Home Security – DIY or Professional?
The world can be a dangerous place. You know you need to do everything you can to help keep your home, as well as your family and all of your hard-earned belongings safe from criminal elements that might want to harm you.
Each year, there are roughly two million home burglaries in the United States. This means that every 13 seconds, a home is broken into around the country.
What makes it so easy for the thieves to get into homes? Well, thieves want things to be easy for them – that’s why they are thieves.
Unfortunately, homeowners make it easy. Only 17% of the homes in the country have any type of security system. Thieves know this
Criminals get in through unlocked doors and windows, through the garage, the basement, and sometimes they just burst right through the front door.
Knowing these statistics should make you understand just why having some type of home security in place is a good idea. You then have to determine whether you want to hire the pros so you can get a professional home security system put in place, or whether you want to do it on your own with a DIY kit.
Both are possible, but it’s a good idea to understand the differences so you know exactly what it is you are getting.
What’s the Price Difference for DIY vs. Pro?
When it comes to DIY home security kits, you can find them at a number of different price points. Wireless kits are getting to be more popular. Many are available for under a thousand dollars. Some are even under a couple of hundred dollars.
With the systems installed by the pros, you are going to be paying more. You have to remember that you are not only paying for the cost of the system, but also for the labor to install it.
Often, there are activation costs as well, and you have to factor those into the price of the system. This will naturally push up the price. However, you can often find discounts on installation, and some of the companies occasionally run specials for free installation. Keep an eye out.
If you are not comfortable installing a system on your own, or if you don’t have the time, spending extra for the installation could well be worth the cost.
Something that you should remember with home security systems is that price should never be the only factor that you are considering. You need to think about the way the system works, as well as the quality of the brand.
There are a number of quality companies out there offering wired and wireless systems for DIY, as well as for professional installation, such as GE and ADT. Make sure you read up on the company and understand all of the features that will come with the system that you choose.
What About a Warranty?
It might be possible to save some money by installing a home security system on your own. It might not be a good idea though. You need to remember that you won’t have a warranty on your overall system in most cases.
What you will have is a warranty on the parts that you use. However, even with those parts, if you install them incorrectly or damage them, it would then void the warranty on it.
On the other hand, when you have professionals install the system, you will get a warranty for the work that they do. For many, this additional peace of mind is well worth the added cost.
If you do decide to go this route and look for a professional team to help you with your home security installation, make sure you check out what type of warranty they have to offer.
How Difficult Is DIY Installation?
For those who have at least a little bit of technical knowhow, you will find that installing the wireless home security systems is actually rather easy.
The systems come with manuals explaining how to set up everything. The better companies offering these systems have technical support that you can rely on in case you have any questions or issues with the setup process.
However, that’s not to say that everyone is going to be able to install these systems. You still need to have technical knowledge to ensure that everything is set up properly and that it is working as intended.
When it comes to the wired systems, things can get even more complex, simply because you have to actually deal with the wires. To get the wired systems working, you would need to drill holes in the walls and make other modifications to the home if it isn’t already set up for a home security system.
Does It Work? What If You Do a Bad Job With the Installation?
This is one of the major reasons that so many people are afraid to install their own home security systems. They worry that even though they might take their time and follow the instructions, a mistake could render the system useless.
This is a real fear. With the wireless systems, it is generally possible to take it all apart and start over. You can also troubleshoot for any issues that you might be having.
With the wired systems, things can be more complicated.
If you drilled holes in the wrong wall, you could have issues. If you can’t feed the wires through properly, you could have issues. There is a wealth of different problems that could arise.
You could end up losing part of the wire or damaging the wall further. This could necessitate more repairs.
That’s not to say that you can’t install them on your own. It merely has the potential to be more difficult.
If you do install a system on your own, and you don’t realize that it’s not working properly, you could be in for a big surprise.
Imagine coming home from vacation to find that you’ve been robbed because your security system didn’t work.
What Does Pro Installation Offer That DIY Doesn’t?
When you have the professionals install a security system for your home, you are going to get a few things that you simply don’t get with a DIY project.
First, you can be sure that the professionals are going to install it properly and get it working. It’s what they do for a living. They can give you a rundown on how the system works, how to troubleshoot it, and who to call in the event of a problem.
Having that peace of mind, simply knowing that the system works, is a very good feeling.
You are going to be saving quite a bit of time and frustration when you use professionals to install your system. You can simply relax and let them take care of all of the work for you.
One of the other benefits of talking with the professionals is that they can discuss all of your options with you.
They can help you find the system that’s going to work the best for your home and your lifestyle.
One of the issues that people sometimes run into when they are installing systems on their own is not knowing just how much they need to buy in order to secure their entire space. For example, they might forget about having any security measures in the garage.
What Does DIY Offer that Pro Installation Doesn’t?
While it’s true that some things could go wrong with the DIY installation, and you won’t likely have a warranty for your entire system, that doesn’t mean it’s always a bad idea.
If you take your time, learn how to install it properly, and make sure it’s working properly, it could be a good option.
One of the biggest benefits of installing your own home security system is the fact that you are going to know it inside and out, and you will be able to make changes and adjustments to it as needed.
In addition, you do have the capacity to save a bit more since you don’t have to pay for activation or installation.
Another one of the benefits is that you are able to complete the installation on your own schedule. You don’t have to make sure that you are home for the installation company. Keep in mind that most of the time, the installers are working during normal business hours, which would mean you have to be home in the middle of the day during the week.
Since you are doing it on your own, you don’t have to worry about having anyone walking through your home either.
What If You Want Monitoring After a DIY Install?
One of the reasons that many people go right to the professionals for their home security system is because they want monitoring.
A monitoring service can watch the home around the clock, and in most cases, they are actually able to dispatch the correct authorities to your home. For example, if there’s a break in, they notify the police. If there’s a fire, they notify the fire department.
When you have a DIY system, you might have to monitor it on your own. You aren’t going to be able to watch things around the clock, but you can usually have alerts sent to your phone if something is amiss at the house. This is more work than many people want.
With some companies, you are actually able to take care of the installation on your own. This means you can eliminate the fee for installation. However, you will still be able to add monitoring as an additional service. ADT has some options that work this way.
Always check out the system you are considering, whether going the DIY or the pro route, and ask them about monitoring. They can explain the costs for implementing monitoring, as well as the ongoing costs. Keep in mind that this is not available for all systems.
What’s Right for You?
Both DIY and professional installation have their pros and cons, as you can see.
As you start to look at the different systems available, consider the quality, the protection they offer, and the price, as well as your skill when it comes to installation. It will be easier to make a decision.
The important thing is that you take the time to get the security that your family, your home, and your belongings deserve.