Breaking Down the Cost and Options of CCTV Systems [Full Guide]

When it comes to venturing out and deciding that it’s time to purchase and install a CCTV system on your home or business, you run into several items that need to be considered. More importantly, you begin running into several costs that come up along the way.

Some may be more obvious such as purchasing the actual CCTV equipment, and some may surprise you along the way.

This can make budget-shopping for CCTV systems more of a dreadful experience than you may have originally planned. I mean, it’s tough to budget for certain items when you weren’t expecting them to show up or be a part of the original cost.

I get it, and I also get frustrated when this occurs. Especially when it comes to devices that I know I need to provide safety for my home and family and peace of mind to myself when I lay my head down to sleep at night.

Nonetheless, it does happen. That’s what this post will hopefully eliminate for you here today. My goal in this post is to break down all the cost involved with owning a CCTV system and what you can expect to come up along the way.

Some of the items we discussed as I stated before, will be completely obvious but hopefully, others may we discuss will save you a few dollars and have you that much more prepared for your future purchase.

Stick around for a few moments, and I will give you a full break down of all the cost that you are about to experience when heading to a local store such as BestBuy to purchase your first home or business CCTV system. Let’s dive into the details.

The Initial Walk to The Department Store or Online Marketplace

Purchasing a CCTV system all begins with the initial idea and vision that you want to protect your home or business, and you typically will begin asking questions online or browsing equipment at local electronic stores.

The problem with this approach is that you may not be quite prepared yet for what to look for, what to consider and what it’s ultimately going to cost you to purchase a full system that covers your properties and assets from every angle.

Sure, some of you will already have a good idea, and this isn’t your first rodeo, but for the beginners, you will need something such as this guide to aid you and provide some of the relevant information along the way.

Below, I have created some significant areas and cost that are associated with purchasing a CCTV system.

My recommendation is that you begin my strumming through this post and make sure that you have all your ducks in a row before proceeding any further. However, it’s not necessary if you feel you have a firm grasp of CCTV systems and know what to expect.

Nonetheless, let’s get started and dive into the details.

Is Your CCTV System for Home or Business Use?

Consideration number 1 is going to come down to if you plan on using your CCTV system for home or business use. The reason being is that business or professional use CCTV systems are often going to run you a substantially more significant amount of money to get started.

Business use CCTV systems are often going to come with more needs and equipment that needs to be purchased.

Additionally, business use CCTV systems are much more likely to need professional installation due to the complexity of the system and the real need for the system to work without any flaws or any hiccups.

On a home or residential use CCTV system, the number of cameras and storage are going to be much more limited compared to business use. Business use CCTV systems can end up needing anywhere from a dozen cameras to nearly a hundred depending on the size of your business.

Lastly, the storage component of purchasing a CCTV system is one of the costliest factors.

Businesses will need vast DVR, NVR or HVR recording capabilities and typically require the ability to store the footage for long periods due to loss prevention procedures and the ability to review what’s been taking place during regular and off-hours within the business.

As you can see and probably understand this far into the post, the difference between purchasing a CCTV system for your home compared to your business are entirely different scenarios and can quickly change the landscape of how much you will ultimately have to pay for the system.

Always begin by analyzing your needs and getting a rough idea of what components and equipment you need to have you better prepared for what’s to come later in the process.

Who Is Going to Install Your CCTV System? Home Vs. Business Use CCTV Systems

Up next on the long list of cost considerations that come with purchasing a CCTV system you have the actual installation. You can base this off the total size of the installation, complexity and your own skills.

If you know for a fact that you can’t install a system yourself, this needs to be a cost you are factoring in early in the process.

Unfortunately, it’s tough to pinpoint an exact cost for the installation because it’s going to depend heavily on the precise CCTV system you opt to purchase and the complexity of the job.

This may include items such as the total amount of cameras, the necessary drilling, and wires that need to run and how long the installation may take a professional installer to complete.

On average, the reported cost of installation for a CCTV system is right around 1500.00 for a full install but don’t let this fool you. The numbers can still fluctuate greatly depending on your needs.

According to Home Advisor, the average cost of professional installation is around 150.00 per camera that needs installed.

This makes it easy to give you a rough idea of your total pro installation cost based on the total number of cameras you intend on purchasing regardless of if it’s for your home or your business.

Just takes your total number of cameras and multiply by that by 150.00 and you should end up close to an accurate figure for your installation.

The Cameras Are a Big Cost When Purchasing A CCTV System

Up next on your considerations when it comes to the cost of owning, installing and using a CCTV system comes the actual price of the most critical piece of the system. The cameras themselves. This is again going to be one of that cost that varies significantly depending on what you choose to purchase.

Of course, you always have budget-friendly options that can allow you to save some money on the budget, but at the same time, if you need several cameras on your home or business installed, the price can begin to stack up quickly.

Currently, the average cost of 4 CCTV cameras is right around the 200-300.00 mark but can vary significantly. This is also including all the necessary hardware needed to self-install if you have that ability.

