Security systems have become an essential part of our homes, ensuring adequate protection from intruders, and giving us extra peace of mind. When people are looking to buy a security system, the first question that comes up is “Which system to buy? DIY or a professional security system” People are generally confused with the enormous options available on the market. There are a couple of devices that might attract you initially. For instance, people end up buying a DIY product, as it is cheaper, without adequately analysing their requirements. But remember cheaper is not always better. In fact, Price is not the only factor to buy a home security system. You should always take into consideration other important factors as you plan to purchase a new security system.
This article will give you an insight into both types of systems – their pros and cons, features, pricing, and contracts – and help you make an informed decision.
What are DIY Security Systems?
DIY security products are systems that do not require any professional assistance. These are “easy to set-up” devices that are handy and can be installed by anyone. They usually come with a user guide that gives you step-by-step instructions for the device to work. People on the move like renters prefer these products mostly because they are portable and don’t need a third party to install them. You can also find them anywhere online or offline.
1) Easy and Quick Installation
The DIY systems do not require any professional and technical knowledge for the set-up. Anyone is eligible to carry out the installation. And because of this, you tend to save the installation fee that goes to the security company in a professional grade product.
Usually, they are cheaper than the graded systems that a security specialist offers. You only pay for the device and save on the cost of installation.
3) Easy to carry and install
All DIY products are wireless and portable, and inside your home, you can save yourself from the big mess of fixing cables and wires. Besides, if you decide to move, you can also transfer them and carry them to another property. For renters who tend to switch to various properties, these are most appropriate.
5) No contract needed
The best part of purchasing a DIY product is that it does not require a contract. However, you do have the choice to opt for an on-going monitoring fee.
6) Scalable & Convenient
DIY products are scalable, and you can upgrade them depending on your needs. Users can upgrade the system by adding extra sensors to it, anytime they want.
1) Need tools and ladders
You would require the right tools to install the system yourself to have an excellent DIY experience. This would include drill sets to install devices, ladders for internal and external use to avoid damage to walls and decoration.
2) Lack of professional expertise
During the set-up, the lack of professional knowledge can create a challenge and result in improper installation. The system could end up incorrectly functioning. At any time, it can even trigger a false alarm and can create problems for you.
3) Complicated in case of additional sensors
When you decide to add other devices on top of the standard package, that can be quite tricky. And it might take a lot of time to set up all the components if it is a big property.
4) No Support for Maintenance
You will be responsible for the overall maintenance of the device. To replace or fix any faulty item, you will not get any technical support. You will have to sort out all the technical problems on your own. And you’ll have to get the entire device replaced if the device goes out of warranty.
3) No 3rd-Party Monitoring available
A DIY product does not support 3rd party monitoring services. Mostly, they are self-monitored and send alerts straight to your phone. Therefore, no additional fees are required, that go to the third party for monitoring.
4) Doesn’t comply with the British standards for intruder alarms
They are non-British standard graded alarms and do not comply with industry standards. Most insurers will never recommend a DIY product to protect your home. Therefore, always remember that your insurance may be void in a robbery if you are using a DIY product. Before making a purchase, always consult with your insurance company.
5) Limitations for future upgrades
DIY systems focus on each of installation and purposefully limit variations from basic configurations in the system. Most systems only come with one communication module (landline/ sim cards/ broadband, etc.), and you cannot add additional alerting methods.
6) Availability of replacement parts
DIY products tend to have a shorter shelf life than professionally installed and maintained systems. They can be problematic if there is a fault where you might need to replace the whole system. A classic example of a well-known DIY alarm manufacturer has introduced around 14 product ranges in the last six years. But unfortunately, at the moment they only offer components for only 4 of them.
Companies offering DIY Security Products
Top companies offering DIY security products
- SimpliSafe– Wireless Home Security Alarms and Cameras
- Ring.com– Wireless Video Doorbell, Cameras and Security Systems
- Yale– Security Alarms, Cameras, Door Locks, Smart Security
The prices of all these systems will vary depending on the type of product they are selling.
What are Professional Security Systems?
A professional security system is installed and managed by a professional installer who is a certified professional that complies with industry standards. Professional companies give you full assurance that the system is correctly installed and is working in line with industry regulations. These systems are usually British grade 2 and grade 3 and are audited and labelled based on their ability to detect intrusion.
Watch our video on types of burglar alarm grades and learn what suits your property type.
