Installing or replacing electrical wiring is an important aspect of homeownership. You may need to replace your existing electrical wiring because of safety hazards, and any new structure or addition will need wiring.
If you are building a new home or an addition, you will need to fully wire your home. If you are looking to re-do the existing wiring in your home, you will need to rewire your house.
Rewiring a 2,000 sq.ft. house costs $4,000 – 10,000 and depends on whether or not its a new construction home, house size, scope of the project, and local electrician labor charges.
Wiring a new construction house is more affordable than rewiring an existing home as it can be done during the building process and requires less labor to open up walls.
Average Cost To Wire A House
If you are building a new construction home, the average cost to wire a 2,000 sq.ft. house is $8,000. This includes hiring a licensed electrician, installing a new electrical panel, new wiring, switches and outlets.
The absolute cheapest electrical wiring you can expect to find, for a project such as wiring a small addition, is $1,500.
You also need to budget for the cost of permits, which can be as much as $200 – 1,000 depending on where you live and local building codes.
Check out this detailed guide on the various Electrical Projects And Their Costs.
Cost To Rewire A House
Rewiring an existing house costs an average of $4,000 – 10,000, depending on the size of the house, project complexity as well as local electrician labor rates.
Rewiring a large, old house can cost as much as $30,000.
While this may seem like a big expense, its something that should be a top priority, since old wiring is a real fire hazard, and endangers the lives of people living in such a home. Blown fuses, tripped breaker or old aluminum wiring are all signs that your house needs to be rewired.
Did you know? Rewiring a house may take 5-10 days depending the number of rooms being worked on and complexity of labor. This can also be a very messy project if walls or ceilings will need to be removed. Thus, its important to plan according for the weeks when this project will take place.
Factors That Influence The Cost Of Rewiring A House
First, it is important to understand that the most costly wiring occurs when you have intact walls that need to be rewired.
When you are building an addition, a new home, or if the wall has already been opened up, the cost of electrical wiring will be much more affordable than a rewiring job.
If you are rewiring your home, you may not need to open up walls, which will save you significant amounts of money. Your contractor may be able to run the wiring through the attic, floor joists, the basement, or other easily accessible spaces.
To require heavy duty installations, you will need structured wiring, which is more pricey.
If you have old-fashioned knob and tube wiring, some regional codes will require full removal of the electrical system, which will be expensive.
Finally, keep in mind that cost of hiring a professional electrician may vary drastically, depending on where you are living.
On average licensed electricians charge $70-90 per hour. However, the cost can be as low as $55 per hour or as high as $110 per hour depending on whether its an affluent or a low-income city or town.
Cost To Replace Knob And Tube Wiring
Most houses build before 1950’s have outdated knob and tube wiring. Many local building codes require that it be replaced before any remodeling work can take place.
The cost to replace old knob and tub wiring is $5,300 – 5,800, including the permit for the job.
Its important to check your local building codes to make sure whether or not you need to do this upgrade.
Cost To Wire A House By Item
The cost of wiring or rewiring a home will depend on which specific items you need wired. Items include laying electric wire, upgrading the electric service panel, and adding switches or outlets.
The table below outlines how much you can expect to spend on various electrical jobs that may be involved in rewiring the house.
|Item||Unit Cost||Quantity||Total Cost|
|Laying electric wiring||$4 per square foot||1,200||$4,800|
|Upgrading service panel||$8,000 – $3,000 each||1||$8,000 – $3,000|
|Adding switches and outlets||$100 – $200 each||3||$300 – $600|
|Labor cost||$75 per hour||25 – 70 hours||$1,875 – $5,250|
Cost To Wire Or Rewire A House Per Square Foot
The size of your project will be a large determinant of the cost, as larger areas are more expensive to install. The average cost to wire a home is between $3 and $5 per square foot, whereas rewiring a home is between $6 and $10 per square foot. The cost includes labor and materials.
