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Author Topic: New Setup....What do I need? Also setting up rental apartment and need opinion  (Read 1882 times)

Offline abfarris

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Hello!
I am a new owner of a mi casa verde veralite green controller.  So far I haven't bought anything else, but while trying to find out what I want my setup to be I figured I may want to ask some opinions from those who have already gone this road ahead of me.

I am currently renovating two apartments.  One for me to live in and the other to rent (long term rentals...not vacation).   I am renovating the first smaller (1S) apartment now, plan to live in it until the second larger (2L) apartment is finished, at which point I will most likely move into the 2L apartment and rent out the 1S.   

A)  Does anyone have advice on whether it is worth it to put home automation into a longterm rental property?  Has it created more issues than it has solved?  I worry that either my tenant may not know how to use it, may not want to use, it or if it has issues will constantly be calling me to solve them.  I see the benefit of having HA in a vacation rental, but is there any to having it in a longterm rental nearby? 

B) If i install HA in 1S and then move to 2S while leaving the system in place in 1S, will there be any issues with switches, locks, etc that have zwave if I remove my micasaverde and they are not setup to a controller?  Can they completely function like regular switches etc?  I may leave them in place and just not make tenant aware that they are zwave compatable.

C)  Is it easy to move a system from one location to the other?  Should I forgoe wall outlets and light switches for external outlet adapters and bulbs?

D) If you are doing major renovations would you make all/most/some/none of your electric outlets zwave? 

E) Recommendations on deadbolt/door locks and thermostats?  I really like the nest and honeywell wi-fi smart, honeywell lyric, and building 36 intelligent Thermostat.  Any feedback on these?


Any good resources where to get any zwave products cheap?  Any good brands to consider?

Here is the setup I think I am looking at for S1
MiCasa Verde VearLite
Kwickset Deadbold with keypad and lockless door knobs
Thermostat(not sure which one)
Security Camera
Bathroom:
  Occupied Sensor/Motion Sensor
  Light Switch (main light)
  ###does anyone have ideas for motion sensor that knows if you get into the shower to setup a trigger to the shower light???

Living Room/Kitchen:
   Overhead Light Switch/dimmable  (track lighting)
   Overhead Light Switch / dimmable (island light)
   Lamp Switch or Bulb
   Lamp Switch or Bulb
   Electric Outlet for Stove
   Electric Strip for TV and Electronics

Bedroom:
   Overhead Light / dimmable (track lighting)
   Lamp Switch or Bulb
   Lamp Switch or Bulb
   Electric Outlet for TV and electronics
   Electric Outlet for Vanity (curling iron, etc)


Does it sound like I am missing anything... S1 is just a 3 room loft with Bathroom, Open Kitchen/Living, and Bedroom.     Money is very much an issue.  So I may simply move the setup from S1 to S2 if it is easy to do so

I am budgeting that this may cost around $1000. Am I far off? I just did a quick search on amazon to see what things seemed to be running and made a quick estimate. 


Offline hmb

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Yes you could easily move all the "home automation" components from one apartment to another - all it would cost is your (or your electrician's) time. Yes, you could also just leave all the components in place without having them configured to interoperate with a controller and they would function like regular switches - all it would cost you is the expense of having installed all these higher-cost components instead of the standard ones.

My recommendation - don't spend time and money now installing a home automation system in a small three-room apartment you are going to be renting out in the near future. While having one installed might be a marketing advantage if the apartment is located in a high-end trendy area of town likely to be occupied by a tech-savvy young individual or couple, in most other cases the higher likelihood is that the tenants (a) won't know how to use it and (b) won't want to bother using it. Buy the components and install them just once, at the time you do the reno of the larger second apartment.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 12:03:11 pm by hmb »

Offline osmosis

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Yes you could easily move all the "home automation" components from one apartment to another - all it would cost is your (or your electrician's) time. Yes, you could also just leave all the components in place without having them configured to interoperate with a controller and they would function like regular switches - all it would cost you is the expense of having installed all these higher-cost components instead of the standard ones.

My recommendation - don't spend time and money now installing a home automation system in a small three-room apartment you are going to be renting out in the near future. While having one installed might be a marketing advantage if the apartment is located in a high-end trendy area of town likely to be occupied by a tech-savvy young individual or couple, in most other cases the higher likelihood is that the tenants (a) won't know how to use it and (b) won't want to bother using it. Buy the components and install them just once, at the time you do the reno of the larger second apartment.

Agreed, I would spend money on installing a Nest thermostat and a zwave smoke or zcombo or nest protect for the rental and possibly a keypad or smartphone type lock for the rental and that's it.  You could have these link to your vera and just monitor them.  I would also install all LED bulbs throughout the rental unit and install dimmers for items like kitchen can lights.  Cameras on the outside of the property only, viewable by you only.  I wouldn't automate a long term rental property for the renter. You won't get a return on investment, and the renter won't care.  Maybe supply CATV and high speed internet included in rent as a bonus, since you could feed your apartment and run a segregated network to the other apartment. Since you are remodeling. I would string some coax and cat5 between the units if possible for the future.  Think about the hassle of having a renter set up vera accounts or if you set up the accounts, then you need to give them that info.  Short term vacation rentals are great candidates for automation, and it's a real benefit. Long term rentals, not so much.