If your home is more than 40 years old, it is likely you will need to upgrade the electrical wiring throughout your home. The standard for household power used to be 60 amps but modern homes often require as much as 200 amps to run air conditioners, computer equipment, high-definition televisions and home automation devices. This costs guide looks at the cost of an average size home of 1200 sq.ft.
- Labor: this will depend greatly on the amount of work required as well as the skill level of each electrician. Electricians average between $65 and $85 per hour. For 1200 sq.ft. homes, this is estimated to take 2 hours per wiring
- Upgrade electrical service panel: upgrading a 60 amp panel to a modern standard 200 amp panel ranges between $800-$3000 according to the National Association of Home Builders.
- Opening walls and running wires: because wiring is in the walls of a home and difficult to reach, rewiring a home requires opening the walls, removing old wires, running new wires and seal everything behind new drywall. For a home around 1200 sq.ft. this cost ranges between $3500-$8000. If an electrician can run most of the wiring through a basement, attic, crawlspace or floor joists, the costs will land on the lower end of the estimate. Larger homes or homes with
restricted access to crawlspaces will inflate costs up to $20,000.
- New wiring: laying new wires is a two-step process and is, typically, expected to be charged at 1 hour per 100 sq.ft. The material cost of new wires range between $6-$8 per ft. This places labor costs at around $7800 and material costs
at around $4800 for this project.
- Adding outlets and switches: add outlets and switches wherever needed. Each space needs to have 2-3 outlets per space, according to The Craftsman Book Company. Each switch or outlet can be expected to cost around $100-$185 each.
Enhancement and improvement costs
- Enhance your wiring with structured wiring. This heavy-duty electrical and data cables are designed to handle modern entertainment and communication devices. Structured wiring costs $2 per sq.ft. ($2400).
- Upgrade lighting fixtures for between $45 for a basic light to $150 for a mid-range light to $800+ for a luxury fixture.
Additional considerations and costs
- Save costs by opening walls during a remodel. Once the walls are open for the remodel, electricians can access the wiring. The subcontractor can then finish the walls without extra costs.
- This is a project for professionals. Upgrading wiring in the home is not a project to do yourself. Trying to rewire a home, without an electrician, can cause electrocution. In addition, incorrect wiring won't be up to code and can start
an electrical fire.
- If your home was built before the 1950s, it may have knob and tube wiring. This wiring is outdated and should be removed as soon as possible. InterNACHI confirmed that no code mandates the complete removal of knob-and-tube wiring,
however some local codes require its removal in all accessible locations. This can cost around $5000 to remove.
- Permits may be required to change the wiring in a home. If removing knob and tube wiring, the permits cost around $250-$500.