Weighing the Pros and Cons of Professional vs. DIY Alarm System Installation

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Professional vs. DIY Alarm System Installation

Having an alarm system in your home is a smart investment that provides peace of mind while you are away and serves a variety of functions to automate and protect your home, your belongings and your loved ones. The decision to purchase one is the first step; then, you’ll need to decide how you’d like it installed. Many people choose to save money with a do-it-yourself installation, while others may feel more comfortable leaving their alarm system installation to a professional. Either way, there are three major things to consider when choosing which method is better, professional vs. DIY alarm system installation:


Professional. The ultimate benefit of having your system professionally installed is that you can simply sit back and relax while someone else does the work. A professional also provides the experience to ensure that your alarm system is installed correctly and that it’s functioning properly. In most cases, professionals will also offer training while they’re at your home to ensure you understand all of your alarm system’s features and can take advantage of them fully.

DIY. Though a professional installer may take all of the work out of your hands, do-it-yourself alarm system installation isn’t all that difficult either. Most DIY alarm systems are wireless, so you won’t need any special tools or skills to install them, and can take under 30 minutes to set up. Also, since most companies offer DIY installation as an option, you can simply call customer service on the phone and they will walk you through the process, giving you the comfort of crosschecking your actions with a professional. On the other hand, you are ultimately more familiar with your home than any professional installer, and therefore know where you need to place each sensor and monitor to maximize the effectiveness of your alarm system.


Professional. You always want to ask before buying or check your contract, but typically professionally installed alarm systems are still owned by the alarm system provider. This means that there may be an extra fee associated with relocating your system in the event of a move, and some equipment may even be left behind at the original location.

DIY. If you install the system yourself, in most situations, you own the equipment outright, but be sure to check with your selected provider to confirm. When you own the system, your alarm system moves with you, with no difficulty or added fees. However, in some cases, this ownership can also be perceived as a burden, as moving and installing your equipment from location to location can add stress to the moving process.


Professional. Professional installation is typically more costly than DIY, since you’re paying for the professional’s time and expertise. Depending on the flexibility of your schedule, you’ll also want to consider the time involved with professional installation, since there will likely be a waiting period between when you call to set the appointment and when your equipment is installed. In most cases, your alarm system provider will work with you to have your system installed at the earliest convenience, and some providers even offer same-day installation.

DIY. There are often no fees associated with installing your own equipment. You simply purchase it outright and do all the work yourself. Time is a cost to consider in DIY installation as well, however, as installations can take anywhere between 30 minutes and a few hours depending on its complexity. Both professional and DIY will most likely require a monthly live monitoring or subscription fee, so be sure to read through your contract.

Type of Alarm System

Many wireless and Bluetooth-enabled devices are by nature DIY projects, since all you have to do is connect the main control panel to your router and configure the other components through computer software or a mobile app. Many DIY alarm systems also come with various sensors and add-ons that connect to the main hub wirelessly; all you have to do is place them around the house and make sure they are turned on.

Other alarm systems, such as silent alarms, sirens, and keypad entry systems, may lend themselves more to a professional since they require more wiring and integration with your home’s internet and phone lines. For example, if you’d like your alarm system to automatically contact your police department, it will likely need to hook directly into your phone line, something only a licensed expert should handle. Manual entry codes will also need to be programmed, which can be tricky for a non-professional.

Overall, there are pros and cons to weigh when considering professional vs. DIY alarm system installation. If you have the time and money, it may be a good idea to hire a professional, since they provide comfort and ease throughout the entire installation process. You’ll know your alarm system was installed correctly, and you can sit back and relax while it’s happening. DIY alarm system installation might be a good idea if you’re on a budget or have the urge to take on a project. Though installation is pretty simple, there can be an added layer of doubt throughout the process if you’re not an alarm system expert. That being said, each alarm system user should weigh their options and decide which installation method works best for their needs.

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