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How to Install Your Own DIY Security System

In this  DIY Smarts, Ask This Old House home technology expert Ross Trethewey installs a DIY security system.

Steps for Installing a Security System:

  1. Plug in the security system hub at a location near the front door. To prevent it from being unplugged, it comes with a outlet cover plate that will hold the plug in place. That is installed using the same screw as the cover plate.
  2. Download the app that corresponds with the security system and then scan the hub’s QR code to register it to your phone.
  3. Scan the motion sensors using the app and then secure them to desired doors and windows using the provided adhesive. Put the motion sensor on the trim or wall closest to the door and window, and place the contact sensor on the door and/or window itself.
  4. Rewire the smart doorbell camera to the existing doorbell chime using the screwdriver. Replace the doorbell cover plate outside with the smart doorbell. This should only require a few screws.
  5. Identify any vulnerable areas in the house that have not yet been covered and install an indoor camera to cover those areas. It just needs to be plugged in and the QR code will need to be scanned.


Ross installed a variety of different sensors and cameras that are manufactured by Nest, including the Nest Secure alarm system, Nest Hello video doorbell, Nest Cam IQ Indoor, and Nest Detect motion sensors. To install these devices, all you need is a screwdriver.

Nest and other home security systems are available at The Home Depot.

Shop Security at The Home Depot

Shopping List

DIY Security System
Motion Sensors
Smart Doorbell Camera
Indoor Security Camera

(Available via The Home Depot)