The table below outlines the cost to wire a new home or an addition by square footage.
|Square Footage||Average Cost To Wire A Home|
|800||$2,400 – $4,000|
|1,000||$3,000 – $5,000|
|1,200||$4,000 – $6,500|
|1,500||$4,700 – $8,000|
|2,000||$6,000 – $10,000|
|2,500||$7,500 – $12,500|
|3,000||$9,000 – $15,000|
Rewiring a home will be more expensive than wiring a new home per square footage.
|Square Footage||Average Cost To Rewire A Home|
|800||$4,800 – $8,000|
|1,000||$6,000 – $10,000|
|1,200||$7,700 – $13,000|
|1,500||$9,500 – $16,000|
|2,000||$12,000 – $20,000|
|2,500||$15,000 – $25,000|
|3,000||$18,000 – $30,000|
Cost To Rewire By Room
The cost of rewiring varies based on the room. Many factors impact this cost, such as the layout and ease of access to wiring.
If you are fully remodeling a room, and the walls are opened up, the cost of rewiring may actually be closer to the cost of wiring, as the walls are already open.
A standard room such as a living room, bedroom, or office is the most expensive to rewire, whereas rewiring a kitchen is the most affordable.
|Room Type||Average Cost to Rewire|
|Kitchen||$450 – $1,500|
|Garage||$1,500 – $2,400|
|Standard Room||$1,500 – $4,900|
Cost To Rewire An Old House
Old homes are some of the most expensive rewiring projects, but often rewiring is essential. Old homes frequently have unsafe materials used in electric wiring, or they may not be wired for the amps needed in modern living and circuit breakers may overload.
Old houses may also have aluminum or cloth-clad wires, which must be replaced to prevent a fire.
Per square foot, rewiring an old home costs between $7 and $11, slightly more than the cost of rewiring a modern home. This price includes the cost of upgrading to a circuit panel and replacing all the lights and switches.
Many of the fixtures will require new wiring, but that cost is not calculated into the price per square foot estimate.
Cost To Rewire A Mobile Home
As mobile homes tend to be smaller than stick-built homes and may have wiring that is easier to access, they are generally cheaper to rewire than a stick-built home.
The cost of rewiring a mobile home ranges between $2,000 and $10,000. This price estimate includes new outlets, switches, and a circuit panel.
Cost Of An Electrical Inspection
Before rewiring your home, you may need an inspection to assess the electric situation in your home, particularly if your home is older and you are concerned about safety risks. An electrical inspection should also be completed before selling your home.
An electrical inspection will cost you between $150 and $300, depending on local labor costs, your home size, and the accessibility of the electric wiring.
Cost Of Wiring Or Rewiring By Wire Type
You may not know that there are over twenty types of cable wiring often used in homes. The different wire types have different properties, and may be hot, grounded, or neutral, depending on their use. The wire type you will use in your home will have some impact on the price.
Multi-conductor wires and shielded twisted pair wires are the least expensive per linear foot, whereas ribbon wires are the most expensive.
|Wire Type||Average Cost Per Linear Foot|
|Multi-conductor||$0.25 – $0.35|
|Shielded twisted pair||$0.25 – $0.35|
|Coaxal||$0.25 – $0.40|
|Direct buried||$0.40 – $0.50|
|Metallic sheathed (BX/AC)||$0.50 – $0.65|
|Underground feeder||$0.50 – $0.65|
|Twin-lead||$0.60 – $0.80|
|Non-metallic sheathed||$0.60 – $0.80|
|Ribbon||$1.60 – $2.00|
A Home’s Electrical Features
In most cases, all features of the home will be wired or rewired, and the cost of each feature is included in the total costs. There are times, however, where you may want to wire or rewire specific aspects of the home, depending on your needs and the condition of the home.
Regardless, understanding each feature of the home’s electrical makeup is helpful and can help you make accurate, informed decisions about your project.
Lights are an important part of rewiring or wiring your home, and they will be installed and updated during the process.
The lights themselves, however, are typically not installed during the electric wiring process and are installed at a later date, and can be purchased independently from the rest of the project.
