The NAHB takes a closer look at emerging trends in connected-home technology and potential liability concerns for builders. How do builders make sure they are installed correctly? How do builders satisfy their supervisory obligations?
Home owners and purchasers will no doubt be asking builders more and more about smart homes and devices, and will expect builders to be knowledgeable, Embry said. How builders answer home owners’ questions is a not just an issue of customer relations, but may also carry some legal risk avoidance ramifications as well.
In fact, a builder’s best protection against exposure may be what they are able tell home owners about these devices. One challenge we have with smart homes and the “Internet of Things” (IoT), however, is that there are not yet standards governing these devices. To the extent that there are some standards, they are not necessarily consistent and the law is not well developed.
To truly deliver a smart home to a customer, a builder needs to consider a number of different factors, Love added, including installing a smart home hub and devices such as door locks, light fixtures and appliances that can communicate over the same protocol as the smart home hub.
What are some of the risks associated with smart home devices?
Some of these risks are presented by the hardware — the device itself, Embry explains. Some are presented by the software that runs them. And some are presented by the massive amounts of data generated and collected. So there are several concerns:
The best answer to all of these risks and unknowns related to smart home technologies, Embry and Love agree, is to have a good knowledge of the products you are installing, choose the products wisely, and diligently inform and educate your home buyers.
This article is originally published by NAHB and has been edited for formatting purposes. You can read the full article here
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