Let’s face it, home security and alarm monitoring can be expensive. And we all value the safety of our families as priceless!
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do home security for less!
Let’s begin by breaking down some of the costs of home security.
Home Security Cost Breakdown
Home Security Hardware
A variety of hardware devices are needed to complete a home security system. While not all are needed or included in every home security system, each device adds an additional layer of security.
- Security Control Panels: Security control panels are essentially the brain of your home security system. Features vary greatly depending on the system you choose but in general, the control panel is responsible for linking all other hardware devices including door/window sensors, cameras, communication devices (to communicate with your monitoring service), alarm speakers, etc.
- Window and Door Sensors: Next, you have window and door sensors. These sensors are responsible for tracking and reporting which doors and windows are opening, both when the alarm is armed and when it is not. Door and window sensors can be pre-wired in new homes or can be wireless if installed after construction.
- Home Security Cameras: Home security cameras often have the ability to take both photos and video within and outside of your home. Some homeowners prefer to have cameras in key locations such as the front door, rear door, driveway, etc. Others go so far as to install security systems within their home. In more advanced systems, camera footage can be sent to the homeowners smart phone, TV, etc.
- Motion Detectors: The purpose of motion detectors are to track significant movement in your home. Motion sensors are extremely useful for homeowners who are on vacation and don’t anticipate any movement in their homes.
- Alarm Speakers: Alarm speakers are a great deterrant. While your security alarm may be configured to call the police during a break-in, a more immediate deterrant is a lound alarm speaker which let’s the burlger know that the alarm has been triggered. This alone is often enough to get the purpatrator out of your home.
Monitoring Your Home Security System
Home security monitoring is another cost to consider. After all, what’s the point of a home security system if there’s no one around to call for help when your home is being broken into. Home monitoring plans can vary greatly in costs and much of the time, the company selling the monitoring is simply a re-seller of one of the large monitoring centers in the USA. It’s key to understand your ongoing costs with regards to monitoring as a small price difference will add up over time.
Home Security Installation
Did we forget to mention that home security systems do not install themselves? Whoops!
Depending on your situation, home security installation can cost you anywhere from $0 to several hundred dollars. Here are some options:
- DIY Home Security Installation: Some homeowners opt to install their own alarm systems buy purchasing plug-n-play systems. In the case, your only cost is your own time.
- Pre-construction installation: For wired home security systems, it will cost you money to have your new home contractor pre-wire your home for home security. This usually includes running wiring for sensors, alarm speakers, your control panel, etc.
- Post-construction wireless installation: If you’re installing a security system in an existing home (and don’t want to DIY), installation costs will likely be an issue.
So How Much Will I Pay for Home Security?
Each and every home security company bundles home security products and services in a different way. Here are some common ways which we see home security bundled:
- “Foot in the Door” Bundle: In this situation, the alarm company will charge you nothing to provide install the equipment for your new home? Why? Simple, they will force you into a long-term contract where they will recoup costs over time. This can be a good option if you want to avoid hefty start-up costs.
- “Standard Sally” Bundle: In this situation, the alarm company will charge you up front for equipment and installation but your monthly monitoring costs will be much lower. This is a good option if you want the least long-term costs and can afford to pay more up front.
- “The Hybrid” Bundle: This bundle is a mix of the “Foot in the Door” and “Standard Sally” bundles. This is the most common where alarm companies will change just a little to get started and monthly fees will be moderate.
Our #1 Tip for Finding the Best Deals
When you’re shopping for home security, simply calculate the upfront and ongoing costs and figure out what your costs will be for 12 months, 24 months, 36 months, etc. and choose the plan which provides the msot value over the long run (unless your only purchasing a temporary solution). All too often we see homeowners get caught up in high monthly fees which cost a lot over the lang haul.