Question How do you get started when you’re building a home?

Jul 2, 2022
We are building a new home, and I clearly didn’t look into enough of the smart home options before now, because now it’s time to give directions to the electrician and low voltage installers, and they’re not being helpful at all. I want to have them put in the wiring for me to build whatever smart home setup I want, but I don’t have enough details to design my system and tell them what I want. I’m quite sure that if I just told them to put in, say, a Control4 or Crestron system, they would be all about helping me design that, but it would cost thousands (probably tens of thousands) of dollars and I’d never be able to customize it. So I would like to design my own system - probably around Home Assistant - though Smart Things and Hubitat are options as well - and that leaves me with so many questions that I can’t seem to find answers to. Really hoping someone here can help me.
  1. I think we just wire all of our switches to a closet and then put the smart switches in there, but they’ll charge me an arm and a leg to do it. Does anyone know if I can have them just put dumb switches in the closet to pass inspection and then put in smart switches when I move in?
  2. If I go with a DIY system, what wiring should I put in to the main control panel (probably an Amazon Fire 10+ or similar tablet)? Can I convert PoE to basically anything I need? Do I need to have a standard outlet below that in case we ever want to run different electrical to that panel?
  3. I see keypads like Crestron and Coltrol4 have where they have 5 or 6 buttons, or maybe 4 + an up and down button. Those all seem to come from those proprietary companies. What options do I have to buy my own that I can use to kick off automations with Home Assistant?
  4. If I do design my own, even if I dedicate a week off of work to it, I’m not sure if I can go from nothing to a configured system with working switches in the house in that time. How have any of you managed to do this? The idea of paying for Control4 and then swapping everything out for my setup later is asinine to me.
  5. I assume that wiring for a smart home basically precludes anyone from going to traditional wiring should we ever sell the home, right? We won’t be moving for likely the rest of our lives, but I assume there isn’t anything people are doing if they’re worried about this kind of thing, right?
If anyone can answer even one or two of these questions, it would be a huge relief. THANK YOU!
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