Switches are installed during the wiring process. You may opt for a single switch, a multi-light switch, or even a switch with features such as dimming or connected to smart homes.
When not part of the overall lighting system, installing a new switch costs around $150. Otherwise it will be included in the overall cost.
Electrical outlets are a critical feature of the modern home, and installing safe, functional electric outlets is a necessity.
Every room in the house should have at least one outlet, and rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen should have a grounded outlet or a GFCI outlet installed for safety.
The cost of installing outlets is usually included in the wiring or rewiring process, but you may be charged an additional $100 to $200 to install an additional outlet.
If your home was built after 1960, it will have a circuit panel, made of switches that connect and break the electrical connections between parts of the house. The circuit panel will help control power overloading and keep your home safe from electrical fires.
If your home does not have a circuit panel and instead has a fuse box, when you rewire your home you should switch over to a circuit panel. Some homes with existing circuit panels may still need an upgraded circuit panel, depending on its age and functionality.
Electrical tails are installed by your power company when your home is hooked up to the electrical grid. The tail connects your home’s electrical meter to the power grid. The electrical tail will need to be installed if you are wiring your home, and may need updating if you are rewiring your home.
Conduits are metal or PVC tubes that contain wiring. Conduits may or may not be included in conduit wiring systems. Conduit wiring systems contain wiring, which may be done using a conduit or by using slots in the wall.
The main earth of an electrical circuit is where the power is measured, and is connected directly to the ground. The main earth is the green wire on your circuit panel, and should be installed or updated along with the rest of your wiring system.
The ethernet jack allows you to connect your ethernet cables to the home’s wiring. You will need an ethernet jack to connect your wifi’s router if your internet is not provided through a cable jack.
It is not always installed, and is often installed in a separate process than the rest of your home’s wiring.
If you have or want cable TV, you will need a cable jack. It may also provide your home with internet, depending on your company. Although a cable jack is commonplace in modern homes, it is not frequently included in the home wiring process, and is usually added when you install cable or internet into your home.
Telephone jacks are installed in new homes less and less frequently as cellphones become increasingly popular, but you still may want to install one or want to update your existing telephone jack.
The telephone jack allows you to connect your landline to the rest of your home’s wiring. Installing a telephone jack costs about $130.
When Should I Rewire My Home?
The timeline for rewiring your home depends on a variety of factors, and there is no easy formula to calculate when your home needs rewiring.
Generally, you will discover your home requires rewiring after an electrical inspection, which should be run every ten years, or before selling a home. The inspector will tell you if your home requires rewiring or not.
Homes older than thirty years, if their electric wiring has not yet been updated, will likely require rewiring, at least in part. Minimally, the fuse box will need to be replaced with a circuit board to meet modern standards.
If there is fabric insulated wiring, lead insulated wiring, or faded rubber insulated wiring will all require a full rewire.
It is very important to rewire your home if recommended by an inspector as your current wiring may pose a fire hazard and make your home dangerous to occupy.
If you are looking into buying an older home, be sure to discuss with an electrician what the cost of rewiring may look like and factor that cost into your purchase.
There are some signs to keep an eye out for that may indicate your home is due for a
rewiring, particularly if it is an older building.
-lights that often flicker or dim
-damaged or exposed wires and cables
-minor shocks from outlets and switches
-circuit breakers that trip regularly
If you notice any of these signs, get an electrical inspection for your home as soon as possible.
Can I Rewire Or Wire My Home DIY?
Unless you are an experienced electrical professional looking to wire your own home, you should not attempt to wire a house on your own. That is because rewiring or wiring a home is a dangerous job and should be left to the professionals with the necessary training and skills.
In addition to the risks you pose by wiring a home DIY, there are also regulations surrounding who can rewire a home.
Minor work, such as adding a switch or an outlet, may potentially be performed DIY, but any larger projects such as a rewiring a kitchen, bathroom, or a full home requires notification to your regional authority’s building control office.
