Best Security Systems for New Construction

Your newly constructed home deserves nothing but the best security system to protect it.

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Aug 4, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Aug 4, 2021
Top Home Security Systems Display
Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Cove

Editor's Rating
9.5
/10
Editor's Rating
9.5
/10
Cove made high-quality security systems accessible with its DIY installation and professional monitoring, without long-term contracts.

Best Professionally Installed

ADT

Editor's Rating
9.6
/10
ADT Home Security System
Editor's Rating
9.6
/10
New-construction homes deserve nothing but professional care, and that’s exactly what ADT brings with its professionally installed and monitored security systems.

Before everything else, congratulations on your newly constructed home. Many dream of living in a new house, but not everyone gets to live that dream.

Moving on, let’s talk about keeping intruders out of your new home. We tested and picked out the best security systems for the job, and it’s up to you to make the final call.

Security System Components for New Construction

Component Purpose
Security sensors Intrusion detection
Security cameras Surveillance, monitoring
Environmental sensors Safety, upkeep
Smart devices Home automation

Comparison of the Best No Monthly Fee Home Security Systems

System
Cove
Cove Smart Home Security
ADT
ADT Home Security Equipment
Vivint
Vivint Home Security Equipment
Frontpoint
Frontpoint Home Security System
Alder Security
Alder Security System
Ranking 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Ratings 9.6/10
Best Professionally Installed
9.4/10
Best for Smart Home
8.9/10
Best Wireless
9.0/10
Best Value
Monthly plan minimum $28.95 $29.99 $34.99 $40
Contract length (in months) 36 1 or 42 1 or 36 36
Installation type Professional Professional DIY DIY
Control panel type Touchscreen or keypad Touchscreen Keypad Touchscreen
Communication method Landline or cellular Wi-Fi with cellular backup Cellular Cellular
Read Review ADT Review Vivint Review Frontpoint Review Alder Security Review

Best Security Systems for New Construction

  • Cove - Best Security System Overall for New Construction
  • ADT - Best Professionally Installed Security System for New Construction
  • Vivint - Best Smart Home Security System for New Construction
  • Frontpoint - Best Wireless Security System for New Construction
  • Alder - Best Value Security System for New Construction

A Closer Look at Our Top Picks

  • 1. Cove - Best Security System Overall for New Construction

    Editor's Rating
    9.5
    /10

    For Cove, convenience is the name of the game. It doesn’t require in-home visits or consultations with sales reps. We just went to Cove’s website, picked out the equipment we needed, selected a monitoring plan, and placed our order. The system arrived preprogrammed, so all we needed to do was install and activate it with the help of the control panel’s on-screen instructions.

    What We Like
    • Wireless, DIY system
    • Touchscreen control panel that’s easy to install and use
    • Month-to-month contracts
    What We Don’t Like
    • No home automation equipment
    • No self-monitoring option
    • Remote app control only available on the $25/month plan

    All the Security You Need for Your New Home

    Cove offers almost every type of equipment we recommend for new constructions. The key component is the touchscreen control panel, designed to look like a tablet. We could’ve mounted it on a wall, but since we were going for a simplistic look for our apartment, we set it on a shelf like a digital frame.

    The panel’s supporting cast came in the form of security sensors, environmental sensors, and security cameras. Door sensors, window sensors, glass-break sensors, and motion sensors are monitored for intrusions. Smoke detectors and CO detectors watched for life-threatening hazards like fire and gas leaks, while flood sensors watched for water leaks. The security cameras, of course, provided surveillance and video monitoring.

    Cove’s arsenal is missing one equipment type — smart home products, but that’s OK. According to the National Association of Realtors, smart home technology is now a “standard feature in new-construction homes,” so you probably have a smart home system in place already.1

    If not, we have a handy guide on how to make a smart home that goes beyond the smart thermostats, smart lights, and smart locks that most security systems provide. And since you can control Cove using Alexa or Google Assistant, you can still integrate it with your home automation system.

