The number one question anyone who is looking at installing a smart home security system or upgrading their existing hardware is "how much is a new smart home security system going to cost?". As with any major purchase you want to know what you're going to get yourself into before aligning yourself with a security provider. Unfortunately the answer isn't that simple. But at least perhaps we can help give you some perspective on perhaps an idea on how to make a knowledgeable guess on what you could be paying for.
Your Home, and what you want your Smart Home System to do for You
When any of our clients ask us about costs early in the buying process, we ask them a very simple yet important question.
What do you want to achieve with you smart home security solution?
It's important for us as smart home system providers to know what you want, but it's just as important that you as the customer know what you want to get out of your new smart home system. We want to know to know the answer to this because we want to provide the easiest and possible solution to your needs, or that one nagging problem you have that may be solved with technology. Do you want a smart solution for home security? Did you want to know whether you've definitely closed the garage door, or turned off your straightener because you keep forgetting? Do you want to know when the kids are home from school while you're still at work? Do you want to know when your liquor cabinet, or any area that is off limits, is entered? These are all questions we've asked customers, and sometimes they don't realise that yes, they do want to be able to have such perks and control with their system.
Knowing exactly what you want to achieve will give you an outline of the problems you have and need to solve with your smart home and security system. If you want to know when all your windows are closed, then contact sensors possibly are a good solution. If you want to know when your kids come home from school, a solution of a smart lock in conjunction with a smart camera can take video of your child walking through the front door once they unlock the door with their unique combination. If you pets and you just want to see what they're up to when you're away, motion sensors and video cameras provide an excellent solution for you to check on you animal friend. It's all about knowing what problems you have, and discussing them with your smart home provider so they can provide you the right solution.
DIY smart home vs. Professional smart home and security installation
The other question we ask is a pretty simple one. Do you want to install your smart home system yourself, or do you want a professional to install? The advantages of the DIY route is pretty obvious - you install your system on your own, having complete control over what brand of smart home tech you use, when it's installed and how long the installation takes.
However, be very careful. Do your research. Make sure the system you're installing is user friendly, and that you're able to easily program it as well as show other how to use it (if applicable). Don't buy a system from an overseas supplier just because it's an all in one package, with all the bells and whistles and it's cheap. Make sure if you do buy overseas it's Australia friendly. Many smart home tech companies haven't created their tech to be used in Australia. US based companies for example have to convert their products to use a different radio frequency before having the government go ahead because the US based products actually use the same frequency as the Australian military. Most importantly though, be aware that should something go awry with your DIY system, you may not necessarily get the technical support you need from the device provider.
Don't despair though. There are companies out there, like us here at Total Integrated Security, who can provide you a system that you can install yourself. We pre-program it for you so you don't have to, and we provide troubleshooting support when you need it. Check with your smart home provider whether they provide this sort of solution, because it can save you big bucks when it comes to possible consultations and installation.
On the flip side, you don't have to worry about any of this if you decide to go the professional installation route. The only point of concern is having to be home when the installer comes to set up your equipment. The installation costs you pay are for the peace of mind that you don't have to do the manual labor of installation. Installation doesn't usually come cheap though. For example, our installation costs start at $200, with as little as a three month contract. Other companies may have installation included in their package price, but will lock you in a contract for a certain length of time. The majority of the large home security companies have a standard 3 year lock in contract with their smart home security systems. It's entirely up to you whether you want to sign a 3 year contract, but consider you may be charged if you move or have to break the contract before the 3 year period is over.
The products that make up your smart home security System
Once you know what you want to achieve with your system, you can now start to go shopping. A smart home provider should be able to tell you exactly the costs of each product your require to create your smart home environment. Some companies like us at Total Integrated Security want to be as transparent with our customers as possible, which is why we show our costs on our website. This makes it easy for you to figure out roughly how much in total your products will cost to make your system. If you don't see something you need, contact us and we can provide you the product cost, and any further information you need. If you're buying in bulk, contact us. We may be able to provide you a bulk price. Several large companies will only show you packages, and will provide costs for extras only when you contact them. They may also require to come to your home for a consultation, and may charge for this service as well. Is this something you want to waste your time with?
In summary, the total cost of a smart home security system really depends on a lot of factors. But don't forget the all important question: What do you want to achieve with your smart home and security solution?
A smart home system is an investment, not just a product. Like with any large purchase, it takes some thinking before arriving at the point where the dollars are calculable.