Security System Installation: Professional vs. DIY

Go Professional or DIY?

All security systems need to be installed, but it’s up to you whether professional installation or DIY installation is your best fit.

Here are some signs that professional installation might be right for you.

  • You want an extensive system with multiple door and window sensors, indoor security cameras, and outdoor cameras.
  • You don’t mind scheduling time with an installer.
  • You have room in your budget for installation fees.
  • You’re not into DIY.

Here are some signs that DIY installation might be right for you.

  • You want a simple system with a few window and door sensors and maybe one indoor security camera.
  • You don’t want a stranger in your home.
  • You don’t want to pay extra for installation.
  • You’re totally into DIY.

Obviously, those statements are just the tip of the iceberg, and both methods have their pros and cons. Generally, DIY installation is cheaper, but professional installation is easier. Most professionally installed systems require professional monitoring and may come with contracts, whereas it’s easier to find a DIY installed system with no contracts and optional monitoring.

To help you make the best choice for your life, we take a deeper look at the ins and outs of both types of security system installation.

Professional Installation


  • No toolbelt required
  • Security assessment included
  • System tutorial provided


  • Installation fees
  • Time commitment
  • May not work for renters

The best part of professional installation is that you get to sit back and relax while someone installs your home security system. You won’t need to worry about whether or not you did it wrong or spend time listening to automated directions or reading a pamphlet.

You’ll need to clear time to be home during the install, but you can get other things done during this time and leave the work up to the professionals.

Another reason to choose professional alarm installation is that you benefit from a professional’s experience. If you go it alone with DIY, there’s a chance you might miss something. Something like placing a motion sensor too high can result in missed movement—and you might not realize every security vulnerability in your home.

Pro Tip: Depending on where you live, some companies can come to your home the same day you call, so you could get a professionally installed security system faster than a DIY system.

A lack of security expertise could cost you a lot more time and effort or worse, lead to an undetected break-in. An installer can make sure your equipment is set up correctly, walk you through the ins and outs of your system, and make suggestions for how to best secure your home.

Although professional installation has its perks, it’s not without drawbacks. If a technician has to come out to install your system, it’ll cost you. You can expect to pay an installation or activation fee that could range from $99 to around $500, depending on the security company and the type of equipment you’re having installed.

DIY Installation


  • No extra fees
  • No wires (perfect for renters)
  • No strangers in your home


  • You do the work
  • No professional expertise
  • Higher up-front costs

Doing it yourself means saving money. If you’re a handy person, this shouldn’t be too difficult—but the type of system you pick can make it more challenging. If you go for a wireless package, you won’t need to drill holes or bring out the heavy tools. If you choose a hardwired system, it might be a bit trickier.

We also like that DIY means you don’t have to work around a technician’s schedule. If you’re a night owl, you can install your system in the middle of the night, or opt for early morning if you’re up with the birds. DIY installation is 100% on your schedule—and it comes with the bonus of not inviting a stranger into your home.

With most do-it-yourself home security companies, you own your security equipment from the start. This can mean a bigger up-front expense, but it also means it’s easy to take your system with you if you move. Equipment ownership, combined with the wireless design of most DIY home security systems, makes it the best home security solution for renters.

Best of all, DIY alarm installation is easier than you might think. Even though professional installation requires no work on your part, the “work” required for most do-it-yourself installations is minimal. Most customers, especially those from FrontPoint and SimpliSafe, report easy setup that takes less than an hour.

Self-install alarm systems are usually completely wireless, so you don’t have to be handy with tools. And because the components come standard with adhesive backing, all you have to do is put your sensors and control panel in place and activate the system.

Pro Tip: DIY doesn’t mean you’re all alone—if you run into trouble, most companies with DIY installation will provide guidance from a technician over the phone or online.

But DIY installation isn’t perfect for every situation. You’re probably not a security expert, and that means you may struggle to know if you’re setting up your equipment correctly. And even though you can live-chat or talk to a professional over the phone, they can’t see the inside of your home and may not be able to make specific recommendations that an in-person professional installer could.

DIY home security systems come with the risks of improper equipment placement and the chance that you might miss a security vulnerability a pro would catch.

It can also be inconvenient to schedule a time to be home when an installer is available. You’ll save time by not having to install your home security system, but you’ll still have to make time to be home when the technician comes. If you’re busy, clearing your schedule to get your equipment installed could be a pain.

Contact M&M Fire Protection and Security for more information on security system installation.