Professional Installation vs. DIY Home Security: Pros and Cons

September 14, 2022

Are you toying with the idea of DIY home security installation? It’s becoming more popular today as systems become wireless and easier to install. You may even save a few dollars by installing the system yourself. But, is it worth it?

As with anything, there are pros and cons to each side. We help you understand both types of installation so that you can decide what’s right for you.

The Pros of Professional Installation

Professional installation means that a consultant from the alarm company comes out to your home and installs the system for you. You set up an appointment at your convenience and the installer comes to your home and properly installs the system. This method has many benefits including:

  • You know it’s done right. Let’s face it, having the experts that install systems for a living means less room for installation error. We are talking about your home security here, so it’s not something you want to take lightly.
  • You’ll get a walkthrough of the system. The installation professional will likely walk you through the system, showing you how it works. This is a great time to operate it yourself and ask any questions you have. This way you know how the system operates from the start and can protect your property right away.
  • You’ll properly place all components of the security system. Installation professionals know the best places to install door and window sensors. They also know the ideal place to put the control panel. You need it somewhere that is easily accessible whether you are just arriving home or are on the second level of your home. The professional will provide their advice on placement, giving you a better chance at having enhanced security.
  • You can test the system. Most professional installers do a ‘dry run’ with your security system. This way you have peace of mind knowing that the system is working properly. A perfectly installed system doesn’t do you any good unless it’s communicating properly with the security company.

The Cons of Professional Installation

Of course, there are downsides to every decision. The cons of professional installation include:

  • It will cost more. Unless you score a good promotion that includes free installation, you’ll likely have to cough up money for the installation. Keep this in mind as you shop around for security companies. Ask about the cost of installation and whether they have any promotions available.
  • You have to be available for an installation window. Most security companies give you a window of time that the installer will arrive. This could mean sitting around waiting for the installer for 4-6 hours. This may be an inconvenience for you.
  • You will likely get a standard setup. Professional installers have a specific way that they set up alarm systems. They do this on automatic pilot unless you tell them otherwise. You’ll have to speak up and let the installer know your intentions for the system if you want anything customized or different from the standard setup.

The Pros of DIY Installation

Unlike professional installation, DIY installation is done at your convenience and by you. You decide when you will install the system and where. For some, this is a better option. The pros of DIY installation include:

  • You are in control. You don’t have to wait for the technician to become available or sit around waiting for 4-6 hours. You can set up the system at your own convenience, which may save you time and frustration. You can also set up the system anywhere you see fit and choose the doors and windows that you will monitor based on your need for security.
  • You may save money. Because you don’t have to pay for installation, you may save money right off the bat. Many DIY systems cost less too just because the company doesn’t have the overhead of paying for professional installers.
  • You can mix and match security features. If you want to buy an alarm system from one company, but security cameras from another, you can do so with DIY setup. Just be mindful of the type of monitoring you want. Wireless security cameras can often be set up on your own Wi-Fi and don’t need professional monitoring. But, you’ll want to pay close attention to how you can monitor the cameras or they could be a useless purchase.
  • You get hands-on experience with the system. There’s no better way to learn how a system works than installing it yourself. Most DIY systems come with detailed instructions on installation as well as provide access to a live agent that can walk you through any issues. This can make you comfortable with your system right from the start.

The Cons of DIY Installation

As you probably guessed, you must consider a few cons regarding DIY installation.

  • You won’t have personal guidance using the system. Even though you may have access to a live agent over the phone, it’s not the same as an in-person installer walking you through the system. You run the chance of missing features or even installing the system wrong, putting the security of your home at risk.
  • You won’t have help with maintenance issues. Professionally installed systems usually come with a guarantee should the system stop working. A technician often comes out to determine the problem and fix it. With DIY systems, all maintenance is on your shoulders.
  • You run the risk of installing it incorrectly. Even though many of the DIY systems are self-explanatory and they come with plenty of support, there’s still the risk of installing the system incorrectly. This means wasted money and an unsecured home.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to each type of installation. The type that works for you might not work for someone else. Consider your situation, the time you have available, and your comfort level in installing the system on your own. Security companies often run promotions for both types of installation, making it easy to score a deal while protecting your home.