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DIY vs Professional Security Camera Installation Explained

Discover all there is to know about security camera installation, including the differences between DIY and professional installations, and what you can expect going into a security installation project. 

How Much Does Security Camera Installation Cost? The Breakdown

As one might expect, installation costs can vary dramatically when it comes to security system installation, due to a number of variable factors–namely, the state of the existing wiring in the property itself and the area needed to be covered. 

In turn, for professional installations, prices can be competitive.

power tool, hammer and screws.

While wired systems are less costly upfront, they are also more expensive to install, costing between $150 and $200 per camera compared with wireless equivalents, which cost approximately $100 a piece.

DIY Security Camera Installation

Follow these tips to ensure that your system is up and running in no time.

1. Purchase a security camera (or reuse old phones!)

In this guide, we talk about how to turn your unused phones into security cameras.

2. Mount Your Cameras

3. Run Cables

If you choose to run cables inside, it is best to plan which route you want them to follow before beginning installation. This way, they will not be left exposed for someone with bad intentions to see and cut. 

In addition, you can use cable raceways to help keep your cables organized and out of sight.

A mass of cables hanging from a wall.

4. Test Your System

Once installation is complete, it is important to test your system. Doing so will ensure that each camera is appropriately powered, capturing footage correctly, and that you can view live footage from anywhere in the world.

5. Update Your Software

Make sure to update all of your software for both hardware and cameras. This will help you to not only monitor but also access your security footage remotely. Keeping software up to date keeps it running smoothly and avoids any complications coming about down the line.

Installing Security Cameras Outside

Watch out for yard clutter – trees, vehicles, or other objects that could obscure the shot. Since outdoor cameras need to be mounted on the exterior walls of your home or business, making sure that they are both secure and protected from the elements is also important. 

If the camera doesn’t market itself as weatherproof, make sure there is some kind of rain cover over the top of it.

Credit: BuildersSA

When choosing a location for your installation, make sure it is not an area where people can hide while attempting to sabotage your system. Watch out for blind spots by setting up multiple cameras that create a cross-section view of the area. 

It is important to choose visible locations for security camera installation around the entrances and exits of your home or business, but they should be positioned high enough to discourage theft of the cameras themselves.

Installing Security Cameras Inside

When installing security cameras inside your home, you have a few more options for advantageous placements.

Some people choose to install them in the front door, back door, and main entrances. This will allow you to see who is entering and exiting your home at all times. 

Credit: Nelly’s Security

It’s also important to look at installing cameras in rooms where you store valuables such as the kitchen, bathroom, and even living room if possible. This way, you can watch expensive items that could easily be stolen or damaged if unattended for long periods. 

Professional Security Camera Installation

Workman completing an installation

A professional security company will have years of experience in camera installation and monitoring. They will provide you with a system that meets your specific needs and budget.

When hiring a professional, be on the lookout for:

  • Full vetting and certification relevant to the state/city you live in.
  • Positive reviews online.
  • Word-of-mouth recommendations from people you know and trust.
  • An electrician, rather than a ‘local handyman’.
  • Price matching—it pays to shop around for competitors!


How much does it cost to install security cameras?

This can vary depending on the type of security camera system you choose and the company that is doing the installation. Therefore, it is best to get quotes from a few different companies before deciding, as well as looking around to see if buying the equipment yourself might be more cost-effective.

Can I install security cameras myself?

While it is possible to install security cameras yourself, it is not recommended for larger business settings. This is because businesses have unique security needs that require specific knowledge and equipment to install cameras. That being said, for smaller ventures, like independent grocery stores, self installation may suffice.

Installation companies will have years of experience in both camera installation and monitoring. As a result, they will be able to provide you with a system that meets your specific needs and budget.

How high should security cameras be mounted?

This will depend on the type of security camera that is being installed. However, security cameras are generally recommended to be mounted at least 10 feet off the ground. This will help to ensure that they are out of reach from anyone trying to tamper with them (or steal the camera itself—they’re worth a pretty penny, after all!)

Can I install a camera outside my house?

Yes, it is possible to install a security camera outside your house. However, you will need to make sure that the camera can withstand the elements. When looking for cameras, find one that brands itself as ‘weatherproof’, or has an angled rain shield over the top of the camera.

Additionally, you will need to ensure that the camera has a clear view of all entrances and exits to your home.


When it comes to security camera installation, is professional installation better than DIY? Probably—it is best to leave the job to the professionals when it concerns electrics, especially in a business setting. When health and safety is on the table, it’s wise to play your best hand.

But that doesn’t mean you have to ‘go without’ if professional installation isn’t within your budget. Indeed, no one should feel that they are sacrificing their safety or security.