Home automation is toast of the 21st century. There are a wealth of devices that can make your life easier, improve safety, and save you time and energy. However, because these devices are so often tied to your Wi-Fi, there is always the potential that an intruder can break into your system. 

When shopping for a DIY home security system, safety should be your number one priority. If these systems are not secure, the cost and effort of installing the system will go to waste and you’ll have a greater chance of falling victim to a burglary. 

Read on for our in-depth guide to DIY home security systems.

What are the Different types of DIY home security systems?

Here at Xcessory Zone, we have a few different types of DIY home security systems that can help you protect your home. Before we dive into those, let’s review the difference between a DIY system and a professionally installed system.

DIY Security Systems

DIY security refers to a system that you can install yourself, more commonly through the use of a DIY kit. These kits are often sold with all the necessary components you need for basic home security, with the installation typically taking up at least a couple of weekends of your time. You typically won’t receive professional monitoring, meaning that you’ll probably need to monitor your own home security system—if, for example, a sensor is triggered.

Professionally Installed Security Systems

Professionally installed systems typically come with a professional installation. This means that a professional will come into your home and install all your security components, including any necessary wiring. Professional monitoring, depending on the type of system you get, may also be included, meaning that your system is monitored by professionals 24/7 and that they can dispatch the proper authorities in the event of an emergency. The cost of a professionally installed system is typically more expensive than a DIY system, but it can provide you with much more peace of mind.

These are some of the differences between a professionally installed home security system and a DIY system. If you’re considering making a move, we highly encourage you to contact Xcessory Zone so that we can guide you in the right direction.

An In-Depth Guide to DIY Home Security Systems

There are so many things to consider when shopping for a home security system, it can be a little overwhelming when someone new to the process comes in.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to choosing the right home security system.

  • Determine what features you want: First things first, you need to decide what type of features you want. Are you only interested in basic home security features, such as regular alarm monitoring, cameras, and door/window sensors? Or are you interested in home automation features, such as being able to turn lights off/on from your phone or being able to unlock your doors remotely?

  • Figure out what types of systems you want: There are a number of different home security companies out there, all offering their own unique systems with varying features. Figure out which company is offering the features you want, and see if they have a system that’s compatible with your home (this might require some professional installation).

  • If you need professional installation: If you don’t want any DIY home security systems, but are willing to spend a little money, a lot of companies will offer professional installation. If you have a lot of DIY smart home systems, you can avoid having professional installers add an extra fee by having everything professionally installed at the same time. For a lot of DIY home security systems, professional installation might cost a couple of hundred dollars.

  • Shop around for the best price: You can save money on home security systems by negotiating prices, going with the DIY route of piecing together your own system, or avoiding professional installation together, but there are some basic things to look for when shopping around.

  • Price isn’t always indicative of quality: When shopping for DIY home security systems, you might have seen some seemingly-cheaper options, but be sure to read the fine print. Some companies offer better warranties or base their security system costs on the number of sensors needed, meaning the cheapest option might be the most expensive option in the long run.

  • Avoid DIY home security systems that don’t give warranties: Even if you’re handy, there’s a chance that your system won’t arrive properly, leaving you without a working home security system. Only go with DIY systems that are backed by a warranty.

  • You definitely want to consider home security companies with professional installation: While DIY home security systems can be cheaper up-front, most DIY systems come with limited warranties. Having professional monitoring costs a little more, but gives you added peace of mind, especially if you are away from home often or if you are looking for more advanced features.

  • Look for home a security company with a variety of monitoring plans: Different companies offer different monitoring plans, which can range from basic to higher-end. Make sure to compare the features and pricing of each plan to find the best secuity systems to fit for your home.

  • Find out if the home security company offers any additional services: Many companies offer additional services, such as environmental sensors and home automation. Ask about any additional services that are available and make sure to read the fine print for any additional fees.

What Components To Choose For Your Home Security System Needs

The level of a DIY home security system depends on what you’re looking for. A DIY security system can range anywhere from less than $100, to thousands of dollars. To determine which security components you need, ask yourself a few questions.

  • What is my budget?

  • What am I looking for?

  • What level of security do I want?

  • Would I prefer monitoring or no monitoring?

  • Are there any specialized parts that I want?

  • Do I want a solution with remote access or one that I can access from anywhere in the world?

  • Do I want security cameras?

  • Which wireless protocols do I need?

  • Can I build my own security system, or do I need help doing it?

  • Should I get a motion sensor alarm, security doorbell, or smart lock?

Can I do it all myself, or do I need help installing components? Once you have answered all of these questions, you should have a better idea of the components you need for your home security system.

