Ballpark Estimate: $700 to $1,600 for Installation + $25 to $45/month
These days a simple door lock just isn’t good enough- not if you want your family to feel safe and secure in your new home. You need something stronger, something that will give you peace of mind and a sense of safety and comfort. There are many different ways to secure your home, but they are all based on two basic principles- discourage and deter.
First Steps – Locks and Bars
The first step in home security is to start with the basics by making sure every single door contains a deadbolt and a slide bolt. It’s been shown that most break-ins occur by the front door or by the garage, the thief kicking his way in. These locks have been proven to slow this down by about 10-15 minutes. For an extra, added bit of protection against door smashings and crowbar pryings, an iron door can be purchased at about any hardware store and is relatively easy to install.
Don’t forget your sliding glass doors- a charley bar is an absolute must in these situations. It’s simple enough to install yourself, and can be bought at most hardware stores.
After you are done securing doors, you want to move onto your windows, making sure each and every one of them has a nice and sturdy lock. Even though windows are not a common mode of entrance for a criminal, you don’t want to take any chances.
Cost for Locks and Bars
- Deadbolts: $30 regular, $100 with keypad
- Slide Bolt: $16-$18
- Charley Bar: $45-$50
- Window Locks: $13-$25
- Iron Door: $100-$300 (depending on decorative qualities)
Do It Yourself
Once you have the basics covered, it’s time for the big guns: a full home security system. Depending on whether or not you want to install it yourself (and whether or not you want video surveillance) will increase or decrease the price drastically.
Let’s say you’re an old fashioned DIY-er, and decide to go all out and get a full wireless system with video surveillance. A lot of these tools can be bought in a bundle which includes a DVR for storing video, two or three mountable wireless cameras and two flat screen monitors to keep everything in check. Add video cameras if you want night vision (and who doesn’t these days? Night vision is cool!).
If that’s not enough, you an also purchase home security flood lights that are solar powered with motion detection built in- no electrician needed for installation and no operating costs.
Costs For DIY
- Video Surveillance Bundle: $1,200
- Night Vision Cameras: $125 to $130 each
- Flood Lights: $70 and $5 to $6 a month for replacement bulbs
Assume you’re not a person who is inclined to installing all of that possibly intimidating technology. You’re going to want to go with the professionals and get something that is monitored by an outsider, keeping tabs on your house 24/7.
Depending on who you go with will change the price of initial cost and monthly costs. Some companies give free installation and equipment, but charge about more a month for surveillance. Others make you buy installation and equipment and then pay a lesser monthly fee.
There are hidden costs as well with a system like this. For example, most alarms the police respond to are false alarms (about 95%), and after a certain number of responses they will start charging you for false alarms (the number of false alarms allowed and the charge varies greatly upon city to city).
Cost For A Home Security System
The equipment that comes with each professional installation varies. Most offer a basic package that includes motion detectors and a keypad for locking and unlocking the system. More advanced ones contain video surveillance, flood and fire detection as well as remote control access for locking and unlocking when you can’t reach the keypad. They even have services that will alert you by cell phone if an intruder has been spotted in your house.
Depending on who you go through, this will either raise the initial installation and purchase or the total monthly charges. The end result is that a professional installation will cost more in the long run. Of course, if peace of mind is what you are after then this is the best way to go. External surveillance and police response cannot be beat as far as the feeling of safety and security are concerned.
Costs for Professional Installation
- Installation and Equipment : $0 to $300 depending on features and equipment
- Remote Surveillance: $20 to $100 a month, depending on features and equipment