The Best Security Systems for New Construction Homes

Keep your family safe with these customizable systems, perfect for new construction. We tested each one first-hand, and here’s what we found.

Page Hero Image
ADT Image
ADT
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
ADT offers powerful in protection for new construction homes. Get professional installation and 24/7 monitoring from the biggest name in the business. With ADT, your new home just got a whole lot safer.
877-959-7762
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SimpliSafe Image
SimpliSafe
SecureScore™: 9.2/10
SimpliSafe delivers DIY, wireless home security systems. Perfect timing — as moving into a new home is exciting, but there’s a LOT to think about. Simplify your transition with SimpliSafe, an award-winning provider of home protection.
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Vivint Image
Vivint
SecureScore™: 9.1/10
Cut the ribbon on your new home with a quality home security system already in place. Vivint's home automation solutions are great for new builds. The systems are customizable and backed by some of the best customer service in the industry.
855-934-0535
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  • ADT Product Image
    ADT
    SecureScore™: 9.2/10
    ADT offers powerful in protection for new construction homes. Get professional installation and 24/7 monitoring from the biggest name in the business. With ADT, your new home just got a whole lot safer.
    View Packages
  • SimpliSafe Product Image
    SimpliSafe
    SecureScore™: 9.2/10
    SimpliSafe delivers DIY, wireless home security systems. Perfect timing — as moving into a new home is exciting, but there’s a LOT to think about. Simplify your transition with SimpliSafe, an award-winning provider of home protection.
    View Packages
  • Vivint Product Image
    Vivint
    SecureScore™: 9.1/10
    Cut the ribbon on your new home with a quality home security system already in place. Vivint's home automation solutions are great for new builds. The systems are customizable and backed by some of the best customer service in the industry.
    View Packages
  • Frontpoint Product Image
    Frontpoint
    SecureScore™: 8.7/10
    When moving into a new home, it’s best to get it right the first time around. Frontpoint is a top pick home security system for its sleek design, user-friendly controls, and great customer service reputation. The aesthetically pleasing base station hub looks nice in new homes, too.
    View Packages
  • Cove Security Product Image
    Cove Security
    SecureScore™: 8.8/10
    Cove’s DIY installation and low monthly fees can take the stress out of outfitting a new home with a security system. Their professional cellular monitoring and complete line of wireless equipment could score you discounts on your home insurance bill.
    View Packages

Moving into a new construction home comes with the benefit of starting with a blank slate. You get to set everything up the way you want – including your home security system. But to truly take advantage of your fresh start, you need a top-tier security system that provides easy customization and top-notch protection for your latest investment. Fortunately, there are options that do just that.

In this guide, I’ll show you my top five security systems for newly built homes. They are ADT, SimpliSafe, Vivint, Cove, and Frontpoint. I’ve tested these security systems myself. All of them are customizable. More importantly, they offer high-quality equipment and a reliable monitoring service. So without further ado, let’s see what they bring to the table.

Top 5 Best New Construction Home Security Systems

Vivint Home Security Components

  • ADT - Expert Consultation and Professional Installation
  • SimpliSafe - Affordable Equipment with Advanced Monitoring
  • Vivint - Premium Quality Equipment with Home Automation
  • Frontpoint - DIY Installation and Custom Features
  • Cove Security - Affordable DIY System

Comparing the Best Security Systems for Newly Built Homes

ADT SimpliSafe Vivint Frontpoint Cove
SecureScore™ 9.2/10 9.2/10 9.1/10 8.7/10 8.8/10
Custom packages Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Equipment package cost $499 and up $250 and up $599 and up $129 and up $150 and up
Monitoring type Professional DIY or professional Professional Professional Professional
Monitoring cost $24.99 and up $19.99 and up $39.99 and up $49.99 $17.99 and up
Installation type Professional DIY or professional Professional DIY or professional DIY
Installation cost $99 and up $125 and up $99 and up $99 and up n/a
Hands-on review ADT Review SimpliSafe review Vivint review Frontpoint review Cove review
  • 1 ADT - Expert Consultation and Professional Installation

    ADT Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    8.6
    Value
    8.7
    Equipment
    9.5
    Features & Technology
    9.6
    Ease Of Use
    9.6
    SecureScore™
    9.2

    Everybody knows ADT. Everybody’s grandparents know ADT. It has been around for 150 years and it has been protecting American homes for just as long.

