A Complete Guide to the Prices and Costs of Home Security Systems
Jul 29th 2019
Security systems can be very beneficial to have on your property. Click here to learn about the costs of home security systems to know how much to spend.
In 2017, only 17% of American homeowners owned security systems. Yet, that percentage is already obsolete. In fact, over 22 million people will install a security system by the year 2020.
Why the huge jump? Smart technology enables easy installation of wireless security features. This means more do-it-yourself (DIY) home security options rather than hiring a service to send a technician to hard-wire equipment to your home.
Many home security systems work with or without professional monitoring. This gives consumers a range of price options. The costs of home security systems vary because of these options.
Let’s explore some of them these costs for home security systems.
Types of Home Security Systems
Today, most homes security systems do double duty, acting as smart home hubs as well. They create central controls for your thermostats, locks, lights, and more. You can control and automate all features from your smartphone.
For instance, you can arm and disarm your alarm system automatically when you either lock or unlock a smart lock. You can also program your home’s lighting to make it appear as though you are home when you’re actually away.
The great thing about these smart security systems is that you can customize them for your home or property. Additionally, many of these systems are entirely DIY.
You can even watch your home yourself rather than pay a monitoring service. Transitional monitored services remain popular as well. Here is the breakdown.
DIY Wireless Security Systems
DIY security systems come to you as kits, which you install yourself. Some enable you to monitor your home yourself using a smartphone app. With these, you have the option of adding a professional monitoring service. Others require professional monitoring.
These systems are flexible and have lower monitoring fees than professionally-installed security systems. And, you usually don’t have to sign a contract. Many times, you have the option of on-demand monitoring.
You can pay for temporary professional monitoring when you need it, such as while you are away on vacation. Then you can drop it once you return with no penalties.
So, the majority of your cost is for the kit itself. The only downside here is that you must be diligent in your monitoring. If you miss an alert, you can miss the chance to protect your property.
Smartphone Alert Fees
According to Consumer Reports, the convenience of smartphone monitoring can come with added fees. For example, systems like Simplisafe add a monthly fee for smartphone alerts, which can run from $10 to $25.
According to Simplisafe reviews, professional monitoring comes with the Simplisafe fee. This may not be the case with other providers.
Note that some areas require that you get a permit for running your own security system. Some municipalities keep a record of all alarm systems, even self-monitored ones.
You may need to check with your neighborhood police department to see if these permits come with a fee.
Professionally-Installed Home Security Systems
Professionally-installed security systems come with continual professional monitoring. They use dispatchers who respond to alarms and alert authorities for you. These systems can also come with smartphone apps for customers.
Though, they often come with a fee. Extra costs include installation (usually $300 or more) and equipment. Often, there is a required multi-year contract. The benefits are that the security company handles both installation and monitoring.
Though, the cost per month is often $40 or higher. And, you are locked into the contract you signed at the outset.
Besides installation fees, some companies charge activation fees. Unfortunately, these fees are often buried in the fine print. While it is only a one-time charge, it can be up to $100 or more.
Be sure to confirm the activation fee before you sign the contract.
Monitoring fees are monthly charges. Though, the service provider may offer you a discount for paying for a full year up front. The price also depends on how many services you have bundled together.
The more sensors and cameras, the more you will pay in monitoring fees.
Added Costs of Home Security Systems
In addition to monitoring, your costs are impacted by add-on components to your homes security system. Any security system comprises of dozens of sensors, keypads with touch screens, and alarm sirens.
The base station is the central hub that connects to the other components as well as to the internet. There is a backup battery and cellular system as well that covers the system during power outages.
Most base systems are available for $400 or less. Though, there are additional components that you may either want or need to cover the square footage of your property.
Of course, other components and custom security add-on packages add to the overall cost of your system. Extra sensors and security cameras, for example, can range from $15 to $350 or more apiece.
The basic install may not come with enough of either to monitor your entire home adequately.
Extra services add to your costs as well. You may want to add fire and carbon monoxide sensors to your system. This adds to your installation cost as well as monitoring fees.
Other added sensors include class break sensors that detect intruders breaking in through a window or glass door.
You can also add garage door sensors that alarm when the door opens or closes. Panic buttons or pendants are options that provided an instant alert that you need help.
Home Security Is Becoming More Affordable
In spite of all the option and the associated fees we have discussed, home security is more affordable than ever before. The smart options lower the costs of home security systems while adding flexibility.
The best DIY homes security system of 2018-2019 is the one you customize yourself.
If you have any questions about home security systems and their components, please contact us.