When purchasing a home security system, one of the critical decisions that must be made is whether to install the system yourself, or rely on a professional installer. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages; the decision you reach should be based on your own situation, including your budget, confidence in your technical abilities, and security needs.
For most homeowners, a home security system is something that will be created on a fixed budget. While some installers will periodically run “deals” where installations are less expensive than normal, you can usually count on spending anywhere from two hundred to two thousand dollars having a professional do your security system installation. (You can also usually count on having that installation “deal” be limited in scope and done in a hurried fashion.) If your project budget is $1000, then the fees for installation may mean losing the digital video recorder or not wiring all the windows. That might not be a trade-off you’re willing to accept.
On the other side of the coin, while installing a home security system is much simpler today than it was just a few years ago, thanks to the proliferation of high-quality wireless components, it is still a fairly substantial project to install a complete system. If you will be paying the installer $250 to do three hours of work, or doing it yourself and taking ten hours to do it, then you have to examine the value of your time and labor and decide which option makes more sense.
Homeowners’ competence with technical tasks like stripping wires and running lines varies by individual, of course. If you are the king of do it yourselfers and regularly rewire your own electrical systems and do your own plumbing, then putting together a security system is going to be a walk in the park. On the other hand, if you are at the level where you can plug in your own toaster, usually, then it might be somewhat intimidating to tackle a home security system installation.
One advantage to a professional installation is that if something goes wrong, there’s someone to call. Professional installers will generally do a good job on an installation, but every system is different and poses its own challenges, and if something is mis-configured or done incorrectly, with a professional installer you have recourse and options. If you did it yourself, it will be you out on the lawn at 3 AM trying to figure out why the alarm keeps sounding. Conversely, if you install it yourself, then when something goes wrong it’s likely you know where and what the problem could be – something that might be a complete mystery if a professional did your home security system installation for you.
A home security system installation is not a trivial job, but it can be handled by someone with the appropriate DIY attitude and abilities. It’s also something that is very important for your family’s safety, and so you will need to decide whether or not you need to bring professionals into the picture. Whatever your decision may be when it comes to installing your security system, you’re always making the right choice by having a security system in your home and protecting your family.