With simple tools found in most homeowners’ toolboxes, installing a do-it-yourself (DIY) security system is a fairly easy weekend project. Learn about the features and the pros and cons of a DIY system versus a professionally installed and monitored system before you make a decision. Home safety is your priority, so you want the best system for your home.
The Price Incentive
You can spend more than $2,000 for a professionally installed home security system. A service such as SecurityCompanies can help you find and compare a number of expert security companies to work with. DIY systems can reduce that cost to almost half, and a quick Google search will reveal plenty of deals on these types of systems.
A DIY wireless system doesn’t require any special tools. Most of the components will need access to a power outlet, your home network and perhaps a computer to control the system. You can create a DIY security system by purchasing individual components or a package. You can start with a few basic security elements, such as sensors on windows and doors, and add features as your budget allows.
Time Is on Your Side
You can put together a home system in a few days. A basic home security system can be installed and up and running in an afternoon. Make sure you weigh that against the amount of time you will spend maintaining it. A professionally installed system might take an afternoon to do, and from then on, the security company does the monitoring.
Your DIY system may not have all of the self-test and diagnostic capabilities of the professional systems. That means you will have to spend time checking the components regularly and fixing or replacing them as needed. Many homeowners who are DIY-ers like to tinker with their handiwork. Just remember it will have an impact on your time.
Most home security services require you to sign a year or more contract to monitor and maintain your system. There are often high fees for terminating these contracts early. Since you are in charge of a DIY system, you won’t have this expense.
Monitoring or Not
What you won’t have with your DIY system is a company that monitors it for you, calls emergency resources should an alarm get triggered and maintains the system integrity. You can find services that may do some of the monitoring, but few will do that unless you purchase and install their equipment.
One DIY option is to build a motion-sensing device that will send you a text message whenever movement is detected. But, until you have your system fine-tuned, you may be responding to false alarms for a few weeks.
If you install security cameras, you’ll have to decide how to monitor them. You may have to set up your own motion sensor triggers to start recording if activity is detected around the cameras.
DIY or Not?
For those who can’t afford a professional system and like to be engaged with their home and home projects, a DIY system may be ideal. There is some prove out there a DIY project could be effective. For others, a call to a professional security system company may be in order.
Which do you prefer:
- a DIY or
- professionally installed security system?
Tell us in the comments.