    Competitive Pricing

    Cove cut out the middlemen — there are no dealers, sales reps, or consultants — so you’ll find Cove’s pricing to be competitive. Better still, Cove doesn’t shy away from giving discounts. Everything was 50 percent off when we bought our system. For your reference, here are the regular prices of Cove products:

    Product Regular price
    Cove Touch Alarm Panel $249
    Door sensor $15
    Window sensor $15
    Motion detector $30
    Glass-break detector $35
    Smoke and CO detector $55
    Flood sensor $20
    Remote key fob $25
    Panic/medical button $20
    Indoor camera $99
    Outdoor camera $199

    Besides selecting our equipment, Cove required us to choose between two monitoring plans, neither of which required long-term contracts. Cove Basic was the cheaper of the two for $15 a month, but it was missing smartphone control and voice control via Alexa and Google Assistant. As we deem both features vital, we splurged on the more expensive Cove Plus plan for $25 a month.

    Features Cove Basic Cove Plus
    Monthly price $15 $25
    Professional monitoring Yes Yes
    Cove InstaText Yes Yes
    Cove LiveAssist Yes Yes
    Smash and Grab Protection Yes Yes
    Cellular backup Yes Yes
    24-hour battery backup Yes Yes
    Smartphone app access No Yes
    Voice control No Yes
    Equipment warranty 1 year Lifetime
    Other perks N/A $5 equipment credit per month, lifetime rate lock-in
  • 2. ADT - Best Professionally Installed Security System for New Construction

    Editor's Rating
    9.6
    /10
    ADT Home Security System
    855-908-4461 View Packages

    Just because your home is new doesn’t mean you should go for a new alarm company. ADT has over a century of experience innovating security system technology, so it’s a company you can trust to protect your home. For decades, ADT has professionally installed and monitored security systems across North America.

    ADT is all-inclusive when it comes to equipment and features. It has security sensors, home automation products, security cameras, environmental sensors, and even medical alert systems. And while the classic ADT systems require professional installation, ADT offers a wireless, DIY home security system under the name Blue by ADT.

    INTERESTED IN BLUE BY ADT?: Head over to our Blue by ADT review for more information about this DIY system from ADT.

    What We Like
    • Professional service for installation, consultation, and monitoring
    • Lots of equipment options
    • Six-month money-back guarantee
    What We Don’t Like
    • Professional monitoring without a landline is more expensive.
    • It requires long-term contracts.
    • The customer service is hit or miss.

    Professional Service All the Way

    What we liked about ADT, particularly for new-construction homes, is its top-notch professional service in consultation, installation, and monitoring. To get started, we asked ADT for a quote, which it gave us after a short assessment of our security needs.

    Then, we finalized the system and scheduled an installation date. The technicians installed the system on the date we agreed on, activated it, and walked us through its features. After a series of tests, we confirmed that ADT’s professional monitoring centers were monitoring our system.

    Trained technicians installing our system was one thing, but ADT’s after-sales care also impressed us. In particular, it has a six-month money-back guarantee. If it can’t resolve a system-related issue within the first six months of the contract, ADT will refund all installation and monitoring fees. This is by far the longest money-back guarantee we’ve seen on the security system market.

    New(er) Technology for New Homes

    ADT prices start at $28.95 per month, but that’s for landline security systems. As new-construction homes rarely have landlines anymore, we recommend ADT’s line of cellular security systems. These systems may cost more, around $40 to $60 a month, but they offer the latest in technology.

    Cellular security systems use cellular signals, which are more reliable than landlines, to communicate with ADT’s monitoring stations. They also allow for more advanced features, like remote smartphone app access, home automation, and voice control with Alexa or Google Assistant. In addition, cellular security systems often come with touchscreen control panels that fit new-construction homes better than old-style keypad panels.

  • 3. Vivint - Best Smart Home Security System for New Construction

    Editor's Rating
    9.4
    /10
    Vivint Equipment
    844-922-0575 View Packages

    Vivint is the embodiment of a modern security system. It has all the right pieces: touchscreen control panels, an intuitive and user-friendly app, high-tech security cameras with AI features, and lots of smart home products and integrations. Of course, these features come at a premium price, up to $34.99 a month plus the equipment cost. But with Vivint, we got what we paid for.