If you want to attempt a major wiring or rewiring DIY, you will need to be approved as a “Competent Person” by the
local government, or submit a building notice.
Local authorities will inspect to ensure it meets building codes, at a cost.
What Happens When I Rewire My Home?
Rewiring your home can be a long, messy process that may disrupt your everyday living routines. If you are rewiring your entire home, it will likely take approximately a week, or even longer. Smaller projects will range depending on scale, but they will inevitably be disruptive.
Rewiring occurs in two phases. First, the cables and wires are installed, and second, outlets, switches, and lights are all installed.
To perform the first stage, all furniture and carpeting will likely need to be removed. The process will be messy, particularly if the laborers must open up a wall to access and install wiring.
Before the second phase, it is important to plan out where you want all of your outlets, switches, and lights. Remember that as the years progress homes become even more hooked up to electricity, with computers, phones, smart home systems, and appliances in most rooms.
Don’t underestimate how many outlets you should include. Having too few outlets can decrease your
property value because outlets are highly valued in the modern real estate market.
Is It Possible To Rewire A House Without Removing Drywall?
Since removing walls and ceilings in order to rewire a house is a very messy and disruptive process, many homeowners wonder if its possible to get the job done without removing the drywall.
The reality is that in some cases it is actually possible to rewire a house without removing the drywall. If you want this to happen, the electrician you hire needs to be very experienced!
He will do a thorough inspection and come up with a detailed plan of the old circuitry and the projected plan for where the new circuits will go. Doing this can greatly minimize the amount of disruption to the walls and ceilings that needs to happen.
In some cases, its also possible to run the wires through the crawl space or in some cases the attic, basement or floor joists. This will also require additional planning and prep work.
Since traditionally the electric cables are stapled to the studs behind the walls (after they have been removed), your electrician will have to come up with a way to attach and secure the cables in a different way.
The bottom line is that its critical to hire a very knowledge and experiences electrician if you want to attempt to rewire the house without removing the drywall. You should also expect that such an experienced electrician will charge more for his services.
How Can I Reduce Costs When Rewiring Or Wiring my Home?
Generally speaking, cutting corners when rewiring or wiring your home is not in your best interest. Electrical wiring is a long-term investment, and it is important that it is installed properly, fully, and by a trusted contractor that you know you can rely on.
However, there are some areas in which you can safely save some money. First, adding on outlets will get pricey, so limiting the quantity of outlets in rooms you don’t use frequently, such as a basement, may be a good idea.
Additionally, stay away from luxury switch options like dimmers.
Another way to save is by properly preparing your home before the contractors come, as they will likely charge for furniture removal. Make sure to take everything off the walls they will be working on, and remove furniture and carpeting from the rooms. This will help prevent extra charges.
Is It Worth It To Rewire A House?
As with any costly remodeling project, its very important to know what kind of return on investment you can expect when you rewire your house.
First if your house has aluminum wiring or if the wiring as well as breakers are in bad shape, then replacing them is a question of your safety and is definitely worth it.
In case aluminum wiring is not a problem, you may want to consider rewiring only those circuits that have high demand, such as: a dishwasher, fridge, hair dryer, window air conditioner, dishwasher, and a large screen TV.
If you are expanding your home and it currently only has 100 amp service, then its necessary and worth it to upgrade to 200 amp service so all your electrical devices function properly.
Also, many prospective buyers would appreciate an upgraded 200 amp service, but if your home only has 100 amp service, its not necessarily going to cost you the sale.
When selling your home its very important to bring all electric wiring up to code, because this may actually create problems, since this will be discovered during the house inspection.
Prospective buyers may use this to lower the sale price, so if you want to avoid this scenario, its best to do all the appropriate electrical work prior to putting your home up for sale.
This means that while rewiring your house will not add value per se, it will allow your house to sell at the best possible price (considering all other potential remodeling issues have been taken care of)
Keep in mind that if you have purchased a very old home that needs a total rehab or a large scale remodel, you may not be able to start any of those projects until the house electrical wiring is brought up to code.