Electrical Work: Cost Of Upgrades And Electric Repairs

Electrical Work Upgrades

When starting a remodeling project, many people discover that a lot of electrical work needs to be done, which has not been anticipated earlier.

In reality, most major renovation projects, from kitchen remodels to bathrooms, basements, attics, etc., involve an electrical repair or upgrade. Here, we will review the most common types of electrical work and how much it will cost, in both retrofit and new construction homes.

To get started, get 3-4 free estimates from your local licensed electricians.

On average, a professional electrician charges $65-90 per hour. Note, that quotes listed in this article are ESTIMATES only, and the actual price will depend on the pro you hire, difficulty and specific details of the job, as well as your geographic location.

To get the best deal, it is advisable to plan out all the electrical work that needs to be done and complete it together, rather than break it up into separate projects.

It is important to caution that unless you are an experienced DIYer and are used to dealing with electricity, it is essential to hire a licensed residential electrician to complete the work.

How Much Does It Cost To Wire A House?

Electrical work becomes most expensive when you need to replace or install wiring throughout your entire house. However, this may be a necessary improvement in older homes, built before 1970, since the standard power wattage used to be 60 amps, which today is simply not enough.

Moreover, if your home was built before 1950, it is most likely outfitted with extremely outdated wiring, called knob and tube wiring. Most electricians would recommend to immediately replace this wiring, and there are some local building codes that actually require that this old wiring be removed.

Keeping old outdated wiring is considered a fire hazard, and is especially dangerous in modern homes that have very high electric power usage.

Pro Tip: if you suspect that you may have this type of wiring, consult your local building inspector and electricians on the best course of action.

Here is a break down of what you can expect to spend for different wiring upgrades:

Job Cost
Install wiring for a 1200 – 1300 sq ft house by $3,000 – 5,000
running it through floor joists, attic, basement,  
or accessible crawl space  
   
Install wiring for a 1200 – 1300 sq ft house by $6,500 – 9,000
running it through main walls. Requires opening  
walls, removing old wires, installing new wires,  
closing the walls with new drywall  
   
Install wiring for a large house of over 2,500 sq.ft $12,000 – 20,000+ depending on size
with opening of the walls  
   
Add structured wiring – specifically designed to $2/sq.ft. for the wiring itself
handle multuple high-powered entertainment and  
communication devices  
   
Remove old knob and tube wiring $4,500 – 6,000
   
Permit required to remove knob and tube wiring $200 – 550

Pro Tip: One way to save a lot of money on new electric wiring is to combine it with another major remodel. If you plan to open up walls anyway for a different project, you can install new wiring at the same time. This way, you will not have to pay a lot of extra money for opening up your walls a second time.

Upgrade Circuit Breaker Panel

The main circuit breaker panel in a home controls the live power from energizing the circuits in the electrical panel. To ensure that your electricity is properly working, you can either replace or upgrade your circuit breaker panel.

Here is how much you will pay:

Job Cost
Install new circuit breaker panel (100 amp) $1,350 – 1,650
Install new circuit breaker panel (200 amp) $2,200 – 2,700
Upgrade existing panel to 100 amp $850 – 1,100
Upgrade existing panel to 200 amp $1,350 – 1,650
Replace existing circuit breaker $90 – 110

Cost To Install New Light Fixtures

Living room chandelier

Oftentimes, it is practical to install a new light fixture in a particular room or outside of the house to bring in more light, especially if there is limited natural lighting there.

Also, from the aesthetic perspective, having a chandelier or other types of decorative overhead lights in the living room, bedroom, dining room or kitchen can add a unique and beautiful personal touch. If the room is not wired to have an overhead light, you can hire an electrician to install it.

Job Cost
Install New Electric Wiring For Overhead Light $700 – 1,200
Install Recessed Lighting In A Single Room $900 – 1,100
Install Single Standard Fixture With Existing Wiring $50 – 140
Replace A Broken Light Fixture $75 – 200
Replace Electrical Switch $70 – 120
Install A Ceiling Fan $150 – 300
Install Fluorescent Light Fixture $200 – 275
Install Exterior Light Fixture With Existing Wiring $140 – 280

New Electrical Outlets And Switches

An electrical outlet, also known as an electrical receptacle (wall socket) provides a place in a wiring system where current can be taken to run electrical devices.

You may find that the current locations of your electrical outlets are not convenient or easily accessible, and you would prefer to move them.

Pro Tip: if you have children in the house, and for general safety purposes, it is best to install a special outlet, called Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), in the kitchen and bathroom. It is designed to prevent electrical shock in wet locations. It may also be a good idea to have this type of outlet in the outdoor area where you have a deck or patio.

Here are average prices to install different types of electrical outlets:

Type of Outlet Cost
Replace conventional with GFCI $110-140
Receptacle-CO/ALR (aluminum) $90-$110
Receptacle – Stove/Sryer $110-$140
Conventional Receptacle $140-$165
Split Receptacle $190-$275
Exterior Receptacle with cover $190-$275
Receptacle – rewire reverse polarity $70-100
New Single Pole Switch $150-200
New Three-Way Switch $100-250

Installation Of Ceiling And Exhaust Fans

Install Kitchen Exhaust Fan in A Modern Industrial Style Kitchen

It is very important to ensure that your home has good indoor air quality as it impacts the health and well being of all inhabitants. Poor indoor air quality can cause headaches and aggravate such health conditions as allergies and asthma. Proper ventilation can significantly enhance air quality, especially in areas of high moisture, such as kitchen and bathrooms.

You can expect to pay the following prices for installing different types of ventilation:

Bathroom Exhaust Fan: $175-490

Oven Exhaust Fan: $280-330

Mechanical Attic Ventilator: $330

Ceiling Fan: $275

Additional Enhancements

Cost of a home theater

Your house may require a number of other electric updates both inside and out. The most popular projects include home security and entertainment systems.

Here are some price estimates:

Update Cost
New Wired Door Bell System $110 – 130
Install Home Security System $100 – 900
Install Home Automation System $1,200 – 1,700
Install Hardwired Smoke Detector $90 – 150
Install Carbon Monoxide Detector $90 – 100
Install Video Surveillance System With 4 Cameras $1,200 +
Install Home Theater $1,500 -16,000
Install Electric Fireplace $200 -1,000
Published/updated on: December 13, 2017

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