Pros and Cons of DIY Home Security

Advantages-of-Installing-a-Home-Security-System-Picture-1 Perhaps one of the larger headaches you may encounter when having a home alarm system installed is the recurring monthly fees associated with these systems. Though these fee are not necessarily exorbitant, they can add up over the course of the year. That’s why an emerging trend in home security these days is the DIY home security kit. These systems are similar to what you get from a professional security company albeit with two main differences: you install your system yourself (no technician) and there is no company monitoring of your home’s security.

Pros of a DIY Home Security System

It’s Less Expensive

A DIY home alarm has most of the system components you’re probably familiar with – keypad, door sensors, window sensors, and motion sensors – and still probably costs less than one that comes with third party monitoring. It’s almost always a one-time fee as well, so once you purchase your system, you probably won’t have to worry about additional alarm expenses.

It’s Wireless

Wireless alarm systems aren’t hard-wired into your electrical system, which makes them easier to install, expand, move, upgrade, and change.

It’s Portable

If you rent or think moving in the future could be a possibility, a DIY system would be easy to uninstall and take with you to your new home. This is could be particularly attractive for renters, who otherwise might not have or want the option for an embedded alarm system.

Online Monitoring

Many DIY systems offer “smart home” features, which means that via an online portal or phone app you can adjust things like the lights in your home, change the thermostat, and perform other adjustments – including home monitoring (depending on your system).    

Cons of a DIY Home Security System


Add-ons Can Be Expensive

If you need more components than come with your system – for example, extra window sensors – you’ll find the prices can stack up quite easily. The same is true for multiple doors and areas where you need motion sensors. That’s if you can even have the option to purchase components individually. Many DIY kits as sold as one, and if you want additional components, you may have to simply resort to buying another kit to supplement the first one.  

It’s Simple

Most home alarm companies offer security options above and beyond their basic package: battery backups, redundant alerts, pet-immune motion sensors, panic buttons, fire monitoring (with fire company alert), and more. A DIY home alarm generally does not offer anything beyond basic wireless security. Although there are more DIY kits emerging that offer ever increasing forms of security (which is a good thing).

No Connection to Police

One of the biggest advantages to a monitored alarm system is that the police and/or fire company is alerted in case of emergency. This does not happen with a DIY system, which notifies you (and others you put on the notification list), making it your responsibility to decide on the next course of action yourself.

Warranty and/or Support Limitations

One problem that may arise from DIY systems is that once you buy it, you’re often on your own. The manufacturer may be able to answer basic questions, but you won’t be able to call for regular tech support, free equipment upgrades, etc.

You’re Responsible for Repairs

With a traditional burglar alarm, your alarm company will replace faulty equipment free of charge, or at least at a reduced cost. With a DIY system, if a component (or the entire system) fails, the replacement cost is yours.

Incorrect Installation

True to name, you’ll do it yourself with this system. While most of them are rather straightforward and relatively easy to install, it’s still all on you whether you did it all properly.


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