    Funny enough, I remember ADT being our first security system when our family moved into a new home back when I was around 12. Now, I’m not being biased. When it was time for me to raise a family of my own, my spouse and I decided to get Vivint. So why is ADT my top pick for new construction homes? It does a lot of things right. It’s the best security system with expert installation. It also has one of the most reliable monitoring services. And the equipment? ADT may be old, but it offers the latest in technology.

    Sure, ADT’s pricing may be a bit dodgy, especially if you look at the security camera offerings, but the overall service is top-notch.

    • Intuitive and easy-to-use app
    • 24/7 professional monitoring with nine monitoring centers
    • Cellular backup
    • SMART Monitoring technology for faster response times
    • 150 years of experience
    • Offers Google Nest Cams
    • Now offers DIY components via ADT Self Setup

    • Requires a contract; 36 months minimum
    • Installation fee costs $99 minimum
    • Limited touch-screen control panel features
    • Equipment costs more than the DIY competition

    Can You Customize ADT Systems?

    ADT is the poster child of customizability. You can buy your equipment online or you can call for a quote; either way, you’ll get to handpick your equipment.

    For new construction homes, I recommend calling for a quote. That’s because it comes with a free and commitment-free expert consultation. Last time I tested ADT, they even sent out a security expert to come scout my home and make recommendations. I know, ‘free consultations’ are often a ploy to convince customers to buy more than what they need, but I didn’t feel much pressure. The consultant recommended equipment I didn’t need but didn’t push it when I declined.

    As an added bonus, you might be able to get a better deal. There are deals and discounts on ADT’s website, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if there are better offers. I always try to get them to throw in free installation at a minimum.

    FYI: ADT’s current deal includes a free Google Nest Doorbell camera and a Nest Cam when you sign up for Video Monitoring. And when testing it, we actually really liked the Google Nest Doorbell. So, you might be able to do a lot better than free installation if you ask.

    ADT Equipment

    ADT offers a range of options from simple security sensors to some of the most high-tech security cameras I’ve tested. ADT partnered with Google Nest to offer all three Nest Cams. There’s the indoor/outdoor battery-powered Nest Cam, the indoor-only wired Nest Cam, and the Nest Cam with a built-in floodlight. Check out our Nest Cam review to see why we think they’re a great option.

    Just be careful when customizing your ADT equipment. The cost racks up fast. ADT sells the Nest Cams at a higher price point than the Google Store, likely to cover the professional installation cost. Just take a look at the Nest Cam (indoor, wired). It normally costs $99 from the Google Store, but ADT sells it for $199.

    Aside from that, I’d say that ADT’s equipment pricing as a whole is a little higher than the industry average. Take a look:

    ADT Equipment Price Industry Average Price
    Door/Window sensors $50 $30
    Motion sensors $100 $50-$70
    Smoke detector $100 $50-$70
    Smoke/CO detector $180 $100
    Smart thermostat $225 $150-$200

    ADT Monitoring

    ADT somehow makes up for its pricey equipment with affordable professional monitoring, so the longer you use ADT, the more value you get from your system purchase. That bodes specially well for you because you’ll likely stay in your newly built home for years to come.

    And besides, I’ve known ADT to offer reliable professional monitoring. The service costs $24.99 per month if you don’t have security cameras or $34.99 if you do. Either way, you’ll get access to ADT’s network of nine monitoring facilities. The industry term for that is ‘redundancy.’ It’s a way for companies to ensure they always have a monitoring facility ready to take alarm calls. With nine such facilities throughout the U.S., ADT’s monitoring service is always up – at least for the last five years I’ve been testing it. Thanks to that, ADT is one of my top picks for the best monitored security systems.

