Big Screen Homes – Are They Worth It?

There are few home luxuries that are more indulgent than a bespoke cinema. 


Or an automation system, with all the bells and buttons, that takes care of everything from music and mood lighting, to irrigation and remote security checks – right through to your viewing status on Instagram. But are they worth their pound in pixels, when it comes to your overall property value?  

Our host, Nadia Hearn welcomes the founder and pioneering lifestyle designer of BNC Technology, Nick Caripis to the show. 

There is much to be said in South Africa, particularly, about star quality homes that include entertainment extravagance. Recent property market figures listed 10 of South Africa’s most expensive homes to have included multiple forms of entertainment hubs.

Aside from the proverbial “comes with a sea view, 7 garages and built in gymnasium” – property aficionados are listing private cinemas, rising bars and remote controlled security from anywhere in the world, as the precursors to a hefty price tag.

One such residence in Houghton Johannesburg listed at R110 000 000 in 2017, featuring its own private dance club, while a mansion in Clifton took the podium at R150 000 000, with its additional features of elevator access to all floors, a cinema room, a gym AND fully automated curtains and blinds (and that was only second place on the Property Top 10).       

While the value positioning of entertainment-clad homes is showing rising results, there are considerations to be made when you’re thinking about going the home cinema or automation route.

These are THREE of the most important:


  • Home Backstory: Every home has a back story: when it was built and how it was built. Building techniques change exponentially through the ages, so it’s important to note that while just about any home can benefit from automation, the same can’t be said about a cinema setup. The character of many older-style homes may not lend itself to a crafted space that packs the latest in audio visual technology. Conversely, a modern penthouse apartment is a great location to install a cinema. With the correct acoustic treatment, proximity to the neighbours isn’t an issue, and will ensure a sonically isolated space to enjoy your favourite flick.
  • Home Buyer: This is a “start with the end goal in mind” approach. Even if you install your absolute dream cinema and automation setup, at some point, you’ll possibly move on from your home. When it appears on the market, those two features could be a deal breaker: a comparable home without them may lose the sale. Beyond a certain price point – around the R7m entry mark – many home buyers expect some basic automation at the very least, particularly for security.   
  • Future Proof it! : Technology is an unstoppable wave – its part of the reason we love it! While it means the world’s home technology is constantly improving, it also means that obsolescence can be a short-term reality. The solution isn’t to swap out your equipment every six months! Firstly, build for the future – as far as possible, make sure your design accommodates a consideration for more equipment, and the required cabling and connections. The second point is to find a balance between what you need and what’s reasonably near the front of the technology field. When your home is sold, it’s sold with the home tech as fixtures.  


So is it worth the investment? Oh yes, yes and yes again! These high-end bursts of fanciful joy are worthwhile resale investments without question – and no, you can’t take them with you, so don’t get too attached.    

Despite the massive appreciation value and consumer allure that comes with a fully automated space, the reality of actually experiencing your newly built home in its 4k (almost 8k) reality is way more exhilarating than any “Sold” sign – we think.  Hell, you may never want to leave.  

Chat with a BNC Technology designer for a smart home consult.

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