All you need to know about installing CCTV including costs of materials, labour and time frames.
CCTV camera systems can help to improve the security and safety of your home. You can easily identify what is going on outside by remote monitoring inside the house, or on smartphones or tablets anywhere in the world! Night vision, once reserved for science fiction and special forces, is now commonplace and quality images are possible in all light conditions. CCTV systems can also be used to obtain images and recordings of suspects that can be provided to the Police as evidence of criminal activity and can often be irrefutable evidence in an investigation. But more importantly, the mere presence of a CCTV system can help prevent crimes from happening in the first place. A professional home CCTV system is not as expensive as you may think, yet will still provide families with peace of mind and greatly reduce their chances of being victims of crime.
Installing digital CCTV equipment is not the most complex of tasks, so experienced DIY enthusiasts should be able to make a decent job of fitting a low-voltage CCTV surveillance system. The components are easy to source and the installation services of a professional installer are not always necessary. However, the most difficult part of installing CCTV is often the planning and design of the system. So if you are considering a multi-camera system, even if you are confident you can install everything yourself, it may well be worth consulting a professional to design the system for you.
This article just covers the most common and popular types of CCTV equipment, as there are so many different types of surveillance cameras and recording equipment available it is impossible to cover everything on the market. Whenever you are installing any expensive equipment, you, of course, should always pay careful attention to safety instructions provided by the manufacturer. In addition, working at heights can be dangerous as can the use of power tools, so it is crucial that you follow all safety precautions. If the equipment requires a connection to the mains power supply, this should only be carried out by a qualified electrician.
The first step in any CCTV installation is to plan the equipment locations taking into consideration the prevailing light conditions and vulnerable entry points to your home. Infrared or night vision cameras can be used for very dark conditions and consider installing a CCTV system in conjunction with an alarm system. Typical camera locations cameras are front and back doors, garage doors, driveways or parking areas, porches and stairways. For basic home security, a package with 3 outdoor cameras and a DVR system capable of at least 3 days of recording time will usually suffice. Wireless cameras are much easier to set-up as no drilling or running cables is required. But the quality is often not as good plus you have to keep replacing/recharging batteries.
When purchasing cameras always ensure that they are suitable for outdoor use and are weatherproof. Cameras that are not designed to be used outside will very quickly break down when exposed to the weather. Motion sensors make a lot of sense as they ensure cameras will only record when they detect motion, saving lots of disc space and reducing energy consumption.
If installing a CCTV system as a DIY project, always ensure you choose a high, broad angle for the cameras looking down from a corner where you can clearly see all entries and exits (if possible, choose locations near to mains power sources too). Place outside cameras above 10 feet so that they cannot be easily knocked down or smashed by intruders. Some cameras you can buy online come with sticky pads to fix them to the wall, but screwing your camera into the wall or a post using a bracket is the best way to mount cameras.
Most cameras come with a power adapter that will plug into a normal 3-pin wall socket, but if you placing cameras outdoors this will be suitable and you will need an electrician to wire them safely into the mains power. Cameras can be connected to your DVR (digital video recorder) using a BNC connection which is identical on both sides and just needs to be plugged into the appropriate port. If your cables do not have BNC connections you can buy a simple BNC adapter to slip onto the end of your cables. Any wireless cameras need to be linked to your computer using software that should be supplied on a disc. Just follow the manufacturers on-screen instructions to access your camera feeds.
The average cost to have CCTV installed will depend on quality and size of the system you want installed. The system will include the cameras, monitor and a DVR to store the recordings and arrange them for viewing. Cameras can vary in price considerably, with 4K colour, 90 degree field of view cameras costing much more than a low resolution, black and white, 45 degree field of view camera.
The average security specialist will charge between £300 and £600 to install a CCTV system but the overall price depends largely on the type of system you would like. An 8 camera system with 4K resolution and enhanced zoom capabilities and night vision is going to cost around £2500. The price is also going to vary based on your home as it's going to cost more to install a CCTV system to a 3 story house rather than a bungalow.
Below are some estimated costs of CCTV installation:
|Job Description||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|1 Wireless camera for self installation||£50 - £80||1-2 hours|
|1 Wired HD Camera||£200 - £400||1-2 hours|
|4 Camera system and installation||£1500 - £2000||4-6 hours|
|8 Camera system and installation||£1800 - £2500||6-8 hours|
Individual costs to install a 4 camera system and DVR with 4K resolution and enhanced zoom capabilities and night vision - Total Cost: £1800