When I work with local customer home builders and architects, they tell me that there are very few security companies that will do security pre-wires. Most security companies today, including almost all ADT Authorized Dealers, install wireless security systems and do not have the expertise or experience necessary to custom design or install a hard wired security system. To get help, schedule a free home security review and our security experts will help you design your custom home security solution.
Learn more >>> So if you are building a custom home or doing a major remodel down to the frames, let's look at the steps of planning security for your home and family.
Custom Designing Your ADT Security System
Because security companies and cable companies are heavily marketing their wireless security systems, the first question many people ask when building a home is why do I need to get my home pre-wired?
Four Main Reasons to Get Your Home Prewired for Security
- Reliability: Creates a stable security system for a large home
- Aesthetics: You will not see the the unsightly wireless sensors on all the doors and windows because with hard wired security systems the security contacts are hidden inside the frames
- Home Automation Integration: Professional grade hard wired security systems have the capability of being combined with your home's third party home automation system
- No Batteries to Replace: Security system will last for many years without the need of battery replacement of all your security components
Reliability: With all the hype about "wireless" these days, many homeowners assume it's the best option for security. Often people feel it's the latest in technology. The fact is that higher end hard-wired security systems have far more capabilities than the standard wireless only security systems and most hard wired systems are hybrid so they can communicate with wireless security devices as well.
Wireless security systems were designed to meet the needs of the average home size of about 2,500 square feet and below. Depending upon the design of the home, once a home starts to get to 3,000 and especially 5,000 square feet and above, problems with wireless communication can begin to happen. Since your security system needs to be reliable 100% of the time, this is why you need to hard wire your security system.
Some custom built homes have detached garages or guest homes and need security keypads with other security devices in these detached structures. It's is important to plan for wire runs between these locations so you can tie all of them together into one security platform. With hard wired security systems, you can partition zones. This means you could use one security system to arm/disarm two different locations separately. It is almost like having two separate security systems but you only pay security monitoring for one security system.
If you are planning on getting security cameras installed it is definitely worth planning to wire for each camera location. Most "wireless" cameras today are WiFi and with a large home, cameras on the far ends of the home can begin to drop on and off throughout the day. You are also relying on your Internet to insure you capture all the events throughout the day.... unfortunately, sometimes the Internet goes down.
Also, with wired security cameras you have far more options for higher quality cameras and lenses types depending upon your needs. You'll also have more recording options and length of recorded video depending upon the DVR or NVR recorder you choose.
If you are building a two story 3,000 square foot home, wireless cameras might work depending upon where the main WiFi hub is located and how many WiFi extenders are used. It is important to note that some wireless cameras only communicate to a security hub provided with the cameras and can not use WiFi extenders that you have throughout your home as part of your network. If you are building a 5,000 square foot home or larger, you should get your home wired for cameras. If you want a security camera at the entrance gate to your property, make sure to work with your builder to provide trenching and conduit to run security camera wires to the gate.
For more information about the differences between wireless and hard wired security systems read this article.
Aesthetics: One of the best things about building your custom home is that you get to pick out what you like. Sometimes it feels like their are two many options to choose from, but when you move in the home it's yours and everything around you is custom designed to your tastes or at least your spouses. And often thousands of dollars are spent on custom doors and windows... last thing you need is unsightly wireless sensors mounted on the outside of all your openings. With hard wired security systems, the contacts can be hidden inside all the door and window frames leaving you to admire that beautiful custom door you found from a French Chateau.
When planning for a security system at the design stage, make sure to consider aesthetics when getting motions, glass breaks, keypads and other devices installed. For example, from your entry point into a home, plan on putting motion sensors in corners that you can not see when you first enter from the front door. You do not want to sacrifice the protection you receive from your security system, but often a motion in a different corner of a room will not make a difference in the level of security provided. It will however, look far more pleasing.
Home Automation Integration: Many custom homeowners have a low voltage company installing a cool home automation system through the home. Many of these systems installed have keypads placed throughout the home, media interfaces from TVs and remote apps to control your home from your mobile devices. If this is the case for yourself, make sure you have a device installed with your security system that allows you to connect the two systems together so you can control your security system from your home automation platform. Have your security company talk to your low voltage contractor to ensure a compatible alarm system is installed.
No Batteries to Replace: We often wire custom homes that have 50, 60 and 75+ door/window contacts and security devices throughout the home. Imagine, needing to replace 75+ batteries every few years... you should just buy stock in Duracell. When you get the opportunity to install a security system that will last for many years with no maintenance, take advantage. Don't let your security system be an afterthought.
Plan for all your personal security preferences before the drywall goes up and you'll get a more reliable security system, an aesthetically pleasing look and you will not need to work full time replacing batteries throughout your home in a few years.
Four Phases for Your ADT Security System When Pre-Wiring
- Planning and design
- Pre-wire stage
- Installing the security system equipment
- Connecting your alarm system to ADT monitoring center
When is the best time to plan and design your security system? Right after the framing is complete is often the best time to plan for the security system. It allows you to use the floor plans combined with a visual of the homes layout to plan for the proper location of security equipment devices. It also allows us as security experts to see how we are going to run wires throughout the home and create a quote for parts and labor. We can also calculate the amount of wire we will need to complete the work.
- Planning right after the framing gives us plenty of time as the plumbing, electrical, windows and door frames still need to be installed before we run the security wires. We run the security wiring right before the insulation and drywall get installed. All low voltage wiring, including security, needs to be installed after the electrical wiring is complete. If low voltage wiring is installed parallel to electric wires it can cause problems with low voltage equipment like security systems. Electrical wires are not effected by low voltage wiring.
The final stage of installing your security system is to install the security equipment. This is done after all the painting is complete and the doors are installed. To connect your alarm system to the ADT Central Station for monitoring service you will need to have power to the home. Depending upon what type of ADT monitored security you choose, you will need Internet service for some of the remote capabilities for security system monitoring and to view videos and recordings from your camera system offsite or from mobile devices.
If you are building a custom home or doing a major remodel, call us to help you design a security solution that is right for you. We have the experts to design and install a security system that will be reliable for your large custom home. Reach us at 1-800-310-9490 or schedule a free home security review below.