As a tech company and someone who stays at short-term vacation rentals, this project was right up our alley. We sought to shore up some of our own dislikes and bring some new features to the home as well. And obviously while this project was for an STVR, the concepts and products are applicable to homes and offices.
When Wi-Fi is reliable you don’t even take notice of it. When it’s not, it can be infuriating to say the least. We tackled this issue with three Araknis access points. The property has outstanding coverage not only throughout the home but also every corner of the large backyard.
Sure you’re on vacation and you should be out exploring but in Palm Springs it can occasionally be too hot for that and sometimes you just want to park it on a couch and continue to binge some shows or stream a movie. Nothing takes the wind out of those sails like a tiny TV with horrible audio. To make sure this rental offered best in class we installed four Sony TVs. We mounted 65-inch TVs in the Casita and Master Bedroom while the garage-converted-den and living room feature 75-inch TVs.
There are Apple TVs connected to each TV so guests can easily access their own streaming services. The Apple TVs are also enrolled in Mobile Device Management so they can be remotely managed. This makes it easy to reset them periodically and then have them automatically reinstall the desired apps.
What are beautiful TVs that don’t have the audio to match? A disappointment. So to let no guests down each TV has a Sonos Arc sound bar. The den also has a Sonos Sub while the living room has a Sonos Sub and Sonos Ones for surround. There are also two more Sonos Ones in the kitchen to really fill the open floor plan with amazing sound.
Outdoor music isn’t allowed at short-term vacation rentals in Palm Springs. But owners and their friends and family can. In the yard we installed a Sonance Garden Series. With it’s eight speakers and subwoofer it can easily fill open spaces up to 3500 square feet. And unlike speakers hung from eves that aim at the neighbors, this system faces into the yard and not at the neighbors. Music comes from a Sonos Port so that all speakers can play the same audio or you can play different audio in each room.
To prevent unapproved guests from using the outside speakers we installed a WattBox. With it’s remotely controlled outlets both the Sonance amp and the Sonos Port can be powered off. The WattBox also gives the management company the ability to remotely reboot various devices, like the Frontier FiOS or Araknis access points.
Safety and Convenience…
To keep an eye on things when the property is vacant, a Ring Video Doorbell was an obvious choice. Two more Ring Spotlight Cams keep track of motion on the sides of the property facing the street. There are contact sensors throughout the home and they are tied in to a Ring Alarm with 24/7 monitoring while the property is vacant.
We used Lutron smart dimmers on several lighting loads. This enabled us to schedule the entry lights to come on at sunset and turn off at sunrise. It also features Smart Away which turns lights in the house on and off at random to give it an occupied appearance when vacant.
So that the house is the proper temperature when guests arrive we specified ecobee3 lite. Not only can you adjust the heating and cooling remotely it’s protected by a pin so guests can’t override the temperature setpoint. It also works with door and window sensors to pause the HVAC system if they are left open for too long. While we don’t sell Sensibo it’s a great product that works with just about any mini split on the planet. This gives the management company control over the units for the casita and den. The den has the electronics closet so it is configured to cool to 84 if the temperature exceeds 85. This saves money by not having to have it always on and also protects the equipment.
The equipment is further kept safe with a Yale Smart Cabinet Lock. Should a technician need access, it can be unlocked remotely or they can be granted temporary or permanent access. There are also Yale Smart Locks leading from the den to the interior of the home as well as securing the owners’ closet.
With Liftmaster MyQ connected garage door that can be opened and closed remotely. This is particularly handy for various contractors who need access to the home and preferred that everyone doesn’t have a lock box code.
Lastly it not only get very hot in the summer, it can get pretty windy year round. A Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller takes care of this. It automatically adjusts watering durations based on the weather forecast. It can also skip a watering if it’s too windy. The landscaper can also be given access so they can make changes as they see fit.
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