Large homes sometimes require full-time staff to perform domestic chores and assist the owners with daily tasks, but a newly renovated 10,000-square-foot residence in Medina, Minn. shows that nearly every function of modern home life can now be controlled and automated these days.
“When your dream home has more than 100 light switches, 12 TVs and 48 zones of audio, the only way to effectively manage it all is with a full home control system,” comments a representative of J. Becher & Associates who asked to remain anonymous.
“It would be incredibly stressful to try running a home that large without modern technology or full-time help, and even communication could be difficult without an intercom system. These particular homeowners were familiar with the Elan system from their previous home, so in the new one, our focus was maximizing simplicity and functionality without damaging the aesthetics.”
The system allows all core equipment to be centralized, which helps declutter living spaces and eliminates the need for visually intrusive electronics. The owners are utilizing nearly every capability of the system, so they have control of the home’s TVs, music, lighting, heating and cooling, motorized window shades, security, surveillance, garage door access and pool controls.
“This couple wanted all the latest home technologies but didn’t want their beautiful home to end up looking like a Big Box retailer,” they add. “Since they decided to renovate before moving in, we were able to run all new wiring in the walls and use a single location for all of the amplifiers, cable boxes, thermostats and lighting control modules. Now the only visible technologies in the home are the TVs and remotes, light switch panels, and multiple 12-inch Elan touch screens that blend seamlessly in with the home design.”
Using fiber optic and CAT6 cabling, the system offers property-wide distributed 4K video-over-IP and high-quality audio in 48 zones totaling hundreds of speakers, including outdoors.
The owners wanted excellent audio in every room, so they decided to use in-ceiling speakers throughout the home and added Sunfire subwoofers to multiple areas, including the home theater that has a 119-inch glass-screen 4K projection system.
Long-term Install Leads to Special Features
While most of the components were included in the project’s original scope, the long-term nature of the installation—completed over 18 months—gave the owners ample opportunity to add special features such as two custom-made Séura mirror TVs for the master bathroom and two ‘frame’ TVs adorned with hand-built wood frames that make them look like works of art.
All of the TVs have accompanying Elan remotes that allow full control of every connected system while providing all the familiar buttons necessary for watching TV and listening to music.
“The most important feature of any home control system is that it is simple to use and functions reliably, every day,” explains the representative. “Otherwise, people get frustrated quickly and begin to doubt the usefulness of the very tech that is supposed to make life easier. Our extensive experience designing and installing these systems for homes of all sizes has shown that doing it right the first time is the only way to build trust and appreciation.”
The system also features scheduling and event-based automation, which allows the owners to set schedules for lighting, window shades, and climate, including the ability to time them with sunrise and sunset year-round.
According to the integrators, because the user interface is the same on every smartphone, every touch panel, and every computer, it is so easy to use that even first-time users can navigate it and control their environment within minutes.
Securing All Aspects of a Mansion
Security integration was key as well, with an alarm system, Elan surveillance camera system, garage door control, driveway gate control and front door intercom camera providing 360-degree coverage, all monitored through the Elan system and app. This way, the owners can arm the alarm system after they’ve left the house, check the video cameras while on vacation, and allow access to workers who need to enter when no one is home.
There are also sensors that detect smoke, fire, water leaks and carbon monoxide, and send instant alerts to the owners through the app and in-home interfaces. Additionally, the expansive electronics system is protected by Panamax surge protection equipment.
“Managing this huge home is about as simple as it could possibly be, thanks to our design and integration of the Elan Home Control System,” the integrator’s spokesperson says.