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Are DIY Installed Security Systems Better Than Professionally Installed Systems?

Quick answer

When you choose DIY installation, you don’t have to pay any pricey installation fees. You also get greater flexibility—you can decide precisely where everything goes, and you won’t have to worry about taking time off to let the installer into your home for the day. However, you’ll spend time installing your system, and there could be a greater chance of incorrect installation.

Professional installation, on the other hand, saves you time and ensures everything is installed correctly. Saving time with professional installation may cost you more, however, and it often requires more permanent installation that includes drilling holes and running cables.

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At a glance

If you want to save money and have more control, choose DIY installation.
If you want to save time and have less hassle, choose professional installation.

Get the details

When you decide to install a home security system, you can choose from alarm companies that offer professional system installation and alarm companies that require DIY system installation. We’ll break down the pros and cons of each choice to help you decide which installation method makes sense for your home security needs.

As you consider what method of security system installation you prefer, keep in mind that both methods offer everything you need for peace of mind. Both DIY and pro installs offer state-of-the-art technology like sensors, cameras, and smart control panels. You can also get professional monitoring with either installation method.

DIY installation

If you want to save on the costs of your alarm system, DIY installation is an easy way to do that. When you’re the one installing the equipment, you can avoid pricey equipment installation fees. In some cases you can save around $100. Plus, if you want to add more equipment later, you won’t have to worry about paying to install it.

DIY installation is flexible in other ways, too. Generally, you won’t have to drill any holes or run any cables. Instead, you’ll likely stick self-adhering components where you want them. It’s easy to put your components where you want them and take them down when you want to—that makes DIY installation a great method if you think you’ll move in the future, since you can easily take your system with you.

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Pro Tip

Installing a security system can save you as much as $100 and is often as easy as peeling the back off a sticker and affixing a device to a wall.

Of course, you’ll have to spend time and effort installing your system. Plus, when you install your own equipment, there’s a chance you’ll do it incorrectly or have to troubleshoot unexpected problems—both of which lead to even more time spent fixing problems. Even with the technical support most companies offer, this still adds up to more time and effort on your part. However, if your schedule allows and you’re comfortable with the technology, DIY installation could work for you.

Keep in mind that do-it-yourself doesn’t mean do-it-alone. Most security companies offer easy-to-understand installation instructions, and you can always contact customer service for help. For example, Frontpoint—our favorite DIY install alarm company—has customer service agents who will happily walk you through every step of installation over the phone.

Whether those savings and flexibility are worth spending more time is up to you. Remember, you can still get monitoring service and great equipment with a DIY install, so it really comes down how much you value flexibility and saving money.

Pros

  • Cost efficiency
  • Less invasive installation
  • Flexibility after installation
  • Simple relocation

Cons

  • More effort
  • Potential for error

Professional installation

Getting your security system installed by a pro saves you time and effort on installation. A professional with training and expertise will take care of all the hard work while you relax, knowing that your equipment has been installed properly. Sure, it gives the installer the chance to upsell you on equipment, but it also gives you the chance to ask for any advice you need to get the most out of your alarm system.

Now, these benefits come with an installation fee, so a pro install will likely cost you more than doing it yourself. You might, however, think getting someone else to do the hard stuff is well worth an extra $100 or so. If you have a busy schedule or you don’t feel confident installing your own equipment, an installation fee probably isn’t a bad deal.

Likewise, though you’ll save time on active labor, pro installation can still take time out of your day. You’ll have to schedule an appointment for installation, which can take several hours. That time won’t be spent actively installing a system, but it could mean you have to take off work or otherwise reschedule your day.

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Pro Tip

Take the hands-off approach to security equipment installation to save you the headache of deciding where everything goes and let a professional take the time to make sure the job is done right.

You should also consider that a pro installation often comes with more invasive installation. Your installer may need to drill holes and run cables through your house. That makes installation more permanent, which means moving your system can be more difficult.

Still, a professionally installed security system offers great convenience. If you value a low-effort, hassle-free experience, consider getting your alarm system professionally installed.

Pros

  • Time efficiency
  • Confidence in installation
  • Opportunity to get advice

Cons

  • Higher cost
  • More invasive installation
  • Required appointment
ASL Take Note

Find the right security system for you

Both DIY and professionally installed alarm systems can help protect you, your home, and your tangible personal property from intruders. DIY installation offers greater flexibility and saves money, whereas professional installation saves time and offers expertise.

Want to learn more?

Want to do it all yourself, even after installation? DIY monitoring could be right for you. Check out more articles on DIY security:

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About Chloe Gawrych

Chloe Gawrych
With her years of writing experience, Chloe strives to make complex topics both accessible and applicable to her readers. She believes that people everywhere deserve to feel safe and secure, so she works to provide actionable information that will help her readers protect what’s most important to them.

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