What makes a home a “smart home”?
We believe that a smart home can be summed up with the following points:
- It allows you to carry out certain functions from wherever in the home you are. e.g., switching lights off or on and changing the temperature of different rooms.
- It removes friction from your daily life and makes you less reliant on physical tools, e.g., keys.
- It’s energy-efficient.
- It can adapt to your behavior over time.
- It’s a comfortable home to live in with a high quality of life.
Customize your smart mobile home
Creating a smart home doesn’t necessarily only begin after you have bought it. Because of how mobile homes are assembled through a production line type of process and with the help of computer-aided design, manufacturers can now customize your home before completing it.
Mobile home manufacturers differ in class and focus. Some manufacturers make it their focus to build green family houses that are energy-efficient while others specialize in luxury houses with amazing features. Notably, Clayton homes now have their own line of green homes, dubbed “i-houses.”
So, to start off with, you should choose the right mobile home manufacturer for you. Each manufacturer differs in what kind of options they provide when it comes to customization. Be sure to review these as they could save you a lot of effort and money doing it yourself.
Remember, intelligence is nothing if that doesn’t translate to comfort and enjoyment in your personal life. Sure, some of these upgrades or options are very functional but don’t discount those that seem luxurious completely. Here are some of the common customization options you can expect:
- Appliances: Some manufacturers let you choose what appliances to pre-install in the home. Remember to opt for energy-efficient or smart appliances.
- Kitchen islands: Kitchen islands serve a dual purpose. They look fancy and sophisticated, and they are incredibly handy additions to the kitchen.
- Water-saving designer faucets: These faucets save water by using both air and water – as a bonus, they are more sanitary as well. Don’t forget the shower heads.
- Cabinets: There are very handy types of cabinets like carousel corner cabinets, etc. that are space-efficient and easier to use.
Some must-own smart gadgets
Access to the internet has almost become a basic human right, that’s just how important it is right now. It’s what we use to stay in touch, to study, to look for work and to help us do that work once we get it. If you have any hope of creating a home that can fulfill its full potential as a smart home, you will need to WiFi with a wireless router that can boost the signal throughout the home.
Most of the devices on this list communicate wirelessly with each other or with you (via an app or something similar) over a wifi network. You also want them to be hooked up to the internet if you are to take advantage of their remote control capabilities.
USB power outlets
As a way to charge our devices, the wide-ranging compatibility and standardization of USB technology have been a godsend. We can power or charge just about anything from our phones to desk lamps to tablets to printers with USB ports. Just about anything can be powered with this one type of port.
Our phones are also one us almost 24/7. That means we often have to charge it throughout the day. However, even leaving your phone in the room to charge while you lie down on the couch in front of the TV can be an inconvenience. Carrying our charger heads all over the place is also not ideal.
You can now have the best of both worlds with USB Power Outlets. These extremely handy outlets have both electrical sockets and USB ports. They don’t take up any unnecessary space or look any different than your normal wall power outlets.
To top things off, they are fast-charging, and certain models come with surge protection which is usually the goal of the charger head. This model from Topgreener is an excellent example.
Central temperature control / Programmable thermostat
A smart thermostat is an absolute must for any smart home. You might be thinking “how smart can a thermostat possibly be?” That’s understandable since, on the face of it, it doesn’t seem like there could possibly more to it than changing the temperature of your home.
However, it’s also very wrong…
With a smart thermostat, you will be able to control the temperature throughout your home using an app on your smartphone or tablet. Even if you aren’t home, you are able to connect to it over the internet and change settings. No more coming home to a super hot home in summer! The environmentally (or budget) conscious will be happy to know that they can lessen power consumption.
On top of that, these devices are so intelligent that they have the ability to learn. They can pick up on your habits as well as the time it takes your HVAC system to adjust and adapt to it, keeping your home just the way you like it without you lifting a finger. It can even communicate with other smart devices in your home, for example, start a batch of laundry when power demand is low.
The Nest is arguably the best and the most popular smart thermostat out there. However, it is a bit pricey, and you can get others for as little as $30 that comes with the essential features. It almost goes without saying, that at the least you can expect being able to schedule your heating/cooling system according to different days of the week and time.
The biggest concern with buying a programmable thermostat is that it’s compatible with your mobile homes’ HVAC. Mobile homes have different systems than that of traditional homes which means that not all devices will be appropriate.
As if smart thermostats weren’t unbelievable enough, you can also get smart lights for your home. No, these don’t nearly go to the same extent of functionality as our previous gadget. However, they also aren’t your simple clap-on clap-off lights either.
