Home security is more affordable and efficient than ever right now. And with advancing technology and wireless setup, a DIY option is quite achievable.
Installing your home security system yourself can save you money on labor costs, allows for creative flexibility, and gives wiggle room to shop around for the equipment and monitoring services you want.
DIY Home Security Cost
DIY is the known standard for affordable home improvement—even if it may be frustrating at times. Many homeowners find the money saved on labor is worth their time and the challenge.
Your basic home security system that you can do yourself starts around $250. The more you add to your system, the more it costs, but you can plan to spend $1300 for a complete alarm system that you can install yourself.
Many times, professional home security companies will offer their equipment with discounts when they install for you. Of course, the labor cost may offset this discount. Shopping around for quotes or allowing Home Professionals to connect you to quotes for the industry will allow you to see how much you’re saving doing DIY vs. professional. It’s all about what fits into your budget.
Professional installation usually has an automatic option for home monitoring, which means that you have a security company that will contact the police or fire agency when an alarm goes off and you don’t answer that things are ok. The nice thing about DIY home security is that you can shop around for the security monitoring that you want with the price tag you can easily afford.
DIY Home Security Installation Tools
To complete a home security installation, you will most likely need screwdrivers, screws, wire stripper, drill, ladder, and perhaps a pry bar.
You will want to keep your computer handy to look up troubleshoot problems easily.
And, perhaps most obviously, you will need a little bit of tech-know-how. Nothing too crazy—it is pretty easy to DIY home security. But understanding technology will help your DIY home security installation go smoothly. It’s also less likely that you’ll install something incorrectly or damage equipment in a way that voids the warranty.
DIY Home Security Preparation
You will want to sketch out your DIY home security plan in advance. For some people, this means walking around their home and deciding on equipment and placement. For others, it is sketching out their home and taking note of all doors and windows, numbering them, and deciding on which equipment to use for these points of entry.
Take time to figure out what you want and how much of any equipment you would need. You can choose between (and any combination of) motions sensors, transmitters, alarms, security cameras, and smart features. It’s usually a good idea to use a combination of motions sensors and transmitters—motions sensors alone aren’t enough. Fire and carbon monoxide poisoning are an even greater threat to your family than burglary, so don’t forget those alarms and heat sensors above areas (like a toaster or oven) that are prone to fires.
You may even want to talk to a home security professional to get an idea of what your home most needs to protect your family and yourself.
DIY Home Security Tips
Some things to keep in mind:
- You may need a permit for your alarm system (check with your city).
- Take extra effort to install home security equipment correctly, so that you don’t void your warranty.
- Make sure your home security system works. No point in spending all that money only to be surprised by a burglary.
- Do your research and get the best for your money. This means reading, comparing equipment and cost, and even talking to professionals to get an idea of what you need.
- If you run into trouble or don’t feel comfortable with DIY home security, consider applying a combination of DIY and professional installation. This way, you may still have the flexibility and price point you desire.
DIY home security installation is more affordable and easier to do than you probably think. It’s always a good idea to be on the cautious side, but we think there are a lot of good things about DIYing home security systems.
We recommend shopping around for quotes from professionals and having a chosen “back-up” plan and home security company in case you need assistance or troubleshooting. That way help is an easy phone call away.