Automate a Multi-Million-Dollar, 19,000-square-foot Home

Home systems professionals walk us through the steps.


Anyone who’s ever built a home can attest that it usually takes a lot longer than expected to complete. When you throw a full-blown automation system into the mix, the timeline can extend even longer. That’s not a bad thing, when you consider all the conveniences an automation system affords, particularly in home as super-sized as the one we’re featuring here.

When this beast is finished in another two years it’ll measure almost 19,000 square feet. That’s a lot of ground to cover when you’re ready to turn off the lights and lock up the door before bedtime, for instance. Realizing this, the owners of the under-construction custom home contacted the custom electronics (CE) pros at nearby Bliss Home Theaters and Automation, Westlake, Calif.,to install a Crestron home automation system.
One of the first steps a CE pro takes when automating a home is to run all of the necessary low-voltage cabling that will pass audio, video and control signals to equipment inside and outside the finished home. More than 30 miles of it was fished to every nook and cranny of this house as it was being framed. This cabling will eventually be connected to components, such as in-wall speakers, keypads, 32 TVs, thermostats, pool and spa equipment, motorized drapery tracks and more. In total, Bliss will install more than $1.5 million in electronic equipment alone.

Some of the more “usual” components the wiring will enable the Crestron home automation system to manage and control will include a wine cellar, robots, telescope and a motorized door leading into a Star Wars themed home theater. Bliss founder and CEO Robert Bliss, Jr., elaborates on the control of the planned observation tower’s telescope: “Based on parameters programmed into the Crestron system, the telescope will position itself to the correct galaxy as chosen by the homeowners on their Crestron touchpanel.”

Already three years into the project, Bliss and his crew have been involved in numerous design meetings with the architect, interior designer and countless other contractors. Now that prewire is complete, Bliss will move onto the next phase: trim, which involves installing speakers, keypads and anything else that goes into the walls and ceilings.

General Contractors: Smith Bros. Inc., G.C., Westlake Village, Calif.

The following slideshow documents what’s been happening so far:


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