Should I consider installing smart control systems for my house extension?
The smart home for controls and energy efficiency is becoming more prevalent and
However, installing such control systems within a home extension can be difficult and often irrelevant
unless such systems are extended and retrofitted into the existing property as well and this is possibly the
weakness of most 'smart' systems due to the extra cost and disruption it will entail for little gain.
Many house extensions will trigger the requirement for a new boiler which is possibly the first step towards
improving the systems for the home. Many homeowners request under floor heating but this can be difficult to
install with a traditional wet radiator system due to the higher temperatures of the heating circuits although
there are clever manifolds than can get around this dual heating circuit problem from the one boiler.
Some smart home systems are totally over the top where localised control panels within each room can control
anything from the curtains to the sound systems. Go look at the Neutron system for new hi-tech homes and you
will get an idea of what is possible. I personally do not mind getting up off my bottom to close the
However, many modern homes require a high level of automation and controls to manage the energy efficiency of
the internal environment and allowing a £30k budget for installing such systems within a brand new $500k home is
perhaps money well spent.
But spending £9k on your 'smart controls' within a £60k home extension scheme for that large family kitchen
extension is probably a token gesture that will probably achieve very little other than for the initial novelty
value when impressing your dinner guests.
Some of the more practical and value added systems that home owners should consider when building their home
extension can be things like:-
Installing Cat5 cable and sockets at various locations for a wired network.
Installing low energy lighting and lots of it for various mood settings.
Installing extra insulation within the walls, floor and roof beyond the minimum requirement for the Building
Installing hard wired CCTV & home security systems interlinked to a smoke detection system.
Installing solar hot water panels within the new or existing suitable facing roof slopes with improving the
domestic hot water storage, systems and the controls.
Installing the latest high efficiency gas fired condensing boiler. Heat pumps are an alternative but do not
achieve the temperature required unless boosted by mains electricity and they also work of the grid
electricity so they are not quite as efficient or eco friendly as some would imply.