I am in the process of building a house, are there advantages to installing a security system when building a new home?
The answer to this question comes down to a fundamental difference in alarm equipment in today’s market. Whether you are going to use a typical alarm company whether national or local or a do-it-yourself type of system, the basic difference for the benefit of a home under construction comes down to whether you want to use hard wired components or wireless components. There are pros and cons to both of these types of systems, but it basically comes down to which type of system is a better fit for your specific application.
Most alarm companies and do-it-yourself companies will recommend wireless for almost any application. Wireless is fast and easy to install. For the professional alarm company, they install wireless components every day of the week. They can usually have a technician by him or herself install and program an entire system in less than half a day.
For the do-it-yourself customer, you could probably install and program the entire system in one work day. There are plenty of videos and helpful tips websites available to you that can make the installation and programming process smooth and easy if you take your time and follow their step-by-step instructions.
The advantages of using wireless components is the simplicity of use and installation, but it goes beyond that. Using wireless components and applications you have the ability to place the components of your alarm system virtually anywhere you would like. The doors and windows are pretty straight forward in their application, but what about motion sensors, glass break detectors, fire protection, or cameras? Using wireless components, you have lots more choices and options for their usage and coverage of your home.
It is a pretty big deal to try to move a hard-wired component in your alarm system, and if you do decide to move one of the components, you have to also fix the hole in your wall that is left from where the component was previously mounted. The ease of use and application is a major advantage of wireless components.
In the event that you decide to sell your house and move, with wireless components, it is actually possible to literally take your alarm system with you. If you are careful, you can take the components off of the walls, windows, and doors of your home, label each one of the components individually, and you can take them and apply them in your new home situation. The versatility of wireless components, ease of use, and the adaptation to new technology make wireless a wonderful choice.
The major downside with using wireless components is that you will be irritated and annoyed every three to five years when the batteries go bad. When this begins to happen, you will at minimum have a message on your keypad indicating a low battery has occurred in one of the components of your alarm system. The most annoying and irritating way this can alert you would be that your keypad would begin randomly beeping to make you aware that at least one of the components of your alarm system is in low battery.
Once you have figured out which component it is that is causing this condition, you will need to either call your security company to change the battery, or change it yourself. It really is not very complicated to change the battery, but if you don’t want the hassle of changing the batteries, a service contract with your alarm company is a pretty good idea. When one of the batteries in one of the components registers as being low, if you have a service contract, the company will come out and change the batteries in all of the components. The thinking is that since all of the components were installed at the same time, that once one of the batteries starts going bad, it will not be long before more of the batteries start going bad.
If you do not have an alarm company because you bought your alarm system and installed it yourself, it is still a good rule of thumb that if one of the batteries in one of the components of your alarm system is going bad, to change out all of the batteries in all of the components in all of your alarm system. Most of the batteries that are in the components of your alarm system are a CR 123 battery. Some of the components might use other batteries, but this is the primary battery that you will need to purchase to replace most of the batteries in your alarm system.
The advantages of having a hard-wired alarm system installed in your home are many as well. If you are not familiar with running wires in your home, I would not recommend trying to install a hard-wired system yourself. A professional alarm company with professional alarm technicians will know exactly how to do this. The advantage of having your home hard-wired while it is under construction is obvious. Once the house has been insulated and the walls closed, it is much more difficult to run and fish the wires that are needed to the different components of your alarm system.
When considering a home under construction, most people start with what is called a “perimeter system.” A perimeter system is an alarm system that has as part of is coverage all of the doors and windows in the basement and first floor of the home. This is a great type of system to get because more than ninety-nine percent of home break-ins happen through a door or window. Because the home is under construction, most homeowners can have a perimeter system readied for their home at a significantly lower price than if they waited until the home is finished being built. Most alarm companies refer to this as their, “Pre-Wire” price.
When the alarm company installs contacts into the door and window frames to be a part of the system, they will be able to “hide” the contact switches so that unless you look very carefully, you cannot see the contacts. With wireless components, you can see the little boxes that are a part of each of the contact switches that are a part of your alarm system on each of the windows or doors. A hard-wired system is also more stable. You do not have to worry about changing the batteries in the components of the alarm system. The alarm system will be tied into the power of your home. As long as your home has power, your alarm system will work.
That begs the question, what about when the power goes out because of a storm? The alarm system in a wireless application or a hard-wired application are backed-up with a rechargeable battery. This battery is located in the control panel of your alarm system which is either your keypad or a metal box that is like the “brains” of your alarm system that has been installed in your basement or a closet in your home. This rechargeable back-up battery is usually good for between four and six years. The back-up rechargeable battery will hold up your system usually for twenty-four hours. Statistically, most power outages are only for a handful of hours, not really very long.
The Bottom Line
The advantages of both the wireless and hard-wired type of alarm system are many. They both offer protection and peace of mind for you and your family. Whatever application that you have to fit your family’s needs, they both offer options. If you have a home under construction, I would encourage you to look into a hard-wired application, as you only have that option for a “pre-wire” package when the home is under construction.
Thanks for reading. We hope this blog has helped answer your questions about whether or not to install a security system while your home is under construction.
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