    Equipment cost Packages starting at $194.98
    Monitoring options Professional
    Monitoring cost Starting at $24.99 per month
    Contract length Starting at 36 months
    Installation options Professional or DIY
    Smart platform integration Alexa and Google Home
  • 2 SimpliSafe - Affordable Equipment with Advanced Monitoring

    SimpliSafe Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.2
    Customer Service
    9.0
    Value
    9.4
    Equipment
    9.0
    Features & Technology
    9.2
    Ease Of Use
    9.2
    SecureScore™
    9.2

    SimpliSafe doesn’t have ADT’s century-and-half long experience, but what it does have is a knack for creating versatile and scalable security systems. It doesn’t seem like it at first because SimpliSafe tends to lean on simple equipment, but it made my list of the top security systems for large homes. And because packages are affordable, you can fill your new home with security equipment without breaking the bank.

    Aside from that, SimpliSafe has been making moves lately to take it to the next level. It made a lot of improvements to its Fast Protect monitoring plan and it also released a new and smarter indoor camera. I’ll talk about those in a minute. On the flip side, though, I wish SimpliSafe was better at home automation. It integrates with Alexa and Google Assistant, but it doesn’t offer much beyond that.

    • Offers no-monthly-fee self-monitoring
    • Stylish wireless equipment
    • Allows DIY setup but offers professional installation
    • Equipment packages start at $250
    • Live Guard Protection feature for the Smart Alarm indoor camera

    • Missing a few types of equipment, like garage door sensors
    • Offers only a battery-powered option for outdoor video security
    • Monitoring price increased twice in the past three years
    • No touch screen keypad

    Can You Customize SimpliSafe Systems?

    SimpliSafe doesn’t offer free in-person consultations like ADT does, but that doesn’t take anything away from SimpliSafe’s customizability. If you need help building your security system, you can answer a simple quiz on SimpliSafe’s website or you can use my home security buying guide as reference.

    In any case, you’ll get to pick your equipment once you shop SimpliSafe online. There’s also an option to start from scratch; SimpliSafe starts you off with a base station and a keypad and then it’s up to you to pick your devices. However, I recommend going with one of the pre-made packages because they’re often cheaper. You can customize them afterwards before checkout.

    Pro Tip:SimpliSafe’s deals typically include an extra discount if you sign up for Fast Protect monitoring. During these sales, the first month is free. So, I like to take this offer and set an alarm in my calendar a week before the monitoring plan would renew. Then, I cancel the subscription before getting charged while still getting the best deal on my equipment.

    SimpliSafe Equipment

    SimpliSafe offers a long list of options, from security sensors like motion sensors and glass break sensors to security cameras. One of SimpliSafe’s cameras is even designed for advanced video security. It uses A.I. analytics to distinguish people from other moving objects, and when the camera detects a person, it can send a signal to the monitoring center. Once the signal reaches the monitoring center, agents can check in and use the camera’s two-way talk to send the intruder packing. SimpliSafe calls that Live Guard Protection. It’s similar to how the Deep Sentinel system I tested works, only, SimpliSafe’s camera is for indoor use.

    Camera’s aside, SimpliSafe offers enough sensors to cover an entire home. It offers the basics, but I didn’t see any specialized equipment like garage door sensors. That’s one of the things you should consider before choosing SimpliSafe – it’s not lacking anything equipment-wise, but there’s also nothing so special about it. Well, besides the Smart Alarm A.I.-powered camera I mentioned above. Here’s a list of all SimpliSafe security equipment you can choose from:

    SimpliSafe Equipment Price
    Entry sensor $14.99
    Motion sensor $34.99
    Glass break sensor $39.99
    Water sensor $19.99
    Smoke alarm $34.99
    Smoke/CO alarm $59.99
    Temperature sensor $29.99
    SimpliCam (wired indoor camera) $99.00
    Smart Alarm (wireless indoor camera) $139.99
    Wireless Outdoor Camera $189.99

    SimpliSafe Monitoring

    I mentioned earlier SimpliSafe’s Fast Protect monitoring plan. It’s one of the two professional monitoring options from the company, and at only $10 more per month than the other one, it’s the plan I recommend.

