When you think of DIY home improvement, what first springs to mind? Do you think of simple DIY work with power tools? Complete remodeling? Yard work? All of these are perfectly valid, but have you considered taking it a step further and improving your home the smart way? Having fired several questions at you, today we’ll provide plenty of answers to the complex issue of smart DIY home improvement
. Today’s guide is equally applicable to home automation beginners and more experienced domotics fans. We’ll keep things simple to make sure these tips benefit you, whether you’re starting your smart home from scratch or upgrading it. We’ll be giving you some pointers on smart DIY home improvement in the following areas:
- Upgrading Your WiFi Network
- Streamlining Entering and Exiting
- Investing In Interoperable Devices
- Making Your Home as Energy-Efficient as Possible
- Installing Robust Home Security
- Treating Yourself to A Home Theater
- Making Sure You're Not Overlooking Your Garden
Smart Ways to Execute DIY Home Improvements
What do pretty much all smart home devices
have in common? Well, they all call for a dependable home WiFi network. Do you have you one in place? And by that we mean, do you have WiFi with good enough coverage?
1) Start By Upgrading Your Network
If you have a larger home, patchy dead spots and unreliable WiFi can be an issue. If you live in a smaller apartment, this is less likely to be a problem for you. Assuming you have a reasonable ISP, what can you do to boost the signal if you’re not getting the coverage you want? A mesh WiFi system
could be the answer, but first, you need to know what they are and which ones are good. A traditional router sends out just one blast of signal. A mesh system uses multiple nodes instead, so your home is equipped with a volley of signals. This almost completely eliminates those tiresome dead spots. Also, most mesh WiFi systems are compatible with 5GHz WiFi. WiFi networks that use this higher frequency allow for quick data transfer and reduce interference. On the flipside, this frequency tends to get bogged down by obstacles. Unfortunately, many old routers won’t support this band, so you should opt for a mesh system instead. When you’re gaming or streaming media, a volatile signal is a small, yet mild inconvenience. When the integrity of your security system and smart lock depends on it, though, it’s a completely different matter. Google WiFi Home Mesh comes in a pack of 3 nodes
and is a very effective method of covering homes up to 4500 square feet. Network Assist onboard will optimize all settings so you're not switching back and forth between different bands. For consistently strong WiFi 24/7, Home Mesh from the big G is well worth investigating. The eero Pro WiFi System
is now into its second generation and is another worthwhile option. You can get it up and running in minutes and this revamped model is quicker and more dependable than ever before. Our final recommendation for today is from Samsung SmartThings
and it will give you blanket coverage throughout the entire home. Check our study of mesh WiFi systems right here
if you want to find out more about this method of strengthening your home network.
2) Streamline The Entrance To Your Home
With your reliable and extensive WiFi network up and running, it's time to think about smartening up the entrance to your home. The obvious thing to do is to install a smart door lock
. We always try to keep our advice consistent here at Smart Home
and we always recommend one smart lock over all the others. The Ultraloq
is our favorite for many reasons that we’ll outline below, but it’s also currently on sale. Act quickly and you’ll make the steal of the year while taking your DIY home improvement to the next level. What makes it so good, though? You are able to enter your home using a range of options. Ultraloq allows you to store up to 95 fingerprints if that is your preferred innovative method of entering your home. There’s also a regular touchscreen for your whole family to key in a code. All you need to do is include your password anywhere in a string of numbers, which keeps outsiders from acquiring your information. As with all smart locks, you’ll be able to use the app on your smartphone as well. Along with all these forms of entry, there is also a backup key provided. This lock is perfect for households with family members of different ages and varying levels of comfort with tech. The wide variety of options that Ultraloq provides allows everyone to choose their way of entering and leaving home that suits them best.
3) It’s All About Automation: Invest In Interoperable Devices
When you’re choosing smart devices, we always recommend formulating an overall plan before you get started, but why is that? In one word, compatibility
. Even with a home hub
in place, not all devices play nicely with each other. And not all devices are compatible with all hubs, either. One solid way to get started is to pick a particular ecosystem, which will allow you to get up and running seamlessly. Insteon
, the OG of the smart home scene that has been in business for over 15 years,
makes a great starting point. You can kick off with the inexpensive and highly capable Home Hub Central Controller. This also comes in a HomeKit-enabled version. With that in place as the foundation of your system, you are able to build things out with smart lighting, some sensors and a thermostat. Automating and scheduling Insteon devices is a breeze thanks to the intuitive app. You can also pick up a variety of starter kits
as a cost-effective way to improve your home in fine style. Samsung’s enduringly popular SmartThings ecosystem is another worthwhile option with awesome compatibility. You can, of course, pick up devices and appliances from a range of different manufacturers. If you take this approach, just be certain to check for compatibility with all the other gear you already own. This will ensure that everything will work together seamlessly and in the background.
