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Is Your Summer Vacation Home Secure?

DoorBird, security cameras, and alarm systems will bring you peace of mind when you’re away from your residence.

Is Your Summer Vacation Home Secure?

A summer vacation home provides the perfect backdrop for relaxation, fun family times, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Of course, one of the caveats of owning a summer home is that they often go unoccupied for months at a time. This puts these types of homes at an increased risk for break-ins, broken windows, and other types of damage from nearby wildlife or storm damage, and perhaps even an unwanted home squatter.

If one's summer home doesn't have the protection offered by a comprehensive security system, homeowners planning to relax and rejuvenate at their summer home may instead spend most of their vacation time cleaning up property damage, along with filling out police reports, etc. Fortunately, this type of scenario can be completely avoided with thoughtful attention to the special security needs of a vacation home.

Security Pitfalls 

Many vacation homes reside alongside other vacation homes, making the overall neighborhood an attractive target for thieves and home squatters. By targeting vacation homes, both of these groups know their unlawful actions are likely to go undetected for months. If a break-in should occur, the thieves will have long since gone on to other neighborhoods, leaving the homeowners to spend their time replacing essential household components, as well mourning the loss of irreplaceable sentimental items. 

Other problems that could arise over a long span of time are issues resulting from storm damage or property damage from wildlife. A shattered window or skylight as a result of a broken tree limb could cause major damage to both a home's exterior and interior. Even something as seemingly benign as a squirrel can find its way into a home and cause major damage in their desperate attempt to find their way out of the home.

Planning for Security Issues

Here at Echo Workshop, we take pride in working with our clients to develop a comprehensive security package to protect their valuable vacation homes. We know that peace of mind for homeowners and protection of personal property are the utmost priorities for any security system. Our security packages are designed to encompass a home's exterior as well as the interior. They include critical features such as strategically-placed security cameras, a comprehensive alarm system, and other thoughtful features such as lighting and window shades that can be programmed to make it appear as if residents are home. 

Start at the Beginning - The Entryway

One of the foundational components found within our comprehensive security package is the DoorBird entry system. The DoorBird is a video door intercom and video doorbell system. Its usefulness quickly becomes evident whether homeowners are away, or simply in their backyard enjoying relaxation time with family and friends. The DoorBird works with both the Android and iOS operating systems, allowing homeowners to answer the doorbell of their vacation home whether they are halfway across the globe, or spending some downtime in the backyard pool. 

The DoorBird is thoughtfully designed and houses both security components and features of convenience as well. Package delivery becomes a breeze by simply using the DoorBird app to open up the garage door, then remotely communicating to the parcel deliverer to leave the packages inside the garage. It's also convenient to know exactly who rang the doorbell before you open the door. Simply view the person(s) by way of the DoorBird app which monitors the intercom's HD wide-eye hemispheric camera lens.       

Discrete and Effective

We understand our clients want their summer homes to be safe and secure, yet they also want their vacation homes to be a primary hub for enjoyment and leisure time. We take pride in seeking out the latest in discrete, thoughtfully designed security components and can work with both builders and homeowners to create a security system that effectively works in the background for each specific home design. From the initial consultation to maintenance and support, we are ready to be your vacation home's security expert. Contact Echo Workshop today!

Let Your Houston Trufig Source Seamlessly Solve Your Bulky Design Problems

Cultivate a clean, modern look for your living room and kitchen.

Let Your Houston Trufig Source Seamlessly Solve Your Bulky Design Problems

Your home has beautiful design features that you should be able to enjoy and show off, but right now, there are chunky white power outlets getting all the attention instead. Imagine walls that can hide your electronics, camouflage your electrical outlets, and vent refreshing air, without any bulky eyesores. With the help of the Trufig seamless mounting system and your Houston Trufig dealer, your outlets, linear diffusers, and devices will blend right into your walls. You won't have to choose between function and design.

Explore the possibilities that are unlocked when you use Trufig's design solutions to disguise the bulky devices that power your home. 

Your Walls Can Camouflage Power Outlets

Your home has stunning stone countertops, gorgeous accent walls, and smooth marble surfaces. It's time to stop letting power outlets ruin carefully crafted designs. Trufig is like a chameleon that can change its skin color to hide in plain sight. Whatever pattern, design, color, material, or texture your wall has, your power outlets will now be able to replicate its surroundings and blend right into the wall. This design solution is also trimless and flush with the wall, so your power outlets won't stick out or stand out. Now, you can put invisible power outlets anywhere you need them, instead of having to worry about what they will look like in that location. You can now keep your living room and kitchen walls clean and clutter-free.