The basic components of a DIY security system typically include a control panel, door and window sensors, motion detectors, and cameras. (see how motion detection cameras can improve your home security). Other components may include flood and smoke detectors, glass break sensors, key fobs, and sirens. Depending on your budget and needs, you may want to consider more advanced components and features, such as automated locks, facial recognition, and multi-factor authentication.

What Features Should You Consider Purchasing a Home Security System?

When it comes to DIY systems, we recommend the following features:

  • Weatherproof sensors

  • 24/7 surveillance

  • The ability to store recorded video

  • The ability to store recorded audio

  • A mobile app for remote monitoring

  • A centralized panic button

If you would like to compare DIY home security systems, we recommend reading our DIY Home security reviews or taking a look at some consumer profiles. Additionally, you can check out our guide to the best home security systems for more detailed information. Finally, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and user reviews before making a purchase.

Installation Tips for DIY Security Systems

Before you install your security system, read these tips first to make sure that you’re doing everything properly.

DIY Security Camera Installation

Worried about privacy? Need to install your camera in an awkward spot? Please make sure you install a security camera in a location that doesn’t obstruct your view. It’s crucial that you have a clear view of your property at all times. A hidden camera hinders your ability to quickly identify or seek out potential intruders.

DIY Security Door Installation

DIY security system installation requires a little prep work. First, you’ll want to make sure you have a flat, clean surface to mount your security system. You’ll also need to be near an outlet so you can plug the system in.

When you get the system home, open the box and examine the hardware. Make sure you find all the parts you need. If you’ve done a good job and followed the instruction manual, you should be able to install your security system in less than 30 minutes.

DIY Ring Doorbell Installation

Installing your Ring doorbell is relatively easy and requires a few basic tools. First, you’ll need two 2-by-4-inch pieces of wood to use as a riser to mount the doorbell. You’ll also need a drill to drill holes, a screwdriver (to screw in the screws), some glue, and a hammer.

Once you’ve successfully completed the Ring doorbell installation process, use the Ring Chime Kit accessory to further personalize the look of your doorbell. The Chime Kit includes 12 interchangeable faceplates, so you can make it look like a door chime, a doorbell, a gong, a bell, or any other sound you want.

Motion Detectors Installation

Motion detectors are a great addition to any security system. To install a motion detector, you’ll need some basic tools such as a drill, a screwdriver, and a hammer. Once you’ve decided on a spot to install the motion detector, use the drill to create a hole for the wires to pass through. Then, insert the wires into the hole and screw the detector in place.

How to Store and Access Your Security Footage

Home surveillance systems are quickly becoming more and more affordable. You can pick up a high-quality system for less than $200. From there, it will depend on whether you want self-monitored or professionally monitored security. For self-monitored, you will need to make time to check the camera footage. For professionally monitored, the access is always protected so you won’t have to worry about someone compromising your security footage.

After the system is set up, you will need to find a storage location for your security footage so it isn’t lost. Here are the best options to keep in mind:

1. Cloud Storage:

The simplest way to store your security footage is to upload it to your cloud provider. Most providers offer unlimited storage in the hopes that you will upgrade your account.

2. Local Storage:

You can alternatively store the footage locally. This typically means that there is internal storage in your camera. You can check to see if your camera has internal storage by looking at the specs online.

3. Hard Disk Storage:

Most modern cameras allow you to connect the security camera to a hard disk instead of using cloud storage. You can typically find hard drives in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB.

If you want to store physical copies of your videos for safekeeping, you can purchase a 4TB hard drive. Home surveillance systems are quickly becoming more and more affordable. You can pick up a high-quality system for less than $200. From there, it will depend on whether you want self-monitored or professionally monitored security. For self-monitored, you will need to make time to check the camera footage. For professionally monitored, the access is always protected so you won’t have to worry about someone compromising your security footage.

If you want to store physical copies of your videos for safekeeping, you can purchase a 4TB hard drive. This will give you plenty of space to store your footage.

Lastly, you should back up the security footage regularly. This can be done by copying the footage to a hard drive or an external hard drive. This will ensure that your footage is kept safe in case something happens to the original footage.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Common Issues with Your DIY Home Security System

If you suspect that you have a malfunctioning security system, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue and fix it yourself.

  • Batteries: Do your sensors or cameras have dead batteries? Check them to see if they need to be replaced. Sometimes, the system will trigger or alert you when the battery is low, so if that’s the case, just put fresh batteries in.

  • Motion sensors: If you’ve installed the sensors correctly, they should trigger when motion is detected. If they’re installed properly, but they aren’t sensing any movement, the problem could either be the camera’s positioning or the trigger distance.

  • Cameras: Are the camera’s lenses covered? If not, that might be why the camera isn’t triggering, or it could simply be a problem with the camera itself.

  • System status: Check to make sure your system is on. Sometimes, it’s set to ‘armed’ but isn’t actually armed. If so, disarm your system and set it to ‘away’ manually.

