Getting started! Why and How?

About four years ago me and my partner bought an old farm house, with the intention of making it into our home one day. So far progress has been slow, mainly because we live in Australia and our house is on the other side of the globe, in Estonia. A tiny country in the north east corner of Europe. As years go by, longing for home has grown and we are soon making our way back. And so also begins our journey of building our home.

But what do we expect from our new home. Is there something that we cannot do without, and is there something that we absolutely don’t want.

“Our home is going to be a smart home. Somewhere my whole family can be comfortable and safe”

As I am not too interested in interior design and as any man in a relationship, when it comes to decisions about home decoration, my vote carries less than my partners.

There is one thing I am adamant though. Our home is going to be a smart home. Somewhere my whole family can be comfortable and safe, with also low running costs and initial build budget that doesn’t put us into debt. So when doing more research about smart systems a few things really stand out. Either I could buy a system that does what I want and possibly pay tens of thousands, or get something that is lacking in one way or the other and still pay a good few thousand for the system. But why not have both? A system that does what I want and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. That’s where the idea of putting together my own system was born.


After doing countless hours of research, reading thousands (not joking!) of posts in forums I’ve decided the principle layout of the system.

The hub of the automation is going to be an open source program called openHAB (open Home Automation Bus). From there various nodes, each performing their own task, report back to openHAB, from where further action is taken, if needed.

If you’re thinking that it all sounds very complicated then you shouldn’t need to worry. I myself don’t have any programming or electronics background other that tinkering at home. As a day job I’m a metal fabricator and welder. I’ve worked in farms as a tractor driver and really never held a job where I’d have to do anything more with computers than send a few emails and use Word/Excel. But I am passionate about the project, eager to learn new things and can’t wait to tackle each obstacle that might come with building a real smart home!

So, without further ado, lets go!