Understanding the Costs of a Home Control System

As smart home technology continues to advance, more homeowners are exploring the benefits of home control systems. These systems offer convenience, security, energy savings, and the ultimate in home automation. However, one of the most common questions we hear from our clients is: “How much does a home control system cost?” In this post, we’ll break down the various factors that influence the cost of a home control system to help you make an informed decision.

  A range of URC control screens and remote controls.

Initial Considerations

Before diving into specific costs, it’s important to understand that home control systems can vary significantly in price based on several key factors:

  • Scope of Automation: The more areas of your home you wish to automate (lighting, security, blinds, entertainment, etc.), the higher the cost. We can do a basic control system with apps for some aspects if you just want that or a full home control system requires a bit more work.
  • Quality of Components: Higher-end components typically offer more features, better reliability, and longer lifespans, but they also come with a higher price tag.
  • Installation Complexity: Homes with complex wiring or those requiring extensive retrofitting may incur higher installation costs.
  • WiFi: For most systems to work, your WiFi needs to be in the best shape so if it’s not, it’s worth getting upgraded. There are various ways we can do this but we can check this by doing a WiFi heat map for you before going ahead with anything. Our Cambium networks WiFi system, offers the very best in networking and control.

Let’s break down the costs into more specific categories.

1. Hardware Costs

The hardware is often the most significant upfront cost in a home control system. This includes:

  • Control Hub: The central unit that controls all the connected devices. Prices range from £500 to £2000, depending on the size required and capabilities. If it’s for a home then the requirements will be different to a commercial enterprise, like a hotel or bar, which will need something that can deal with a much higher number of devices and commands. We tend to use URC for our larger control systems which incorporate every aspect of your home control system. If you’d like to install a couple of aspects like lighting and music, then something like Rithum may be more cost effective.
  • Smart Devices: These include smart lights, thermostats, locks, cameras, and more. Here’s a quick breakdown of average costs:
    • Smart Lights: from a couple of pounds per bulb to more if dimmers etc are required.
    • Smart Thermostats: around £70 for individual radiator control to
    • Smart Locks: Depending upon manufacturer, normally around £2-300 up to £1000 for bespoke finishes. Doorbird are a great option for locks with a great choice of finishes but we use lots of manufacturers.
    • Smart Cameras: £50 to £180 per camera depending upon specification.
  • Sensors and Detectors: These are used for security and environmental monitoring (motion sensors, smoke detectors, etc.). Prices range from £20 to £100 each.

2. Software and Subscriptions

While many home control systems offer basic functionality for free, advanced features often require subscription services. Costs can include:

  • Home Control App: Some security systems require purchasing an app or paying a one-time fee, typically ranging from £10 to £50.
  • Cloud Storage: For storing security footage or data logs.
  • Maintenance: Some systems work better with regular updates and maintenance. The cost of this varies depending upon the size of the system, it may not be required at all but sometimes it’s better to keep your system in tip top condition.

2 x URC screens sitting on a wooden desk switched on with colourful imaging.

3. Installation and Setup

Professional installation can ensure that your home control system is set up correctly and integrates seamlessly with your existing home infrastructure. Costs can vary based on:

  • Installer Rates: Our professional installers charge according to the time required. Travel time may be added if there is a bit of a distance. A basic setup may take 4-8 hours, while more complex systems can take several days.
  • Complexity of Installation: Homes with existing wiring for automation may incur lower installation costs compared to homes requiring significant modifications. If there is good quality network cabling throughout, it usually makes life easier and we can work with it. If we’re starting from scratch or having to install and raggle cables, it can add a bit of time onto the job.
  • Customisation: Tailoring the system to your specific needs, such as custom automation routines, can add to the labour costs. The more complex the settings the longer we’ll be there. It’s difficult to predict this as often people aren’t exactly sure what they want before hand and occasionally a follow up visit will be required once clients have tried a set up as they want to change it after. For example – do you want the lights to come on as you enter your property and music to play? Do you want your blinds to open in the morning to help wake you up? Or maybe you’d like the lights to come on in the drive way as your car approaches the house?

 A home control screen installed on a wall which shows the temperature and various buttons. There is a kitchen table in the background. The buttons indicate car charging, lighting, battery, solar panels and a volume control.

4. Maintenance and Upgrades

Ongoing maintenance is another factor to consider. This includes:

  • Software Updates: Regular updates to ensure your system remains secure and functional. Some systems include this in the subscription fee, while others may charge separately.
  • Hardware Replacement: Over time, some components may need to be replaced due to wear and tear. Budgeting for occasional hardware replacements is prudent. Sometimes companies will come up with a new, fancier model a couple of years down the line in which case, you may want a change.

Total Cost Estimate

Considering all the factors, here’s a rough estimate of the total cost for a basic to advanced home control system:

  • Basic System: £509 to £2,000
    • Includes a control hub, a few smart devices, and a standard installation. You may need to factor in some networking/WiFi costs in this to ensure everything works well.
  • Mid-Range System: £2,000 to £5,000
    • Includes a control hub, several user interfaces professional installation, upgrading your WiFi and upgrading some systems like audio, TV, lighting.
  • Advanced System: £5,000 to £15,000+
    • Includes high-end components, extensive smart devices (eg lighting, heating, blinds, TV and audio), professional installation, customisations, WiFi upgrading (if required) and ongoing subscriptions.

Final Thoughts

Investing in a home control system can provide significant benefits in terms of convenience, security, and energy efficiency. By understanding the various costs involved, you can plan your budget effectively and make choices that best suit your needs and lifestyle.

At Smart House Scotland, we’re committed to helping you navigate this process and find the perfect solution for your home. Contact us today for a personalised consultation and take the first step towards a smarter home.

We hope this breakdown helps clarify the costs associated with home control systems. It can vary wildly depending on what you need or fancy. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our products and services, feel free to get in touch with any questions you may have – we’re always at the end of the phone!