    What We Like
    • Equipment with modern, simple designs
    • Intuitive app for remote control
    • Top-quality security cameras
    What We Don’t Like
    • Long-term contracts
    • Cloud storage costs that can stack up quickly
    • No Apple HomeKit support
    • Premium prices for premium equipment

    Endless Equipment Options

    Vivint lets you build your security system to be as large as you want. If you want something simple just for security purposes, Vivint offers door and window sensors, pet-friendly motion sensors, and glass-break sensors.

    If you want to add sensors for fire safety and flood prevention, it has smoke alarms, CO detectors, and flood sensors.

    And if you want to make your home smarter, you can go for Vivint’s smart thermostats, smart lights, smart locks, and smart garage door controllers (Vivint also happens to be the best garage security system). Vivint even extends its protection to cars with the Car Guard, an OBD-II plug-in device that tracks location, diagnoses issues, and watches out for disturbances to your vehicle to prevent car break-ins.

    Vivint’s pricing depends on which devices you own and what features you want, but both plans include Vivint’s home automation.

    Features Smart Home Service Smart Security Service
    Price $39.99 $49.99
    Professional monitoring Yes Yes
    Environmental monitoring Yes Yes
    Smart home Yes Yes
    14-day cloud storage +5$/month per camera Included for 2 cameras, +$5/month per additional camera
    Car Guard service $9.99/month for the first car, $4.99/month for additional cars $9.99/month for the first car, $4.99/month for additional cars

    Security Cameras That Impress

    Vivint’s crown jewels are its security cameras. We tested out these three:

    • Indoor camera: The $199.99 indoor camera captures videos in 1080p HD, and it has useful features like night vision, motion detection, and a button that called our smartphone when someone pressed it.
    • Video doorbell: The $249.99 Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro provided us quick access to our front door. It also protected our packages from thieves. Using artificial intelligence, it detected when someone attempted to steal packages from our front door, and when it did, it activated a 65-decibel speaker to ward off the potential thief. Learn more in our review of the Vivint Doorbell Camera.
    • Outdoor camera: The most impressive camera in Vivint’s lineup was the $399.99 Outdoor Camera Pro. Using the same technology as the video doorbell, it detected and deterred lurkers and other potential security threats. Also, it could tell people, cars, and pets apart for improved alerts. Most importantly, it captured clear, high-definition videos using its 4K HD image sensor. Read more in our Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro review.
  • 4. Frontpoint - Best Wireless Security System for New Construction

    Editor's Rating
    8.9
    /10
    Frontpoint Home Security System
    844-933-2405 View Packages

    A pioneer of wireless security systems, Frontpoint has matured as an alarm company and is now completely wireless. Sensors connect wirelessly to the Frontpoint Hub, which then connects to wireless keypads for control. Even the system’s communication is wireless, as it uses cellular signals to send alerts.

    However, being wireless isn’t Frontpoint’s only selling point. It has other attractive traits, like its exceptional customer service, user-friendly website for buying products, and solid track record in security monitoring. Sure, Frontpoint’s pricing was a little high, costing us $49 a month, but it provided us with one of the easiest user experiences, which we know new-construction homeowners will appreciate.

    Pro Tip: Pay for the equipment upfront and receive a monthly contract from Frontpoint that you can cancel anytime, penalty-free! Check out more no-contract security systems.

    What We Like
    • Cellular communication
    • Fast and DIY installation
    • Great customer support
    What We Don’t Like
    • Only one monitoring plan for all systems
    • Expensive monitoring at $49.99 a month
    • Mandatory long-term contracts for financed systems

    Installation in Minutes

    We handpicked Frontpoint for this list largely because of its fast and easy DIY home security installation. We got our system up and running in less than 30 minutes, which was fast considering the number of devices we bought:

    • One hub
    • One keypad
    • One motion sensor
    • Three door sensors
    • One smoke and heat sensor
    • One indoor camera
    • One video doorbell (which was free)

    Normally with other systems, installing that many security equipment components would take at least an hour. We only managed to install the system effortlessly because, first, it was wireless, and second, Frontpoint shipped the components preprogrammed to connect with each other. It didn’t take long for us to peel the sensors’ adhesive backings and place them where they needed to go. After that, it was all about setting up and activating the system via the Frontpoint app.

