The DIY mentality is nothing new in America. For as long as people have owned homes, they have wanted to handle as many maintenance and remodeling projects as possible. Wanting to do things yourself rather than paying a professional just comes with the territory. As such, it should be no surprise that there is a market for DIY home security and automation.
This post poses an important question to homeowners: are DIY home security and automation right for you? Some homeowners will do very well with DIY systems. Others will not. Deciding which way to go requires thinking things through. Homeowners have to think about budget, technical skills, and their security and automation goals.
DIY Home Security
Although home security and automation are often integrated these days, homeowners can still deploy them separately. As such, let us begin by talking about DIY home security. You have undoubtedly seen ads from a variety of companies offering inexpensive DIY systems that are either self-monitored or not monitored at all.
An annual study produced by Security Sales & Integration reveals that sales of DIY security systems in 2019 have been slightly down as compared to 2018. At the same time, 27% of the home security dealers that do not currently offer DIY options plan to start offering them in 2020. Their primary motivation is customer demand.
The data shows that people want DIY security solutions. In terms of equipment, you can buy DIY equipment that is every bit as good as branded equipment. The big difference is monitoring. As a homeowner, do you want a security system monitored by a provider with a proven track record? Are you willing to self-monitor your system? Do you not care about monitoring at all?
Save Money and Time
You absolutely can save both money and time by going with a DIY security solution. You save money in that you are not buying expensive equipment from security providers or paying for monthly monitoring. You save time inasmuch as most modern systems are wireless. They can be set up in mere minutes.
If saving money and time is important to you, DIY might be the way to go. But if you are not content with self-monitoring or no monitoring at all, a professional package with 24-hour monitoring is the better choice.
DIY Home Automation
DIY home security is pretty straightforward. DIY home automation is not. Home automation technology is a bit more complex on multiple levels. It requires more planning. It involves more equipment. It requires a level of experience and knowledge that goes beyond merely connecting your smartphone to your home wi-fi network.
As a leader in home automation, Vivint Smart Home recommends that homeowners new to the home automation idea start simply. Even before making the decision to go DIY, homeowners should at least contact a couple of professional providers and ask for a free consultation.
Thermostats and Lighting
Those that ultimately decide to go the DIY route would do best to begin with the easiest technologies to install. This means looking at smart thermostats and lighting. A lot of homeowners make the thermostat their first priority. A smart thermostat is easy to install and pretty straightforward to program. As an added bonus, smart thermostats can save homeowners quite a bit of money.
Lighting is also fairly easy to handle. Automated lighting consists of smart devices connected to lamps and overhead lights, devices that interact with the home’s central hub. Homeowners use the hub to program individual lights, create whole-home lighting scenes, or activate lights with voice control.
A Lot of Work Involved
Despite the many benefits of DIY security and home automation, installing and maintaining a fully integrated system involves a lot of work. More than one homeowner has been frustrated by not being able to get multiple devices to work on a single hub. Others can connect their devices but do not understand the programming or monitoring aspects.
Homeowners looking for a turnkey security and automation system are better off not doing things themselves. On the other hand, those up to the challenge can deploy a DIY system that saves money and gives them an interesting project to work on.