Your Walls Can Seamlessly Hide Your Electronics

Instead of mounting smart home devices on your wall, put the devices in your wall. Your lighting and smart home controls will be exactly where you need them, without ruining the aesthetic appeal of your space. Control your lights with the touch of a discrete button, and mount an iPad inside your wall for easy, yet unobtrusive, smart home control. The electrical components and wires will stay safely hidden inside your walls. Trufig's mounting system is compatible with many touch screen devices to fit your preferences.

Your Walls Can Keep You Cool

Stay cool and refreshed, without bulky vents and units. With Trufig's mounting technology, even your HVAC grilles and linear diffusers will be fully integrated in your home. The vents and grilles become so hidden that it's almost like your walls can breathe on their own. Imagine HVAC grilles and wall or ceiling linear diffusers that are flush with the wall, match their surroundings, and still function perfectly. Trufig's mounting system for linear diffusers offers a seamless transition between the air opening and wall or ceiling surface. This integrated system helps you breathe clean air, while also keeping your walls clean and streamlined.

Your Walls Can Play Music

If your walls could talk, they would tell great stories about your family and home. You also wouldn't have to look at bulky sound systems and tangled cords. With Trufig's integrated Sonance speaker system, your walls will do more than talk. They will play music. Relax on your couch while peaceful ambient music gently plays, or enjoy a get-together with friends and family with lively music in the background. Enjoy the benefits of background music, without having to look at the obtrusive speaker system that takes up space. Let the speakers blend into your walls with Trufig.

Your Houston Trufig Dealer Can Help

You don't have to compromise anymore. With Trufig's integrated mounting system and design solutions, you can enjoy your home with all of its features, without any bulky electrical outlets or devices.

At Echo Workshop, our team of trained custom electronics specialists provides seamless installation of seamless products. Please contact us to schedule a visit at our Houston showroom, learn more about Trufig products, or ask us any questions. We are here to help.

5 Reasons Why You Need Motorized Shades This Summer

Turn up the comfort and keep down utility costs with help from your Houston Lutron dealer.

5 Reasons Why You Need Motorized Shades This Summer

Smart home technology has become a part parcel of our every day in just about everything we do. Enter Lutron motorized shades; they not only have become the best solutions in the world of smart homes, but they also ensure convenience and safety and help lower your home's utility costs.

Long gone are the days when controlling your shades was a loud and glitchy affair. While every person has different needs and style preferences, it's worth considering Lutron motorized blinds or drapery as your window treatment option for the following reasons;

1. Energy Efficient

Although most home automation systems focus mainly on the convenience of smart technology, you can do more to reduce your overall carbon footprint and monthly energy bills with Lutron motorized shades. With a touch of a button, they can control the amount of sunlight coming into a room for a more energy-efficient surrounding.

Do you know that your AC works twice as hard to create a comfortable indoor climate during the summer's heat? You can create a weather-specific schedule such that your windows remain unobstructed when it's too hot, as your Lutron motorized shades or drapes draw to conserve the energy used for heating and cooling. By so doing, you reduce the amount of heat and temperature in your home while reducing the amount of energy your air conditioning will need to use to create a comfortable atmosphere.

Additionally, you can also create an eco-friendly and perfect ambiance by integrating your home's lighting and Lutron motorized shade system. The lights adjust accordingly to provide electricity, as will the shades when it's time to close at sunset.

2. Convenient and Easily Managed

Unlike non-motorized blinds that you have to manually operate, anyone can use a remote to open and shut Lutron motorized shades. Additionally, manual blinds and shades might be versatile and fit any window; however, the panels or slats are expensive to repair and replace once they are heavily damaged. 

Because Lutron motorized shades are not manually operated, plus they are made to fit your window perfectly, they do not get tangled up, thus creating a clean-looking space.

3. Quiet-motorized

The definition of motorized shades or drapery is a type of window treatment using a quiet motor either through centralized sets of controls, touch panels, or a smartphone and tablet app. Not only are the shades very quiet, but your Houston Lutron dealer may also incorporate external sensors that monitor the sun's position or temperature. Consequently, the shades automatically open or shut all the way at specific times to avoid direct sunlight glares while insulating your home.

