The Blog

Uncommon Upgrades to Florida Keys Homes

January 30, 2014 Florida Keys Lifestyle

Homeowners are constantly renovating and upgrading their homes – and even the proud new owner of a 'turn key' Florida Keys home is likely to want to make changes to suit their own lifestyle. These upgrades can make living more convenient and can even increase the value of the home. There are many common home upgrades that homeowners gravitate towards. This can include something as simple as investing in green home appliances. Other upgrades, such as building an addition into the home or removing walls for a more open home design, may be more complicated and costly and expensive, but are still common. Although there is nothing wrong with these common home upgrades, some homeowners are choosing to take a more unique and uncommon approach to upgrading their homes.

Entertainment Upgrades

In this age of electronics and entertainment choices, homeowners are choosing to make some uncommon entertainment home upgrades. One such upgrade that is still uncommon is a hidden, wall-mounted TV. Since larger TVs take up a lot of space, sometimes homeowners don't want to compromise their style and décor for a black screen. So many homeowners now choose to throw compromise out the window in order to get the best of both worlds. This entertainment home upgrade allows homeowners to hide unsightly TVs behind features such as mirrors, artwork and wall panels.

High-Tech Upgrades

There are many high-tech upgrades you can make in your home, but the most convenient is home automation. Due to the newness of this technology, most homes do not include home automation upgrades. This upgrade allows homeowners to control the functions of their homes from anywhere. Home automation systems can even allow a homeowner to control lights, electronics and even door locks from remote locations. This can increase a home’s safety and is much more convenient for homeowners to use.

Florida Keys stilt home with icons for automation

Not only are these high-tech upgrades can be very convenient for homeowners, they also have the added benefit of being eco-friendly – a feature that is important everywhere and not just in Florida Keys homes. High-tech upgrades can now allow homeowners to control functions such as energy consumption. Homeowners can use this upgrade to check current energy consumption, increasing awareness on which electronics and rooms are using the most energy. Homeowners can then take steps to decrease the amount of energy consumption, helping them save money and decrease any environmental impact.

Safety Upgrades

Another home upgrade that is not yet common includes assisted living technology. This technology is still a new concept, which means not many homeowners have had a chance to upgrade homes to include this feature. This high-tech upgrade allows elderly homeowners to live independently without compromising their safety. The upgrade implements sensors that allow caregivers and medical experts to check in on the homeowner. Pressure-sensing flooring allows remote caregivers to know if the homeowner has fallen and other sensors can allow doctors to check if the homeowner has missed a dose of medicine. Although this is still an uncommon upgrade, it might become more and more common as aging homeowners become aware of the benefits.

Considerations for Uncommon Home Upgrades

Since many home contractors are unfamiliar with these uncommon home upgrades, it’s important to speak with a professional who will know how to implement these upgrades safely. An experienced architect can assess the structural needs for any of these upgrades and inform the homeowner on what is needed to get the job done right. For example, a hidden, wall-mounted TV might need more structural support to prevent the TV from falling and being ruined. An expert’s advice is always a good idea, anytime a homeowner is considering any upgrade.

Patrick Hubbell, AIA is the Founding Principal and owner at Summit Studio Architects. He founded Summit Studio in 1993 on the premise that Summit Studio would create truly innovative mountain homes meeting the unique needs of his clients. Pat has demonstrated an adept ability to express mountain architecture. Although continuing to be inspired by mountain architecture, he has also successfully expanded his practice and design vocabulary to meet the many needs of the surrounding regions in Colorado.

Graphic adapted from Denis P of