Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Home Security Systems: DIY or Hire a Pro?

In today’s do-it-yourself world, if something needs to be done at your home, you can nearly always find a kit or video to help you through it. This is also true when it comes to installing a home security system.

But just how easy is it? Is doing it yourself really going to be cost-effective and better than just hiring a professional to do it? Here are the facts:

Professionally Installed

It’s always important to consider your options. When considering hiring a professional, you should know that there are two types of home security systems that professionals install: leased and purchased. The costs of these two different systems and services differ.

Leased home security systems

Home security costs include a setup fee and a monthly monitoring contract. Other charges depend on what type of package and plan you choose. Here’s the breakdown:
  • Installation: Typically around $100.
  • Contract: Home security system companies usually require a 3-year commitment contract, and their monthly fees range from $30-$40 a month.
  • Cancellation fee: Variable, but calculated as the unused portion of months left in the contract times the highest rate.

Purchased home security systems

Purchased home security systems have more costs up front, but are cheaper over the long term:
  • Equipment and Installation: $100-$1,500.
  • Contract: Most require a 3-year contract, but some do not. The monthly monitoring fee is about $15-$20 a month.
  • Cancellation fee: From 75 percent of the fees due to the full amount.
If you decide to hire a company to professional install the system, make sure you do your homework! Research on the Internet, read consumer ratings, check out security blogs and ask your friends who have systems who they went with. DIY Installation DIY security systems are cheaper than professionally-installed systems, and definitely the better option to not having a security system at all. However, they do come with a few obstacles.

DIY Security System

There are a variety of options in selecting which type of DIY security system you can install. Most alarm systems come with sensors that are monitored wirelessly by a central control panel. When the sensors are triggered, a loud siren will go off – deterring the intruders from your home. In addition, some DIY systems can be set up to automatically call your mobile; however, you are not supposed to set this feature up to call the police.

DIY Security System Costs

The nice thing about DIY kits is that some come with home security monitoring capability. So if you want your home security system monitored without the long-term contracts, this is a good way to go. Also, since most of these systems are wireless, you can take them with you when you move. If you choose this option, here are some of the charges:
  • Set-up fee: FREE-$35
  • Sensors and control panel: $200-$500
  • Monthly fee: $8.95-$19.95
It’s important to note that although DIY systems are cheaper, they are not as effective as professionally installed systems. Professionally systems offer better monitoring support and a well-trained technician who will help you learn the system. However if a DIY security system is your only affordable option, then do it! Regardless of which you choose both will help you feel safe.

Sylvia Rosen is an online writer with a background in newspaper journalism. She connects with industry professionals to write articles on the latest advances in home security, such as wireless home security systems.