Security Systems: DIY vs. Hiring Out

May 10, 2017

Professionally Installed System

There are times when it makes sense to do-it-yourself (DIY) around the home or office. But does setting up your security system for the protection of what matters most - your family or employees - have any advantages? Or, does a professionally designed system using key placement techniques offer maximum protection? Let’s explore!

Questions to Ask Before Getting Started

First, consider that a professionally installed home security system may not be as pricey as you think! The same goes for monthly monitoring packages, which will easily cost you less than your monthly cell phone and cable bills (significantly less in most cases). However, we understand the value of a dollar and will gladly walk you through some questions to consider before jumping in to do-it-yourself.

1. Is Purchasing the Equipment Cost Effective?

When purchasing a security system on your own, there is often a higher markup on the equipment (think a one-time purchase vs. bulk purchasing). So the cost of professional installation is often offset by the discount a professional installer can get you on the equipment, and even more so when monitoring is included.

2. Will It Be Eligible for the Manufacturer's Warranty?

Will the equipment you purchase come with a valid warranty if not installed by a professional? When you buy from a top-of-the-line manufacturer like Honeywell, the warranty will often exclude equipment that wasn’t properly and/or professionally installed. And the same applies to repairs made outside of an authorized repair center.

3. Do You Have the Know-How?

Doing it yourself means not only knowing how to install the proper technology, but where to place each component for maximum security. Professionally installed security systems are designed around your home and specific needs. You’ll also want to consider the operation instructions and what to do when things go wrong! A professional installer will walk you through your entire system and troubleshoot any problem areas before leaving you with your new security system.

DIY Security Systems


  1. Install at your leisure with no need to schedule an appointment.
  2. No installation and (potentially) no monitoring fees (be sure to take equipment discounts from a professional installer into account!).
  3. Install the system to your liking.


  1. Two words: instruction manuals! Either you become an overnight expert on designing and installing highly effective security systems, or you leave it up to the professionals.
  2. Higher equipment costs.
  3. No monitoring when a life-threatening emergency occurs.

Professionally Installed and Monitored Security Systems


  1. 24/7 monitoring is the number one reason to utilize a professional home or business security system. In the event of an emergency, there is no replacement for instantaneous police and fire notifications.
  2. The install job is done right the first time, and you are off the hook for any work!
  3. Access to an expert to answer your questions and walk your family through the use of your new equipment. Plus, 24/7 access when service issues arise and automated notifications when your system isn’t working correctly


  1. Cost. The primary reason people go with DIY systems is due to a perceived lower cost. However, even with the installation fee, the upfront cost of a professional security system is typically lower due to the price break on the equipment when monitoring is included. If your DIY system is monitored, then the costs are likely comparable. If it’s not, it could be the difference between life or death.
  2. Contracts. Agreements between sellers and buyers are common - think cell phone carriers or cable providers. In the case of home or business security, the agreement is usually for the monitoring service, which is key to your safety.
  3. Time. Being on someone else’s clock for the one-time installation doesn’t sound so bad when you think about the time you’ll save when you don’t have to figure out how to install your new security system!

As you can see, we largely believe home and business owners should have some autonomy when it comes to their security needs. However, we can’t, in good conscience, recommend a fully installed and self-monitored security system, especially when it comes to the big three: burglary, fire and carbon monoxide. We aren’t taking any chances, and we hope you aren’t either!

Contact us for more information or request a free quote.

Category: Home Security

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