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Access Control Systems: Installation Costs and Price per Door

Kisi provides your office with a great access control experience. However, there is a crucial part of the setup process that can be overlooked. The installation of electrified locks and Kisi hardware can often be the largest line item when getting started with Kisi. It’s worth taking a look at access control system installation costs and what it consists of.

The two greatest contributing factors to access control system installation costs are materials and labor. However, there are secondary costs that may not always be line itemized on a quote. These costs are things like cost of insurance, travel & trip charges, and parking. These costs all go into the final price you see for your Kisi installation. This article outlines exactly where the access control system installation costs come from and what you are paying for.

Door Access Control System Price - Industry average

This typically has a few components with associated price ranges:

Access Control System Cost Per Door - Industry average

Most people might look at a specific one door setup to understand unit cost. Here is what we typically see as cost per door for access control:

  • Door reader and hardware on average: $600-$1,200 per door
  • Installation without existing locks: $1200- $2500 per door
  • Installation with existing locks in working condition: $500-$1500 per door
  • License: $1,200/year for a basic door license

So the total cost for setup including first year if we take the average in each category is: $3,950 USD.

Door access control price
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Factors Influencing Access Control System Costs and Budget

The price of the access control and installation is influenced by a few different factors:

  • Quality of the installer or size of the vendor company
  • Type and level of insurance (COI) needed
  • Security and ease of use of the system
  • Volume of purchase
  • Your own knowledge of access control - Do you need someone to walk you through everything or can you coordinate between cabling vendor, construction company to install locks and the integrator?
  • Urgency of purchase - naturally the more urgent the more expensive

In addition to those above, we what to focus more in details on two key elements: level of complexity and company size.

Level of complexity

To begin with, not all access control systems are created equal. You may go for a simple access control that enables your employees and visitors to enter the premises of your organization. The basic form of access control is known as standalone access control (the system is programmed at the door it controls).

door access control system price
Standalone door system keypad

Traditional keys have become relics of the past because they are easy to replicate. For that reason basic access control presupposes investment in installation of keypads, card readers, identification cards or fobs as well as in an electronic controller.

It is worth mentioning that keypads are the least secure because of the risk that your employees might share access code with people who are unauthorized to enter.

Different types of access cards such as magnetic and proximity cards present a more sophisticated option of access control.

Some companies require an integrated security system that includes video surveillance, biometric readers, audit trails — statistics of every record of a lock opening or an attempt to open it, etc. Such comprehensive access control systems inevitably mean higher cost for access control.

Company size

Depending on the number of access points and employees within an organization access control system budget will vary too. It goes without saying that cost for access control implementation in a firm with 20 staff members and 3 doors will not be the same as in a company with 300 employees, 20 doors, 2 turnstiles and a parking barrier.

Big corporations and companies with multiple offices implement multi doornetworked access control systems. Such access control systems are run from a single location and are scalable. For example, a Hirsch Mx Controller can support up to 4,000 thousand users in different locations.

Automation and security

Another important aspect to consider is to which extent your system will allow you to automate processes. The most basic key card access systems may offer lower upfront costs, but they will likely lead to hours of work spent manually issuing key cards in your everyday operations. Moreover, due to lack of remote management, the security risks for your business may be higher and all these factors should be considered when estimating the real price of a door entry system. Kisi's keyless entry system makes life easier to employees and members, but most of all it saves time and money to the admins (whether that's your IT department, office managers or your operations team).

Kisi's Pricing

Door Controller

The Kisi Controller Pro 1.0 connects up to four doors, elevators or turnstiles to the Kisi cloud. It allows you to review real time access logs to stay on top of what’s happening at your spaces. Priced at: $899 

kisi door controller
Kisi Controller Pro 1.0

Door Reader

Kisi Reader Pro is built from the ground up with convenience, compliance and compatibility in mind. The Bluetooth and NFC wall reader works effortlessly with both access cards and mobile devices to securely unlock your doors. Priced at: $599

kisi door reader
Kisi Reader Pro

Door License

Whether you are a growing company or a huge enterprise, we have different plans suited for your needs. The four tiers are starter, basic, pro, and enterprise with a pricing range of free of charge to customized pricing. The majority of our clients pay between $100 - $250 per door.

kisi door license
Kisi Door License

Key Cards

We understand that not everyone has a smartphone or bring it all around with them. Hence, we also provide cards at $5 per piece for people who would prefer unlocking doors the traditional way. Kisi tags are also available for those who would like to paste them on their existing cards!

kisi cards
Kisi Cards
kisi tags
Kisi Tags

Materials – Why you should not BYO

The term materials is an all encompassing term for every piece of hardware that is installed. This can be your lock, power supplies, wiring, and ancillary accessories such as keypads or push to exit buttons.  However, even wire stripping, zip ties, and other miscellaneous parts are calculated into the cost of materials.

Of course, you may see a quote from an installer and decide that you may want to research the cost of materials on your own. Typically, you will find similar materials online for lower prices than your installer quoted you. However, there is a reason for this. Installers carefully source their materials from trusted distributors with whom they develop relationships with over time. When an installer provides materials, they can do a few things:

  1. First, they know that the materials they are providing are of sound quality despite the high price.
  2. They also may be able to provide a warranty on the materials provided.
  3. Finally, they work with the same materials over and over again, so they know exactly what they are doing.

