House Renovation - Home Automation Considerations? (UK)

Hi all,

My wife and I are just about to get an extension built on our property and as we’re moving out we’re taking the opportunity to have the entire place rewired. I want some advice on what I should do to future proof the property and get myself set up for a more robust home automation solution.

My main thought at the moment are:

  • to get the lights wired up on a 3-wire (with neutral) system with deep boxes to allow me to install smart switches.
  • getting hardwired ethernet next to all the plug sockets.
  • having wires installed to permanently power smart thermostats (probably Nest) in each heating zone.

Can anyone think of anything else I want to add to the list of improvements whilst this is going on? Once we’ve finished the renovations I won’t get an opportunity to add much else in so want to future proof as much as possible now.

On top of that - cheeky final question! What would you recommend as physical switches to use with Philips Hue which leaves them always on?


If you’re having the ceilings down, you could consider recessed motion sensors in key rooms with hard wired power to make them report in more regularly than battery powered sensors (Recessed Z-Wave motion sensor; in-wall installation of MultiSensor 7 and TriSensor • Aeotec)

Regards to the Hue switches - these are my favourite as it gives you the option to access them manually:

I am going through a complete rebuild of my Smart Home at the moment and you can follow along here

Zwave/Zigbee smart switch at the wall with the physical button configured as disabled. You can use the button presses to do something else or automate it with voice/scenes/motion detectors/etc.

Sounds like you’re off to a good start!

I would agree with the blanking plate option. There are a couple of different battery operated switches that you can then put on top, either the Phillips hue dimmer switch or the Devolo/Popp battery operated controller are popular. With the popp devices you can get many different colours and finishes for the cover plate, so they look a little more elegant. This is @adamv 's photo showing some of the options.


You can talk to people who are using these in the following thread:

You might also want to take a look at some of the threads on the “whole house” quick browse list in the project report section in the community – created wiki. Although most of those are from US members, they might give you some additional ideas.

In particular, I recommend adding some in wall sockets high up near the ceiling line in rooms where you might want LED strips, mains powered sensors, or cameras. This just gives you a number of additional options.

I would make the hardwired Ethernet use POE.

Not necessarily automation, but have you considered in-ceiling speakers in key rooms?