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Piecing Together Your Alarm System Is Cheaper (and Better) Than Buying a Security System

Posted in: I'm Moving, Home Improvement

Installing high-quality home security is an important part of being a responsible and safe homeowner. If you’ve done any research in this area, you may have realized that most pre-made security bundles are expensive and clunky—and when you unpack them, confusing.

That latter reason is the most significant reason to just avoid these systems altogether.

Brent Grove, owner of WARGROVE, LLC. explains, “Having been a police officer for many years, I saw a lot of burglaries in houses that had alarm systems where the alarm systems were not on at the time of the burglary. The number one excuse I would get from the homeowner or family members was the alarm system was too complicated to operate. It came down to usually a few family members not comfortable on how to operate the security systems.”

How many times have you had to give guests a weird set of instructions on how to simply walk outside? One too many.

Instead of putting yourself and your family at-risk with a pre-made system no one understands, build your own. With a few small purchases, from motion detectors to smart locks, you’ll have a DIY security system that’s catered to your needs and that everyone can understand.

You have to start with a base.

The beauty of a DIY security system is the freedom you have to cater each piece to your specific needs. To begin, every DIY system stems from one specific, crucial item: a wireless alarm system.


When choosing a wireless alarm system, Norman Weisinger, founder and CEO of Cool Energy Island, suggests you keep the following in mind:

    • Look for money back guarantee—minimum of seven days, 100 percent money back.
    • The system should be easy to install. If the instructions are too hard to understand out-of-the-box, send it back.
    • Purchase a system with battery backup that can last three to seven days and uses alternative calling/notification settings (i.e., email notification or text, rather than a phone call).
  • Your system should be able to connect with third-party security components, like the sensors and detectors you’ll be installing for your DIY setup.

Find the right combo of accessories to beef up your system.


When your wireless system is purchased and installed, it’s time to start building out.

Explain the security experts from Home Security Super Store,

In just a couple of hours, you can put together a totally customized security system inside your very own home. Mix and matched components allow you to secure the doors, windows, gates, and entryways you’re most concerned about and to change your system when you need.”

5 Sweet Garage Upgrades That Up Your Home’s Value

Garage additions and upgrades like the five in this list can produce an estimated 65 percent return-on-investment.

Which “mix and match” components are we talking about here? Security accessories including motion detectors, glass-shatter alarms and door sensors are what you’ll need to create a well-rounded DIY system. Also, the more seamlessly compatible they are with a functioning app, the better! 

Look for combo items to get the most for your money, while beefing up the value of each component. These are items that come with two things you’ll need, right out of the box. For example, here are a few combo products to look for:

    • Motion detector + light
    • Camera + recording system
    • Smart lock + intruder sensor
  • Window + door sensor

In every case, make sure the components are wireless, know which are fastest to install, the easiest ones to move around and replace, and ultimately, which ones are most reliable.

Don’t forget your locks!


Your locked doors make you feel safe, but Greg Davis, CEO and Founder of The Lock Locker suggests this may not be true:

The number one safety mistake 99 percent of families are making is assuming that simply locking ones deadbolt and door handle is enough. In truth, locking one’s door provides zero security (from) criminals or anyone who may have a copy of that homes key. Criminals are buying ‘Bump Keys’ online and they open 90 percent of locks.”

To avoid any potential dangers from any of these new smart keys, add a digital or smart lock to your DIY home security system. Digital locks use a code for entrance, rather than a regular key. Smart locks offer a variety of other features, including remote lock and unlock and the ability to give people “virtual keys,” according to Safety First: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Locks. Click the link to read more about smart keys and locks.

Connect with your neighborhood.


One last, important piece of your DIY security system is helping to keep the entire neighborhood safe to give you that full peace of mind. A simple way to connect with your neighbors and keep a line of communication open is the private social network Nextdoor. Download it and look at what people are posting about your neighborhood. If your neighborhood isn’t already listed, you can add it and invite your neighbors to get an account.

Share information about break-ins, vandalism or problems with strange people walking around at weird times. Not only will everyone be more informed and accountable for one another’s safety, but you’ll have a record of any incidences that can be helpful to police in the event of an attack.

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a lifestyle blogger and full-time freelancer. She’s written for Reader’s Digest, AARP,, Lifehack and more. Follow her on Twitter: @Jlsander07.

Additional resources regarding home alarm research:


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