When a customer elects to purchase materials from Amazon or some other hardware provider, certain assurances are lost:

  • The installer may not know exactly how to work with the materials.
  • Especially for cheaper options, the materials may not be high quality and therefore break down faster than normal.
  • Finally, the installer will not be able to provide any type of warranty for these provided materials and even more so assume no responsibility for it.

All in all, we highly recommend that you let a locksmith or other installation professional purchase the materials for your installation. Although it might be costlier, it will lead to a high-quality installation that will allow Kisi to run smoother, for longer.

Labor – Why flat rate is better

Labor is a line item that may be a bit more intangible and more difficult to calculate than materials. There are different rates charged by each installer. The price can vary based on geographic location and the type of installer doing the work. For instance, a company that provides IT services may charge up to $300 per hour. Locksmiths may charge anywhere from $80-200 per hour, depending on the services they are providing.

Additionally, installers typically quote a flat rate labor charge. It means the installers are estimating the number of hours it will take to complete the installation. The installation may take more time, or it may take less time than estimated. However, your labor price is locked in. This is usually seen as a benefit to the client. Reason being, if you agree to a price then you are presumably comfortable with that price. So, if the installation takes less time than the installer calculated, great! The installation is complete and you are up and running with Kisi. If the installation takes longer than the installer estimated, you do not need to deal with a price increase due to time & labor. If variable price is set, labor costs can quickly increase by a few hundred dollars. 

Miscellaneous – What else are you really paying for? 

The final ‘charges’ to take into account can all be filed under miscellaneous. Even though these charges do not get their own category, they are important nonetheless. They may not be line itemized, but in reality, you are paying for these things as well.

The first charge to consider is insurance. Most installers carry some type of insurance. This insurance can cover their workers who are on the job, any potential damage done during the installation, or various other items. Insurance costs are high for locksmith companies, which leads to increases in labor rates and materials markups.

Another set of charges that may or may not be itemized are travel or trip charges. Most installation companies will want to make sure they are paid for the time they spend on site. This cost may not be charged for an initial visit, IE. a Free Site Survey & Estimate. However, the cost of the installer’s time may ultimately be baked into the final quote of service. Lastly, in certain cities, parking may be as much as $30 for short term parking. This is another cost that may not be itemized but can be taken into account in the final quote.

The Expert Angle – Supply Chain Security

During research of this post we’ve interviewed Joe Sechman, a cyber security expert who pointed out the obvious missing piece in our considerations. Here are some excerpts of our conversation:

Sourcing Materials

When I think about access control cost, first, and most importantly, I think about sourcing materials. In this day, supply chain security is an actual attack vector that’s very real and, unfortunately, successful and overlooked. While mainly attributed to specialized chips and default soft/firmware from nation-state threats like China/North Korea/Russia for espionage, I can easily see a natural progression into access control device suppliers (if it’s not happening already). Especially when access control solutions become cloud-accessible…it will just be a matter of time before a high profile client brings attention to this vector.

One thing we discussed with Joe here is the ability to control the point of where secure firmware is being uploaded and encrypted – at Kisi this is in-house in our US facility.

A good relationship between installer and sourcer means better security?

Continuing Joe was looking into installer relationships:

Next, I’m drawing a natural assertion that since your point about the relationship between an installer and sourcer implies better quality, that it will also imply better security to boot with regard to where all of the parts are sourced.

That’s an interesting topic, how do you as an installer avoid a distributer selling you locks that have been tampered with, or even modified? Thinking about creditcard skimmers for proximity cards might be something that people try to add. However typically the distributor is in the unknown about the client details. Plus the integrator does know the parts he purchases in and out. If only a millimeter is off, he would notice immediately.

Security vetting of integration partners

Is there a particular process that covers security vetting to reinforce the rigorous evaluation partners go through before becoming an official “Kisi Partner?” Maybe a background check? If so, I think that would add some additional peace of mind and add to the value of implementing such a forward-looking solution such as Kisi for your customers.

This is an interesting problem to something we don’t really experience: At Kisi we drop-ship the controlling devices to the customer directly from our in-house warehouse and they set it up directly with their network. The integrator only stops by to set up electric door hardware, connect Kisi devices and test the setup. The integrator doesn’t add custom firmware or software. As such there is no easy entry point for them to build back-doors. However what we do see is that clients have no choice but trust the integrator that has been sent and that when he is working in the IT room there is no malicious intend. In the future we expect integrators to be more from the IT side and as such having to comply with cyber security audit regulations and limitations.

Average Price and Key Takeaways

Taking into account the information stated above, your access control system budget could cost you as little as $500 per standalone system or as high as over $10.000 per door with a state of the art biometric reader. But if we refrain from going to extremes, an average access control system price will range from $1,500 to $3,000 per door. Having this budget you can implement keypad and card system, cover the cost of installation, hardware and software. Beware that you’d have to pay extra for any additional frills, though.

Before implementing an access control system, carefully think of your safety needs, vulnerabilities and premises that need to be secured. Consider the value that can be derived from enforcing access control, and remember that for your employees’ safety and asset quality and soundness no price is too high.

If you are considering having Kisi installed, we can provide a Kisi Partner in your city who is certified to install our hardware. If you are opting for an installation where you source your own installer, we can help you find an installer in your area – or speak to an installer you already have – to make sure they are prepared for your Kisi installation. Reach out to our team via this form!

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