Aside from the residents themselves, electricity is the life of a house. After all, a large part of your house runs on it. Without electricity, your heater can’t keep you warm, washers can’t help you do the laundry, and computers can’t let you surf the internet. Almost everything you do and use at home requires some amount of electricity.
As important as it is, electricity could also pose damage if not managed well. Outdated electrical wiring, for one, has far fewer sockets to accommodate all electrical equipment a modern home has and could lead to overloading. Overloading can then result to fire.
To prevent the dangers of old wiring, you should consider upgrading your house’s electrical wiring. But, where do we start? We could begin by learning how much does it cost to rewire a house and build a plan from there.
Average Cost to Rewire a House
Angie’s List sets the average cost to rewire a house, including materials and labor cost, between US$8,000 to US$15,000. The exact price you would be paying depends on the size of your home and the ease of access for wiring.
For example, rewiring an average-sized home with easy access could cost you US$3,500 to US$8,000. On the other hand, a larger house that is hard to access could well reach up to US$20,000 and above.
The age of your home is also a factor for the total rewiring cost. Older homes tend to have harder-to-access wiring. Thus, the electrician would take more time to upgrade the wiring system. Also, old houses aged 50 years and above has only a 60 amp electrical panel, which is considered today as inadequate for most modern homes. With that said, you will also have to upgrade to a bigger and better electrical panel. Furthermore, upgrading your outlet is also a necessity if your house is old.
The cost of materials used for rewiring also affects the overall price. For example, the copper wire needed to rewire a typical house will cost about US$400 to US$1,000 and will cost up to US$3,000 to rewire a larger home.
Rewiring a house also includes opening up your walls and repairing them after the upgrade. Computing how much does it cost to rewire a house include the materials needed for the said repairs.
Hiring an Electrician
The average cost to rewire a house also includes the electrician’s fee. The cost varies depending on local rates. To give you an idea, an electrician would likely charge about US$65 to US$120 per device, whether it’s an outlet, switch, light or fixture.
Pro Referral has listed down the average cost for some of the said devices. A fixture upgrade, for example, will cost about US$70 to US$240 while outlet upgrades would run from US$90 to US$300 per outlet.
Aside from the devices, you would also pay your electrician about US$800 to US$3,000 to upgrade your electrical panel.
Electricians also charge for travel fees. Some would charge you a higher rate for the first one hour, others charge a minimum for each visit, and some makes up for travel time by charging a higher hourly rate. Speaking of the hourly rate, a professional would cost about US$30 to US$70 per hour according to Home Advisor.
Saving Hiring Costs
Electricians can be very expensive, but there are ways for you to cut down on costs. One is to hire a reputable professional. Spending for someone who can provide efficient service would be worth all the money. For rewiring, efficient service means the wiring upgrade will safely last for decades. If you think about it, spending a considerable amount for an electrician who can get things done is a long-term investment.
To make it sure that you’re hiring someone reputable, check the electrician’s credentials carefully. At the very least, the person you wish to hire should hold a current license in your state, has an updated insurance, and has ample experience in the field. You would also do well to ask for a list of referrals so that you could gather helpful comments from the electrician’s past customers.
Another tip is for you to prepare a list of electrical problems you want your electrician to repair. A list of needed repairs will lessen your electrician’s job and will reduce his/her work hours, saving you some dollars.
You could also save money by hiring someone to rewire your house during a remodeling project. For instance, a kitchen renovation will lead subcontractors to open up your walls, making it easier for the electrician to access the wiring there. Also, the cost of repairing the walls will be part of the renovating project and not the rewiring alone.
If you don’t plan to rewire the whole house, you could save more money if you do the job yourself. Rewiring just a part of the house is easy, especially if your home is not that old.
Of course, before doing that, make sure you are capable and has basic knowledge in electrical works. Forget about DIY if you completely have no idea on how rewiring works as you’d only risk spending more for probable damages and injuries.
Before starting your DIY project, take note of the things you’ll need. You should prepare wires and cables, safety eyewear, cutting tools, and a ladder. Once you’re ready, turn off the electric power and then begin removing old wires and installing new ones. Do-It-Yourself has detailed tips for the next steps including removing the breaker box and electrical control panel wiring.
Tell-tale Signs for Rewiring Your House
If your house has fuses that blow regularly and sockets that overheat or do not work at all, consider rewiring your house. Even if your home is not 50 years old, there is a risk if it has faulty wiring.
Also, if you’re planning to add appliances but your room has only one to two sockets, have an electrician install additional ones to avoid overloading.
Knowing how much does it cost to rewire a house, even after learning that it is expensive, should not stop you from giving your home a rewiring upgrade. After all, no amount of money is too costly if it ensures the safety of your household.