Lately I’ve been considering investing in a home security system for my home, and I’ve been researching some of my options for doing it. I want to be secure, but I also want to feel like I got a good deal.
There are several main reasons I’m considering it:
After researching a few things that I’m looking for, here is what I’m doing for comparison: I want to have my doors and windows alarmed, and have a motion detector for my family room due to the many windows. I also want to get a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm to monitory safety. These two features are what will give me about a 20% discount on my homeowners insurance, or about $200 per year. Finally, I’m into the home automation, and would like to turn on some lights from my iPhone.
The standard home security system solution has been to traditionally go with a large company like ADT. These companies offer a wide variety of home security systems that cover everything I want, including burglary and fire, but charge much more for home automation options. They typically charge $1,500 to $2,000 to install the alarm system, and every home automation option is an additional add-on.
These companies typically start their home monitoring at about $35 per month, but these big companies do make you sign a one to three year contract. This means that you’re stuck with them for a long time, even if you move.
A new way to go in home security is to bundle your security with your cable or phone company. For example, Cox Communications offers home security, and promotes it as a great way to bundle it with your cable and phone. This option is about the same for the installation, but it does include a lot of the home automation options I’m looking for at the same price.
Their prices are also about the same, at about $30 per month, but they don’t force you into any type of contract, so you’re free to cancel at any time.
Finally, if you really want to save money on your home security, there is the do-it-yourself option. This is something that I’ve actually considered, and there are two main ways to go about it.
First, you can go with a company like SimpliSafe, which offers easy to install do-it-yourself home security systems that are also monitored. They offer easy-to use technology, and they have no contracts, which is great. Plus, their monitoring is only about $15 per month, and the package to install in my home would only run about $500. It doesn’t have the home automation, but the price is so much less.
The second route is to go with a place like Home Automation, and buy all the pieces yourself to install. There is no monitoring, but you can get a good alarm system for a cheap price. Plus, you can add in as much home automation functions as you want, since you’re building your system yourself.
When my wife (fiance at the time) and I lived apart while she was finishing school, we did opt for the do-it-yourself option so I’m fairly familiar with those systems. We also had it monitored and it worked out great. I’m not sure the direction I’m going to go yet, but it’s good to understand all of the options available!
Readers: do you have a home security system and how did you decide which company/package to go with?
Picture by FreeDigitalPhotos.
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