Renovation to prepare your home for the future

Phantom Screens / August 3, 2016

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Renovation projects are designed to upgrade your home, whether that means installing energy-efficient products or creating a modern aesthetic. However, tastes and trends change, and eventually your remodel will be old news. Fortunately, you can design your home to be immune to fluctuating fads by focusing on a few key elements.

Get smart

Bring your home into the age of “smart” technology by installing electronics that will support comfort and convenience. There are several options currently on the market that are both affordable and luxurious.

Programmable thermostats: These devices allow you to preset your thermostat so your home can reach certain temperatures regularly throughout the day. Programming the system wisely will also help you cut your energy bills. For example, you can have the thermostat decrease the temperature of the house in winter during the times you are usually not at home. Furthermore, by not constantly changing the house’s temperature, you are reducing the amount of work your furnace has to do to keep your home warm. These devices act as a thought-free method of indoor climate control.

Home automation: Home automation systems allow you to control various appliances inside the house from a remote location via smartphone, computer or iPad. Some devices even let you draw a bath in the master bedroom while you’re sitting at the kitchen table. More commonly, you can use these systems to turn your lights on or off while you’re not at home, which may save you money. You can also add motorized retractable screens to a home automation system allowing you to control the climate of your home and outdoor living spaces.

Weather sensors: Help your home protect itself during various weather conditions. Motorized retractable screens with weather sensors deploy or retract depending on outdoor conditions. For example, a sun sensor will lower the screens should an excess amount of light be present. This is an excellent way to keep your outdoor living area cool in the shade while still enjoying the fresh air.

Go green

Standards for new home construction include features that are more energy efficient and eco-friendly. Your remodeling projects will withstand the test of time if they not only adhere to those standards, but surpass them. Home construction and design will continue to become more eco-friendly, so you should get a head start.

Upgrade insulation: New insulation products have both better thermal resistance and natural product options. For example, you can purchase insulation that will keep your home warm or cold that is made of soy, cellulose (recycled newspaper) or denim. Be especially mindful of the basement, attic and exterior walls when installing your new insulation.

Install new windows: New construction standards require that homes have double-paned windows. If your house uses single panes, you are far behind. Get energy-efficient models with the Energy Star seal. Be sure they are installed correctly to ensure air tightness.

Be passive: Passive housing uses window placement and controls to heat or cool a home. You can make the most of these features in your remodeling project by installing retractable screens. They act as a control that blocks rays from the sun so that your house gets the right amount of solar heating.

Update appliances: Fewer new homes use a hot water storage tank and most feature energy-efficient appliances. Make your home future-proof by seeking Energy Star certified appliances. Tank-less hot water heaters only turn on when you use water. Electricity warms the water as it travels through your home. This prevents the unnecessary energy consumption that would be needed to keep a tank of water warm.

Prepare for future innovation

Unless your home was built in the last couple of years, it’s likely the building isn’t designed with smartphones, computers or the Internet in mind. While you’re in the walls installing insulation, you can prepare your home for new technology. Add wiring that will be used for televisions, Internet modems and more. When you purchase electronics down the road, your home will be ready to accommodate them.