The Best Smart Devices to Upgrade Your Historic Home

Historic home
The National Register of Historic Places restricts the kinds of improvements that can be made on a historic home.

You’ve finally found your dream home with a rich history. While the house has many beautiful features that tell a story, there’s one thing missing — smart home technology.

Here’s what you should know to upgrade your historic home.

Whole House

Improving your internet service is the first place to start when installing smart home devices. Depending on where you live, cable, DSL or fiber internet may be available. Each of these connection types can deliver the speeds you need to connect multiple devices throughout your home.

Most smart home devices require Wi-Fi. Upgrading your modem, router or wireless gateway can ensure you have the latest technology providing the strongest signal. If multiple stories or thick walls in your historic house inhibit your Wi-Fi signal, there are things you can do, such as using a Wi-Fi repeater or internet extender, to improve your connection.

Installing smart home switches will allow you to wirelessly control any lamp or light socket. Additionally, a smart home light switch may connect with Google Home or Amazon Alexa devices, allowing for voice control. App control may allow you to turn lights on or off even when you aren’t home. Just be sure that the switch plates you choose follow your historic home guidelines.


Front Door/Entrance

While smart door locks are a common addition these days, they may go against the guidelines for historic homes.

But there are many other ways to keep your home secure using new technology, such as smart home alarm systems, smart home security cameras and smart home motion sensors.

Any or all of these devices will allow you to monitor activity around your front door and see who’s ringing the bell.


Kitchen

Refrigerators are a modern luxury, but now technology makes them even better, allowing you to track and send your grocery list to a participating store, or even view the contents inside remotely.

Installing a smart refrigerator, in most cases, isn’t an issue in historic homes as long as it doesn’t require any structural changes.


Living and Dining Area

Today’s thermostats go beyond programming a time for the heat to kick on in the morning. Smart thermostats can sense changes in seasons, learn your habits, offer remote control and make recommendations to help you find the right temperature and even save some money.

In addition to smart light switches, you can install smart home lighting, which may include bulbs, lamps and light strips you can sync together and control from an app.

With a historic home, though, it’s important that you preserve and reuse any historically significant light fixtures. Rather than changing existing light fixtures, focus on incorporating smart light bulbs in the original color, or using other removable smart lighting fixtures, such as task lighting.

While built-in ceiling speakers are a feature in many smart homes, they may not be possible with a historic home. Instead, syncing multiple desktop voice control devices, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, may be your best option.

By syncing, you can play music throughout the whole house on multiple speakers simultaneously.


Bedroom

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to sunlight slowly filling your bedroom, easing you into the day? With programmable smart window blinds, you can.

Additionally, because there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all smart blind, you can create a customized option that complements your historic home. Being able to control how and when sunlight enters your home may also help preserve historic features inside.

Having detectors and alarms in any house are important, but smart smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms take things a step further. Like their earlier counterparts, they’ll still loudly alert you to any issues within the home, but they’ll also send alerts to your phone. This means if you’re at work or out of town, you can the fire department or a neighbor to ensure everything is OK.


Making the Switch

When it comes to adding smart home features to your historic house, there are a lot of things to consider — Does this maintain the house’s integrity? Does it meet local, municipal and state guidelines and ordinances? Will it improve the value of my home?

If smart home technology is a good investment for your historic house, then go ahead, sit back and relax as the blinds raise themselves.

For more information on turning your home from historic to smart, check out the full guide on Allconnect.com.

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