We take you inside three of the smartest homes in America to show you what theyve done and how they did it. We also give you DIY tips and product recommendations for creating your own high-tech habitat.
Our high-tech home search uncovered some real surprises, including a fully automated vacation home in Florida, the stunning home theaters of Mark and Will Adkins in North Carolina, and a cozy well-appointed penthouse in Manhattan.
On a quiet cul-de-sac north of Charlotte, North Carolina, overlooking Lake Norman, real estate developer Mark Adkins lives in a palatial mansion with a decidedly Southern flavor. Measuring over 12,000 square feet and including a full home-theater screening room, this teched-out castle is fit for a digital king.
Marks next-door neighbor has a similarly high-tech home. That neighbor just happens to be his business partner and twin brother, Will.
A few weeks after construction began on Marks home, he enlisted the help of home electronics installer Darren Rembert of Todays Audio/Video. Darren is certified by CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association), a trade organization that oversees electronic installations in high-end homes.
Mark wanted a state-of-the-art entertainment system that would be easy to use. And when Will began construction of his home months later, he had had the luxury of watching from the sidelines as Marks house took shape. When Darren asked Will for his electronic wish list, Will said—only half-jokingly—"I want the same thing, only better!" The twins chose many of the same systems, with future-proof and easily upgradable technology. Each installation took a couple of weeks and cost between $450,000 and $500,000.