Home Alarm Systems – Do It Yourself (DIY) or Professionally Installed?

When comparing home alarm services from different security companies, an important point to consider is how the system is going to be installed. Some home alarm systems are do-it-yourself and others – like ours – are professionally installed by a certified technician.

Do-It-Yourself Installation

Many home alarm companies do not offer professional installation. Your home security system is shipped to you in a box with instructions saying installation will take about 30 minutes. See the example below from one company that offers DIY installation.

diy installation time of a home alarm system


The phone operator you order your system from may assure you that installation is “so easy a child could do it. You may only need a Phillips head screwdriver and technical support is just a phone call away“.

DIY installations typically cost the consumer less money because a professional installer is not required to visit your home. So, if you’re technically inclined, you can save a little money by installing your home security system yourself.

Professional Installation

However, there are many benefits to having your home security system professionally installed. Consider each of the factors below before you decide whether to invest in a home security system that is installed by an experienced technician vs. one that is DIY.

In-Home Consultation

The first benefit of having your home alarm system installed by a professional is that you’ll receive an in-home consultation. If you select one of the ADT Monitored packages on our website, a trained technician will walk through your house to check the vulnerable areas. You’ll be consulted with and questions will be posed for consideration, such as, “Should you have a sensor on your kitchen window or bathroom window?” Or, “Should you have your motion detector in the hallway or the living room?” Your installer will be able to make the appropriate recommendations to help ensure that your home’s security is not compromised.

With DIY systems, you are left on your own to figure out where to place sensors and motion detectors, potentially leaving important areas of your home unprotected.

Custom Programming (Separate Chimes)

Another benefit to professional installation is custom programming to setup unique sounding chimes for different areas of your home. Discussing specific programming needs and having the technician set them up can be convenient and useful to you as the homeowner.

Consider the following examples where separate chimes can help make your home more safe and secure:

You are in the kitchen doing the dishes and your 4-year-old opens the front door to go outside. A specific chime will sound notifying you that someone opened the front door. Knowing you are alone in the house with your small child, you’ll be alerted and can run to the front door to stop your child from going out into the street.

You set a separate chime for your teenager’s bedroom window so if he/she tries to sneak out – or sneak someone in – you’ll know immediately.

Maybe you have a two car garage and you want a different chime on each garage door. This way, when your spouse comes home, you’ll hear the specific chime even before they come in through the back door.

Can you think of other situations specific to your household where you’d benefit from custom programming for different chimes in different areas of the house?

Having your installer handle your customized programming needs makes it easy for you to control the chimes in your house. Many homeowners who choose a DIY installation aren’t even aware of the benefit of separate chimes and therefore, would never think to set it up. For those who do, it’s going to take you extra time to figure out your alarm system’s custom programming options.


Once your home security system is installed, you receive 1-on-1 training to help make sure you know how to operate it. You’ll learn how to bypass doors and windows, how to change chimes and more. Your technician will not leave your home until you completely understand how to use your system.

DIY home alarm systems offer no training; unless you want to call the company and ask for support. This isn’t quite the same as having face to face training inside your home.

Proper Installation

Having your home security system installed by a professional helps ensure that your system is installed correctly, the first time. Our technicians have years of experience and typically does two installations per day, with each installation taking about 3 hours.

You’ll be assured that phone line seizure  has been properly wired, so your alarm system can take over the phone line in the event of an emergency.

False Alarms

Another benefit of professional installation is you’re far less likely to have a false alarm as a result of incorrect installation.  Some cities charge up to $150 for a false alarm, so, although you might try to save some money by installing the system yourself, one false alarm could wind up costing you a lot more.

A few situations where DIY installations could cause a false alarm are as follows:

90 Day Guarantee

Assuming you choose to go with one of our ADT monitored packages, if we made a mistake during installation, we’ll come back and fix it for free during the first 90 days. If any false alarms are caused by our negligence, we will pay any costs associated with the false alarm.

Our Expert Opinion On DIY vs. Professional Installs

Harry Mehserdjian Harry Mehserdjian
Home Security Consultant

“For many of us, the reason we decide to invest in a home security system in the first place is because we want the 24/7 protection of a monitored home security company at our backs. We want peace of mind and we want to keep our family safe and valuables protected. There are just too many potential mistakes that can happen with a do-it-yourself home security system. For me, the risks far outweigh the reward of saving a few dollars.

Disclosure: Above opinion is my own opinion and I do not receive compensation to provide my opinion. My opinion does not reflect the opinion of Protect Your Home. Last updated on Feb 2016.

Still Considering a Do-It-Yourself Home Security System?

As you can see, there are many factors to consider between DIY and professionally installed home security systems: safety, time, and money are just a few of them. Please contact us directly if you have additional questions, or if you are ready to speak with an ADT Authorized Premier Provider representative, call 1-866-946-8419.


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We value your privacy. Your info will not be sold or rented.


Have us call you

By checking the box, you consent for Protect Your Home to use automated technology to contact you at the number provided above regarding home security. You are not required to provide this consent to make a purchase from us.

We value your privacy. Your info will not be sold or rented.

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