If you’ve seen one nice home you’ve seen them all, right? Hardly. Technology is advancing quickly, and along with it the systems and fixtures in luxury homes. What you’re accustomed to inspecting might bear some resemblance to what you’ll find in a high-end property. But some of it might leave you scratching your head.
If you’re ready to up your game and branch out into offering inspections on custom homes, you could gain a new niche of clients. Understanding the difference between a Nest and Honeywell might be a real selling point. But you’ll have to learn about those features first.
Here are just a few features that are trending in custom homes lately.
Programmable On-Demand Showers
You know how to set a water heater, whether it’s gas or electric, and probably even the on-demand models that are growing in popularity. But there’s a feature for bathrooms that makes custom showers a whole lot nicer.
Programmable showers allow independent settings for water pressure, temperature, spray type, and each person in the family can have a different setting. According to HouseLogic, these gadgets even adjust automatically as the water heater gets low so the temperature stays constant. Introduced about 6 years ago,
Moen makes a popular model now called the ioDigital, and Kohler has their DTV model. Expect other programmable shower technology to come along in the near future.
Smart Thermostats Work Efficiently
Programmable thermostats revolutionized the way that homeowners regulate heated and cooled air. And smart thermostats are revolutionizing the industry again. These are programmable models that do more – a lot more.
A smart thermostat begins as a programmable model, but soon after starts learning things about the house and its occupants that help it reduce energy consumption without compromising comfort. It learns things like when the house is occupied and when it’s not, and usual bedtimes. It raises and lowers the temperature automatically based on what it learns.
The model that’s getting the most press these days is the Nest learning thermostat. But ecobee and Honeywell have thrown their hats into the ring.
Specialty Appliances Play Hide-and-Seek
If you walk into a kitchen that looks well appointed except for one glaring omission, it might not be missing a thing. A big trend in custom homes is hidden or disguised appliances. And you might find them anywhere.
Refrigerators are one of the most common camouflaged appliances. Some are in separate components and tucked away where base cabinet drawers might have been. Pull out a drawer that looks like it might house table linens or silverware, and Better Homes and Gardens says you might find a freezer, drink cooler, vegetable drawer or wine chiller.
Dishwashers are getting the hidden treatment, and so are ice makers. But one appliance that appears to keep a more traditional aesthetic is the range.
Wiring Upgrades Handle New Technology
The age of digital technology isn’t on its way, it’s here to stay. And while it’s still possible to plug in electronic devices using any ordinary outlet, why would you when there are so many options for getting messy cables completely out of sight?
You’re probably accustomed to finding electrical outlets in the usual places. Within 6 feet of a doorway and spaced along each wall is common. But what about an outlet inside a cupboard where a digital device docking station might be? Electrical wiring is changing with the times, and you might find that the normal array of outlets is only the beginning.
In most cases, you aren’t required to test or inspect specialty devices such as security alarms, home intercom systems, and other accessories. But as advancing technology in the home becomes more common, home buyers will invariably have new standards for what they expect from an inspection.
Learning what’s new and what’s on its way can only help improve your home inspection business. While the other guys explain that they have no experience with a smart thermostat or a fridge that’s installed in separate components throughout the kitchen, you can move ahead and inspect the most technologically advanced custom homes and gain a brand new corner of your market.
Still just thinking about enrolling with ICA School to earn your home inspecting certification? Get a free course demo today and see what makes our program so much different.