Building a new house in Palo Alto

Building a new house in Palo Alto

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monitoring our construction site with TechCam Live Video Streaming (+bonus time lapse video!)

I have a confession to make. When we were building our house in Green Acres, we had a sign like this posted at our construction site:

But we didn't actually have any cameras set up, much less 24 hour video surveillance.  I posted the sign hoping to deter any would-be hoodlums and thieves who weren't smart enough to see through my bluff. In reality our only surveillance system was Trudy, our 83 year old neighbor across the street.

This time around HomeCrunch has gone high-tech with We now have the sign *and* the cameras. In addition to protecting our property, I dig the fact that I can work from home and check out the progress from my living room, kitchen or even the nursery during those middle of the night feedings thanks to the night-vision cameras. I can even walk over to Trudy's house and show her the live stream on my mobile phone. I love love love it. Pretty sure I'm the first person to build a house in her PJs.

You may have noticed I've been woefully bad about blogging lately, so if you ever want to see where we are in the construction process, just check out our live stream at:
Woohoo night vision! Perfect for sleep-deprived moms.
If you're tech savvy and have the time, you can set up a live stream yourself but ours was done by an awesome startup called TechCam. We have two cameras at different vantage points, both equipped with infrared night vision. In my opinion this is well worth outsourcing since one of the cameras is dangerously high up in a tree and also because they do all the troubleshooting...from fixing the wires every time the construction crews accidentally cut them (this has happened way too many times), to making sure it works on Android, iPhones, iPads, and all of our computers and gadgets.
Construction site theft is a big hairy problem. (Photo courtesy of James Witt & his epic Thailand vacation).
Construction site theft is a big, expensive problem for contractors and home owners. James Witt and I are happy we have the TechCam crew to help us combat it and keep an eye on the job when we can't be there. In fact, James just took his first vacation in too many years and was able to see what we were up to all the way from Thailand.

One last bonus feature from TechCam is their time lapse video service. They created this extended version of our deconstruction just for kicks. It may seem a little long but believe me, it's pure magic if you need to distract a crying baby. I can't wait for the time lapse of the house being built. Check it out:

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