Try before you buy with a stay in York smart home

The Loxone control panel in the York Smart Home
The Loxone control panel in the York Smart Home
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A Yorkshire Smart Home specialist has scored an industry first by offering potential clients a “try before you buy” stay in a holiday let in central York.

Potes Smart Homes is offering overnight stays or weekend breaks at the two-bedroom Georgian house on Curzon Terrace, which has been fitted with a Loxone system.

The modernised home now has automated heating, lighting, shading, multi-room audio with ceiling-mounted speakers andan NFC keyless entry system. All features can be controlled using the Loxone app and tablet provided.

The idea came after business founders Christian Potes and Michael Akers carried out market research at the recent Harrogate Homebuilding and Renovation Show.

“We were blown away by the interest across a wide demographic of visitors but we realised that our biggest obstacle was in demonstrating the benefits of smart home living,” says Michael.

“An hour-long presentation in a show house wasn’t enough. Christian was already looking to invest in a rental property and we thought if we could give people the chance to live in a smart home for a night or a weekend, it would make for the ultimate ‘try-before-you buy’ experience and be a first for the UK market.”

Christian Pote spent over ten years doing AV and electrical installation on commercial projects, such as lecture theatres, music venues and luxury cruise liners, before moving into domestic electrical installation.

When he researched and installed a Loxone system in his own home three years ago, he was so impressed by its simplicity and potential benefits that he decided to shift his focus to designing and installing smart homes systems.

He says: “Whether it’s for time-saving, energy-efficiency, security or luxury, smart home systems can benefit everyone and I believe that very soon, fully integrated systems will be a standard feature of all new-build homes.”

The total cost of the Loxone system in Curzon Terrace was £7,000 excluding labour costs. For a retro-fit system, product costs remain the same, however labour costs can be halved and the system fitted with minimum disruption as it does not require major structural or wiring changes to be made.

The Smart lighting in Curzon Terrace includes colour-changing LED spotlights and strips and more traditional pendants, which in all but the bedrooms, automatically come on when a room is occupied and go off when not.

“The first thing guests will notice is that they no longer have to touch a lightswitch, a feature very popular with people we spoke to at the show, who were frustrated at having to constantly scold their kids or partner for leaving lights on,” says Michael.

The Loxone system also includes a music system and automatic curtains and blinds. Radiators and underfloor heating are controlled individually, so rooms are not heated unnecessarily when empty. Blinds close automatically at dusk and open during the day.

The house also features a projector screen for watching films and a TV in the living room.

“As well as showcasing the smart home system for clients, we wanted to make it available for people who have no previous interest in smart homes but wish to stay in a state-of- the-art rental property in York,” says Christian.

*Email smarthomes@potes.co.uk, Book #thesmart27 from £160-180 per night via www.staysyork.com