Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

How Expensive is Home Automation?

Friday, December 3rd

How Expensive is Home Automation?

Some home automation systems can be do-it-yourself projects with a variety of components available from big home improvement centers and similar stores. Costs for this approach are dictated by what you put in your shopping cart and present to the cashier. Components start under $10, depending on what they are, and climb to a couple of hundred dollars or more each. Usually, the home-grown system consists of a simple group of controls that toggle power on/off to specific electric appliances at preordained times, or monitor if a window or door has been opened when it shouldn't have been. Readily available, inexpensive components might help you get the most out of your home theater and music system. They might, with a speaker siren add-on, warn you of an intruder or fire within your home. With a contractual engagement of a home security agency, a do-it-yourself system can also summon help in the event of fire and intrusion.

These starter-quality systems begin around $500 and go up depending on the pieces you purchase. Following that route is not for the average, weekend Mr-Fix-it however. Since the cost decline of home automation systems is associated with some devices using existing home wiring, if your house wiring is not up to code, one must factor in the cost of a electrician, in the neighborhood of $100 per hour, and whatever materials are needed to upgrade your home's wiring.

Help with installation, set up, programming, connectivity and troubleshooting of a do-it-yourself home automation system is most likely limited to a printed brochure that comes in the box, and maybe an 800 number for customer service and training.

Realistically, the kind of home automation system that you envision for making your life easier may be one of the professional products. The type of system that will do the variety of things you want, and do them with a simple interface between you and your system, as well as be controllable from a remote location via Internet and cell phone technology, comes with a higher price tag. It also requires professional installation. However, higher-end systems often come with varying degrees of training and professional help when you need it, which may or may not be part of purchase price/installation agreement.

One must also factor in internet or cloud-based service setup, and the electric usage of the system. The more complex the system you desire, the higher the initial cost for the control system, various components and the long term cost of maintenance.

Some necessary components are priced under $20, others are more than $1,000. The same price range can be said for individual components you want for your system to serve your needs. Professional installation has its cost, a ballpark estimate being about $5 per square foot. One should shop around for the best price and keep in mind installation costs are just that, not the total cost of a home automation system.

To purchase and install a professionally installed, good quality, home automation system, it would probably be wise to budget at least $5,000 and up.

The Best Home Automation Companies Compare Home Automation Companies Compare Home Automation Company Reviews What are the best Home Automation Companies Best Home Automation Company Reviews

Home Automation Company FAQ

Sometimes referred to as a "smart home" , home automation lets you operate your lighting, appliances, security equipment and more - usually through an app on your mobile phone or through an online dashboard. Want your home to be playing your favorite relaxation music and have the thermostat set to "just right" every day after work? Home automation can do that - and much, much more.
It's true that most systems start with security as the foundation. From security cameras to smoke detectors, "smart homes" can give you peace of mind knowing that it's all under control and professionally monitored, if you choose a company that offers that. But, as technology advances, more features are being added "for fun" , like controlling all of your audio and video or letting your kids turn off lights at bedtime with a simple verbal command.
You could pay as little as $20/month or as much as $10,000+ to set up a smart home with all of the bells and whistles. Obviously the more features you want, the more you'll have to pay for the equipment. Monthly monitoring fees (for systems that include security features) are rarely more than $60/month.
Yes. Check with the provider of your homeowner's insurance policy to see if you can get a discount for the home automation system you're installing. A "smart home" can also save you money in the cost of utilities through managing your use of electricity and water.
Most of the time, yes. That's the appeal of "smart home" equipment: being able to monitor and control it from your phone, tablet or computer.
Sometimes. This is more common if you have security features that are professionally monitored. Read the terms and conditions carefully to determine if you're obligated to keep the service for a set period of time, and what the penalties are for early cancellation.
Possibly. If you've got features that are hard-wired into your home, maybe not. However, most of today's home automation systems use equipment that is easy to install and take down on your own, letting you use it wherever you live. Just be sure to change your home address in your provider's system, to allow emergency services to be dispatched to the correct location (if you're using a service that includes security monitoring).
It might! Home automation is in high demand, so having a system already set up may make your property more appealing to prospective buyers. Consult your real estate agent, though: they may not recommend that you install a home automation system solely for the purpose of increasing your home's value.

Compare Home Automation Companies

Select any 2 Home Automation Companies to compare them head to head

best-home-automation-companies
The Best Reviews of Home Automation Companies