4) Make Your Home as Energy-Efficient as Possible
We already mentioned smart thermostats above, but what we didn't mention is that they are a great way to make sure your home is as energy-efficient as possible. While they aren't exactly cheap, the good news is that a great thermostat is not expensive by the standards of regular home improvement. Honeywell’s revamped Lyric
, now into its second generation, can regulate temperature and humidity within your home automatically. You’ll enjoy a perfect climate indoors while potentially saving on your power bills. When it comes to thermostats, you are spoiled with many different choices. From the classic Nest Learning
to ecobee’s brand-new iteration of its classic smart climate control system that we looked at earlier this week. Beyond thermostats, you can also consider the MySmartBlinds Automation Kit
. This nifty bundle gives your existing blinds an overhaul and turns them into intelligent shades charged by solar power. Smart lighting
in all its forms can offer remarkable energy-efficiency along with the obvious upsurge in convenience you’ll experience. All of these changes can be implemented without expensive remodeling, insulation or skylights. An energy-efficient home is truly a smart home in all senses. Now, how about keeping your smart home and your family safe?
5) Install Robust Home Security
Smart home security comes in many different forms. Industry heavyweight, Ring, has an impressive new line of smart lighting that will help you encircle your home with their fabled Ring of Security. The Ring Doorbell Camera is also a convenient way to keep track of comings and goings remotely. Alarm systems
are all good and well, but are not always appropriate for renters. A wonderful system that is suitable for pretty much anyone and priced competitively is the Google Nest Secure starter pack. You can also opt for the Arlo Go LTE Camera
, a completely portable and wire-free security. Enjoy the security of monitoring your home even when there’s no WiFi, thanks to Arlo Mobile Network coverage. If you need some more inspiration on the best smart security gear and why you should buy it, check out our detailed study right here
6) Treat Yourself to A Home Theater To Enjoy It All In
You might be thinking that there’s not much intrinsically enjoyable about the tech we’ve outlined to improve your home. That’s perhaps true. The twin pillars of smart home technology are security and convenience. Although it’s great to feel safer and make your life easier with these convenient products, perhaps you don’t get much actual enjoyment with this kind of tech. You can change that by investing in a home theater and improving your entertainment tenfold. LG has a fantastic range of OLED Smart TVs. Whether you want a semi-restrained 55-inch 4K
model or a truly massive 77-inch 4K Ultra beast
, you will be able to enjoy crystal clear movies and binge watch your favorite shows in high quality every day of the week. Sonos offers some outstanding soundbars and speakers
so the quality of the audio is on par with the visuals. Control can be streamlined perfectly with the Logitech Harmony Elite Remote
. How about upgrading the furniture, too? This reclining home theater leather sectional
will take care of the comfort factor while also looking the part in any den. As an ideal accessory, invest in this innovative smart refrigerator coffee table
. Bluetooth speakers, a charging station and an integrated fridge equipped with smart controls make this a wise bet for any home theater. It's easy to get carried away when you’re kitting out a home theater. Take the time in advance to plan things out, set a strict budget and look at what you want to achieve. This will prevent you from getting overexcited and splurging on one piece of tech, which will leave you with a shortage of funds and a half-built home theater. We appreciate that sometimes you might want to make bigger purchases and pay them off in installments. To this end, we’re happy to offer monthly payments through Affirm on many products.
7) Don’t Overlook Your Garden
With the inside of your smart home improved, don’t overlook the outside space. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, check out our in-depth guide
for plenty of guidance on how to make quick and easy improvements. Robotic lawnmowers
are getting more effective and more intelligent all the time. If you want to automate your sprinkler system, the Alexa-enabled Rachio Smart Sprinkler
helps keep your lawn looking plush while saving water at the same time. For anyone who likes to wine and dine their guests in the backyard, the Masterbuilt Bluetooth Smart Smoker
lets you spend more time with your guests and less time fussing over food. If you spend a lot of time out on your deck or even in the hot tub, why sacrifice the TV? SunBrite has a pioneering waterproof 65-inch TV
so you can watch the game without worrying about the television getting wet or damaged. The world is your oyster if you want to improve your garden using technology, so what are you waiting for? Get those smart DIY home improvements started today!
We hope some of these ideas have made you consider the idea of improving your home from a different perspective. DIY Home improvement doesn’t always mean ripping down walls or building a new fence. As we showed you today, Twenty-first-century remodeling can take on many forms. Today we provided a great base for you to start from if you’re just beginning your home automation journey. Start your smart home off on the right foot and your job will be easier down the line. And for those of you who have already got the making of a robust connected home in place, you should be able to use the ideas we provided to implement some smart DIY home improvements to your humble abode. Don’t forget to bookmark our blog and come back next week for more of the latest smart home news