    Fast Protect comes with all the goodies SimpliSafe has to offer. It activates the cellular chip in the base station for cellular backup, it provides 24/7 security and fire monitoring, and it even comes with cloud storage for up to 10 SimpliSafe cameras. In addition to those, it activates Live Guard Protection for the Smart Alarm camera. Yes; you need to be on the Fast Protect plan to access that feature.

    And the cost? Well, SimpliSafe is slightly cheaper than ADT. Here’s SimpliSafe’s monitoring pricing:

    SimpliSafe Monitoring Self-Monitoring Standard Plan Fast Protect Plan
    Price per month $0 $19.99 $29.99
    Contract No contract Monthly Monthly
    24/7 security and fire monitoring No Yes Yes
    Cellular backup No Yes Yes
    App access Yes Yes Yes
    Video verification No No Yes
    Live Guard Protection* No No Yes

    *Requires a Smart Alarm wireless indoor camera. 

    FYI: FYI: With monthly contracts, you can cancel your monitoring subscription anytime. That’s one advantage of security systems that don’t require a contract.

    Equipment cost Packages starting at $249.96
    Monitoring options Professional or DIY
    Monitoring cost From $19.99
    Contract length Monthly
    Installation options Professional or DIY
    Smart platform integration Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Watch
  • 3 Vivint - Premium Quality Equipment with Home Automation

    Vivint Product Image
    SecureScore™ 9.1
    Customer Service
    8.9
    Value
    8.4
    Equipment
    9.3
    Features & Technology
    9.5
    Ease Of Use
    9.2
    SecureScore™
    9.1

    As I said earlier, I chose Vivint over ADT for my home. That was a personal choice I made because I wanted a security system with strong home automation. ADT and Vivint are both that; it’s just that I found more of the features I wanted in Vivint. What were those features?

    First off, a high-tech control panel. The Vivint Smart Hub is the most feature-rich control keypad I’ve held in my hands. It can control everything connected to Vivint, from the security system itself to my smart thermostat.

    I also wanted a customizable home automation experience, and while ADT did give me some options for automation, Vivint’s app offered more. It let me customize automation rules by setting conditions and exceptions, for example. See my Vivint versus ADT comparison; I detailed there the advantages and disadvantages of Vivint compared to ADT.

    • Wireless equipment
    • Advanced home automation and customizations
    • 7-inch touch-screen smart home hub
    • AI-powered outdoor, indoor and doorbell cameras
    • Professional installation service
    • Cellular monitoring with two monitoring facilities

    • Equipment can be pricey
    • Requires a contract up to 60 months
    • Short three-day cancellation window
    • Lack of pricing transparency on its website

    Is Vivint Customizable?

    When it comes to equipment customizability, there’s only one way to buy a Vivint security system – you have to talk to a sales representative. Let me warn you, some of them can be pushy, especially since Vivint offers a lot of upgrades. Vivint has smart home devices like smart locks and smart thermostats as well as premium but pricey security cameras. The key when buying a Vivint system is to be firm. Know what you want and assert that you’ll buy only what you need.

    In my experience, the sales call starts with a discussion of the available packages. Once you’ve chosen one, you’ll get to customize it. You can’t take out equipment from the base packages, but you’re more than welcome to add more. After that, they’ll book your professional installation and contract signing schedule. One thing I really loved about Vivint was the installation; the technician was nothing but professional and he seemed to know where to best place my equipment for maximum coverage.

    Vivint Equipment

    If I haven’t made it clear already, Vivint offers a lot of equipment. It has the basic security and hazard sensors (e.g. smoke alarms), but it also has more niched options missing from SimpliSafe like garage door sensors. The real highlights though are the Vivint smart home devices and the premium security cameras.

