How much does a home security system cost?

Buying a home is an intense process, between finding the perfect place, buying the home, and settling in with your family. Installing a home security system can give you the peace of mind that your investment is safe and secure, no matter where you are in the world.

But home security is just that – a financial investment that should be considered carefully. How much does the average security system cost, from purchasing the equipment to having it installed to actually using it? It’s a process with a lot of moving parts and there are more options out there than ever.

The short answer is that the average cost of a home security system depends on your individual situation. Prices fall into a huge range, and can change depending on four factors:

  1. Desired level of security
  2. Installation method
  3. DIY or professional installation
  4. Self-monitoring or professional monitoring

Hive has over fifteen years of experience integrating smart home technology, including security systems. But we feel that this information is valuable to everyone, whether they’re future or present Hive clients.

Let’s take a closer look at each element that can affect your home security system’s price so you can find out what your specific home security system might cost. Having all of this information will help you get a system that’s the perfect balance of cost-effective and comprehensive.

What are home security systems?

As the name suggests, a home security system secures your home and notifies you of any possible security problems or day-to-day incidents in or around your property, whether it’s an intruder breaking in through a window or Amazon delivery drivers being too rough with your packages.

The system can contain:

  • Window contacts
  • Cameras (though these can also exist outside of a home security system)
  • Motion sensors
  • Glass break sensors
  • Fire detectors

It’s easier now more than ever to find a system that fits your needs and integrates with other smart devices you might have in your home. For instance, if you want your security system to sync up with times you leave the house, you can make that happen with a home automation hub like Control4 or Savant.

But with so many options, you have even more decisions to make and think about when it comes to putting together your system and your budget for it. It’s easy when you know what can affect your system’s price.

Factor 1: Desired level of security

The amount of security coverage you want and need determines the number of devices you’ll need, and by extension, the price. 

Most homeowners should start with protecting their front and back door with door sensors, and their ground-level windows with glass break sensors, as those are the most common places where burglars may enter your home. Protecting sliding glass doors with glass break sensors is also a must, as most are made of tempered glass that can easily be broken.

But you can go beyond that, adding protection to every window on the ground level, sensors on the garage door, smoke detectors, motion detectors, or cameras.

The rough prices for each of these items range as follows:

  • Professional monitoring: $15 per month and up
  • Glass break sensors: $40 and up to $110
  • Motion detectors: start around $15 per sensor, and go up to about $110 
  • Cameras: start around $125 per camera and go up in price depending on the features
  • Price for full systems: $300 - $3000+

These estimates are just a jumping off point, and different brands have new options that could fall within or outside of this price range. Many companies offer packages that are less expensive than buying pieces individually, while others are affordable even if you buy a la carte. 

If you just want protection while you’re away, you might want to invest in a smaller system that just has sensors on the doors and easily accessible windows. But if you want more security at night, you may want to add onto your system with additional sensors and cameras. It’s up to you to decide how much coverage you need.

Factor 2: DIY or Professional Installation?

There are more DIY security system options than ever, offering packages and products that are a perfect fit for many homeowners. These systems are faster and much less expensive too, so your home can be secured in the span of an afternoon.

But there are also options for professional installation, which involve a security professional coming out to your home, assessing your needs, and installing the cameras. Due to the cost of labor on top of the cost of the products, it’s a more expensive option.

Many might see the difference in price between the two and choose to do it themselves, but professional installation has some benefits over DIY installation. For instance, a security professional can pinpoint vulnerable areas around your home that you may have missed and choose the best placement for your system. 

They can also install a hardwired system, which can be more stable than a wireless one that taxes your home’s wifi, which we’ll get into in the next section. Professional installers can also provide ongoing support with technicians who can come out to your home and fix a problem, so you won’t have to troubleshoot issues yourself. 

Doing it yourself is a better option for smaller systems in smaller homes, while professional installation is best for larger properties with more complex security needs. 

Factor 3: Hardwired or wireless?

Just like the decision between hiring a professional and doing it yourself, hardwired and wireless security systems have their strengths and weaknesses depending on your home. 

Wireless security systems can be a great choice if you’d like to install your system yourself. Many options, like Ring, give you a package that you can set-up easily without a lot of technical know-how. 

However, some issues might pop up with their connection, especially since it’s reliant on your wifi network. If your wifi signal is weak, there’s a chance for outages – something you never want in a system that’s protecting your home. Luckily, many cameras have back-up cellular connections in case this happens. 

You can also have a combination of wireless and hardwired security. If your home has been prewired for a few cameras or sensors, but you’d like more coverage, you can add wireless security on top of it. It’s all up to you. 

Factor 4: Professional monitoring or self-monitoring?

Once your system is installed, you’ll need to think about how you want it monitored. 

Professional monitoring means that a security company actively keeps an eye on your home. If something happens, they’ll notify the emergency services on your behalf. It’s hands-off and you won’t have to worry about missing a notification, but you will have to pay a monthly fee for the convenience.

Self-monitoring is exactly what it sounds like – you monitor your system through a smart home app. You get notifications if something trips one of your sensors. This solution is easy and free, but you may end up in a situation without your phone or in a place where you can’t do anything about threats. 

But with the ease of use and how often we’re on our phones, many homeowners feel it’s worthwhile to self-monitor.

How much does a security system really cost?

As we said above, it really depends, and now we hope you can get a sense of what your project’s costs could be.

If you’re still unsure, answer the following questions to determine how much and what kind of home security you might need:

  • Is your property small, or on the larger side? Are there any areas that are vulnerable, or is this something you’d like a professional to determine?
  • What’s the crime rate like in your neighborhood? Has there been an increase lately that would make a home security system a good investment right now?
  • How hands-on do you want to be in your monitoring?
  • Is your home already wired for a security system?
  • Do you want to integrate it with other aspects of your smart home, like lighting or door locks?

With those questions answered, you can take the leap into researching what DIY systems you’d like, or whether you’d like to call a professional.

If you’d like Hive to come look at your property and give you a free consultation on a home security system, feel free to reach out to us through this form or call us at (813) 575-HIVE.

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