Second homes, vacation homes, weekend homes. Whatever you call them, they are certainly a different animal than a primary, full-time residence.
I build in a mountain resort community 80 miles east of Seattle. My clients are typically very tech-savvy with knowledge of what’s available and what’s current & “hot.”
The hottest thing for me right now is integrating remote access/control/monitoring of their home via their phone or pad device. The obvious ones—security, HVAC, lighting control—are well served by the industry and continue to get better and easier to use. My clients can check in to see if their home is secure and safe or allow remote access to family or maintenance workers.
Other things we’re doing are split between the fun and the practical.
Fun: Setting up HiDef cameras and exterior lighting, so my owners can “check” on their homes remotely.
It’s also crucial to have the right “scene” set up, so it looks really cool when they show their friends, especially if there happens to be a herd of elk in the back yard!
Practical: Installing wireless temperature and moisture sensors throughout the home to alert, via text, if water is sensed or if the temperature goes outside of the pre-set range. It’s so much easier to react to a window left open in the middle of the winter than a burst frozen water line.
Fun: Figuring out the integration of a “flicker module” in replica kerosene lamps to make the wine cellar feels like an abandoned mine.
I’m looking forward to seeing the next “hot” thing, fun or practical, so I can find a way to integrate it into my next project.
About the Author:
Co-Owner, Swiftwater Custom Homes
Jeff Hansell is the co-owner of Swiftwater Custom Homes and has been in the homebuilding business since 1981. He has built homes all over Washington State and is now focusing on high-end custom homes in a resort community near Seattle. His primary demographic is twofold: empty nesters/retired couples and young tech families. Hansell has been active in various builder associations, serving as president of the Building Industry Association of Washington in 2006. He was inducted into the State Builders’ Hall of Fame in 2013.