Security camera installation in recent years has been marketed on some big-box retail stores’ security camera system’s packaging as DIY or “do it yourself”…easy, peazy. You may even be here now because you bought such a system, opened the box, saw all the wires, screws and connectors or even attempted to install it and realized… it ain’t so DIY easy, peazy!

DVR Camera System Components
DVR System Components

Make no mistake about it, security camera installation can be a hazardous challenge! In Texas, you can certainly install (or attempt to install) a security camera system for yourself, but like other monitored alarm systems, security cameras should only be installed by experienced, licensed and insured security specialists – and for good reason. Installing security cameras requires camera lens and angle knowledge to achieve the best possible FOV or field of view.

Security Camera Installation – Risks and Difficulty

Bad vs Good Security Camera Installation

Security Camera Installation on Ladder on Side of BuildingSecurity camera installation that resembles a CITS professional install typically requires 2 people — one outside in the hot sun working on a ladder with a drill and rods or fish tape and another one inside an extremely hot attic crawling around carrying a flashlight, drill, rods and wiring. Neither one wants to fall either — falling outside could cause broken bones or property damage and falling or stepping through the attic would create a hole that would need repair and possible broken bones as well.

There’s even the possibility of electrocution when drilling through walls/ceilings and crawling around on live wires! Not to mention the heat exhaustion risks, tools required and time spent learning all the lessons we had to learn along the way to be as good at it as we are.

Security Camera Installation and What You Need To Know

Attic work laying on studsWhile we will install any camera system, even ones you purchase elsewhere, we recommend you purchase your system as well from us. Why? Today’s camera systems are highly customize-able, configurable and thus complex mini-computer systems. Every system is different and requires learning the system’s layout, interface options, compatibility, apps and more. We know our systems, what their capabilities are and are not.

It is best to know what you can expect from the system you purchase and our installation. Security cameras purchased elsewhere typically have short warranties, long hold times to reach phone support, incompetent or hard to work with support agents and difficult warranty service when needed. Most retail camera systems like Swann, Lorex, Q-See, NightOwl and the like require parts to be returned before a new one will be sent out when needed. These systems  have limited compatibility with replacement cameras; if they are even still available in a couple years. The Swann SRNVR-87300H NVR with 6 of their 3mp cameras was sold at Costco, Sam’s Club and other discount retail stores just a few years ago and now the units are failing. Replacement units are not available from Swann and any you can find are used and way over priced ($500+) on eBay. We offer repair service and are sometimes able to fix this unit at a more reasonable price, but still.

Security Camera Installation Final Thoughts

With our systems, we handle any repairs (typically we have a replacement for exchange already with us), warranty exchange and/or support needed for during the first year for just the trip charge. With any other system, you would be fully responsible for diagnosing and resolving any issues arising after installation or pay our regular rates for a service call. As an example, for a failed camera this means removing the camera, paying to ship it back, waiting for the replacement to arrive and re-installing it yourself or paying for us to come out again. In addition, we are not responsible for any equipment purchased elsewhere that is DOA or does not work when installing.

Camera systems sold, installed and configured by CLEAR IT SECURITY are a great way to not only deter crime but also keep an eye on your property and loved ones such as your home, vehicles, children, the elderly or even your pets while you are away. We are the experts and offer more choices when it comes to home and commercial, business security and surveillance camera systems. Our licensed and insured alarm system repair techs are professional, knowledgeable and friendly. Whether you need just one camera, 4, 8 or any number of cameras, we have a solution that will provide you the coverage you need.

Security Camera Installation Cost

You’re probably wondering how much it costs for surveillance camera system installation. So how much does it cost to install a camera system? Well that depends and varies based on the number of cameras and difficulty of installation among other things. Most companies don’t advertise or display their security camera installation costs online but now even Amazon offers security camera installation service.

As an example, Amazon installation charges for a very basic 4 camera installation starts at $495.09 for labor and $846.59 labor only for a very basic 8 camera installation. In comparison, our 4 camera jobs start at $400 and $750 for 8. Another CLEAR IT SECURITY advantage is Amazon doesn’t include remote viewing setup in their pricing. Check out Amazon’s page for more info on their camera installation service estimate.

