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Published: May 10, 2024 5 min read

The best home security systems can help protect your family and home from potential threats, but the installation and monitoring costs can quickly add up. If you’re thinking of installing and maintaining a home security system on your own, here are some things you should know, including how a DIY home security system works and how to set one up.

How does DIY home security work?

A DIY (do-it-yourself) home security system is one that you can install and monitor by yourself without professional assistance. You can buy the equipment you need and set it up to fit your home needs without being beholden to a full-time contract with a home security company.

A home security system can also increase the value of your home and help you pay less on homeowner’s insurance. A DIY home security system is the least expensive and most customizable option for home security.

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What should be part of my DIY home security system?

Choosing which gadgets to include in your home security system is an important step. Getting too many devices can significantly increase the cost, whereas having too few of them may leave blind spots in your security setup.

Here’s some of the most common parts of a home security system.

An alarm system

Alarm systems usually consist of sensors connected to a base station control panel. The control panel will have a keypad or a touchscreen used to arm and disarm the system. If triggered, the alarm will go off and can directly notify you and/or the authorities.

Security cameras

This type of camera includes video doorbells, outside security cameras and indoor security cameras for sensitive areas, such as a garage or a main entry point. Smart camera footage can be checked on your phone and can be stored on a cloud-based system or a local hard drive.

Smart locks

Smart locks allow users to remotely activate or deactivate them, usually through an app on their phone. They can be a useful tool if you’re remotely monitoring your house and spot a potential threat.

Battery backup system

No matter how simple or involved your setup is, you’re gonna want to invest in a backup system of some kind in case a power outage or another type of electrical problem interferes with your security system.

How to get started with DIY home security

Determine your security needs

Different homes have different needs, which will vary based on your type of home, the number of points of entry and windows and your budget. Before making any purchases, list all of the things you will need, including the devices for your home security setup as well as the tools needed for the installation.

Shop for the best deals

The best DIY home security systems have a wide variety of smart home integrations and a high level of customization. One of the benefits of setting up a DIY home security system is that you’re not beholden to devices from just one security company.

Even though many companies sell premade DIY home security system bundles, feel free to shop around to get the best offer possible. When doing so, check if the gadgets you’re buying are compatible with the system you’re setting up.

Make sure your system is properly installed

A DIY installation means you might need to troubleshoot to ensure all your gadgets are working properly in conjunction with each other. Follow the manual’s instructions to confirm the proper installation protocol for each of the gadgets you’re installing. Then, test out your setup before making any permanent changes to your house.

Consider smart home integration

Smart home integration allows you to stay connected to your devices and security hub and to control them remotely when you’re away from home. Most of the current security system hardware is already smart-enabled, so it should be easy to integrate them via a smart home automation system. This is especially crucial if you want to monitor potential threats yourself instead of opting for a professional monitoring service.

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*Homeowner's Insurance Savings: Some insurance companies offer discounts on homeowner's insurance. Please consult your insurance company.