By Sam Wasson
Updated Jan 17, 2023
A smart home sounds like something out of a science fiction novel. With a tap on your smartphone, you can control everything in your house, from lights to sprinklers, media devices, and even electrical sockets. Some smart devices are cheap and easy to install, like a smart thermostat, while others may require a complete rewiring of your electrical system, costing a pretty penny. For those new to the home automation market, it can be a nightmare to parse through the cost of every hub, appliance, device, and service that comes along with smart home systems.
This article aims to make your next smart home purchase a breeze by explaining the comprehensive costs associated with home automation products and services. Below we break down all the aspects of owning a smart home, from DIY installation to full brand-provided packages, and examine the costs of each.
|DIY||$250 to $1,500||$2,000 to $3,000||$2,500 to $7,000|
|Brand Installations||$150 to $1,500||$2,000 to $6,000||$10,000+|
*Prices are as of January 2023.
When looking at the overall cost of a smart home system, there is no single average figure, as smart homes vary wildly in purpose, scope, and makeup. We find it helpful to break smart homes into two rough categories, DIY and brand installations.
As its name suggests, a DIY setup is any system the homeowner installs, manages, and maintains. These systems can vary wildly in cost depending on brand specifics, homeowner preference, and home size, but typically range anywhere from $250 to over $10,000. The wide range in these figures comes from the highly customizable nature of smart homes. One smart thermostat only costs around $130, but a smart fridge can cost up to $10,000. As such, the cost of a DIY smart home system will directly reflect what elements of the home you want to automate. Other factors, like wiring and protocols, can affect price, but most of the budget will go directly to appliances. On average, homeowners can expect to pay $2,000 to $4,000 for basic home automation.
Not everyone wants to bother with the complex process of installing the devices for their smart home system. Thankfully, many brands offer packages and installation services that allow homeowners to experience the convenience of home automation without any of the difficult setups of DIY systems.
Most companies offer specific packages that allow homeowners to automate areas of their homes. Some brands are specialized, like ADT focusing primarily on home security. On the other hand, some companies offer a wide range of packages, like Google, with options for entertainment, security, energy efficiency, and much more. Other companies offer customizable installations, allowing you to pick and choose which parts of the home to automate. Specific service packages can range from a few hundred dollars up to around $7,000, depending on what type of package you choose. Most custom installations start at around $10,000 and easily go as high as $100,000, depending on the size of your home and desired level of automation.
Your bill will be divided into three primary costs for any professional installation: devices, labor, and wiring. Devices will always make up the majority of a bill, but labor and wiring can have a hefty price tag, especially if it’s a large home. On average, you can expect to pay between $80 to $100 an hour for labor, with some larger appliances or more complex systems costing more. Wiring can cost quite a bit, especially if you have a fully wired protocol and a large system. Rewiring an entire home typically costs between $2,000 to $4,000, but for larger homes, prices can reach upwards of $10,000.
Before getting into the details of home automation costs, you should first understand some of the most important factors that can affect the baseline costs of any installation: wiring and protocol, and home size.
The first thing you need to consider before buying smart home products is the type of protocol and wiring you want to use. A protocol, or Home Automation Operating Standard, is how the devices on your home IoT (Internet of Things) will communicate. Smart home devices must be compatible with your system’s protocol and vice versa, or they’ll not be able to interact. Only certain protocols will work with specific kinds of home networks, with protocols existing for wireless, wired, and hybrid systems.
Home size can greatly impact the cost of your home automation systems, especially if you choose a wired protocol. The larger your home, the more rooms, outlets, lights, devices, and appliances you’ll need to connect. For this article, we use the dimensions of an average single-family home.
When trying to grasp the cost of a smart home system, be it a DIY setup or a professional installation, it’s best to divide smart homes into specific categories. What follows are some of the most common types of smart home systems and their corresponding costs.
Home security is one of the most popular home automation systems available. These setups offer homeowners unparalleled peace of mind by allowing them to monitor their home’s goings-on while out and about. Some home security companies offer subscription packages that include 24/7 monitoring that will alert you and contact emergency services in the case of an incident. Automated security systems can include features like the following:
Smaller home security systems run from $500 to $2,500, with higher-end systems costing upwards of $5,000.
Fully automated home lighting can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the number of rooms being lit and the nature of your system. Individual smart light bulbs can cost anywhere from $15 to over $70, and smart switches can range anywhere from $15 to over $300.
A smart heating and cooling system is one of the best home automation investments you can make. These setups provide improved comfort while also allowing you to save on your electricity bills by disabling your AC while you’re out of the house. A smart thermostat can save between 8% and 12% on average. You can expect to pay between $70 and $150 for a smart thermostat, and a fully automated HVAC system can run you between $1,000 to $3,000.
If you’ve bought a TV recently, there’s a good chance it’s a smart TV. Smart TVs allow you to connect to the internet and access streaming content along with other convenient apps. You can also connect these TVs to the rest of your smart network, allowing you to control them from your phone, tablet, or remote control. Smart entertainment systems include speakers, lighting, fireplaces, game systems, and other gadgets. A modern smart TV costs anywhere from $350 to over $1,500, but a fully decked out living room with a home theater system costs between $2,000 to $4,000.