Standard Installation (average size 1 story home or business) – What’s included

    • Consultation to determine best location of DVR/NVR recording unit, cameras and cabling (see what we need below) 
    • We recommend DVRs are installed in a concealed location such as a closet or in the bedroom near the TV.
    • Once camera locations have been determined, a small hole, 1″ or less will be drilled at desired camera locations for routing cables from each camera back to the DVR. These holes will be concealing by the cameras once installed.
    • Pre-drilling of 1/4″ up to 1″ holes, into wood, mortar, stone or brick surfaces for running camera wires at each camera location
    • Drilling of 1/4″ up to 1″ holes into top-plate (or stud) in attic, drop-ceiling or other open area for wires to pass-through behind walls
    • Fishing camera cables through holes drilled and weatherproofing (if needed)
    • Running cables from cameras to DVR/NVR through attic space, drop-ceiling or other open area up to 50′ from DVR unit
    • Concealing cables in walls, attic or conduit (onsite inspection may result in additional costs)
    • Secure mounting and weatherproofing (if needed) of all cameras over holes drilled to conceal wires and holes
    • Cutting hole and installation of low-voltage recessed wall cabling pass-through wall-plate to cover hole
    • Setup of DVR/NVR unit at agreed upon location and connected to customer-supplied or CITS puchased monitor or TV
    • Basic time/date programming and tutorial for system use
    • Typical installation time: 3-8 hours depending on conditions and # of cameras to be installed

  • Note: Poles, longer cables and other parts are extra

Planning for Installation – What We Need To Know From You

  • Total # of Cameras To Install and Where You Want Them Mounted — these are the 2 biggest cost factors. If you aren’t sure, we can help… we just need to know what you want to see in your camera views. Larger homes and businesses – over 1500-2000 square feet and especially 2 story homes require additional labor time and possibly longer cables or extensions to be ran.
  • DVR/NVR Recording Unit Desired Location in Your Home or Business — this is another cost factor. Generally most DVR and NVR Security Camera Systems are installed in a somewhat secure, central yet out of sight location near the existing internet modem/router to keep additional cabling costs down. All systems require a hard-wire ran from the router to the DVR/NVR for internet and remote access via the app. Sometimes this is just not possible though and a internet line or wireless bridge will need to be added for remote internet access, if needed. We can discuss the best upgrade path and option with you. In addition, this location needs to have:
    • 3 wide-open power outlets or power strips with at-least 3 transformer-size open outlets for plugging the cameras into
    • An HDMI or VGA monitor (or TV) for setting up, configuring and viewing your cameras in real time or playing back video
  • Internet router location — Again, most systems require a direct hard-wired connection to your internet router for remote viewing on your phone, tablet or PC. We can run a cable or even move your modem/router for an additional fee.
  • House Size (approx sqft) and # of Stories  — Wired DVR and NVR camera systems must have cable ran and installed from each camera back to the DVR or NVR unit. Most consumer systems come with 50-60 ft of cable. Depending on the type of cable used we may be able to use an extension cable but sometimes we must make a custom cable or order the appropriate length.
  • Attic accessibility — This is another one of the biggest factors. Some homes have very difficult, challenging or no attic access at all! Attics are used to run and hide the wires. Adding conduit or other ways of attaching the cable to the exterior will add additional costs.

Planning for Installation – Available Upgrades

  • Multiple room viewing of cameras on TV’s – Would you like to be able to view the cameras on TVs in your home or just a monitor? We offer a way to connect all the TVs in your home.
  • Also, most DVRs require a wired RJ45/CAT Ethernet cable from your internet router for remote viewing but a CITS DVR security camera system supports Wifi natively!

Planning for Installation – What We Need From You On Installation Day

  • Everything in section: What We Need To Know From You plus…
  • Confirmation of No Known Active Bee or Wasp Nests or Other Infestations In, Around Or Near Any Of Our Working Areas – Due to allergic reactions and other potential medical issues, we require that all known or suspected areas are treated well before we arrive.  If active nests are found, they must be taken care of immediately to avoid delays and additional costs.
  • Confirmation that Objects Are Not Being Stored In The Way Of Access Needed in Attic areas, Outside, Inside or Anywhere Cameras, Cables or the DVR/NVR unit is going — again if found, they must be taken care of immediately to avoid delays and additional costs.
  • Thank you for adhering to these conditions and helping to keep our time spent and your costs to a minimum!

Planning for Installation – What can I expect from this service?

You can expect 1-2 installers to arrive within a type 2 hour window and remain on-site for 3-8 hours (depending on difficulty) or until the job is complete. Our techs are able to service a home up to two stories in height (but there is an additional charge for 2 story homes and advanced notice is required) using a standard size ladder or step-ladder for access to the camera mounting positions. The pros will confirm camera locations, drill holes, fish cables, run and conceal wires through attic space, setup the DVR/NVR and mount cameras.  Occasionally, due to limitations of camera viewing angles and safe ladder access not available, a alternate location will need to be used. Please note: Due to the custom nature of this service and the inability to know what is behind walls and ceilings we drill through, we cannot and will not be held liable for, and are not expected to patch or repair any drywall, if holes must be drilled to run cables through your walls.
A final assessment and alignment of camera images will be carried out with you to confirm your camera’s field of view is properly set. Once the system is operational following the installation the pro will show you how to use your new system. Remote viewing setup is not included in the price of this service.

Contact us today for a FREE, no pressure estimate!