DIY smart home: Here’s how to get started

When my parents, my sister, my 90-pound black lab and I quarantined under the same roof for the majority of the coronavirus pandemic, it became clear our condo’s galley kitchen needed a major facelift to keep up with our new housebound lifestyle. It hasn’t been renovated since being built in the 1980s, and one by one, appliances and fixtures were giving out. During the first week of stay-at-home orders, the pull-out faucet’s lever snapped. Most recently, the microwave stopped reheating leftovers.  

After making do with bad lighting, a shoddy sink basin and a dishwasher that sounds like a bulldozer, my parents decided they wanted to bring their kitchen into the 21st century — and they wanted to do it themselves. I might not have the eye for finishes like my mom or knowledge of power tools like my dad, but there is something I have to offer: experience with smart home devices.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be highlighting the upgrades that will raise our family home’s IQ. While remodeling the kitchen is the central project, I’m using the opportunity to outfit the larger living area with the latest smart home technology. My ultimate goal is to create an automated, accessible and affordable IoT space.

DIY smart home

Don’t mind the mess: Here’s peak inside my condo’s galley kitchen. We’ve already begun dissembling the cabinets and making way for demolition. (Image credit: Future)

For those who want to create their own DIY smart home, I’ll document my decision making while providing context to the complex and saturated market of connected devices.