Home Security Systems – is DIY Better?
Spend any time on different parts of the internet reading the reviews of residential security systems and home automation solutions, and one will quickly notice a recurring theme of “DIY vs Pro”. This is the dilemma that many security alarm buyers face – the choice between buying and installing the alarm equipment on your own and taking your chances with self-monitoring, i.e. the “DIY” option, or calling in a professional security company to handle the installation and monitoring.
Currently, the electronic security systems and services industry is very crowded – some may even say overly so, with everything from established giant brands promoting extensive “Authorized Dealer” networks, to family-owned regional players (such as Supreme Security Systems), to venture-backed “disruptor” start-up firms offering DIY solutions, all the way to the leading retail home improvement and appliance chains that are now offering self-installed security hardware.
It may seem like a company like Supreme Security Systems, one of the leading professional alarm installation and monitoring companies in NJ, with its fleet of highly trained and experienced installation technicians would automatically support the “Pro” option. However, that is actually not the case. Far from it in fact. The reality is, for at least some residential customers, a DIY option is actually the better choice. If a would-be buyer’s situation aligns with any of those described below, then that buyer may want to strongly consider DIY. Everyone who does not match up with any of the below categories should analyze their individual needs and requirements weighed against their budget and ability to pay and consider the pro option.
For those who live in rented living space, then a DIY alarm equipment system is probably going be the only real option. Landlords generally are not receptive to tenants taking a drill to the walls of their buildings, so that means in most cases, if a renter wants additional security measures that go beyond what the building or complex provides (i.e. guards/doormen, CCTV cameras, secure entrance lobby, etc.), they’re relegated to the DIY category.
The word affordability is used to describe products and services that lie within one’s financial means. While everyone desires to feel safe, secure and protected in their own residence, not everyone can afford to have a professional security company provide it. Although price should not be the overriding concern when evaluating home security systems, we don’t recommend buying a system beyond anyone’s affordability. DIY can be an attractive choice for the budget-constrained because the price points tend to be lower.
In order to enter into a contract with a professional security alarm company for installation and ongoing monitoring, most providers will run a credit check, which is actually fairly standard for any service that has a monthly payment. An unfavorable credit score, which can be caused by any combination of too much debt, past problems like missed or late payments and/or a lack of credit history, may lead to a security systems provider to require a larger-than-usual upfront payment, or, on rare occasions, turned down a prospective customer.
Adverse to Contracts
Many DIY options are advisable for those who can’t or won’t commit themselves to a monitoring and service contract. We can’t speak to what other security alarm companies put in their contracts, but every Supreme Security Systems customer signs a multi-year contract. They trust us with their long-term life safety of their families, they get skilled technicians to install the system, teach residents how to operate it, and test it to make sure it works properly. Our contracted customers also get 24/7/365 monitoring from our UL-listed monitoring center (100% of its operators certified by the CSAA Central Station Operator courses) and live talk-to-a-real-person customer support. The DIY customer, while free from any contractual commitments, is much less likely to get anything close to those benefits.
“DIY” isn’t going to deliver the same levels of safety as pro, just the same as a “Pro” option can be made available for the lowest rungs on the pricing ladder. An expression that can be used to describe the security industry is ‘one size does NOT fit all.”