We have received a bunch of questions about "Do It Yourself" alarm systems. Stores like Costco and Sam's have some very low priced system. Plus, typically when you do something yourself you can save a lot of extra money.
When it comes to security systems a DIY alarm installation can be a more difficult choice. First, the high quality bullet proof equipment your insurance company requires and a monitoring center needs to monitor your alarm is designed for low voltage technicians. In the state of GA, a low voltage technician or alarm installation supervisor must be certified, just like a plumber or regular electrician. The installers for these systems are trained by the manufacturers and have special support personnel with the manufacturer like Honeywell that aid in the installation. Plus, if you run into an issue, you may have to hire a tech to help anyway. These costs add up quickly.
When you install an alarm system yourself, you are on your own and the hassle typically doesn't support the savings. Fortunately, most alarm installers perform the installation at or below the cost. For example, our standard package that would cover most home security needs is only $299 and can be ungraded for use wirelessly with no home phone for $199 additional. The wireless communicator alone that we charge $199 for costs us $175 not including the tech to install it. So, the savings really never pan out. Of course, there are even some companies that install security systems for free, but the catch is they charge really high monthly rates and lock you into a long term contract. You are essentially financing the system at very high interest rates.
The bottom line, unless you make minimum wage, it's probably a better deal to have the professionals install the system for you.