    For smart home equipment, Vivint has smart locks, smart thermostats, smart lights, smart plugs, and so on. But you actually don’t have to stick with Vivint equipment. The Smart Hub works with third-party devices, either through integrations or by pairing with them using Z-Wave. I already had a Nest Thermostat before I decided to buy a Vivint system, but I was able to pair it with Vivint.

    For cameras, Vivint offers an outdoor camera, indoor camera, and doorbell camera. Here’s an overview of each Vivint camera:

    Camera Vivint Outdoor Camera Vivint Indoor Camera Vivint Doorbell Camera
    Resolution 1080p with 4K image sensor 1080p 1664x1664p
    Field-of-view 140-degrees 150-degrees 180-degrees
    Night Vision Infrared or spotlight Infrared Infrared
    Price $399 $249 $249

    Each camera has a feature called Smart Deter. They use A.I. to detect potential intrusions, and following rules you’ve set, they use lights and sound to deter the intruders. I strongly recommend reading my Vivint security camera review to learn all about those nifty cameras.

    Vivint Monitoring

    Vivint packages all require professional monitoring, unlike SimpliSafe that lets you self-monitor your system. Not that that’s a bad thing; I recommend professional monitoring for new construction homes anyway. However, monitoring means there’s going to be a monthly fee, starting at around $39.99. Vivint is very reliable, though. I’ve never had any missed alarms in the three years I’ve had the system. In fact, it has one of the fastest response times because it sends text alerts usually in under 10 seconds.

    $39.99 per month doesn’t sound so bad, but take note that that’s not the only monthly fee you’re going to pay. Vivint’s equipment is expensive – even more expensive than ADT – so unless you have a fat bank account, the best option is to finance the equipment purchase. I racked up a $1,200 bill so I’m currently paying a little over $20 per month on a five-year term. And take note: My system consists mostly of sensors. I only bought one outdoor camera ($399), one indoor camera ($249), and a smart lock ($179).

    Monitoring Options Professional only
    Installation Professional
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home
    Equipment Cost From $599.99
    Monthly Monitoring Cost From $39
    Contract Length 48 to 60 months
  • 4 Frontpoint - DIY Installation and Custom Features

    Frontpoint Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.7
    Customer Service
    9.1
    Value
    8.8
    Equipment
    8.3
    Features & Technology
    8.9
    Ease Of Use
    8.6
    SecureScore™
    8.7

    Frontpoint is a trend-setter. It started offering fully wireless security systems complete with cellular communication in the 2010s, back when ADT still offered landline systems. It went on to become one of the best cellular security systems. That doesn’t matter much now, though, because even if your new construction home isn’t wired for a landline connection, all the other options here use either cellular signals or the internet.

    What sets Frontpoint apart now is the DIY installation and the custom features it offers. Just like SimpliSafe, Frontpoint is fully DIY. You’ll install the system yourself, and in my experience, that’s doable in 30 minutes to one hour depending on the size of your system.

    As for custom features, I enjoyed using geofencing in my tests. Essentially, it enabled Frontpoint to automate some actions based on my location – or rather, my phone’s location. I tried it out on a lot of things, from arming and disarming my system when I leave or get home to adjusting the smart thermostat automatically.

    • High-quality wireless equipment
    • DIY installation with professional install option
    • Fully cellular communication
    • Customizable automations
    • Outstanding app

    • Expensive monitoring
    • No touch-screen control panel included in basic packages
    • Outsourced monitoring
    • Limited keypad functionality; more app reliant

    Is Frontpoint Customizable?

    I saw a lot of similarities between SimpliSafe and Frontpoint when it comes to the buying process. They offer customizable starter kits, they sell their security systems online, and their systems can be installed DIY style. That said, Frontpoint is also like Vivint in that you can call for a quote and get expert recommendations before buying. You might also have to go through a credit check if you choose to get your purchase financed.

    In any case, customers are completely in the driver’s seat. I initially called Frontpoint for a quote, but when I learned about an online-only Frontpoint deal, I decided to shop from Frontpoint’s online store instead. I told the agent that and he didn’t seem to mind losing the sale. So, I liked the customer service.

