A first-time investment in home security means making the choice between a DIY product and a professionally installed system. Price point seems to be the dividing line for many consumers. But price is not the only thing to consider. Homeowners also need to understand what they are getting for the price being paid. Does a particular system represent a good value? That is the more important question.
So what does a consumer actually get with a professionally installed system? Basically, it boils down to four things:
- Repairs and upgrades
- Remote monitoring.
A DIY system gets the equipment only. You handle the installation yourself, while the rest costs extra. It may be that a given DIY system still represents a better value. On the other hand, a professionally installed system from a reputable provider could be the winner.
Professional installation is given here. That is the whole point of choosing this type of system. Here is the thing to know: a lot of companies offer free installation to get their foot in the door. It’s fine to take an offer for that reason. Just know that nothing is free. You may not be paying for installation upfront, but its costs are built into your total bill one way or another.
Vivint Smart Home says the quality of an installation job is critically important. Improperly installed equipment may not work correctly, which could put a homeowner in danger. To that end, online reviews can be an invaluable resource to learn about a company’s installation standards.
Company’s offering professionally installed systems can provide equipment under one of two models. The first is the rental model. The equipment is installed in your home, but you don’t own it. You rent it on a monthly basis, paying a combined rental and monitoring fee.
The other model is the purchase model. You purchase the equipment at the time of installation. You own it even if you decide to end your service agreement with the provider. You are also free to take the equipment with you should you choose to move.
3. Maintenance and Upgrades
How your service provider handles maintenance and upgrades depends on the equipment model you are working under. If you are renting equipment, your provider is responsible for maintaining it and making sure it is up to date. You may have to remind the company to do its job, but that responsibility is theirs.
Maintenance and upgrades are your responsibility if you own the equipment. You can probably get your provider to do the actual work, but you’ll have to pay for new equipment and any labor involved.
4. Remote Monitoring
Remote monitoring is arguably the biggest reason people choose professionally installed systems. You can get monitoring with a DIY system too, but people seem to be more comfortable having the same company that will monitor their systems handle the installation. They have more confidence that everything will work the way it should.
At any rate, remote monitoring is one of those features that really takes home security to the next level. Having professionally trained personnel watching over things means there is always an extra set of eyes and ears keeping tabs on your home. The one thing to remember is that monitoring comes with a monthly fee.
That is what you get with a professionally installed home security system. You will pay more, but will you get enough value to justify the higher price? Only you can decide that. Some homeowners insist on professionally installed equipment while others are happy to invest in a DIY system.