Installing home security system yourself

Installing Home Security System Yourself

Installing Home Security System Yourself doesn’t have to be hard for the DIY. Choose the right system, make sure you have the right tools and install.

With rising concern over crime, home security systems are growing in popularity. Even simple systems, however, can cost as much as a couple of thousand dollars to have installed professionally. The expensive is mostly labor costs. However, Installing Home Security System Yourself can take time but but will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

As a result, many do-it-yourselfers are opting to install the systems on their own to cut costs by more than one-half. Professional alarm system installers are also realizing that the high price tag is locking out many homeowners from alarm systems, and are now catering to do-it-yourselfers.

While a professional will charge $2,000 to wire a house, a do-it-yourselfer can install the same system for $550 to $700.

Choosing a home security system

The first step in installing an alarm system is determining the type, size and features of a system. A hard-wired system requires fishing wires from sensors and switches through walls and floors in a home to a master control panel that is wired to an electrical circuit.

A wireless system is a bit easier to install as it doesn’t require fishing wires through walls. Next, determine what you want to protect. Make a plan to decide which doors and windows you want covered.

Statistically, burglars prefer coming in through a back door, so be certain to protect all outdoor entryways, including basement doors. The second most likely entry point for a burglar is a basement window.

Sensors and Switches for your home security system

After you’ve completed your plan, you can determine the type and number of sensors and switches you’ll need, and estimate the amount of wire the system will require.
Sensors come in several different forms. A magnetic switch has two components, one that attached to the edge of the door or window, and a second that attaches to the window or door frame. When the door or window is opened and the magnetic contact is broken, the switch trips an alarm.

A plunger switch is similar, and also trips an alarm when the window or door is opened.
To prevent a burglar from entering through a broken window, ribbon sensors are glued to the perimeter of the window.

A final decision is whether the system will feature sirens, or phone dialers to call for emergency help, or both. If you choose a siren, plan one inside the house to scare off the intruder, and one outside to alert neighbors.

DIY installation of home security system

After you’ve purchased a system, be prepared to spend a day or so installing it, say the experts. Wireless systems require only a few tools to install. The master control panels are installed as described below and the sensors are simply screwed or glued to windows and door frames.

The most difficult part of the installation of a hardwire system will be fishing the sensor wires through the walls. Also, be prepared to remove or at least loosen wood trim such as door and window frames and baseboards. This will require a pry bar.

If your wood trim is painted, you run the risk of chipping the paint. Have touch-up paint available. You’ll also need to poke a few holes in the wall, so be ready to make plaster and wallboard repairs, and have wall paint for touch-ups.

If you already have a home security system and want to save money, you may want to renegotiate the terms with the provider, or you can consider installing automatic locks as shown in the video below.

Step by Step instructions – DIY installation of home security system

1) Start the installation by placing the master control panel in a out-of-the-way spot such as a closet or basement.

2) Next, install the door sensors. Wires to the door sensors should be fed through a hole in the trim. Pull the trim back to fish the wire down to the floor using a fishtape. You can then feed the sensor wire behind baseboard to the next sensor location. You’ll need to loosen or remove the baseboard.

3) At your final perimeter sensor location, you’ll need to run the wire through the wall, the ceiling or the floor to the master control panel.

4) Next, install interior zone sensors, such as motion sensors. While you want to place these in a place where a burglar is most likely to walk, try to place the units so you can fish wires through walls easily. As with the perimeter sensor, run the wires to the master control panel.

5) Then you’ll need to install the remote control pads near exit doors and/or in the master bedroom. Again, chose locations in which you can easily fish wires down to the main control pad.

6) If you’ve opted for a siren, install it high out of reach in an inconspicuous spot, such as the home’s gable peak. Run the wire to power the siren through the attic and out of the side of the building to prevent an intruder from cutting the line from the outside.

Installing home security system yourself with this information and taking these steps will result in an installation you should be proud of.

Jim Sulski