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Can a DIY Built Alarm System Beat a Pro Installation?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 0:25
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DIY alarm installation is hard work, right?

But professionally fitted alarm systems are expensive, right?

And overall, a pro installation is worth it because it’s the only way to be sure of your security, right?

Backin the 13thCentury, a pro intruder deterrent system consisted of a drawbridge, portcullis, and barbican kill zone like they had in a castle. That’s a lot of skilled labor and rock breaking.

In the 21stCentury, we have electronics, sirens and movement sensors. Pro and DIY alarm systems all have the same components, so let’s look at how a pro system differs from a DIY one.

Whether a burglar chooses your home is more than a matter of luck. Burglars are opportunists who look for the easiest targets. Installing any alarm system and setting it will reduce the chance of a burglar choosing you.

You need to register your alarm with the local police department, which will cost you about $12 per year. All alarm companies will phone the householder if your alarm is activated, and send the police if you cannot give them your secret code word.

Ease of Installation

There is nothing easier than getting someone in to do a job you don’t want to do yourself. However you might not want strangers traipsing around your house, demanding coffee and smoking cigarettes, so there are even downsides to paying someone to do the work.

Modern alarm systems are wireless, so there are no cables to be run around your house, no drilling floors and ceilings to take the cables upstairs and no wires to cut through in a few years when you are doing a home improvement job. Companies that install alarms will offer you wired or wireless systems, so you have added flexibility there.

SimpliSafe is one company offering sensors and other alarm system components for a DIY install. SimpliSafe has a 5-minute feature video showing how simple is the setup process, on their Facebook page.

Advantage DIY – If you are installing a wireless system you can mount all the components yourself and do not need strangers running around your home with hammers and drills.

Security

An alarm installation company will test your system once it is in place. If you install an alarm system yourself, you can test it, in the same way.

You will use similar sensors in your alarm system regardless of who installs it, so a pro installer has no advantages in this field

Advantage Both – If the system test is satisfactory, you know it works.

Monitoring

You need systemmonitoring and it is not an option you should omit. Most alarm companies that use professional installers charge $30 a month for a basic monitoring service and $50 for one that includes cell phone monitoring and alerts. There is also a minimum 36-month contract with most professional fitting services.

SimpliSafe offers a DIY installation and basic monitoring for $15 per month, and even the bells and whistles monitoring that can be controlled from your cell phone is only $25 per month.

Advantage DIY – The DIY install system from Simpilsafe offers the same monitoring service at half the price and without a 3-year contract.

Flexibility

What happens when you add a kitchen extension to your home or want to change sensors around for any reason?

If you had a professional installation, you call the company and pay them to come out and add extra sensors. If you SimpliSafe DIY installation, you just take your new sensor, pull the plastic strip that activates it, and remove the protective covers from the adhesive strips on the back of the sensor body. Locate the new sensor wherever you need it to be, and it works. That’s hardly worth $100 or more to call someone out.

Advantage DIY – A SimpliSafe DIY installation is so simple a 5-year old child could add a new sensor

Warranty

Professionally installed systems do not offer a money-back guarantee.

SimpliSafe’s DIY-installed systems include a 60-day money back guarantee, even if you don’t like the color of the sensors.

Advantage DIY – SimpliSafe’s 2-month warranty is the icing on the cake.

Price

You get what you pay for, yes?

No.

With professional installation you get:

  • Control panel
  • Sensors
  • Siren
  • Remote control
  • 36-month monitoring contract at $50 per month
  • Alarm installation guys tramping all over your house
  • Hidden extras for alarm calls, dedicated phone line or cellular connection

With theDIY installation of a SimpliSafe system you get:

  • Control panel
  • Sensors
  • Siren
  • Remote control
  • Month-to-month rolling monitoring contract at $25 per month

Advantage DIY – You get the same quality sensors, control panel and remotes without the three-year commitment to an expensive monitoring service.

The Winner

A Do-it-Yourself alarm installation from a company such as SimpliSafe wins every time against overpriced professional installations.

 

 

 

 

 

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Total 3 comments
  • Anonymous

    Only problem in UK with this type of system is that insurance companies will not approve it and give discount on insurance unless fitted by approved installer with maintenance contract. I am electrical engineer and have worked with alarm systems but could not install in relatives house a system for this reason I just gave exact specification with duel infrared and microwave detectors for hard wired system and asked approved companies how much to install. They all wanted to cut corners except one that got contract with zero false alarms over 3 years so far.

  • Icecharge

    I have made friends with a wolf clan that send one or a couple of them to scout our yard, so no crooks dare to come near my house. I cannot give them any instructions nor a schedule but it does not matter. The rumors concerning my four legged guards make the crooks to fear so much that they don’t come to sneak around my house. The wolves are more trustworthy than any people that I cannot guarantee. They only need to chase small rodents, squirrels and hares for their food and I allow them to do that. If a wolf bites a crook, I am not responsible because the wolves are wild animals and I don’t prevent them from roaming as they want. I am living at the Arctic Circle in Finland.

  • hansom

    With the correct means,method and motive.
    Sure you can.

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