DIY is becoming more and more common in almost every facet of home improvement, but is it the right approach for your home security system? Many look to self-installation for security systems as a cheaper alternative to professional installation. However, you’ll have to consider several aspects of your home and the equipment you want to install before you decide to take the DIY plunge. Some significant factors in installation are your personal preference and how confident you are in your ability to hook up a security system.
Keep reading for more information about DIY alarm system installation and how it compares to professional work.
Pros and Cons of DIY Installation
DIY security system installation works for some people, but it may not be right for everyone. Much of it comes down to personal preference and your capabilities as an installer.
The DIY approach can offer:
- Flexibility of equipment: Sometimes you can only get professional installation if you are buying predetermined packages and equipment. You may be locked into using excess devices that you don’t need. Installing devices on your own allows you to select which ones you want in your home. If you just want one or two devices, DIY installation may be right for you.
- Cheaper startup costs: Of course, with a DIY install, you don’t have to pay for installation fees and labor. If your setup is simple or only involves a few devices, installing them yourself can save you some money.
- Flexibility of scheduling: Installing devices yourself means you don’t have to plan around the appointment times of your installer. If the best time for you is at 3 in the morning, then, by all means, install your cameras at 3 a.m. You don’t have to coordinate your work schedule with the install appointment. Plus, if the idea of having strangers in your home is a little sketchy to you, you don’t have to invite anyone in if you don’t want to.
DIY alarm system installation might be a feasible option if you only want a few devices and don’t want to deal with setting up and hosting an appointment.
Of course, going the DIY route isn’t without its disadvantages. Some of the cons of installing the equipment yourself include:
- Some technical know-how required: Installing the equipment calls for a certain level of technical skill. You may need to assemble the device, connect the appropriate wires, link up to the monitoring service and mount the equipment where it needs to be. Some people who are more tech-savvy than others may find this doable, while others might struggle with it. Leaving the job to the experts is often the primary benefit of professional security system installation. If your system is extensive, this is doubly important. Remember that wired systems are usually more difficult to set up than wireless ones.
- More work: Of course, it may be worth it to you to pay someone to do the work instead of doing it yourself, especially if you’re short on time. This usually comes down to personal preference and how willing you are to tackle a DIY project.
- No expert recommendations: When you enlist a professional installer, they can review your home and make suggestions based on the layout and your concerns. These installers are well-versed in best practices and ways to improve the safety of a home. They likely have some tips and tricks you’ve never considered.
- Unwarrantied installation: Oftentimes, when you go with professional installation, the work is under warranty for a certain amount of time. When you DIY, you forego this benefit.
Self Monitoring Vs. Professional Alarm Monitoring
In both instances, you have the choice of monitoring your system yourself or enlisting a professional alarm monitoring system. Typically, professional installation goes hand-in-hand with alarm monitoring. A monitored system means that your alarms are hooked up to a 24-hour central monitoring station. This station is staffed with employees trained for emergency response. They receive an alert whenever your alarm is triggered and will attempt to contact you. If you can’t be reached, they’ll send out the appropriate authorities. The monitored approach ensures that your home is protected even when you are away. Considering that most burglaries occur during the daytime — in a study from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, only one in six occurred between 10:01 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. — monitoring systems can help you protect your home while you’re at work.
Self-monitored home security systems are not set up with any service like this. Instead, they may include automated notifications to your mobile phone or simply emit sounds and forego any kind of alert. With self-monitored systems, you must be available to answer the call if an emergency arises.
Benefits of a Professionally Installed Security System Over DIY
Having your home security system installed by a professional can provide an entirely different experience. So when is this kind of installation right for you?
- If you want a convenient installation: While you’ll need to set aside time to let the installer in, you can do other things while they work. You can clean around the house or get some yard work done, and when you’re finished, you’ll have a working security setup. For people low on time, this is often a huge benefit. Best of all? You don’t have to lay a finger on the equipment.
- If you have a complex system: Installing security systems, especially wired and especially extensive ones, can quickly become difficult for people not well-versed in the world of electronics, and even for those who are. Putting up a simple camera or smoke detector might be easy enough for a DIY approach, but a whole-house setup of complicated equipment can easily outpace the average person’s technical knowledge.
- If you want the confidence of expert work: When you have a professional installer work on your security system, you can trust that your equipment is set up correctly. You avoid any issues that may occur during DIY installs, like putting motion detectors too high up or smoke detectors too low. The professionals know where these devices should go and the appropriate settings for them. Another bonus to working with a professional is that they can usually walk you through your new equipment before they leave.
By and large, one of the best parts of professional install is the convenience. Setting up equipment is akin to putting together furniture. It is a frustrating process that can add undue stress to your day and take up valuable time. Many people are happy to pay to have their equipment professionally installed.
Choose Wayne Alarm for Professional Security System Installation
If you’re in New England and need professional security system installation, Wayne Alarm is just around the corner. We’ve been in the business for 50 years and have a reputation for trustworthy, reliable service. When you work with other companies, you could get installers with questionable backgrounds. Our installation staff goes through comprehensive background checks so you can be confident in the service you receive.
In addition to our expert installation, Wayne Alarm also offers 24/7 monitoring services to keep a vigilant eye on things. For more information about our products and installation options, talk to a representative or request a free quote today.