Pros and Cons of DIY Home Security Systems

Read the fine print before you purchase a self-install, or do-it-yourself, home security system. (DepositPhotos)

Threats are everywhere — you can never tell where a thief will plan a heist next. For peace of mind, the solution is to install a home security system.

However, hefty installation and monitoring fees can raise concerns as well. One option that homeowners lean toward is self-installed, or do-it-yourself, home security systems.

Here, we will discuss this option’s advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of DIY Installation

1. It is cheaper than a professional installation. Cost-wise, installation of home security systems is relatively more affordable than letting a service provider do it for you.
A complete set of window sensors, door sensors and motion detector sensors could cost you around $200. This is a one-time purchase and can save you a few hundred bucks.

2. Most home security systems are portable and wireless. When you need to upgrade to a higher version, you can instantly remove or re-position it. There is no more fussing with electrical wires and risking electrocution.

3. Most home security systems can alert you through online and cellphone notifications. Home security systems can connect the user through a specific online portal (one that is usually compatible or built in with the system). So you can access the system and tinker through its settings with just an internet connection.

Disadvantages of DIY systems

1. Add-ins are expensive by piece. Home security systems are usually sold by set. Purchasing an individual piece can cost you more. Additional pieces like extra window sensors can cost up to $30 each. Not only that, you still have to pay for the accessories to install it.

2. Warranty is limited, and repairs are your responsibility. Once you purchase and install a system by yourself, you’re often on your own. Imminent repairs and expenses are your responsibility and your liability.
Always read the fine print and know your system’s benefits and limitations.

3. They’re prone to incorrect installation. There are a lot of videos circulating on the internet on how to install home security systems by yourself.
Until you grasp the idea of correctly installing it, you might want to call your local electrician and let them do it.

4. Loss of some features.You can receive extra features when you let experts handle home security system installation. These include notifications to the police (some DIY sets offer this; others don’t — read the fine print!), after-sales service, and support. You may benefit from none of these when you install a security system by yourself.

Security and safety are every homeowner’s concern. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons to make a sound decision.

The decision should reflect on your lifestyle choices, budget and the level of security you want to achieve.


  1. Mr. Lipford,
    In my area, your show is aired at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday morning….I struggle to watch it even though I am half asleep. I saw Show 998 this morning which included the Lockly’s smart lock. It’s a little pricey for me right now. FYI…I had a difficult time finding it in the segment on-line.
    I saw a new product on another home improvement show that was a deadbolt with a piece of metal that was inserted along the side into the door so the lock could not be picked. I caught the tail-end of the product segment and didn’t catch the name. I haven’t been able to find out any information about it. I emailed the person on that home improvement show and never received a response.
    I am hoping you are familiar with this new product, or know about it. I didn’t know where to email you.

    Thank you,
    S. Trigo


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