The potential costs of a new home security system have a great deal of influence over whether or not you will choose to invest in one or not.
Home security systems can cost anywhere from $200 for a basic set of equipment to thousands of dollars. The cost of an alarm system ranges widely depending primarily on the type of installation you choose (professional or DIY), the amount of equipment you install, and the level of monitoring you select. These things, in turn, depend on how much protection you want.
Jeffrey Harris, the owner of Hive, a full home automation firm in Tampa Bay, says that just a few door sensors and motion detectors – as well as fire alarms – are probably enough if you just want security while you’re away. However, you may need a more comprehensive system for protection from intruders at night or at other times when you’re home. Such a system should cover every point of entry into your home with a full suite of door sensors, glass-break sensors, motion detectors, and possibly cameras, which studies have shown can deter crime.
Doug Huey, co-owner of Executive Security Consultants, which specializes in home security systems, says it’s vital to protect the doors and windows on the back of your home first because they’re the most vulnerable. Sliding glass doors are a particularly attractive target for burglars because they’re made of tempered glass and are easy to break without getting injured.
Regarding the monthly monitoring fee, $40 is a typical figure based on interviews with security company executives and our consumer surveys. Professional monitoring, cellular backup, and multicamera video recording can start as low as $10 a month with Ring Alarm, the Amazon-owned creator of the popular video doorbell. Prices climb to nearly $100 a month with a large, professionally installed system that’s bundled with a financing plan for the equipment.
The cost of a DIY system is less complicated. Prices for individual components and monthly fees are clearly listed on DIY system websites. The monthly fees for professional monitoring commonly range from about $10 to $30 a month.
Regardless of whether you get a professionally installed or DIY system, always take the starting price with a grain of salt. Nearly every company publishes a price for a base set of equipment. But the number of components included in that starter package is well below what most consumers install, so the published base price is on the low side.
“There are so many permutations of what you can get that it would be impossible to publish all that information,” says Jefferson Lyman, previously the chief technology officer for Vivint Smart Home. Lyman says the base price is an attempt to provide a “ballpark figure,” and that the average cart size of a Vivint home security package is about $1,500. In comparison, the company’s base equipment price is listed at $599 for a touch-screen panel, two door/window sensors, and a motion detector.
You can expect a similar difference for other professionally-installed systems. The difference between the published starter price and the price you end up paying will be lower if your home is on the small side and larger if you want an arsenal of sensors and cameras or have a large property to monitor.
Read more here about Why Smart Home Security Systems Increase Your Home Value.
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