When my husband and I were looking at purchasing our first “official” home, he only had one prerequisite—he wanted a large backyard. Fast-forward four years and that big yard has been a work in progress—a very expensive one. And although our basement is bare-bones, our actual living space is significant enough that it, too, is hard to keep up on. I’ve often wondered when we’ll be ready to simplify our way of living. After all, the more space you have, the more crap you acquire. At least in our experience. So over time, my fascination with the smaller, smarter home has continued to grow.
SMALL HOUSE, BIG SAVINGS.
The tiny house phenomenon is on fire, with many homeowners choosing to downsize to live a life of simplicity. While this type of living isn’t for everyone, there are certainly aspects of compact living that are quite desirable.
According to CBS News, more than 26% of working-class families spend half of their income on rent. Spending a fraction of the mortgage of a normal house—a ballpark range being between $15-$80k—means many tiny house owners (about 68%) don’t carry a mortgage. In addition to the lower housing costs, there are lower taxes and very minor maintenance is required. Many homes can also be transported, should the need or desire arise to live elsewhere. And clearly, a reduced carbon footprint provides a major environmental benefit.
SMART AND SIMPLE.
What also continues to grow is the desire for smart home technology among homeowners. At the end of this year alone, it’s estimated that nearly half of homeowners will have (or invest in) smart home technology.
Now, I must say, I love my home automation system. The smarts in my house is one aspect that doesn’t add to the complexity of living in it. In fact, it’s likely the onlything that helps to simplify it. So in my opinion, a tiny house can only further benefit from smart home technology, if done correctly.
TINY HOMES NEED SMARTS, TOO.
There are many ways a Control4 smart home can assist with the minimalism of tiny home living. Here are just a few examples:
ENTERTAINMENT: Instead of four remotes that clutter up your limited living space, replace them all with one remote that not only manages the TV and music, but can also control the whole house. All of your equipment can be tucked away, out of sight.
CLIMATE CONTROL: More confined spaces can get really cold and really hot, quickly. Thermostats can work in unison with motorized shades and overhead fans to keep the HVAC in check.
LIGHTING: Because of the close living quarters, using lighting to highlight certain areas helps to make the house appear larger, separates the space, and offers less disruption (such as a late night trip to the restroom). Your smart home can be programmed to set lighting levels at 80% to use less energy and save some money.
KEYPADS: One press of a button on a keypad can activate the TV mount to turn from the living room to the kitchen while it turns on a favorite channel and the lights go into “Cooking” mode, ramping up from the normal 80% to 100%. Another press can queue the music and dim the lights when it’s time for dinner. No shoulder bumps to get from the stereo to the lights.
SECURITY & REMOTE ACCESS: Because it’s often much more affordable to live small, you may have the ability to own multiple compact homes in some of your favorite vacation spots (perhaps a tiny cabin in the woods). With the Control4 App, you can keep a virtual eye on them all. Access cameras at any time to check up on things. Even receive a push notification when someone you’ve given access to enters the house. (Perfect for VRBO and Airbnb rentals!)
ASTHETICS: Many compact homes are built and designed with a modern look and feel. Control4 offers interfaces to complement that contemporary charm, such as sleek, beautiful touch screens and stylish keypads.