    Frontpoint Equipment

    Thanks to that online-only deal (69% off packages, 35% off add-on equipment), I got a comprehensive Frontpoint smart security system for less than $800. I started with a 14-piece Ultimate Home Security package ($419) that already includes an indoor camera and a video doorbell. Then, I added an outdoor camera, a smart lock, three outdoor smart plugs, and two extra motion sensors. My total bill was $749 after the discount. It would have been over $900 at regular price.

    Here’s a full list of Frontpoint’s equipment options, including what came with my package and their regular prices.

    Frontpoint Equipment Ultimate Home Security package
    Entry sensor $34.99 (5 included)
    Motion sensor $69.99 (1 included)
    Glass break sensor $74.99 (1 included)
    Garage door sensor $44.99
    Flood sensor $44.99 (1 included)
    Outdoor smart plug $49.99
    Smart door lock $199.99 (1 included)
    Wireless light control $49.99
    Indoor camera $119.99 (1 included)
    Wired doorbell camera $199.99 (1 included)
    Wireless doorbell camera $299.98
    Outdoor camera $229.99
    Touchscreen keypad $149.99 (1 include)
    Yard sign and decals 1 set included
    Frontpoint Hub and analog keypad 1 set included

    Frontpoint Monitoring

    So far, Frontpoint has the highest starting price point for professional monitoring on this list. Frontpoint monitoring starts at $49.99, compared to SimpliSafe’s $19.99, ADT’s $24.99, and Vivint’s $39.99. The good news is that Frontpoint’s monthly fee doesn’t get any higher. That’s right; Frontpoint offers only one option.

    That’s a good thing if you’re planning to build a comprehensive Frontpoint system for your new construction home. You’ll get all the features without paying any more than what other Frontpoint customers are paying. That singular pricing only becomes a problem if you’re looking to get just a basic system (e.g. no cameras or automation). My advice? The more equipment you buy, the more value you get from the monitoring plan. So take advantage of Frontpoint’s frequent special promotions and buy in bulk.

    Equipment cost Packages starting at $79
    Monitoring options Professional
    Monitoring cost Starting at $49 per month
    Contract lengths Monthly or 36 months
    Installation options DIY
    Smart platform integrations Google Home, Alexa, and Siri
  • 5 Cove Security - Affordable DIY System

    Cove Security Product Image
    SecureScore™ 8.8
    Customer Service
    8.9
    Value
    8.8
    Equipment
    9.2
    Features & Technology
    8.6
    Ease Of Use
    8.4
    SecureScore™
    8.8

    My final top pick is Cove, and it’s a bit of an unconventional choice for me. Cove is a solid, reliable security system but it doesn’t offer a lot of equipment and the monitoring options are what I would call basic. You can think of it as a lite version of SimpliSafe. However, Cove has one distinct advantage: its price. Cove is the most affordable security system on this list. If even SimpliSafe – the second most affordable option here – is out of reach, go with Cove.

    • Monitoring starts at $17.99 per month
    • Simple but functional mobile app and touchscreen controller
    • 85 dB siren built into each Cove Hub and touch-screen keypad
    • Equipment packages start at $150
    • Frequently offers deals and discounts

    • No self-monitoring option
    • Limited home automation and integrations
    • Doesn’t offer equipment financing
    • More limited equipment options than other brands

    Is Cove Customizable?

    Cove is somewhat customizable; I couldn’t find how many sensors the Cove’s hub can accommodate, but I have successfully integrated 15 sensors without any problems. That said, Cove’s equipment catalog is much more limited than Frontpoint and SimpliSafe, both excellent DIY security systems. Cove doesn’t offer any smart home equipment. It also doesn’t have its own security cameras, but it offers cameras from eufy. I’ve tested eufy’s cameras. While they’re not as good as the Nest Cams from ADT, they’re pretty solid.