While some 4 camera CCTV systems can quickly run you well past this mark, you can also find cameras that are certainly cheaper and often sold on Marketplaces such as Amazon or online vendors.

It’s essential to consider your needs, the specifications you are looking for and making sure you have total and complete coverage around your home or business to ensure the system is even worth purchasing in the first place.

Nonetheless, the cost should give you a good idea of what you can expect when shelling out the cash and credit cards for a new set of CCTV cameras.

How Many Cameras Will You Be Using for Your CCTV System

Now that you understand the price of what 4 CCTV cameras may run you also have the problem come into play that you may need several more cameras than this. Some properties are more significant or have tough angles and distance that they need to be capable of reaching.

If this is the situation that you find yourself in, you need to be prepared that the cost may increase on you depending on the total number of cameras. What I always recommend doing is matching brands and looking for combination deals online or even in the stores.

Often, you can find scenarios and different packages where you can get discounted pricing purchasing something such as a 12-camera system, 16 cameras (16 channel system), etc.

If you can do this, you are guaranteed that all cameras and your storage method are compatible and will likely get the lowest pricing.

The Size of The System Should Be Based Off Need and Coverage, Not Price

A last significant factor I wanted to point out was to always budget shop, but that’s also going never to be priority number 1. We discuss in several of the posts on this site how covering your needs and ensuring your CCTV system is complete is always going to be more critical.

We also discuss that the purposes CCTV systems offer are going to be significantly hindered when you have dead spots or lack of coverage. If you ask me, if you plan or do end up configuring a half put together CCTV system, it’s going to be more beneficial not to purchase a system at all.

Criminals are smart, and people adapt. Having a system that’s not covering every angle of a home or business will eventually be exposed to the potential for vandalism, theft and other criminal acts.

If you aren’t creating a CCTV system that can serve the purposes it’s designed to do, I’d wait until you have the funds to do so.

On the other hand, if you do have the funds and have begun the careful shopping process, always have this consideration in mind. Spend the money protecting your home and business from all aspects first and worry about the small details first.

This will ultimately give you the peace of mind and comfort knowing that you have protected your loved ones, assets and property.

Storage Is Perhaps the Most Important Consideration to Keep in Mind

Unfortunately, we still have another cost that we need to cover that is always going to be part of owning a CCTV system. In comes the storage options you decide to use for your system. Most commonly, consumers will choose to use some form of a DVR, NVR or HVR to serve their storage needs.

These are great options for sure. However, you do have other considerations and opportunities to think about. Another storage option growing in popularity in recent time is the cloud-based storage. It’s also unique in the fact that it allows you to access your CCTV footage from anywhere you can gain a reliable internet connection.

This is an obvious positive about opting for cloud-based storage for your security needs, but it also often runs at a higher price tag. Especially if you are using this means of storage for a more extensive CCTV system.

It doesn’t necessarily it makes it a bad option to go with, but you need to understand the cost and grow substantially.

My advice when it comes to storage is to start by analyzing your exact needs. What resolution will you be recording at? This is one of the most significant factors that can eat into storage space.

Next, you need to consider how long you want storage to save for before you ultimately begin to overwrite the previous data on the hard drive.

Business use CCTV systems will often need longer durations for this need such as 30,60 or 90 days. For your home, it’s going to come down to preference more than anything. Once you have these few considerations taken care of you can begin choosing your actual method you will ultimately use.

A rough estimate of how much CCTV will run you is usually in the ballpark of. 200-400.00 depending on the resolution you need the device to be capable of storing and how many channels or cameras it can support.

Like all the devices we discuss through our post, the price for this piece of the equation can also fluctuate significantly.

Depending on what you need and what you want will ultimately determine how much you must pay for your storage device to support your CCTV system. If you are trying to save money, consider lower video resolution recording abilities or a smaller number of supported channels.

If, however, this isn’t an area of the budget that has significant constraints, feel free to have more fun with it and get a system capable of high definition and that can support many cameras.

How Often Do You Stick to A Budget? It’s Time for The Goodies and Additional Perks

Now it’s time to really test your skills with holding back with certain perks and additions you can get with your CCTV system. This is usually when it’s hard to resist all the goodies you can add to your system.

Fortunately, the cost has dropped somewhat in recent years due to competition, and now many of the CCTV cameras offer better perks such as high-quality night vision, tamper protection and broader and longer fields of view.

Of course, not all of the cameras offer these additions, and you can still accomplish securing your home for cheaper, but at the same time, it’s not hard to splurge and go after all the functions and fabulous features you can now be offered with these newer and more advanced camera systems.

Opting to upgrade a camera to an HD quality, with IR Night Vision technology can up your price by 30% or more in some circumstances but in my opinion, these are must-have additions if you are looking for total protection from your camera system.

This is the time to either make your CCTV system complete or attempt to hold back to stick to your original budget.