While it may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, smart lawns and gardens not only exist, they’re surprisingly popular. These systems can include automated sprinklers, smart pots, plant sensors, smart mowers, automatic sunshades, and smart outdoor lighting. A fully automated lawn and garden will have a price range of $500 to $2,000, or even more, if you choose to use a smart mower.
The kitchen is one of the most useful rooms in the home to automate. Smart fridges can have precision temperature control so no items freeze and go to waste – some models, when paired with a smart assistant, can even order groceries. Smart ovens and microwaves can connect their timers to your phone, allowing you greater freedom and flexibility when moving around while cooking.
Unfortunately, due to the many appliances, features, and gadgets that can be added to a smart kitchen, they’re one of the most expensive rooms to automate. On average, you can expect to pay a minimum of $1,500 for a smart fridge, and a completely automated kitchen can easily reach over $25,000.
There are many miscellaneous smart appliances, installations, and systems that you can add to your home automation system. Here is a chart with some of the most popular smart devices and their corresponding prices.
|Device||Low-end Cost||Average Cost||High-end Cost|
|Garage doors||$30 to $50||$50 to $100||$200 to $400|
|Outlets||$15 per outlet||$20 to $30 per outlet||$50 per outlet|
|Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors||$40 to $50||$50 to $100||$120|
|Smart home hubs||$50 to $150||$100 to $300||$300 to $500|
|Ceiling fans||$100 to $200||$250 to $350||$500+|
|Beds||$1,000 to $2,500||$3,000 to $4,000||$4,500 to $7,000+|
|Toilets||$500 to $700||$700 to $900||$1,000 to $1,500|
|Coffee Tables||$300 to $500||$900 to $1,200||$1,500+|
|Windows||$25 to $50 per square foot||$85 to $90 per square foot||$125+ per square foot|
|Blinds||$100 to $300||$300 to $500||$450 to $600+|
*Prices are as of January 2023.
Today, there are dozens of home automation brands to choose from, each offering numerous packages, suites of features, and other options for your smart home. Below we’ve compiled a list of the most popular smart home brands, their general services and features, and the average price of those features.
Amazon offers several home automation features and services, focusing primarily on entertainment, accessibility, and security. Amazon Echo is its featured hub and smart speaker that allows you to use Amazon Alexa to control other devices via voice commands. Alexa also functions as a virtual assistant and AI with the ability to provide weather and traffic reports, set schedules, make orders, set alarms, and play media. Blink is Amazon’s security system, providing a suite of cameras you can access from the Blink Home Monitor App.
Amazon Echo is one of the cheapest systems you can buy, only costing $50 to $250 for the hub. Blink cameras cost $20 to $100 a piece, along with an optional subscription plan that provides monitoring for all devices for $3 a month or $6 for the premium plan.
Known primarily as a smart home security system provider, ADT has more recently branched into other home automation sectors, like garage doors and smart switches. Currently, ADT offers three packages, the Secure Home Plan, Smart Home Plan, and the Video and Smart Home Plan. Each plan offers a range of home security and home automation products, ranging from $420 to $810, with options for customization. As for its monitoring plans, the baseline costs just under $40 per month, with video monitoring for an additional $14.
Crestron is a full-service, luxury home automation company offering smart services for everything from pools and spas to lighting, blinds, climate control, and much more. Crestron is one of the priciest smart home installers on the market, and you can expect to pay $10 to $20 per square foot of your home. In total, the cost to automate a home from Crestron ranges from $100,000 at minimum to well over $450,000 for a complete setup.
Elan is another full-service home automation company offering complete smart home installation and setup. Its team works alongside homeowners to pick and choose the exact appliances, systems, and devices to make a home functional and efficient. It’s expensive, with prices starting at a minimum of $7,000 for small projects and full home automation costing upwards of $100,000.
Google Nest (previously Google Home) is a wide array of products and services offered by Google and separated into three basic packages: audio entertainment, security, and video entertainment. The baseline costs for these starter kits range from $250 to just under $1,000. However, all of Google’s products are designed to integrate easily with the Google Nest Hub, allowing you to purchase products as needed and upgrade your system over time.
Similar to ADT, Ring is primarily a home security system provider. It offers a large range of home security products, including front door cameras, residential security cameras, window sensors, motion sensors, and much more. It also has a remote monitoring service you can subscribe to, providing you with 24/7 protection. What’s nice about Ring is that you don’t need its protection plan to use its products, as they can function independently.
Ring security packages range from $150 to around $500; their protection plan starts at just under $4 a month.
Vivint is a home security company that offers a wide selection of cameras, motion sensors, doorbell cameras, garage door sensors, and smart door locks. It offers installation services and integration with Google smart home systems, Amazon Alexa, and other home automation systems. You can sign up for its 24/7 monitoring services starting at $45 monthly. The products Vivint offers are reasonably priced, starting at $50 for smart sensors and ranging all the up to $500 for outdoor pro cameras.
While home automation can feel like science fiction, there are simple, easy-to-install products that just about any homeowner can utilize. Google, for example, has one of the easiest-to-install home automation systems out there and one that can allow you to install more products later on. Alternatively, if you want a more comprehensive package, you can opt for brands like Elan or Crestron. Ultimately, there are countless products, services, and devices for home automation enthusiasts, and we hope this guide helps you better understand their prices.
Disclosure: House Method participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program is designed to provide a means for the publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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