    Stellar Customer Service

    Another one of Frontpoint’s strong suits is its customer service. Frontpoint made everything easy for us, from buying the system online to getting after-sales support. We called several times to cancel false alarms during our tests and ask questions. Everyone we talked to was friendly, professional, and knowledgeable, and they never failed to provide exactly the help we needed.

    Frontpoint’s phone support is available even on weekends, which is not always the case with alarm companies. Although its weekend hours are more limited — 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time, compared with 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays — we’re glad to know that we could turn to the home security company for help any day of the week.

  • 5. Alder - Best Value Security System for New Construction

    Editor's Rating
    9.0
    /10
    Alder Security System
    844-965-1405 View Packages

    Alder flies under the radar, but it’s actually a great alarm company for a number of reasons. It offers wireless DIY systems, has a track record of responding to alerts quickly, and gives away free security systems. Intriguing, right? After you’ve invested money in your new-construction home, Alder’s free security systems might just be the financial break you need.

    What We Like
    • Fast responses
    • Free equipment
    • DIY installation
    What We Don’t Like
    • Long-term contracts
    • Limited equipment options
    • Unclear pricing

    Nothing Better Than Free Equipment

    Although Alder’s plans cost $40 to $55 per month, they include starter security systems at no extra cost, provided you sign a three-year contract.

    What it includes Basic Plan Standard Plan
    Monthly cost $40 $55
    Touchscreen control panel 1 1
    Door/window sensors 2 3
    Motion sensor 1 2
    Key fobs 0 1
    Indoor cameras 0 1

    These starter kits only provide the framework of your security system, though, so you’ll likely have to spend some money on equipment. We purchased the Basic Plan, and the system was just enough to cover security for our Brooklyn apartment. On the other hand, the Standard Plan can only cover small and midsize family homes.

    Of course, you’ll also need to invest in other security and safety products for your new home, such as smoke alarms, glass-break sensors, and cameras. Still, it’s thoughtful of Alder to include free equipment, and it certainly pushes the value of Alder’s plans above the competition.

    All-Around Security and Safety

    “Less is more” is a prevailing motto for many new-construction homebuilders today, and that also applies to security systems. Alder may not have as many equipment options as other systems, but with just a few components, it can cover security, fire safety, medical emergency response, and a video monitoring service.

    For security, Alder utilizes door/window sensors, motion sensors, and panic buttons. For fire safety, Alder has smoke and CO detectors. For medical emergency response, you can count on its medical alert pendants. And for video monitoring, Alder has indoor and outdoor cameras, as well as audio doorbells that can connect you to your front door wherever you are.

    On top of these options, Alder’s reputation for responding to alerts is solid. In 2017, it recorded a 3.4-second average response time to medical, fire, and burglary alarms, which the company claims are 10 times shorter than the rates of its competitors.

Methodology

A lot of decision-making is involved in constructing a house, but the tough choices don’t end there. When it comes to picking the right security system, you will have to make a lot of decisions: which brand to trust, what kind of system to get, what features to include, and many more. This section summarizes what went into our selection process so that you, too, can make an informed decision.

24/7 Professional Monitoring

Studies show that monitored home security systems deter burglars effectively,2 so if you want to keep intruders away from your new home, a monitored security system is what you need.

We tested the best monitored security systems based on how fast they report alarms, the quality of their responses, their reliability, and whether they have backup communication methods. In particular, we favored systems with cellular backup, because it’s the most reliable communication method for monitored systems; besides, most newly constructed homes lack landlines. If you didn’t add a landline to your home, don’t worry; you don’t need a landline for home security systems anymore. Check out the best no-landline security systems for more information.

Contracts

Normally, we prefer alarm systems without contracts or with month-to-month contracts, because that means we can cancel our subscription anytime without hefty penalties. As you can see, several of our top picks have monthly contracts.

However, since we’re picking systems for new-construction homes, we figure that long-term contracts might not be such a big issue for you. We included alarm companies with long-term contracts that meet two criteria: They have to be really good at their jobs, and they must have generous return policies. ADT has a six-month money-back guarantee, while Vivint’s policies allow for penalty-free cancellations due to extenuating circumstances like death, bankruptcy, and transitions to assisted living homes.

