A few months ago, we found out we had been selected for assistance to build a house. In about two years from now, we should be moving in. That means for now, Bubba is no longer on the road, and won’t be, at least full-time, unless something really strange or awful happens. That also means that we’ll be updating a lot again as the build goes along with decisions we make, things we can do, and things we will need to buy to get everything up and running as we need.
We haven’t picked out our lot yet, nor have we settled on a layout other than it being a two bedroom/two bath. We have a few things to choose about our house and some decisions to make as they are brought up to us, but for now, its sit back and wait for things to happen. We should be picking a lot soon and knowing things like size and direction, and most importantly, where. That will determine something’s about the build, like size of garage, and even what kind of build it is, whether concrete block or wood framing. Since we live in Florida, that kind of thing is very important.
I also do not know yet, if we can add things like Ethernet to the house. Since we’ll be “smart”-ing the house up, Ethernet would be nice as much as possible, as well as extra electric in some areas for things like smart lights or cameras. I prefer Ethernet for desktops and streaming devices, so I’d like to run it from a central area with power for the modem and router, wherever the internet provider happens to bring cable in from the outside. Then the router, which I’ve been using Eero routers from Amazon for now.
I had wanted to use an Ubiquiti Dream Router, but despite my best efforts, I cannot seem to get HomeKit devices to work reliably. They work for awhile, but then just stop working. I’m not sure what the issue is exactly yet. Something with the difference between 2.4ghz and 5Ghz networks or the mDNS, or who knows. Posting on Ubiquiti’s site has proven fruitless. It seems to work fine with Google Home and Amazon’s smart home technologies, but for some reason HomeKit just has issues with it. If they can get that fixed, I’ll transition over to that since it offers much more control and monitoring than Eero devices, but at this point, for HomeKit at least, I cannot recommend it.
Once we have Ethernet run from the “Network Closet” (which may be a shelf above the washer and dryer, or in the bottom of the linen closet, or stashed somewhere else random), we’ll be able to fit in as much as we can. I want the NAS in there, which we have a Synology two disk system. It has worked well for about two years now, but it is in the living room inside the entertainment center, so we can hear the disks clicking away sometimes. I’d like silence. That will be connected to the network over Ethernet and probably just run hidden away on its own.
We are hoping we can have a den since we may homeschool our son and he’ll need space to do his work, but we also need somewhere for me to have my desktop. Right now I just have an older Acer Windows 11 desktop, but I want to replace it either with a Mac mini with M2 Pro, or a Mac Studio with M2 Max. By the time we get around to having the funds for a new computer though, it’ll probably be an M3 chip anyway.
I also have two 24” HP monitors, which whole only 1080p, but haven’t seen a need for a 4K TV yet, let alone a 4K monitor. That takes up a lot of space, and I really don’t want it in the living room or our bedroom.
We also have things like printers, a print server, more mesh routers, that all should be connected to Ethernet for ease of maintenance. The more of that we can connect with cable, the better.
If, and its a big “if”, we can run that cable before the drywall is up and they let us to some of the work ourselves, I’ll be happy. I don’t know if the general contractor will allow it or not though, but I at least have a brother with skill in running cable after walls are up. It’s not impossible to do it that way, but it sure is easier to do it ahead of time.
For now, that’s it. We’ll be volunteering to build up our hours and hopefully our house is started soon.