We’ve all heard of the tech migration: The concept and reality that many people who work in tech or for tech companies have migrated to the home office and are starting to migrate back to in-person work, even if only on occasion.
During the pivot to work from home — which, if we’re honest about it, began long before the COVID-19 pandemic but just wasn’t widely accepted — homes became centers of technology. People who had the job flexibility to work from home experienced greater productivity with the flexibility of work from home.
But what about tech integration? Tech integration is where high-tech offices come home; where home entertaining gets an executive upgrade; where indoor-outdoor living is made up of kitchen(s), workspaces, study spaces, play spaces, lounge spaces and party areas without having to rearrange the house for each need.
Interiors and the exteriors of today’s new smart homes feature not only convenience and usability, but elevated design elements and even eco-friendly tech. Even at the standard level, before upgrades, options or customizations, most builders offer some degree of new-age technology in their communities.
Residential builders — especially in the high-tech Bay Area — are pioneering the concepts. And everyone from new-home buyers to custom-home builders and remodelers is looking to them for ideas.
Another of the many benefits of buying new construction is the ability to wire the house from scratch. Prewiring happens at around the same time as plumbing and, for some buyers, might feel just as important.
Let the builder know your priorities for smart-home features to help determine both wiring and any built-in or bump-out configurations of specific rooms.
Choices might include smart-home entertainment features such as built-in speakers, some sound systems are incredibly small with big sound and wireless connections.
Some new-home buyers may want everything automated, from roller shades, high-efficiency HVAC and indoor-outdoor AV systems to a home theater and a multi-zone security system. Builders can make these happen with the appropriate wiring and cabling when they know what the buyer wants.
Consider smart light switches, hardwired security sensors as well as construction options that can hide or obscure some of the electronics while still providing their benefits.
Also ask about installing astronomical switches and other electronics including outdoor lighting, electric-powered water features, drip irrigation systems, indoor timers, HVAC components and more.
The showy home office
Make the corporate office come home. Remote work is here to stay, even if it’s not every day of the week.
As a result, home offices in new construction can now look crisper and cleaner than in resale homes, giving off an image that challenges the flashy corporate offices that have been coveted by CEOs.
With the right fixtures and finishes, the look — and all its functions — can take place even in a room that’s only 100 square feet in size.
Lighting is everything.
Anyone who’s had a videoconference knows the importance of lighting and tech companies make cameras that filter light to make people look their best on-camera.
In the absence of a high-tech camera, consider built-in recessed lighting with dimmer control. Install these in various areas of any room that might become a home office.
Ask your builder if tray ceilings are an option; these can hide the lights themselves while still projecting enough brightness. Programmable window treatments will allow easy changes to the light without standing up during a call.
Also ask about in-wall shelving or cutouts for electronic components or even for some of the many screens that may be needed in the office or offices.
All new homes in California come with energy- and water-conserving features that are necessary for new construction to comply with the state’s net-zero energy requirements.
Ask the builder about any green-tech features that can add to the tech-friendliness of the home. Tankless or inline water heaters, for instance, are standard in many communities. But depending on the size of your home, ask if a recirc pump is standard or if it would help with comfort.
The same goes with high-efficiency furnaces. Ask about the remote programmability of HVAC systems; decide during construction if you want to stray from the builder’s standard offering.
A new-tech new-construction home takes advantage of space while providing uninterrupted connectivity and style at the same time.
Some homes might even come with choices for high-tech bathrooms. Keep an eye on this space for details on innovations for the higher-tech loo.
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