10 Best Things to Build in to Your Home

Integrated Home Electronics

Speaking of electronics, our last awesome home feature isn't a room. It's a system that works all over your house and is controlled by a touch screen on the wall or via remotes when you're at home. But you can also control things from anywhere using the Internet, your phone, or tablet computer. It sounds like something in a house from the future, but it's all possible now, and can be as all-encompassing as you want, too. Usually this is called integrated home electronics or home automation.

You may have heard of integrated music systems, which include having speakers installed throughout your home and even outdoors so you can listen to your entire digital library of music no matter where you are. That's just a start, though. You could have your favorite music playing for you before you get home, for example, or turn on the TV in any room in the house and change the channel.

It's not just about media, either. Integrated home electronics means being able to control many other different systems in your home from anywhere. Digital programmable thermostats are awesome, but you can integrate them into a system that allows you to monitor and change the temperature in your home from anywhere. You can turn lights and sprinklers on and off, raise and lower electronic shades or blinds, remotely heat a hot tub, raise or lower a garage door, or even turn on a coffeemaker. Worried about the security of your home while you're away? Monitor motion detectors and video cameras, too, or detect things like water or gas leaks. Yes, it's about convenience and luxury, but home automation is also about safety and energy efficiency.

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