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Security system cost

Posted by Laura12 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 15, 12 at 17:06

I'm curious if anyone has prewired for a home security system, and if they could share the cost?

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Security system cost

We currently have a $5000 allowance for one. Our builder recently installed one in another project for around that much. Both homes ~5000sqft. Nor Cal. I suspect it depends on the level of sophistication desired.


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RE: Security system cost

caben - thanks for the response, especailly relevent as I'm in the same area.

I've seen several posts where people mention it being "cheap" to install a wired system in new build, and places like KB home throw it in for free, so I'm surprised it is even that much.


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RE: Security system cost

About $1 a sqft for a good system, but there is crap out there. Sure ADT will install for free for a 3 yr contract and that is probably what KB does. It is a very minimal system.

What is considered a good basic system would be wiring all windows and doors and then motion detectors on each floor. No KB home system wires all the windows.

Cheap of course being relative.


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RE: Security system cost

Out of curiosity, is it something that during the build you can DIY, or is it just not worth it?


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RE: Security system cost

Posted by david_cary (My Page) on Wed, Aug 15, 12 at 20:09
About $1 a sqft for a good system, but there is crap out there. Sure ADT will install for free for a 3 yr contract and that is probably what KB does. It is a very minimal system.

What is considered a good basic system would be wiring all windows and doors and then motion detectors on each floor. No KB home system wires all the windows.

Cheap of course being relative.

d_c : Would wiring just the first floor be more budget prudent or just a stupid idea?


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RE: Security system cost

While wiring just the first floor may be a good idea, my house is mostly single story, only three second story windows, so that doesn't help much!
$1 per square ft isn't do bad, just curious If there are other options to consider (such as DIY, we already plan to wire for cat6 ourslves)


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@laura12 - my assumptions are that most burglaries are quick break in & swipe. Where speed is the main factor. It would have to be meticulously planning to scale to a 2nd floor window & then down again with something big or small.

They would want to run out the front or back door if they could


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pbx,i agree. I was saying that not installing alarms on the upper windows won't save much in our home as it is a single story plan, with just a bonus room and one bedroom on the second story.


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We had our house pre-wired for an alarm. The pre-wire basically covered a 14in can, 2 keypads, up to 5 door sensors, a motion detector and a siren. Basic pre-wire install was $490.

As far as the other suggestions on wiring windows and such, I think its easier said than done. Now a days most companies don't want to wire windows as they don't want to be responsible for voiding the warranty on the window. Our builder did not even offer this as an option for that reason. I would also suggest to throw in a wired smoke detector on each floor as it should help lower your homeowners insurance on top of having the alarm as well.

You do have the option of putting in the alarm after the build which will be more expensive because you will be going wireless vs wired. They do offer wireless window sensors and YES you guessed it, they are expensive compared to wired. I won't even get into that debate of wireless vs wired but my thought is if I can have something hardwired & for less money, I will always take the hardwired route.

Deciding on which alarm to purchase after the pre-wire will basically depend on your needs and what you want it to control. Once we move in I am looking for a system that will do security as well as home automation so I am going to purchase an ELK M1 gold system. Elk and HAI offer the option of professional installers and also are DIY friendly companies that will offer support as well. There are other security/home automation systems which are more dealer oriented such crestron, contrl 4, savant, etc but it just all depends on what your budget is and what you would like to spend. If you just need secuirty you could always pay an ADT or said company that will come in and give you the system for free but then you are stuck with their monitoring system contract and high monthly fee as well. I chose to pay for my system up front which will probaly be about $650 or so to start and I can add to my system (lighting, audio/video, HVAC, sprinklers, blinds, etc)when I choose and can be controlled from any computer or my phone. I also like the fact I can select my own monitoring service. We have a company here that will monitor your system monthly for $9.95 month.

Hope that helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Elk Products


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RE: Security system cost

FWIW - I DIYed a first floor only window system - but that is where most of the windows are. We also have a walkout basement that was 10 windows, a deck with 6 windows etc. I also went with the Elk M1 - which is way more than most people would ever use and want. But hey you can get fancy and get text messages when the cleaners show up and when they leave - I really have to set that up.....

On the difficulty level - it does depend on the window type and your comfort with drilling into a window (and voiding a warranty most likely). But hey - I had my first warranty claim after 3 years and no one checked or asked if the window had been drilled. It was a 2nd story window so it was untouched.

On cost - the wires are particularly cheap (and you thought cat5 was cheap) and the sensors are in the $3 range. I would suggest that if you are doing your cat 5/6, then security is in your realm. The most difficult thing of all is terminating the cat 5/6 (and that isn't bad either).

I am still so proud of my wiring the door locks. Very few people have heard of that and no thief with think of it either. When we go to bed, if I forgot to lock the basement, it will tell me. We have an unusually high number of exterior doors - 7 and it is much easier to check the keypad than 7 doors. Also - door sensors can be bypassed by a sophisticated thief - they would just use powerful magnets to throw them off.


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David_carey, that is some great advice! Thank-you ;)

I'm not sure about drilling into windows though (I guess we didn't think through how this would work) as we are buying either vinyl or fiberglass.

We are looking for a DIY home automation system, I've played around with the Control4 system and really liked it, but we do need something that is more DIY.

How do you wire the locks of doors? We will have 6 doors on our main floor as well, and would love a solution to be able to check and see if they are locked. I've looked into some of the automatic locks as well, but those won't work on all the sliding doors (there are 4).


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David_Cary, so when you said about $1 sq ft, where you talking about the costs you incurred, or the cost of having it installed? If you are talking about your DIY costs I'm assuming you are also including the control system and not just the wiring?


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DIY is about $200 in wire and sensors. That was an installed cost. I paid $650 for the M1 which is very high for a unit.

The magnet is on the window and it about the size of 2 dimes put together (ie thicker than a single dime) and you need to screw into the window to install. So drilling is a bit of an overstatement. It is a 1/2 inch long screw.

The door lock sensor is a push sensor (mechanical so less than ideal but no failures in 3 years). I just drilled it into the jam where the deadbolt goes. So they are deadbolt sensors - but we have deadbolts on all exterior doors. I can't imagine how to do a sliding door.


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RE: Security system cost

David_Cary! Thanks so much, that pretty much outlines exactly what we are looking for!

I'm feeling much better about this now. Now if only I could find a way to knock down some of the other allowances so easily ;) (the builder had included $7000 for our 3300 for security and cat5 or 6).


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RE: Security system cost

Why would you need windows wired on the 1st floor if you have complete motion detector coverage?


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We have cats, motion detectors are problematic.


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I have a 32 lb cat and a dog. They have never set off our motion detectors.


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Seariously? I thought you couldn't have motion detectors with animals, how do they not set them off?


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RE: Security system cost

Posted by mx702 (My Page) on Sun, Aug 19, 12 at 17:00
Why would you need windows wired on the 1st floor if you have complete motion detector coverage?

Because, you rather they stay out all together in the first place then already be inside.


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RE: Security system cost

FYI: A good reason to have both motion detectors and window contacts, is if you would like to arm your system while you are sleeping or you would like the perimeter secured without arming the motions. You can do this by arming the system as "Stay". This activates all doors, windows, and glass breaks, but the motions are not active. To activate all devices, you arm it as "Away". I hope this helps.


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