Let’s say a homeowner wants to purchase a brand new home security system and have it professionally monitored. What’s that system going to cost them if they buy it in Chicago?
When it comes to pricing, you need to make sure you know what you’re getting for your money. Realistically, the price will vary from homeowner to homeowner. But generally, homeowners should plan their budgets around two cost factors:
- System installation pricing between $199 to $1,000+ (depending on hardware needs)
- Monitoring pricing between $29.99 and $59.99 per month
These are wide price ranges. So we don’t blame you for wondering what goes into them. If we break these installation and monitoring prices down, we get:
- Labor, equipment and activation fees make up the lion’s share of installation costs. This is true even in the age of DIY equipment, especially because some insurance companies require professional installations. Plus, they last longer and can be serviced by a local company if something goes wrong.
- The type of monitoring (landline or cellular) along with the number of sensors monitored make up the majority of the monitoring cost. In particular, remote access from mobile phones is state-of-the-art technology that tends to cost a bit more per month.
This article looks at all of these price factors in greater detail. We’ll also look at ways a homeowner in Chicago can save money on their security systems with tax breaks, insurance policies and more.
Still gathering information for an upcoming security installation job? The team at Alert Protective is a great resource. Call (773) 685-8383 or visit our contact page to schedule a free, no-obligations quote today.
The cost of a security system installation
As we mentioned above, the price of a security system installation ranges between $199 and $1,000+ for most residential properties in Chicago. But we can break this price range down by looking at three important price factors:
- Activation fees
Factor #1: Labor
When a security company provides a quote for an installation, they’re factoring in how many hours it will take to complete that job. Bigger jobs require more labor and have a higher total cost.
Labor costs vary wildly between contractors. Even if two security companies can complete the job in exactly the same time, the cost of labor will almost certainly be different because of the differences in hourly rates.
Some of the reasons for higher labor rates include:
- Local, responsive, 24/7 service support
- Years of experience
- Proof of value (more testimonials and reviews)
- Larger overhead costs (for equipment, supplies, insurance etc.)
One way to avoid labor costs altogether is to purchase a DIY security system. These systems, however, carry risks which are worth noting:
- Professional security consultants can spot blind spots in a residential surveillance system that a homeowner may not have seen, but a burglar might.
- Customer support is rarely local and problems are often troubleshooted over the phone rather than in person.
- It’s up to the homeowner to go online for instructions on how to operate their new system, rather than have a professional teach them after the install.
- DIY systems can malfunction if not properly installed and rely on owner’s ability to maintain the system
Price factor #2: Equipment
It will come as no surprise that equipment costs will carry the largest price tag of a professional installation. And the more equipment a homeowner purchases, the more expensive the install.
Some of the most popular security equipment we install include:
- Surveillance cameras: We install between 2 to 3+ cameras per installation on average in a residential home. They can be a mix of indoor, outdoor or both.
- Video doorbells: Hugely popular, video doorbells let homeowners see who’s at the door and speak to a visitor directly from their phone, even if they’re not in the home.
- Alarm sensors: A staple of the modern security system. Alarm systems alert homeowners to break-ins, smoke, fire, flooding and more.
- Control panels: The gateway to the security system. Control panels let you arm, disarm and manage your entire system from a single console in the home.
Importantly, if you already have equipment, and just want monitoring, you can save quite a bit in labor and equipment costs. In fact, at Alert Protective, it’s always free to switch monitoring.
Ongoing monitoring costs
Professional monitoring is a recurring service billed to the homeowner once a month. The cost of monthly monitoring varies significantly, anywhere from $29 /m to $100 /m or more. That said the majority of Chicago households should expect to pay around $40 per month for professional monitoring.
Two factors primarily affect the cost of ongoing monitoring: the type of monitoring and the number of sensors which are being monitored.
Type of monitoring: landline or cellular?
Two types of monitoring are available for homeowners: cellular and landline.
- Landline service: Landline monitoring is the more affordable option, costing around $20/m. The lower cost comes at a price, however: burglars can simply cut the telephone line to bypass the entire system.
- Cellular service: Cellular monitoring is a bit more expensive at around $30 to $50 per month. But it doesn’t carry the same risk of a cut-off as landline monitoring. Plus it’s easier to install, saving the homeowner money on a professional installation.
Number of sensors being monitored
The more sensors that are tracked by a monitoring company, the more it will cost to monitor that property.
Security sensors are made to monitor for different emergencies. They can be broken down into two types:
- Environmental sensors protect against fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, flooding and other environmental hazards.
- Burglary sensors warn homeowners when a door or window opens or breaks, or when a surveillance camera senses movement.
Three ways your security system saves you money
Homeowners can save money on their security installations and monthly monitoring bill with the help of:
- Insurance savings: Many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners with an ongoing monthly monitoring subscription. In some cases, a security system is required for coverage. Either way, it pays to reassess your home insurance after you’ve installed a new system.
- Utility savings: New security systems are often paired with smart home products like smart thermostats and lighting control. These can save homeowners hundreds of dollars in utilities every year.
- Tax write-offs: In some cases, security systems can be written off on state and federal tax returns. This is especially true if you have a home business.
Lastly, if your security system prevents even one burglary, you’ve just protected thousands of dollars in potential losses.
Want an accurate quote for a security system in Chicago?
Our goal at Alert Protective is to give you the best security system for your budget. We hope this article helps you set a reasonable budget based on the realities of a security system installation in Chicago.