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Have you ever thought about how cool it would be to have your very own smart home?

You could unlock the front door with your smartphone, the lights would turn on as they sensed you walking in, and curtains and blinds would open and close automatically based on your routine. The possibilities are endless.

Unfortunately, the cost of buying all of these gizmos and gadgets can quickly add up.

Surely there’s a cheaper way? With a little ingenuity and some stellar step-by-step guides, you too can start to transform your house into a smart home. 

To give you a hand, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite DiY guides that help you do just this.

These hand-picked guides will teach you to wire up your home and add everything from RFID Smart Locks to a Voice Enabled Coffee Maker. 

Let’s get cracking…

RFID Smart Lock

opening smart lock

Getting into bed and not being able to remember if I locked the front door has to be one of my greatest annoyances.

I’m not the only one who hates having to drag myself out from beneath the blankets to put my mind at ease, right?

This how-to guide steps you through the process of making your very own smart lock, making use of a few relatively cheap components including RFID and Arduino.

It also shows you how to test circuits to control access, build an LED readout to monitor the system, and add a solenoid to act as a lock. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can pair it with a DiY alarm and security system.

Bed Presence In-Home Assistant

How many times have you gotten up at night to grab a glass of water or use the bathroom, and end up stubbing your toe on the end of the bed? Or walking into a wall? I’m definitely not speaking from experience here…

The good news is, I’m here to share a guide that combines technology with the power of load cells to create a smart bed presence detection system that could be your saving grace in the dark, seemingly dangerous dead of night.

Written by Self Hosted Home, this guide covers everything from how to create a weight sensor, setting up the relevant schematics, and how to prototype both hardware and software.

The end result is your very own system that automatically detects an event – such as you getting out of bed – and triggers a response, such as turning on soft lighting, so you will never again have to locate the light switch in the dark.

Voice Enabled Coffee Maker

Connecting coffee machine with smart phone

There’s nothing I enjoy more than my morning coffee.

The process of making it? Not so much. Thankfully Hackster have a great guide on turning your coffee machine into a smartphone, voice enabled coffee making powerhouse.

With just a little soldering and a Raspberry Pi 2, you can convert your standard coffee maker into a voice activated one using schematics and code.

Once you’re finished, you’ll be able to use basic voice commands such as “Start Coffee”, “Make Coffee”, “Stop”, and “Turn Off”. If that’s not cool (or hot?) I’m not sure what is!

Smart Curtain Control System

Assuming we open and close our curtains every day, this means we complete this daily task some 730+ times a year?! That’s a whole lot of curtain opening and closing that we don’t actually need to be doing.

At least, not anymore. Electro Maker’s guide helps you add an Alexa powered curtain control system that allows you to add this mundane daily ritual to an automated, daily routine all with a little ingenuity and a touch of code. 

Smart Garage Door Opener 

smart garage opener

I can’t be the only one that’s paranoid about security. Installing a smart garage door opener that allows me to control the garage door from wherever I am (when I say control, I mean check if I closed it that morning) really tickles my fancy.

This fantastic guide teaches you how to turn your standard garage into one you can control with your smartphone.

You’ll be able to install, code, and use your very own smart garage remotely with your smartphone and even know how to repair your garage door if something goes wrong.

Smart Thermostat

Whether you want to control the temperature of your house while you’re stuck at work, monitor the temperature and humidity throughout the year, or just impress your friends, this DiY smart thermostat is a sure way to add a techy edge to your home.

This guide from Instructables is super easy to follow, taking you through the steps required to create a cheap, web-connected thermostat, including how it works, how to wire the sensor to the relay chip, as well as code the software.

With the power of WiFi and this guide, the dream of remotely controlling your thermostat becomes a reality.

Smart Home? Simply Do It Yourself

With this ultimate guide to…well, DiY smart home guides, you can have your home functioning like a smart home for a fraction of the price without having to splurge on the latest technology and gadgets.

Plus, you have the added satisfaction of knowing you’ve done it yourself.