable Products

CAT7a $305 for 1,000ft- CAT7A Bulk Ethernet Cable | Infinity Cable Products

CAT6a $199 for 1,000ft - CAT6A Bulk Networking Cable | Infinity Cable Products

Not really sure where the sweet spot is for trying to over future proof the home. Likely will try to run conduit so I can string a new CAT10 wire in the future if it comes down to it.

The cable cost is usually dwarfed by the installation labor costs . . .

Conduit is a great option but, of course, most expensive.

To me it’s the intended application that determines the cable type. I just finished 13 new Cat5e drops for UniFi security cameras. It’s cheap. The cameras are only 10/100. Plus working in the field of video compression, I know how ridiculously efficient the newer codecs are. I seriously doubt security cameras will ever need more than a full gig, never mind 100mbps.

Conduit is a great option if you intend on living in your home for a long time. The expense is installing it will never be made up during resale.

GE jasco 26931 motion switches
(Zwave plus)
You can set them to manual use them as a standard smart switch and have discert hard wired motion sensor.
I put hem in every room and near the house doors for security.

Cat6 to the doorbell it's a pain to run later.

I put electrical outlets near the ceiling in the bathrooms
so I could plug in Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Multi-Sensor 6, Gen5 (ZW100-A) motion and humidity sensors.

If you want to install smart shades, blinds, or curtains, think about how you will power them.

Agree with everyone here, but have a different approach. It would be nice to at some point not to have a light switch. Meaning, the bulb is hardwired to the panel and use smart bulbs. I cannot tell you how many times someone turns off a light switch where I have smart bulbs.

I am also big into AV and have a media closet for all my equipment. I would highly recommend adding conduit to all TV locations. Make sure the conduit is big enough for an HDMI cable end. This will allow you to keep up with the latest HDMI versions if needed.

Cable is a lot cheaper to run during the build than after. Go to Monoprice and order bulk. Most builders will let you spend a weekend running wire.

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Asking because I don't know - are there building code requirements for "switches"? If so, is there a requirement for them to be wired or would something like a wall-mounted Pico suffice?

If I were building new, I would consider wiring lights and switches as low voltage. LEDs are low voltage and the bulbs we use today simply reduce the 120/240 volts to power the LED.

That's a great question. My uncle does own his own electrical company, so I will ask him next time we talk. I wouldn't think so because it would be the same as leaving a light on all the time.

I use both. My fixtures are either hard wired behind the switch or in the case of the Inovellis I decouple the relay from the physical switch. That allows me to cycle power through the app if I need to.

The fun thing is that the switches can now be scene controllers too. Rather than just turning a single fixture on and off it can handle a whole room. This way visitors can still use a familiar light switch without messing up the automation.

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