From hardwired to wifi, there are plenty of budget-friendly options to protect your family
The national average cost to install a security system is between $280 and $1,090. So while that old adage about not being able to put a price tag on peace of mind is sometimes true, it doesn’t really apply when shopping for a security system that fits your needs and budget.
A number of factors could lower or increase how much you pay to protect your family—and you’ve definitely got ongoing subscription fees to consider as well. This guide breaks it all down.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Security System?
$280 to $1,090 is about what you can expect to pay for your new security system. With so much variability, though, knowing what to look for in a security device that protects your family is key.
Any homeowner should also factor in monthly fees or membership costs when budgeting for their new home security system. The initial cost to install your device doesn’t factor in ongoing or recurring subscription charges.
What Security System Can I Get on My Budget?
No matter what you want to spend, there are ways to buy a security system that’s in your budget.
Less Than $100
Basic security features that increase window and door safety, such as purchasing new locks, adding glass break sensors to windows, or putting motion detectors around your garage are all available for under $100.
At this price range, you will likely have to install any security equipment you purchase yourself. For example, quality door locks cost about $80. If you’d prefer to hire someone and pay a little more, see if a local handyman installs locks.
$100 to $600
For under $600, homeowners can choose from a number of popular wireless security systems. These start at around $200, but vary in price and often come with an ongoing subscription fee.
Installing an alarm system on two to three doors ranges between $200 and $600. These systems alert you—and local authorities—if someone enters your home. To save money, consider installing a wireless system over one that’s hardwired.
$600 to $1,000
Hardwired home security systems start at around $800 for parts and installation. As the name implies, these devices run the length of your home on wires and function on a closed-loop system that protects you from tech-savvy criminals.
$1,000 or More
Beyond the $1,000 mark, homeowners can hire someone to install a home security system that fits their home’s needs. Along with camera monitoring and door sensors, additional features such as panic buttons and real-time security monitoring are available.
Large homes that need multiple cameras or high-end safety features like a security gate could push you over the $2,000 mark. The cost to install a security gate is around $1,900, for example.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Security System Yourself?
Basic wireless security systems may only take minutes to install and save you $100 or more on labor costs to have an employee come do it for you.
Hardwired systems, if you’re up for the work, could save you up to $1,000. Just note that, along with installing security cameras and running wires through your home, you may also need to set up a control panel and other pieces of tech.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Security System by Type?
The three types of security systems you can choose from will vary in price, largely depending on labor costs.
Hardwired Home Security System
Hardwired systems, as the name implies, rely on wires to send signals around your home to protect you from crime and other home maladies. The advantage of a hardwired system is the low need for maintenance and less expensive devices when purchasing.
However, because holes need to be drilled to run wires around your home, expect to pay two or three times the installation costs for this type of device as compared to wireless. $500 for your whole system is a good starting point to consider, though size is a factor.
Each hardwired camera will cost around $150 and $200 to have installed.
Wireless Home Security System
Today’s security systems often boast wireless and smartphone-enhanced capabilities. The devices themselves may cost more than hardwired security systems but are easier to install. Each camera, for instance, costs around $100. (Although outdoor cameras, which are weatherproof, may cost more.)
And while wireless systems work, taking additional measures, such as educating yourself on common home security mistakes people make, is a good idea.
Monitored Home Security System
Both hardwired and wireless security systems offer monitoring services as a feature. For one monthly or yearly fee, a professional security company can also monitor and respond to any incidents in your home. Consider these an additional feature when shopping for your home security system.
More likely than not, monitoring won’t be included in up-front charges (unless there’s an activation fee). $35 to $65 a month is a good price range to consider for these services.
What Factors Influence the Cost to Install a Security System?
These items will make or break your budget and ensure your home gets the safety features it needs.
Type of Security System
Security systems start basic (lock upgrades, window sensors) and can get complex quickly. Your entire new system could range from $100 to just over $2,000 depending on the features you choose.
The size of your home and your new security system also go hand in hand. A larger home could need more cameras, longer running wires, and more construction prior to installation, for example.
Additional Home Security Upgrades
Some homeowners choose to upgrade other areas of their home in concurrence with security system installs. This includes:
Smart lock installations on doors
Carbon monoxide monitoring
Upgraded smoke or fire protection
Light timers for outside the home
Smartphone equipped light timers for inside the home (when you’re on vacation)
Make sure to select the best home security PIN to protect yourself, too.
Hardwired systems cost less to purchase, but more to install than wireless systems. Two to three times the labor costs is a good guideline.
Activation Fees/Ongoing Fees
The home security industry is already quite large and growing rapidly. There are many companies vying for your business, so while their initial offer could be quite low, be sure to read the fine print.
Things like activation fees and other hidden charges might present themselves. Many companies also offer a low rate for the first year, then increase the price. Shop diligently when considering any system to make sure you don’t wind up in a bad situation.
FAQs about Home Security Systems
Should I choose a wireless or hardwired security system?
Hardwired systems are considered more reliable, and may be preferable if you live in a remote area where the power goes out often or internet connectivity isn’t strong. For many areas, though, wireless is more affordable and will do the trick just fine.
Should I self-install the security system or hire a pro?
It depends on the complexity of the job, especially if drilling into walls or installing covers to hide cords isn’t something you feel up for. If you’re nervous about the tasks required, a couple hundred dollars to cover professional installation costs can easily be justified.