If you’ve ever considered installing an alarm system in your home, you know that a properly installed home security system can bring peace of mind to you by protecting your residence, family, and belongings. But how do you satisfy your security needs without breaking the bank? Is it a better investment to hire an alarm service or installation company, or is it worth your while to install a home alarm system yourself? Listed below are some things to think about before you make your decision.
Alarm and Monitoring Services
If you decide to go with a professional alarm service, keep in mind that this is generally the more expensive route. Professionals will come into your home, install your alarm system, program your keypad, and then you can opt for extra monitoring services. If you choose to cancel your service or contract, the alarm company has the right to come in and remove all of the installed equipment because they own it.
The good thing about installing it yourself is that you own the equipment. Plus, you can get an independent alarm monitoring service to work with your system for as little as $9 a month. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up with lots of wasted time, a faulty alarm system, and possible damage to your home. Make sure you have the proper tools (and electrical skills) to install your alarm properly.
Hardwired, Wireless, or Both?
Foregoing professional alarm installation can be soft on your wallet, but which system is right for you?
Hardwired systems are the most difficult to install, though they are easiest on the pocketbook. You may be saving money, but connecting wires from sensor to sensor throughout your house can be extremely difficult and sometimes impossible. If your house is prewired, consider yourself lucky. On the other hand, a hardwired system has easy upkeep and hardly needs servicing. Also, unless your wiring changes, your system will not become easily outdated.
Wireless alarm systems are the easiest to install, but they cost the most. Fortunately, they are extremely reliable and effective once installed, and some are completely customizable. But keep in mind, batteries for wireless systems must be changed constantly, and the systems can easily become out of date. Generally, if this happens, the whole system must be replaced instead of just parts.
Many people choose a security system that is a mix of hardwired and wireless. This is a plus for the do-it-yourselfer who doesn’t want to spend the money on a complete wireless system, but can’t reach all of the areas in house that are needed for a hardwired system. Generally, batteries on these hybrid units will last anywhere from 2-5 years.
The Right Decision
Whether you decide to hire a professional alarm service or do it yourself, make sure to do enough research so you can make an informed decision. If you aren’t the handiest of handymen, it’s probably worth it to hire professionals. If you happen to be a DIY guru, make sure you have the right tools, and remember that you get what you pay for. Typically, your insurance company can provide you with a list of security systems that both of you will approve of. Either way, examine all of your options so you can be sure that you are getting the best security system for you.