One of the physical benefits of smart light bulbs is that they are almost always energy-efficient and are considerably more so than normal bulbs. They are also long-lasting which removes the frustration of almost constantly having to replace a bulb somewhere in the home.
Like a thermostat, you can control bulbs with an app on your phone or a home assistant like Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa. You can change their color, brightness, schedule them to switch on or off at certain times, etc. Some even offer voice control either by themselves or through these devices for a hands-free approach.
Remember to establish what kind of sockets you are using (screw-in or two-pin) and how high the wattage or lumens of the bulbs need to be which you need to do for any light bulb. Smart lightning also goes beyond just normal light bulbs. You can create interesting effects or wow your friends with products like the Nanoleaf Aurora’s triangular lighting panels or the portable, semi-circle Philips Hue Go.
Keyless locks can play more roles than just for the safety of your home and your family. They can even be a great way to enforce your privacy or to restrict access to certain parts of the home yet have the ability to open it remotely if need be. In fact, they can eliminate the need for physical keys almost entirely, however, most keep them as a backup plan.
Most of these locks allow you to lock the door from the inside by simply using a thumb-turn. Likewise, most of them use keypads as the main way to unlock the door from the exterior. The obvious advantage to this is that you can’t accidentally lock yourself out by losing your keys.
The higher-range keyless locks can also be controlled via an app on your smartphone. This allows you to lock or unlock the door remotely from your mobile phone, tablet or computer.
These locks are also usually more secure than your run of the mill home lock. If security is a concern for you, you should look for the Grade ANSI rating of a lock to determine how secure it is. Grade I locks have the highest rating.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you must’ve heard some noise surrounding at these devices: Google Home, Apple HomePod, and the Amazon Echo/Alexa. These truly incredible devices are like having a butler in your very own home. The only difference is that instead of a living human being, it’s a small, unassuming electronic device.
All of these products are voice-activated and can talk back to you regarding your commands. They can help you order food, buy products, book hotels, and flights, control your other smart appliances, and just keep you busy with thousands of other chores. You can do all of this without lifting a finger and use simple voice commands.
All of these devices also make use of learning-technology so that they adapt to your personality, habits, and voice to only get better with time. It’s honestly unsettling at first to see what they are capable of, yet you can’t help but want your very own Jarvis making your life easier.
Fire safety is of the utmost importance in any house, but especially in mobile homes. Although they have come leaps and bounds since the “matchbox” houses from the past, you still can never be safe enough.
It’s required by law (through the HUD code) that you have some installed and in working order in certain places throughout your house. Today, you get many smart smoke/detector or fire alarm devices that pair with gadgets like the Nest or the home assistants we describe above.
These can be used to turn them off or on by using voice commands. It can also do things like turn on your lights during an emergency or let you know in what specific room a threat was detected.
Other smart appliances:
We could go on and on with appliances. For now, we focussed on those with the most utility and the most significant impact on your daily life. However, you can get just about “smart-anything” nowadays. These appliances often come with special features that include adaptability, energy-efficiency, and the ability to be controlled remotely with an app or home assistant device.
Here are some of the other appliances you can look out for:
- Tumble dryers
- Coffee makers
This isn’t a high-tech smart gadget for your home. However, if you want to be more energy-efficient, reduce utilities, better control the temperature of your home, and protect the longevity of your roof, a roof membrane is a very smart addition.
The best type of roof membrane is a PVC membrane. What makes this specific product so great is that it’s simply a membrane you pull over your roof and fasten to it. They have some great benefits at a very low price line. Not only do they offer some level of protection to your actual roof underneath, but they are fantastic insulators, reflect the sun’s rays off of your home, and are easy to paint over.
There are also elastomeric roof coating and aluminumized asphalt roof coating that you can apply on top of the roof, and they will dry to form a rubberish membrane. All these types last for different amounts of time but 10 years is pretty standard for a maintained roof. You can see your air-conditioning costs drop by 10-20%.
When it comes to your windows, there are multiple solutions for different budgets. Windows are both a constant source of temperature leak to and from your home; whether it’s from letting in sunlight or by not being 100% insulated.
The easiest solution is to install window film. Window film helps block UV rays from making their way into the home and act as insulation. Newer types of window film can even adapt their blocking ability according to the intensity of the sunlight.
Nowadays, you even get so-called “smart-glass” that can do this on its own. The windows can tint themselves according to the light outside so that they are crystal clear at night and slightly shaded during the day.
Be smart with a smart mobile home!
This article will get you well on your way to creating and living in a smart mobile home by giving steps for the remodel. However, because of the ever-evolving nature of technology, the benchmark is always moving, and new appliances keep popping up. Up until now, we have barely scratched the surface of what’s possible. The best way to not fall too far behind is to get in the race in the first place.