Truth is, a comprehensive home security system may cost a fraction of your monthly budget, but the resultant safety and peace of mind are PRICELESS.
Every homeowner can relate to Rosalynne Carter’s words, “Nothing’s more important than a good, safe, and secured home.”
Whether it's your first time setting up a home security system, or you wish to upgrade an existing home security system, proper knowledge of your options and their costs will help you:
- Set a realistic budget for your home security project
- Discover and prioritize features most important to you and your family
- Negotiate with providers for better prices or more suitable packages
- Compare available options and choose one that best fits your needs and budget
Today, we’ll help you understand the various costs involved when installing security systems in your home.
Home Security Installation Cost
An average home security system package costs between $250 and $1,100 for the initial setup.
However, the actual amount you’ll spend depends on
- The equipment—alarm, key fob, camera, motion sensors, door and window sensor, monitoring system.
- Control panel required to achieve it.
For example, a basic alarm-and-sensor security system without professional monitoring and other advanced security apparatus may cost you under a hundred bucks.
But a comprehensive option with additional features and materials, such as smoke and fire detectors, motion sensors, doorbell and indoor cameras, smart locks, and glass-break sensors, can cost over $3,000.
Factors that Affect the Cost of Home Security Systems
Let’s review a few key factors that’ll determine your budget for a home security system.
Size of Your Home
A basic, out-of-box, home security package comes with only a few doors and window sensors. While such starter kits are designed for small homes, you’ll need additional sensor devices for a larger property.
Remember, installers will charge more as the scope and required materials increase.
Type of Home Security System
There are two types of Home Security Systems: wired systems and wireless systems.
Wired Home Security Systems: These require wired connections between sensors, cameras, and alarms. Although these systems come at a lesser cost than wireless systems, the installation process is more complex and expensive.
Installing wired home security systems would mean breaking through your walls to install panels and run sensor wires. This requires experience, special care, and incurs a high cost on installation materials.
One key advantage, however, of wired systems is their low exposure to hacks. With less dependence on software and the internet, they’re almost impossible for hackers to compromise. Besides, they’re more reliable in locations with poor cell signals.
An average wired home security system costs between $800 and $1600.
Wireless Home Security Systems: They’re much easier to install than their wired counterparts, but the materials and monthly fees cost more.
The need for regular software upgrades on wireless systems often translates into recurrent replacement costs and maintenance expenses.
Wireless systems are also exposed to security risks, including:
- Hardware and software failure
- Poor cellular network reception
That said, it’s a relief that you can control these systems from your PC or smart device. You can also reassign cameras/sensors/alarms without rewiring or making major adjustments that may ruin your walls.
Plus, intruders have no physical lines to cut to compromise your security system.
These smart wireless security setups cost anywhere between $200 and $2,000.
Monitored systems: The basic home security system is pretty much an alarm connected to sensors. But for monitored security systems, as the name hints, the security company monitors your system’s sensor 24/7, always ready for action whenever the buzzer signals danger.
While a landline monitoring system increases your initial monthly bill by about $20 to $35, monitoring through GSM networks costs between $10 and $65.
If you own a landline, discuss with your security system provider how to save costs on your monitoring system.
Other Factors that Determine the Cost of Home Security
Any addition to your starter pack attracts an extra cost. Your choice of equipment will also tell how much extra you’ll spend.
- Motion sensors: Depending on the quality of the sensor and its location, these units cost anywhere between $25 and $200 each.
- Alarms: An extra unit of smoke and fire alarms cost around $35 to $100, while an additional window and door alarm sensor may have you spending an extra $25 to $300.
- CCTV: Most home security systems come with, at least, one security camera. But for more widespread coverage, depending on the size of your desired capture area, you may spend between $100 and $300 per unit.
- Panic buttons: Many homeowners always welcome the idea of including a panic button for medical emergencies. You, too, may have it with just an additional $30.
- Glass-break sensor: For between $5 and $250, you can get an alarm that goes off when a sliding glass door or window is smashed.
As mentioned, monitored security systems connect your home to the monitoring system. The cost of this setup is called the activation fee. While a monitored system provides better security, the activation fee may be as high as $230.
Although some companies include “Zero activation fees” in their marketing campaigns, they may recoup such perceived discounts in their monitoring charges or bills. Whether expressly stated as monthly fees or infused in some other costs, keep in mind there’s almost always something to pay for with monitored systems. So, always read the fine print.
Security providers charge a monthly fee for professional monitoring. The rate depends on your monitoring option—cellular monitoring or landline monitoring.
- Cellular Monitoring: involves using a wireless network to send signals to the home security firm through a GSM chip inserted in the control panel. While this monitoring style is the new norm, you’ll spend up to $65 monthly. Cellular monitoring serves as a backup when the landlines are down.
- Landline Monitoring: This once-traditional monitoring option costs only between $20 and $35 monthly. Your security provider transmits signals and monitors your home security system via your already-installed landlines.
DIY Vs. Professional Installation Cost
Where your budget is the dealbreaker, you’ll need to weigh the cost of a DIY home security installation against inviting a professional installer.
Doing the installation yourself will cut down the overall cost of your security system installation. Thankfully, some manufacturers deliver the security materials with an easy-to-follow DIY manual.
However, a DIY is more realistic for wireless security systems as it’s easier to install. Consider a professional for wired installations to avoid ruining the project and eventually spending more for an expert to fix the mess.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going for a wired system; if you're on a tight schedule or have zero tech experience, a professional installer is your best bet.
Professional Installation Cost
Installation cost involves the overall amount paid to an expert installer to mount the security system and run the necessary connections to the central hub.
Professional installation costs vary widely across installers based on:
- Installer experience
- Complexity of the system
- Addtional materials
- Layout and size of your home
However, an average installation service costs between $150 and $2050.
Installing a basic starter kit wireless system may cost barely over a hundred bucks. But wired systems for a large property with extensive security needs, requiring additional features and materials, will cost you many times more.
Professional Installation May Just Be the Right Fit for You
The cost of installing a home security system can vary based on several factors, including, the type of security system and the size of your home.
However, while a basic security system package with door and window sensors may cost between $70 and $300, a more advanced system with motion sensors, camera, professional monitoring, and monthly maintenance may cost at least $3000.
While DIY can help you save on installation costs, it requires additional time and some technical know-how. So, we advise you to go for professional home security system installation.
That said, before you open your wallet, compare features and prices from multiple home security providers in the US and find one that offers the best package for your needs and budget.