    Cove Equipment

    So what does Cove offer? For starters, a sleek-looking touchscreen alarm panel. Cove has recently adopted a separate hub setup where you can tuck away the main hub and use the wireless touchscreen panel for controls. The alarm panel is a seven-inch tablet that must remain plugged in. It also has a four-hour battery backup. When I lost power to my house during a rainstorm, I was able to keep controlling my system for half a day. After that, the panel turned off but the hub stayed on – the hub has a 24-hour battery life. That means even if the alarm panel is off, the hub can still send alarm signals.

    Cove also offers a variety of sensors, from security sensors like motion and entry sensors to hazard sensors like smoke alarms. Here’s an overview of Cove’s sensors and their prices:

    Sensor Price
    Door sensor $15
    Window sensor $15
    Motion detector $30
    Glass break detector $35
    Smoke detector $95
    Carbon monoxide detector $95
    Flood sensor $35

    If you live with someone who needs close medical attention, you’ll appreciate that Cove offers a medical alert pendant. You can add it to your system without increasing the monthly fee. It’s not a full-fledged medical alert system, but that’s a start.

    Cove Monitoring

    Surprisingly, Cove doesn’t offer self-monitoring options, unlike SimpliSafe. I had to sign up for the Cove Plus plan. Fortunately, it was contract-free and the monthly fee was only $27.99. It’s $2 cheaper than SimpliSafe’s Fast Protect option.

    Unfortunately, Cove’s monitoring doesn’t offer much features. It gave me access to emergency help and dispatch, video verification, Alexa and Google Assistant integrations, lifetime equipment warranty, and smartphone control. However, Cove doesn’t offer a feature similar to SimpliSafe’s Live Guard Protection.

    On the bright side, Cove has six monitoring centers in the U.S. Unlike ADT that manages monitoring in-house though, those six facilities from Cove are operated by a third party: RapidSOS.

    Monitoring Options Professional or DIY
    Installation DIY
    Smart Platform Integration Alexa and Google Home
    Equipment Cost From $87
    Monthly Monitoring Cost From $17.99
    Contract Length 1 month

Should You Get A Security System Before or After Moving In?

ADT, SimpliSafe, Vivint, Frontpoint, and Cove are the best security systems I’ve tested for newly built homes, but there’s one more question I would like to address: When is the best time to buy a security system? Is it before or after moving in?

The general consensus between me and my colleagues (also security experts) is that it’s best to buy before moving in. That way, you get to see the bare layout of the house and plan your sensor placement and security camera placement better. Without furniture in the way, you’ll be able to place the sensors in their most ideal locations.

However, there’s an even better time to start designing your security system. That is during the planning phase of your new construction home. If you’re still in that stage, it might be good for you to hire a security consultant who can help you integrate a security system from the ground up.

If you’re done with that phase and your home is already built, no worries. Like I said, the best security systems for new constructions are customizable, so you can still adjust them to your new home’s layout.

Are Pre-Installed Security Systems Any Good?

That’s another question I get asked a lot about newly built homes. A lot of builders offer to pre-wire or pre-install a security system before turning over the house to the owners. That’s also a good option, if not a bit expensive. But before you agree, here are some pros and cons to pre-installed security systems.

Pros:

  • Reliability: Wired systems are more reliable than wireless systems, especially if the house is spacious or has a lot of walls that can impede wireless signals. However, you can also get such reliability from aftermarket wired security systems.
  • Designed for your home layout: Another advantage is because the builders have the detailed layout of your new construction house, they’ll be able to customize the system better for your home’s layout. Of course, the quality of the job depends on the builders, but if they’re any good and you trust them to do a good job, a pre-installed system is a viable option.
  • Integrated smart home features: If the security system offers smart home and automation features, then you won’t have to spend hours trying to integrate third-party smart home devices. The builders will do it for you and they’ll likely provide you a list of compatible third-party equipment.

