SEE this Early Adopter’s Smart Home from 1994

SEE this Early Adopter’s Smart Home from 1994


Even though it was built 20 years ago to become northwest Montana’s first smart home, its capabilities rival some modern home control systems.

“This was our first take with home control. We were not familiar with it at all,” says Morrie Shechtman.

Homeowners Morrie and Arleah Shechtman sought out the help of builders, integrators and electricians in 1994 to fully integrate and connect the 200-acre luxury estate with the latest in home technology.

These days, this type of request would be simple and handled almost overnight, as the size of the smart home market has grown so much. But in 1994, products were difficult to find and sometimes even harder to integrate.

One example of this home control frustration came when the family wanted to automate their shades. At the time, only one manufacturer existed in the U.S. that could automatically move drapes 45-degrees, instead of across a horizontal plane.

The home is full of unique and pioneering forms of control due to its age. In order to control the home’s lighting, heating and cooling systems remotely, the homeowners would call the home’s unique phone number which would trigger a series of actions. 

This is just one example where the builder and integrator took on a research role to determine what options actually existed in the market and how they could be used to meet the homebuyer’s expectations.

Even though the home was built two decades ago, the levels of home control and client engagement can teach builders and integrators ways to improve and stand out in their current business.

RELATED: TOUR This Luxurious Revival of Historic 1913 Home

Take a tour through this early adopter smart home!


[tps_title]Exterior [/tps_title]

The home was built on top of a mountainside.
The home was built on top of a mountainside.



Construction of the home started in 1993, and by the time the Shechtmans were done meeting with the building and integration teams, over two miles of wiring was installed throughout the home.

The home was built by Denman Builders on a small mountain with an elevation of 4,000-feet. This led to a longer building process due to the demolition of rock and hard stone under the home’s foundation.

According to Shechtman, this is one of the first mountain homes in Montana to use ground-source heating systems. At the time, most ground-source homes were built using nearby lakes.

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About The Author

Michael Black is a staff writer and content coordinator at TecHome Builder. He has a particular interest in new solar developments and smart energy systems and is always looking for the next smart home trend to cover. As the youngest member of the TecHome team, Michael brings a passion that keeps the team energized. He also is instrumental in leading our social media efforts.

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