  • Get Professional Help: If your DIY home security system just won’t work or you don’t think you can figure it out, you should contact a home security professional. We’ll walk you through the process from choosing a system to installation to ongoing monitoring.

Explore the Benefits of Cloud Storage and Motion Detectors for Home Security

Cloud storage is quickly becoming the preferred choice for digital storage, and for good reason. It allows us to connect to our data from any device, anywhere, anytime. With cloud storage, we can also access our files even if we have an internet connection or storage device malfunctions.

For home security purposes, cloud storage can come in handy as well. Especially when it comes to motion detection, cloud storage is a great time-saver when the system is triggered.

  • Local storage: With cloud storage, there’s no need to save locally saved files, which is an added bonus. The files are stored remotely, where we are able to securely save all of our data.

  • Anytime access: With cloud storage, we can access our files on any device, anywhere, anytime. We can log in to the cloud storage with our web browser and view our files, and that’s not all. When we’re traveling abroad, we can log in to our cloud storage from anywhere, making it easy to access documents and important files.

  • Flexible storage: Cloud storage allows for flexible storage, meaning we can store unlimited data. Previously, we had to pay for storage based on the amount of space we needed. Since cloud storage is limitless, it’s easy to store a lifetime of memories.

  • Cost-Effective: Cloud storage is more cost-effective than local storage. With cloud storage, we only pay for the amount of space we use, whereas with local storage we usually have to purchase a certain amount of space upfront.

  • Backup and Recovery: Cloud storage makes it easy to back up and recover data. When working with local storage, we have to manually back up our data and store it in a safe place. With cloud storage, our data is stored in the cloud, and if something happens to our computer or device, we can easily restore our data from the cloud.

  • Security: Cloud storage is much more secure than local storage. Cloud storage providers have advanced security protocols in place to ensure that our data is safe and secure. With local storage, we have to manually protect our data with encryption or other security measures.

How To Properly Maintain Your DIY Home Security Systems

A home security system is supposed to work when you need it to, and not when you don’t. That’s why it’s important to properly maintain and install your home security system.

When your DIY home security system isn’t working, or a known issue arises, don’t try to repair it on your own. Contacting an expert commercial security system technician is recommended to make sure you are getting a proper fix, and to prevent any complications or safety issues.

Your home security system’s safety features rely on your batteries and sensors to function properly. If your home security system is older, replacing the batteries and sensors might be all you need. Don’t wait until your system is DOA or past its warranty to do this.

Knowing when batteries are low and your sensors need calibration is also important.

These DIY home security systems usually need regular servicing, especially the older models. Often, these professional maintenance policies are included in a one-time upfront cost such as a lifetime warranty. Make sure to ask your security technician about warranty and maintenance policies.

Lastly, make sure your home security system is compatible with your home’s layout and wiring. If you are installing a new home security system, you may need to hire a professional technician to make sure everything is properly wired for optimal performance.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve now taken the time to learn about DIY home security systems and what you need to know to keep your home safe. You have the power and knowledge to make the best decision for your home security system.

Now that you are well-informed, why not take advantage of the DIY security products offered at Xcessory Zone? Our home security products are simple to install and will give you the peace of mind and to make your home more secure. Plus, you don’t have to worry about paying high installation fees or monthly monitoring fees.

It’s time to take control of the safety of your home. Get your DIY home security system from Xcessory Zone now and start protecting your home and family today!

FAQs

One of the most important features of a good DIY security system is the ease of DIY installation. Look for systems that include clear instructions and user-friendly interfaces. Entry sensors are also essential components, as they detect when doors or windows are opened and trigger an alarm if necessary. Another key feature to consider is smart technology integration. Many modern DIY security systems now offer compatibility with other smart home devices such as cameras, door locks, and even voice assistants like Alexa or Google Home.

In addition to these features, there are several other factors you should consider when choosing a DIY security system.

Yes, you can build your own home security system! When it comes to self-monitoring your home, there are several options available to you. Smoke detectors, motion and entry sensors, and alarm systems can all be used to create a secure environment.

Additionally, you can install cameras to monitor activity in and around your home. It’s important to keep in mind that DIY systems may not offer the same level of protection as professionally-installed systems, so it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re taking all the necessary steps to keep your home safe.

DIY security systems are a popular choice for many homeowners. But are they worth it? Well, when it comes to outdoor cameras and other basic features, a DIY security system may be suitable. However, when it comes to overall security and peace of mind, it’s best to opt for a monitoring center and monitoring service.

With a professional monitoring center, homeowners can rest assured that their property is safe and secure 24/7, with immediate response to any potential threats. DIY security systems may be cost-effective, but they cannot guarantee the same level of protection as a monitoring service.

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