Cons:

  • Cost: The main concern many have about pre-installed systems is the cost. The system is going to be hardwired to your home, which could mean drilling and snaking wires up through the ceiling or walls. Compared to aftermarket security systems, pre-installed systems are more expensive.
  • Not future-proof: What if there’s new smart home or home security technology you want? Pre-installed systems are permanent, limiting your prospect for upgrades in the future. That happened to a lot of homeowners who had a pre-wired system installed in the 1990s and 2000s. When smartphone-controlled systems became a thing, their pre-wired systems became obsolete.
  • Your options are limited: Chances are, if you’re having a security system pre-installed, the builder already has partner brands. You can’t really pick and choose that way. Even worse, the available options might not offer all the features you want.

My Expert Advice

I’ll leave you to decide whether to have a security system pre-installed or buy an aftermarket security system, but my advice is to consider every option before making any decisions. Listen to what the builder offers and also shop around for an aftermarket system. Focus on the following:

  • Consider which would benefit you more now and in the long run.
  • Do a deep-dive comparison of the security systems’ cost, and not just of the equipment and installation, but the long-term monthly cost.
  • Read reviews and research the pros and cons of each available option.
  • Pay attention to the fine print, especially when it comes to the monitoring service.

Features of Home Security Systems for New Homes

To give you some guidance, here are some of the features you need for your new home. Take note that you can get these features either from an aftermarket security system (like my five top picks above) or a pre-installed system.

24/7 Monitoring

For a monthly fee, you can buy 24/7 professional monitoring for any security system, as opposed to monitoring the system by yourself. There are also systems with no monthly fee, too. With 24/7 monitoring, professional home security experts watch over your system from remote monitoring centers. The company is aware when a device on your system gets triggered, which could lead to a faster response in case of an emergency. If you aren't home or aren't aware of your system being triggered, then the monitoring professional can respond and dispatch the authorities. Many homeowner's insurance plans will provide a discount for customers with professionally monitored security systems.

Wireless

Security equipment can be wireless or hardwired. Wireless equipment is easy to set up and allows flexible placing around your home, since you won't have to take wall plugs into consideration. Wireless equipment can be installed in the best locations for you, and there are no wires to hide. Most wireless systems are also cheaper than hardwired, because they offer do-it-yourself installation. Many hardwired systems will be out of commission in the event of a power outage, but not so with a wireless system.

Arm/Disarm Security

The classic way to arm and disarm a security system is by way of a mounted control panel, usually found just inside the front door. New security systems offer more ways than ever to arm and disarm the system. You can control most systems from an app that you can download onto your phone, computer, or tablet, and newer systems with home automation allow you to arm/disarm security with your voice.

Remote Access

With remote access, you can control your home security system from anywhere in the world. Security apps and home automation features allow you to monitor activity and control devices in the system. You can also remotely arm and disarm an unmonitored system with a keychain remote. Remote access adds another level of protection to your new home's security.

Motion Detectors

Motion detectors use infrared technology to sense movement when your security system is armed. Some motion detectors are designed with pets in mind to minimize false alarms, and they will ignore movement of anything under 25 pounds. Detectors come in a variety of capabilities, such as short or long-range sensing and night vision.

Control Panel

The system’s control panel is the center of your home's security. Often the control panel is mounted on the wall inside the main entrance or placed on an accessible table. The control panel allows you to arm and disarm your home security, communicate with emergency professionals at the monitoring center, program equipment on your system, and more. You can typically perform most of the same activities from your security app on the control panel.

Expandable

As the owner of a new construction, it's important to allow yourself room to expand the security system if you need to in the future. Many security companies will allow you to add security devices and services at any time, though you may have to sign a new contract.

Entryway Sensors

Entryway sensors protect your entryway with motion detectors. When these sensors detect motion, you and the monitoring center will know.

Glass Break Sensors

Glass break sensors are an important part of home security. They are designed to detect breaking glass and can help secure the windows of your new home.

Rob Gabriele
Written By
Rob Gabriele
Managing Editor & Home Security Expert

As a home security expert and Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles related to home security. His expertise is in smart home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in Indianapolis, IN.