1) Certified Professionals
Professional security companies have years of experience and industry knowledge. They are certified by industry-ruled security bodies such as SSAIB, NSI. They ensure that these companies comply with the industry standards and regulations that are relevant to the marketplace.
We are a UK-based SSAIB-certified security installer. All of our technicians are BS7858 Screened, and CRB checked for your protection.
2) Annual Maintenance
All British-grade alarms are fully maintained by security experts once or twice a year. If your alarm system is under warranty and something goes wrong, you will receive full technical and maintenance support from your provider. If any fault is detected, the service provider shall replace the defective item if the system is under warranty.
Note: All of our alarms are supplied and installed with a minimum of 1-year onsite warranty. You can also opt to have our all-inclusive extended warranty of up to 10 years. Our annual maintenance package starts at £10 per month. If you want to know more about it, you can contact us.
3) Security Assessment
Security companies will always conduct a property assessment and provide you with the best recommendations based on your requirements. This may be a blessing for people who are unsure which security system they should choose for their property.
Note: If you want to book a survey of your property, let us know, and we’ll book an appointment for you. Please note that we are offering a FREE survey to all our customers.
4) Customise the product based on your requirement
Based on your needs, you can always ask your provider for a customised product with additional sensors for your property. You can also combine it with a camera sensor or a video doorbell or any other smart device as required.
You can get the best recommendation for your home with professional guidance. And with a customised solution, you’ll get what you want without any hassle.
5) 3rd-Party Monitoring
British grade alarm systems installed by a professional shall always be eligible for third party monitoring. This is helpful if you are in a high-risk property where you would like the local authority to act immediately after an intrusion is detected.
6) British-Graded and Insurance Approved Alarms
Professional security companies operate only British-grade safety systems, i.e. Grade 2 and Grade 3, which are highly recommended by insurance companies for security reasons. British-grade alarms are more resilient and effective for break-ins than DIY systems that do not comply with industry standards.
1) Added cost of professional advice and installation
Professional companies will charge you an additional installation fee. The overall cost of the entire system will, therefore, always be higher than the DIY product. Also, if you lease your security system, you’ll end up paying monthly interest as well. It’s not an excellent choice for people who have budget constraints.
2) Fixed-term contract if on lease
Some of these companies provide fixed-term lease security systems. Once signed, you can’t exit the deal until it’s over. Some companies will also charge you a huge cancellation fee if you decide to break the agreement and take back the equipment.
3) Time-bound Installation
In general, companies offer you an installation schedule based on the availability of their technicians. You will have to be available during the assigned time slot; otherwise, you might need to wait for another slot that could be days apart.
4) On-going monthly costs
If you are leasing a security system, you will have to pay a monthly fee throughout your agreement period. The cumulative pay calculated over the contract period will always be higher than an outright purchase option.
Professional Security Companies
Companies offering professional British-grade security systems
- ADT– Provides leased home security systems.
- Verisure – Provides leased home security systems.
- FHA Security – Outright purchase of burglar alarms, CCTVs, and smart security with an optional maintenance plan option.
Learn more about the leased and outright purchase of the security systems and take an informed decision for yourself.
Pricing & Contracts
There are two types of quotes that you would get from professional installation companies.
1) Outright Purchase
Companies will charge you for installation and equipment. You will have the choice to opt for a monthly maintenance plan to resolve any technical faults that may arise in the future. In this scenario, you have 100% ownership of the system. These kits usually start at £399, including supplies, fittings, and VAT, and can go up to £899 based on the equipment’s customisation. Maintenance charges will always be separate and usually start at £10/month. Companies like FHA Security, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, also offer flexible finance for you to pay for the system over up to 3 years.
In this case, the security system is offered on lease for a fixed-term period between 18 and 36 months. You will be liable to pay a fixed monthly charge for the entire period for your system’s equipment, installation, and service cost. The equipment is taken back by your provider at the end of the contract. Usually, the cumulative payment in this type of contract is between £3,500 and £5,500 over ten years.
Unfortunately, there is no correct answer to this question. It depends entirely on your budget and requirements. However, we would always recommend leaving home security in the hands of experts to maintain complete protection.
What are we going to offer you as a Home Security Installer?
- Professional home security advice
- Free property survey and security recommendation
- Bespoke Home security solutions – Burglar alarms, CCTV systems, Home automation
- Flexible financing options for new purchases
- An optional monthly maintenance plan with up to 10 years of warranty
- Express installation services for new purchases- fitted within 24/48 hours or on a Saturday.
- Annual burglar alarm service
- Open for 365 days