BEWARE: It’s not uncommon for security system sales reps to make promises regarding return, refund, moving, and cancellation policies. However, the contract has the final say, so never sign anything without reading the contents.

Value

The cost of home security is always a deciding factor, but rather than just finding the least expensive security systems out there, we selected those that offer the most value. We looked at several factors, such as the prices of systems and the components they include, installation fees if there are any, and monthly monitoring plan costs compared to the plan’s features. For companies with long-term contracts, we also factored in the contract length, as it dictates the penalty in cases of home security cancellations beyond the return period.

Video Monitoring

Security cameras are integral to security systems, and the ideal security systems for new-construction homes include video monitoring. Good security camera systems include indoor and outdoor cameras as well as video doorbells. They must also boast features like remote livestreams via apps, cloud and local recording, and AI detection.

It helps if the cameras integrate with the security systems to provide video verification in case of emergencies. Video verification gives central monitoring stations temporary access to camera footage in emergency situations. Additionally, verified videos let monitoring center operators file verified reports to the authorities for faster emergency response.

Smart Platform Integrations

Smart home security is the future of security systems, and who wouldn’t want to future-proof their homes? Most of our top picks have strong home automation offerings, whether in the form of smart home products like smart thermostats or integrations with voice assistants like Alexa.

If your new-construction home doesn’t have home automation yet, you can build your smart home system around our top-pick home security systems. If it does have home automation already, smart platform integrations with Alexa and Google Assistant will let you integrate our top picks with your smart home. Either way, you’ll get the smart home integration you need to secure your home and beyond.

Aesthetics

We don’t normally pay much attention to aesthetics as long as the systems work well, but we know that new-construction homes deserve security systems that look just as modern. No one would want clunky-looking, beige alarm panels hampering the style of their new home. Fortunately, many security systems nowadays either have modern-looking touchscreen control panels or simple, low-profile hubs. Our top picks provide both options, so you can choose whichever fits your interior design better.

Recap

It’s not easy these days to find home security systems that don’t charge any monthly fees. However, we’ve found and tested the cream of the crop. We’re always willing to do a little extra research to save a little money. For additional savings tips, check out our page on home security deals and our page on Black Friday and Cyber Monday home security deals.

FAQs

  • What are the best security systems for new construction?

    The best security systems for new construction are Cove, ADT, Vivint, Frontpoint, and Alder. Cove bagged the first place because of its simple yet effective security solutions, affordable prices, and DIY installation. ADT is the best professionally installed system, Vivint is the best smart security system, Frontpoint is the best wireless system, and Alder offers the best value for new-construction homes.

  • Do security systems for new-construction homes require drilling?

    Some security systems for new-construction homes require drilling, but some don’t. DIY-installed components often come with peel-and-stick adhesive backings, and since they’re wireless, you don’t need to drill holes for wires. Professionally installed systems also don’t require drilling if they’re wireless, except for a few components such as outdoor cameras.

  • How much does it cost to set up a security system for new construction?

    The cost of setting up a security system for new construction depends on the brand, number of components, and monitoring features. Based on our tests, it can cost you $15 to $55 a month for monitoring, and less than $100 to several thousand dollars for the equipment. However, many alarm companies offer financing so you don’t have to pay the equipment fee upfront.

  • Can I still get a security system if my new home doesn’t have a landline?

    Yes, you can still get a security system even if your new home doesn’t have a landline. Modern security systems have ways to connect to their monitoring centers other than via landlines. Currently, cellular monitoring, which uses cellular signals, is the most reliable option.

Citations
  1. Realtor Magazine. (2020). The Ultimate Smart Home: New Construction.
    magazine.realtor/technology/feature/article/2020/03/the-ultimate-smart-home-new-construction

  2. Rutgers. (2009). Rutgers Study Finds Alarm Systems Are Valuable Crime Fighting Tool.
    rutgers.edu/news/rutgers-study-finds-alarm-systems-are-valuable-crime-fighting-tool#.XS49nZNKjVo