DIY smart home: Why I’m skipping ‘smart’ kitchen appliances

Do I need a refrigerator to talk to me?

My parents are renovating their home and I started a multi-part DIY smart home series to document the process. One of the first decisions they had to make was what devices would fill the room and whether those devices should be “smart”.

Over the past few years, more and more of the best refrigerators, best electric stoves and best dishwashers have come with smart features that you can use to control them from your phone or with a smart assistant like Alexa or Google Assistant. We are guaranteed to see even more debuts this week at KBIS, the trade fair for the kitchen and bathroom industry. You can already look up recipes on your fridge’s display, plan a menu for the week and then send pre-heating instructions to your smart oven.

As I read the early KBIS press releases, which officially begin on February 9th, I wondered if it was worth investing in smart devices similar to the ones being featured. Are we just a few years away from everyone who has a tablet refrigerator that pumps out spherical ice cubes? More importantly, will owning an app controlled stove improve the quality of life in our home?

Since my father does most of the contract work, equipment is the largest consolidated cost of the project. Our budget for the ballpark is $ 5,000, which unfortunately puts the LG Instaview with Craft Ice for $ 4,445 out of reach. Some of Samsung’s Family Hubs are cheaper, but I’m not sold on refrigerators that require software updates. For busy households with different schedules and dietary needs, a device that reminds you to pick up carpools and recommends shopping lists can be useful. But my parents are essentially empty nests that grill outside as long as the temperature is above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smart devices will have their time, but their time in the Kozuch household isn’t coming soon. According to a smart device analyst via Statista, “As a first step, customers buy cheaper smart devices such as smart coffee machines or vacuum robots, while people who already own products from other segments tend to buy larger, more expensive products [smart] Devices such as refrigerators. ”

Despite my experience with smart home devices, my own family house is currently as dumb as possible. I think my parents need to familiarize themselves with the smart locks and smart switches we’ll be installing soon before stepping onto a refrigerator with cameras inside. I also think that smart appliances will take a few more years to become more budget friendly than smaller smart home devices. That could happen sooner rather than later: Samsung now has WiFi and voice-controlled range that starts at $ 999.

Perhaps one day we will and can afford something like GE’s new Monogram Range, a brass-capped Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled beauty that starts at $ 13,500. The configurable hob benefits from a precise cooking TrueTemp burner that maintains a certain temperature over a longer period of time via a companion app.

I was also able to see the benefit of LG’s latest InstaView refrigerator, which can open its doors with voice commands. In addition to a microphone, the refrigerator has a loudspeaker and a UV light in the water dispenser, which according to LG can kill up to 99.99% of bacteria. The company hasn’t announced pricing yet, but we don’t expect it to be cheap.

After visiting every PC from Richard and Son, Lowes, and Home Depot on Long Island, we ended up on a 30-inch hot tub model with French doors, a freezer drawer, a water dispenser, and an ice maker. It’s not smart, but it costs a reasonable $ 2,000. As for the range, microwave and dishwasher, Frigidaire has a suite that looks great in the showrooms and keeps us on budget.

You might ask, “Kate, isn’t this a DIY smart home series?” Yes, I know it doesn’t seem to be Jetsons certified yet, but we’ll be there soon, I promise. Also, I don’t let Smarts out of the first step of the renovation process entirely. This $ 300 motion-controlled Moen faucet is the perfect support wheel for the rest of the automation that is arriving at our home in the coming weeks. As I mentioned earlier, we love barbecuing, so it’s important to keep the sink as clean as possible so that it doesn’t get contaminated with undercooked meat. A simple wave of the hand turns the water on and off – I think Jane had something like that in her kitchen, right?

Do you have any questions about the DIY Smart Home? Email me at [email protected] or leave a comment below with everything you want me to do, whether it’s a guide or a difficult purchase decision to make. Also, check out my guides on the best smart home devices (and the best cheap smart home devices).

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