4. Customized Styles and Design Fabrics

You can control natural lighting and have a well-lit space with a wide variety of stylish motorized shades and Lutron drapery to match your home's decor. They also come in different sizes, meaning if you have windows out of reach (for example, in a commercial building), you can contact Echo Workshop to custom-make drapery that will fit your specific need. 

5. The Best on the Market

Lutron is considered the most popular and cost-effective motorized sun-blocking and shading window treatment, with a wide variety of fabrics, materials, and design offerings that suit individual preferences. These quiet-motion, battery-powered shades work in perfect unison, thus eliminating unwanted wear and tear from overuse or entanglement.

In conclusion, advantages of having your home installed with energy-efficient motorized drapes include;

  • Customizable, therefore, can be easily integrated with most smart home systems to further automate your home's devices.
  • Readily available from a variety of shade types, hundreds of drapery fabric including textured materials as well as color options.
  • Unlike traditional shades that use cords, Lutron motorized shades and energy-efficient drapes can only be controlled using a smartphone app or remote control.

Installing motorized drapes or shades can make a great impact on your home or commercial building. Contact Echo Workshop today to learn more about how our smart home solutions can help you.

Protect Your Devices This Hurricane Season with Surge Suppression

Be proactive about keeping your home and business safe.

 Protect Your Devices This Hurricane Season with Surge Suppression

Families and businesses are still in the process of rebuilding in Southeast Texas and Louisiana from the devastating hurricane season last year. New homes and businesses are looking for protective solutions before the beginning of the next season in June. When it comes to keeping your Houston home or office safe, it pays to pay attention to energy efficiency and surge suppression. So, Echo Workshop has tips to prevent damages from energy surges.  

What Is an Energy Surge?

Any major storm has the potential to cause damage to buildings, electrical relays, and cable lines. Pole-based lines are the most susceptible to damages caused by major weather, like the 2020 hurricanes. When the electrical wires are damaged, a buildup of power, or a surge, is created and released into the neighboring connected homes and businesses. This can damage any appliances or electronics that remain connected to the energy grid.

Houston experienced a large energy surge with the landfall of Hurricane Laura in August 2020. More than 113 thousand homes and businesses in Southeast Texas were without power. In the days that followed, energy began being restored. This created a new danger for those electronics and equipment still connected to the grid: the surge back to power. As lines were repaired and re-energized, it created an inward surge that continued to have the potential to damage electronics that had not been disconnected.

All this being said, it’s important to note that most surges actually come from within our own homes, not from storms. You can read a detailed explanation about this from our owner here

What Does a Power Surge Do?

Everything from alarm clocks to high-tech computers that are connected to a wall socket has a form of a power converter in it. With the influx of too much power, the tiny transistors and capacitors are unable to handle the load. In essence, it floods the system and burns out the device's ability to transfer power from the electrical grid into the device itself. Devices that are charging when a power surge occurs have a greater risk of exploding the battery, as they can not hold enough power.

What to Do in Inclement Weather

Major storms caused most of the damage that created the energy surges in August 2020. However, all storms have the potential to damage systems. It is not only the storm creating electrical surges that can damage equipment either, but water damage can also occur from flooding and downed trees on homes. How do you protect your important electronics from storms?

To prevent damage from surges, you may read the well-intentioned advice to unplug your devices. However, Echo Workshop does not recommend this to our customers. There are a lot of interconnected systems in what we do and unplugging something can cause a failure in other items. It is safer, and much more effective, to be proactive and include proper surge suppression and surge elimination solutions within your system. This way, you are not running around trying to unplug everything as a storm approaches, and you can ensure that your systems remain properly installed. 

For minor surges, point-of-use surge protectors are available in stores to help reduce the effect of surges on equipment plugged into them. Not all surge protectors are created equal and are easily confused with power strips that only add extra outlets. The packaging on surge protectors shows how many joules the strip will be able to handle on an incoming surge. If it goes higher than the max, the protector will no longer be of use. Check the lights and replace surge protectors regularly to get maximum protection from the devices.

No matter the reason for the power surge, there are ways to prevent damage to your devices. For proper surge suppression, the cost of protecting your equipment is usually less than the repair or replacement of the devices. Let Echo Workshop work with you to set you up with the best and smartest system to protect your home and business.