Remodeling is on the upswing. People are choosing to update, renovate and modernize their existing abodes, often instead of building anew. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), remodelers nationwide are experiencing increased activity, with customer requests for bids up 5.2 percent since last quarter. “Homeowners are tired of waiting to make improvements—many have chosen to stay put—and better financial positioning has them actively approaching professionals to get work done and enhance the long-term livability of the home,” says Tom O’Grady, chairman of NARI’s Strategic Planning & Research Committee and president of O’Grady Builders, Drexel Hill, Penn. While fresh coats of paint, new flooring and kitchen cabinetry can breathe new life into your house, so can electronic systems. Here are the top 5 electronic add-ons to consider including in your renovation plans.
1. Dimmer switches. Swap those old toggle switches for dimmer switches, or even a simple keypad. Companies like Lutron offer a variety of control devices that can alter the intensity of a room’s light fixtures, setting the mood for relaxing, entertaining or showcasing the new bookshelf you just had installed, for example.
2. Motorized window shades. When you can operate a window blind or shade by touching a button on a remote control, there’s no need for unsightly—and old-fashioned—pull cords. It’ll make your life easier and compromise none of your home’s fresh, updated décor.
Lutron powered shades
3. Soundbar. If part of your remodeling plan involves the addition of a flat-panel TV, complement it with a soundbar. Designed to house the front left, right and center speakers of a surround-sound arrangement (or sometimes a whole 5-channel system via virtual surround signal processing), it looks a lot better—and more modern—than three individual speakers flanking your new display.
Paradigm Cinema Trio
4. Wireless music system. Complement your home’s new look with a whole-house music system, and there’s none better than a wireless type for integrating into an existing home. Because it operates on its own wireless network, there’s no need to fish wires to speakers, giving you the flexibility to place the speakers where they look and sound the best. Read a review of the NuVo wireless music system here.
NuVo Wireless Player
5. Water sensors. A basement is a prime location for a home theater—it’s also prone to water issues. A wireless water sensor can alert you of a leaky pipe, a malfunctioning sump pump and moisture on the floor before serious damage occurs. It’s a simple, inexpensive way to protect your renovation investment.
GE water sensor
Decorative LED Lighting Adds to Room Renovation
Techorating Tips from Pro Integrators
5 Easy Home Theater Upgrades
5 Easy Audio Upgrades
Follow Electronic House
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.