The desire for increased safety is leading more homeowners to install CCTV systems in their houses. ‘CCTV’ is an acronym for ‘closed-circuit television’, and it usually refers to a system of cameras and recorders installed to increase security. Cameras may be monitored in real time along with sending digital images to recorders for storage purposes.
Pricing out a CCTV installation can be a bit of a challenge as there is a lot to consider. For example:
- Can you only afford a basic, wireless system?
- Would you prefer a wired system with cloud storage?
- Are you thinking of a high-end system from a technology provider like Google?
The quality and size of CCTV systems makes it very difficult to give an average price that would cover all of your options. So a better way to look at it is to price out basic, mid-range, and top-of-the-line solutions. Understand that the more equipment you add to your system, the higher the total cost.
Installing a Basic System
A basic CCTV system is defined by the industry as one that features simple, wireless cameras and an entry-level storage system. At the start of 2019, a basic 4-camera system could be had for approximately £225. Throw in installation at £300 and you have a total bill of £525.
This is assuming that the installation contractor doesn’t need to jump through hoops to mount the cameras. If extra work is required for camera installation, the price goes up.
A basic system with 8 cameras runs about £400 for the equipment. Installation costs can be upwards of £500. As you can see, you pay less per camera with an 8-camera system. This is true for both the equipment and the installation. This suggests that it is wiser to build your system as large as you intend it to be right from the start, if you can afford to.
Installing a Mid-Range System
A mid-range CCTV system can utilise either wired or wireless cameras. A 4-camera system will run you about £450 at current prices. Installation costs of £300 will mean a total price of £750. An 8-camera system is nearly double. The equipment will run you approximately £800 while the installation will cost about £500. Your total price tag will be in the region of £1300.
Why you don’t get the same volume savings from a midrange wireless system is unclear. It could be that the higher cost of the cameras doesn’t lend itself well to volume pricing. At any rate, it is what it is.
Just like installing a basic system, understand that installation costs go up if contractors have to do extra work in order to install cameras. The price given here assumes a fairly straightforward installation of wireless cameras. Wired cameras mean higher installation costs.
Installing a Top-Of-The-Line System
Top-of-the-line CCTV systems include multiple wired and wireless cameras and cloud-based storage accessed via the internet. Pricing these kinds of systems gets tricky. Why? Because providers offer wide-ranging prices depending on their business models.
You can expect to pay in the neighbourhood of £650 for 4 high-end cameras along with installation costs upwards of £300. You will also pay an annual fee for cloud storage and online monitoring. Monitoring and pricing packages can be as little as £10 a month or as much as £80.
Having said that, there is quite a bit of variation. It is not unheard of for companies offering top-of-the-line systems to supply the first four cameras for free. Homeowners merely pay for installation and monthly cloud storage. Other providers charge for the cameras but throw in free installation as an added incentive.
There really is no way to know for sure what you would get without soliciting quotes. Looking at industry numbers and assuming you will pay for both equipment and installation, expect to pay a minimum of £850-£950 plus monthly cloud storage fees.
Options That Increase Costs
CCTV installation is like any other home improvement project in that there are certain options you can choose that subsequently increase your costs. For example, let us talk about the cheapest top-of-the-line system including four cameras and cloud storage.
It is assumed that you would have all four cameras installed inside the house. If you wanted external cameras as well, they will increase the total cost of the package. However, also bear in mind that the exterior cameras themselves will probably cost more per piece. They have to be built a little bit more solidly to withstand the outdoor environment.
Next, consider camera resolution. HD cameras offering 1080p resolution are going to cost more than 720p cameras. Is it important that you have the higher resolution on every camera in your house, or could you live with lower resolution cameras inside and higher resolution outside?
Here are a few more things to consider:
- Online Monitoring – You can purchase cloud storage packages with or without online monitoring. Online monitoring will obviously increase the price. In exchange, you get live access to video feeds using your laptop or mobile device.
- Storage Capacity – A basic system is likely to offer you about 1 TB of storage space. That is enough to store roughly 2 weeks of footage. If you want more storage space, you will have to pay for it.
- Internet Access – Most top-of-the-line systems with cloud storage rely on a home’s wi-fi connection to transmit data to the cloud. However, you may not feel that sort of set up is secure enough. You might prefer that your system be wired directly to your router/modem. You will pay more for cables and installation.
- Backup Power – If you want your system to operate even if the power goes out, you’ll need some sort of backup system. Whether it is batteries, generators or both, backup power will increase your costs.
To summarise, there is a wide range of pricing in the CCTV arena. On the low end, expect to pay in the region of £525 for a basic system with installation. Costs go up from there.