DIY vs Professional Alarm Installation-Which is Best?
Do I need to pay a Pro?
One of the first things you will need to decide when investing in a home security company is whether you wish to have it professionally installed or if you are going to do it yourself. Not too long ago, there was no realistic choice between DIY vs professional alarm installations. Security systems were all hard wired and required a professional installation technician to wire the system, (cutting holes in the walls, drilling and “fishing” wires) program and test each of the devices, and ensure proper set up of phone line seizure and/or cellular communication programming. However, advances in wireless technology and over the air programming capabilities have greatly simplified the installation process and now make it possible for virtually anyone to install their own system.
When purchasing a system through a reputable DIY Home Security Company, the entire system is typically preconfigured before it is shipped, eliminating the need to “enroll” (program in) the devices-further simplifying and streamlining the process. Essentially, the systems are virtually “plug-n-play”…and devices just need to be placed and mounted. Just follow the step by step manual, video or call in- and a trained installation professional will walk you through the entire process. Once the system is in place…a quick call to the company, and the system can be activated and put “online”.
Many people are recognizing the ease of installation and taking advantage of the economic benefits of self installed systems. But, ultimately, the decision is yours…and you will have to weigh the pros and cons.
The Pros and Cons of DIY
- More Cost Effective– Compared to most professionally installed systems, installing your own system can save you hundreds, or even thousands over a professionally installed system. While costs might be similar on smaller “basic” systems, the equipment upgrade costs of more comprehensive packages will be substantially less on DIY systems. In addition, monthly monitoring cost are often less….saving you money in the long run as well.
- No Waiting– Once the equipment has arrived, there is no need to take time off from work or schedule an installation time. No worries about having strangers in your home…You can get started right away-at a time that is convenient for you.
- Enhances Familiarity– By becoming actively involved in the entire process, homeowners and renters who install their own systems are more engaged and become more familiar with all the features and operation of their systems. This ultimately leads to a better ownership experience.
- Portability– Because the system is wireless- when you move, it moves with you….and there are no additional moving or associated installation costs.
- More Effort– Despite the fact that great strides have been made in streamlining the installation process, it will still require more effort on your part to install it yourself.
- Inexperience– Some people may still feel a bit of the stress or anxiety that is common when taking on any new task in which one has little or no prior experience.
Recommended DIY Alarm Companies
Pros and Cons of Professional Installation
- Experience/Efficiency– An experienced installer will be able to complete the installation with greater efficiency.
- On Site Expertise– The installer will be on site to consult with recommended equipment locations and answer any questions you may have.
- On Site Troubleshooting– If there is an issue with equipment or configuration, s/he can troubleshoot and resolve any problems directly.
- Scheduling-Installations must be scheduled and coordinated. It may be necessary to take time off from work. Some people may have serious reservations about allowing a stranger into their home and providing personal information and access.
- Less System Engagement– While it might be easier to just “sit back and relax”, the installation training is often cursory and incomplete. Installers have to get to the next job…and residents are often distracted.
- Expense– A professionally installed security systems is typically significantly more expensive. While it may be marketed as “free” installation, the costs are usually built in to higher add-on equipment costs, higher monthly monitoring and maintenance fees….or both.
Recommended Professional Installation Companies
While it is perfectly normal to experience a bit of the fear of the unknown- the reality is that the enhanced technology and the improved systems and procedures employed by the better DIY home security companies have made it possible for virtually anyone to install their own home security system. Simply put…it’s not rocket science.
Despite the fact that systems can do so much more….life safety, home automation, remote observation….systems are more user friendly than ever before- both to install and operate. As a matter of fact, 92% of all Link Interactive customers found the system “easy to install”. Companies like Protect America, who pioneered the DIY home security industry, have over 20 years experience and provide excellent instruction manuals, videos and provide both phone and internet “chat” installation and tech support.
So…there may still be those who opt for the convenience and peace of mind of a professionally installed system. But, if you are looking to save some money, avoid scheduling hassles and get more familiar with all that your system has to offer…most will find that the DIY installation is a breeze.
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