This leads us into my next point which is ensuring that you also get what you want the first time around.

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck Every Time You Purchase CCTV Equipment

When you purchase CCTV systems to protect your home or business, it’s easy to be distracted by all the options and different fancy jargon that some of the methods use. My recommendations are to attempt to block out this noise and ensure you are at least getting a system that you are comfortable with.

Many consumers ask the question if systems are interchangeable and compatible with each other which many of them are compatible and can be swapped out with other equipment.

On the other hand, why make an investment as big as a CCTV system without the intentions of getting what you truly want or feel protected by.

I’d venture to say and can tell you from experience that if you take this approach, it won’t be long before you back at the store or browsing online to upgrade. Using this approach will cost you more in the long run.

My final piece of advice on this section of the post is to be budget shopping but get what you want if you truly want to save the most money in the long run on your system. It’s that easy.

Replacing Old or Outdated Equipment Is Another Cost Associated with CCTV Systems

Replacing old and outdated equipment is another area of owning a CCTV camera system that inevitably needs to be factored in the total cost it takes to own the system. Outdoor cameras will break. Outdoor cameras will also have malfunctions from time to time.

When you begin factoring in harsh weather, frigid cold temperatures and extreme heat, it’s tough to envision a camera that’s built to last for the long run. Now, don’t get me wrong. Many of these systems offer new protection to ensure they last long periods.

However, we all know and have purchased electronics in the past. Just because they are built to do one thing doesn’t always mean it works out that way. Purchasing new equipment to replace old and damaged equipment is undoubtedly a cost you can expect to encounter along the way.

Not to mention, if you are anything like me, sometimes when you are bored and looking into the most recent technology, you may just opt to spring for the newest model or begin switching out equipment for no good reason. I don’t blame you. They are fun purchases to make and serve a great purpose.

Don’t Forget About the Value CCTV Systems Can Add to Your Home

One positive to take from all these expenses we have been discussing thus far into the post is the fact that you could ultimately end up getting some more value for your home in the future because of owning a CCTV system. They can add value to your home if you ever sell.

Additionally, if you opt to purchase wireless technology and use the self-install methods, you can easily take your CCTV system with you to your next home or location with ease. It’s nice to know it’s an investment that doesn’t come with too many constraints or contingencies.

This is undoubtedly a positive in my book.

Your Utilities May Take A Hit, Internet, Electric, Etc.

It’s likely never going to be noticeable, but it’s also possible depending on how advanced of a system you purchase that you ultimately end up having your utilities increase slightly.

You will need internet to connect your devices which could be a new bill for some (very rare), and if your system is hardwired, it may increase your electric bill slightly.

Something to keep in mind for sure.

Homeowners Insurance May Become Cheaper by Installing a CCTV System

Now, let’s take the time to cancel out those increase other bills by giving you a break on your homeowner’s insurance. Most insurance companies will offer a significant discount to you for having an active CCTV system in place.

You see, they understand that these systems deter things that can easily result in claims.

In exchange for protecting your property, they are usually happy to offer a generous discount in reward for potentially saving them the hassle of cutting you a check for theft, fire or vandalism.

Lost or Damage Property Is Much Less Likely with a CCTV System

We briefly just touched on how insurance companies will offer you a break on your premiums for having a system. Clearly, it’s essential to understand that CCTV systems are also going to save you the money of replacing damaged property, stolen goods, and other vandalism.

The insurance companies don’t always cut a check equal to what’s been lost so it’s still imperative to realize all the real value and savings you may be gaining from installing and owning a CCTV camera system.

The benefits plus the peace of mind make these systems priceless in my book and much needed for all consumers.

You Can’t Put a Price on Peace of Mind and A Sense of Safety

I talk about this in several of my posts as well on this site, but it’s essential always to remember that regardless of the price you ultimately pay for your system, you can’t place an amount on the peace of mind that these CCTV systems can ultimately deliver to your family and your business.

Knowing that your home and business are safe and that your assets are protected even when you are away are priceless in my book and often under-rated and not discussed often enough when covering the cost involved to purchase CCTV camera systems for your home, business or other properties.

The Final Word, While CCTV Systems, Are Expensive, They Are Also Essential for Many Individuals

At the end of the day, CCTV systems certainly can get expensive. We all know that and have shopped around at least a little bit by this point, or you wouldn’t have ended up on this website. CCTV systems offer too many benefits and protection not to carry a significant price tag.

My advice is always to find what you need to truly protect your home, business or other property in the most complete way possible. Following that, you can slowly check of all the options and additional perks that are available with CCTV systems and begin budget shopping for the rest of your system.

At the end of the day, if you can go to bed feeling good that your home and business are protected, nothing else really, but ultimately, I’ll leave that decision up to you.

What’re your thoughts and experience purchasing CCTV camera systems? What tricks and tips do you have for individuals looking to budget shop for the most complete systems? Be sure to share your stories and drop a comment below.

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