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How Much Does It Cost to Rewire a House in 2021?

Electrical works

Electrical works

In 2021, rewiring a house will cost anywhere between $1,500 and $10,000. Most homeowners pay around $2,100 for complete rewiring. As you probably suspected, many factors go into the price, which is why there is a large range within the US. Factors like labor, house size, and location all impact the cost.

For this reason, it is challenging to talk about how much it costs to rewire a house without looking at the process, factors, and location. To help make the process a bit easier, we have created this article to give you a better idea of what you are paying for when you rewire your house. Let’s get started.

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What to Expect

Up until the 1970s, most wiring was based in metallic items, such as aluminum. These options are not suitable for most modern electrical appliances, and they are a fire hazard in most homes. In 2017 alone, over 26,000 house fires were reported due to electrical problems.

Because of the issues associated with older wiring systems, most people opt to rewire their house with nonmetallic wires encased in plastic. Updating your electrical wiring system helps your home be more functional and safer for your family.

Rewiring your home will include the following:

  • Removing old wire
  • Installing new wire
  • Adding, moving, or upgrading switches and outlets
  • Installing a new breaker box
Cable lines wires
Image Credit: Bru-nO, Pixabay

Time Frame

Rewiring an entire home is a rather substantial process. It will take longer than an hour for sure. On average, it takes between 3 and 10 days to rewire a home. The size and age of your home will largely determine the time frame. Older homes almost always take one week to finish.

Because of how long rewiring a home can take, you may need to plan on moving out of certain rooms. Some people like to completely move out of the home for the time being, whether that be by staying at a hotel or being a guest at a family member’s or friend’s house. This ensures that the entire family is safe and has access to the needed electricity during the process.

Cost

Once again, rewiring your house will cost anywhere between $1,500 and $10,000 in the United States. On average, most regular homeowners pay $2,100. To breakdown the costs a little more, most residential electrical wiring installations cost around $2 to $4 per square foot. This includes labor and materials.

The average electrician charges between $50 and $100 an hour, which may sound high, but it is fair given their needed expertise and skill. Most electricians are able to cover 100 square feet during this time. You’ll also need to pay for more labor charges if you have to update an electrical switchboard or add outlets.

You will need to talk to a contractor in your area to get a more specific answer based on your location and needs.

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Average Installation Costs

electrical tools
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National average ~ $2,100
Minimum cost ~ $125 (electricians that charge this low not recommended)
Maximum cost ~ $12,000
Average range $1,500 to $10,000
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What Is Paid For?

The cost of rewiring your home will largely pay for two things: the labor and the materials. Since rewiring a home requires special skills, electricians deserve a higher fee for their service. Similarly, materials that are safe and efficient can cost a pretty penny.

Factors that Affect Cost

Aside from the exact electrician you choose and your location, many factors will affect the overall cost. Here are the most important factors to remember when trying to estimate the cost of your rewiring:

1. Home’s Size

Big house
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This factor really makes sense. The larger your home, the more labor and materials you will need. A 1,500 square foot home costs around $4,000 on average to rewire. The more square-footage you have, the higher the cost. Conversely, the smaller your home, the less you will have to pay.

Below, you can find a quick overview of average costs based on the square footage of the house:

Square Footage Average Cost
1,000 $2,000 – $4,000
1,500 $3,000 – $6,000
2,000 $4,000 – $8,000
2,500 $5,000 – $10,000
3,000 $6,000 – $12,00
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2. Home’s Age

The age of the home also affects the cost dramatically. Older homes make it more challenging to reach the wiring. Not to mention, you may need total replacements if the parts are outdated. Older homes also need new outlets and switches, which increases the cost of labor and materials.


3. Rooms

Believe it or not, but individual rooms are more expensive than others. Most notably, kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms to rewire because they need more heavy-duty materials and a larger capacity. Not to mention, sinks mean nearby outlets must be grounded. All around, this makes these rooms more expensive since they require more complex labor and installation.

Below is the average cost based on the room type:

Room Type Average Cost
Bedroom $200 – $800
Basement $800 – $1,500
Bathroom $1,000 – $2,000
Kitchen $1,900 – $3,300
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4. Electrical Service Panel

circuit breaker
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Not every home needs an upgraded electrical service panel. If your home does, it will likely add another $1,300 to $3,000 to the overall cost. Most people need an upgraded electrical service panel if it is not 200 amp, meaning that it does not carry enough power for modern appliances.


5. Electrical Circuits, Outlets, or Switches

Similarly, adding any new electrical circuits, outlets, and/or switches will increase the price. On average, every individual addition will cost $100 or $150. Most electricians offer a lower price if you have to install multiple at one time.


6. Wall Access

If the electrician must open and repair walls during the project, the overall cost will be nearly double that of a simpler house. In most cases, this sort of job costs about $5 to $8 per square foot. This increases the price due to more labor and materials.


7. Inspections and Permits

Most local codes require you to have a permit or inspector once the project is done. That can cost anywhere between $200 and $900. For older houses, special and more expensive permits may also be needed.


8. Other Fees

accounting
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You may have to pay additional fees. These fees will be determined purely by the electrician, based on your community standards and expectations. Installation preparation and site cleanup are sometimes charged separately, for example.

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How to Know If You Need a Rewire

Whenever it is time to rewire your home, your home will likely let you know. As soon as you start seeing the following signs, it may be time to contact an inspector at a local electrical company to see if you need a rewire:

  • A burning smell or sizzling sounds coming from electrical components
  • A warm-feeling outlet or light switch
  • Circuit breakers tripping often
  • Discoloration around any outlets and fixtures
  • Electrical shocks whenever you plug appliances in
  • Flickering lights
  • Plugs sit loosely within the outlet
  • Power supply is not enough for 240V appliances

If you notice a burning smell or a buzzing sound coming from your wires or outlets, contact an electrician immediately.

How to Find an Electrician

If you need to rewire your house, you must hire an electrician. First and foremost, ensure that the electrician is licensed and has substantial experience in rewiring homes. House rewirings are difficult, and they can be a fire hazard. Don’t put your home at risk by hiring inexperienced electricians just to save a buck.

Additionally, read reviews about the electrician and their work quality. Even if they are licensed, their work may not be up to par by most people’s standards. Read online reviews to ensure the electrician is trustworthy, friendly, and capable.

Once you have selected an electrician that you are interested in, ask for a written and itemized quote. Additionally, ask questions related to your specific job. This includes cutting into walls and whether they will clean up. These questions will ensure that you and the electrician are on the same page.

electrician
Image Credit: jarmoluk, Pixabay

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Conclusion

Rewiring a home is tough business, which is why it is expensive and should never be taken on by an amateur. Though many factors affect the exact price of a home rewiring job, most homeowners pay $2,100 for their rewiring. Though this is a high price, it will keep your home working as it should, safely and effectively.


Featured Image: Pixabays, Pexels

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