March 03, 2011
| by Lisa Montgomery
In your next home you’ll do things differently. No matter how perfect your thought the layout, size and design of your house was when you first bought it, after a month or two you discover parts of your pad that don’t really work. Minneapolis-based custom homebuilder Rocky DiGiacomo hopes to minimize buyer’s remorse—at least when in comes to the electronic functionality of a home. He’s vowed to prewire every home he builds with a backbone to support a full-featured automation system from Elan Home Systems.
Why automation and why the Elan g! system? DiGiacomo says it was Elan’s powerful iPhone app that drew him to the g! system. “You’re already using these devices for other tasks; why not use it to also control your home? It’s a smart and sexy offering that our clients really seem embrace.”
A $1.3 million spec home built by DiGiacomo Homes and Renovation (http://www.designbuildmn.com) was designed to showcase some of the iPhone-based control capabilities of the g! system to prospective customers. Functions featured include the distribution of audio and video from a single rack of equipment to nine rooms, control over the home’s thermostats via an iPhone and surveillance cameras. “People really seem to get excited the about the A/V system,” says DiGiacomo. “They like the idea of being able to operate their entertainment system from the phone they’re carrying in their pocket instead of from a complicated remote.”
DiGiacomo has contracted local custom electronics (CE) installation firm J.J. Vanderson & Co. (http://www.jjvanderson.com) to handle the prewire and installation of the g! system. A 15-year dealer of Elan products, owner Jay Vandermyde is confident the prewire will help DiGiacomo sell homes. “The system is easy to demo, easy to install and maintain, which limits or eliminates service calls.”
With the exception of the spec home, no DiGiacomo homes have been prewired—yet. DiGiacomo builds about four custom homes a year in the Twin Cities area, with prices ranging from $900,000 to $2 million.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.