Electrician Estimate - seems very high

30 Replies

hello all

I have a house 3/1 single story, 1200sqft, 1950s home with a crawl space and clean attic that is in 10 day contingency period. I had a reputable electrician give me an est and he said the whole house needs rewiring- including taking from 100 amp to 200 amp. I talked to my general contractor and he agrees. It is either old in some places or the home owner ran wires that do not look right in others. I got an est back for $18k. I have not had to rewire a house yet just small electrical. Is $18k the going rate now days? Or does that seem high? 

Time is limited and with holidays i won't be able to another electritian in there to estimate. I may have to walk on the deal if thats the going rate. 


@Gabriel Miritello a whole house rewire can get very expensive especially right now with copper wire double in price, and most material just about non exsistant. For example I've been trying to find new work single boxes for months now, no one had any till just the other day and I bought them all. I would deff get other estimates then compare. By me just a panel and service upgrade is 4-5 k

Smarter rental management
Outperform your peers by 71%
NestEgg landlords save $6,960/yr in fees & 20 hrs/mo*. Self-manage for free or go hands-off for $29.
Start now, get $500

I've been in the construction business for more than 50 years, re-wire the entirety of many homes and my operating costs are amazingly expensive. Especially, with the costs for materials and the increased costs for labor. I just rewired a fairly small 3-bedroom 1-story home, charged $21,000 and when all the tallying was done the cost for wire, metal flex, new light fixtures, 200-amp distribution panel, permits, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, plaster and stucco patching holes, sales commission, labor and overhead was about $15,000 leaving me with a $6,000 profit (30%). I went $3,000 higher than usual on this job because we did other work totaling about $60,000 and we packaged all the prices together. So, if I went my normal $18,000 average price I would have profited only $3,000 and that is a small margin.

I've been in the construction business and like to believe that I am one of the few contractors who 'Raise The Bar' in regards to running a company where we are intelligent enough to raise prices vs. being a sheep in the herd where we price our jobs in accordance with what every other electrician charges. If we go that way, we end up cutting our own throats when customers are willing to pay $21,000, or $3,000 more because they want a good contractor vs. taking a chance with a less-expensive contractor who may drag the job out too long, or not ever finish the job after being paid too much in advance.

$18,000 seems to be the average price nationwide.

Originally posted by @Gabriel Miritello :

The Home is in Savannah, Ga

I am an electric and plumbing contractor in Florida, shouldn't be a huge price difference from my area to GA.

our pricing is 248/drop

so count every (Light switch, outlet and fixture (lights etc) ) and multiply that by 248

so #of drops X $248 = total for rewire

then add about $5,000 for the panel and that will give you a pretty good idea where you should stand, after that give or take $1500 and that'll give you a range!

hope that helped any!

@AdamElbary what a great way to estimate!! Allows the owner to better estimate a home beforehand. Man that's awesome. Is that technique common? I'm trying to improve my initial estimates before I waste an electritians time. Is this standard practice or are there other ways electritions provide basic estimates? 

@Gabriel Miritello I would get multiple quotes as many people have probably already told you. I have a 100+ year old home that’s 2,200 square feet that just finished getting rewired. First electrician said I needed to remove all the walls and he’s charge 15k-20k. Second quote was for 10k and the third guy said he could do it for $5,375. I went with the cheapest guy and he did a great job. He has been an electrical contractor for 27 years and said he doesn’t have the overhead like most electricians so his prices are much cheaper.

Jamestown Invest
Build a well-balanced portfolio with CRE
Considering CRE Investing?
Download this whitepaper and learn about CRE investing from a manager with a 38 year track record
Learn More

@Gabriel Miritello most electrical contractors use software such as NECA, Accubid, McCormick and others. We then get the materials quote from our parts distributor, they provide a limited time frame as copper is a commodity, and other materials fluctuate.

I used to get 30-60 day windows, in this market 15 days max. Estimates are overhead that's carried into the bid. Make sure the EC pulls the permits & you should be there during rough & final.

@Gabriel Miritello

WAY TOO HIGH. I just had a similar but smaller home completely rewired for just over 2k. The electrician had 1 helper with him amd they had it done in a day. My place is a 2/1 with crawl space and attic about 800 sq ft. I had this work done a month ago in NH for perspective. Maybe ask him for an itemized invoice so you can compare his costs to what you find them to be. I would say anything over 5k is criminal.

@Matthew Irish-Jones wiring was from the 50s, he removed all the old wiring from attic and crawl space and rewired the entire house with Romex wiring, added a breaker box with new breakers, new light switches, outlets, and covers. He also hung all our new light fixtures we recently purchased. He did a great job, I was very impressed.

@Matthew Irish-Jones all old wiring was removed there is no old wiring in the entire house. He rewired the entire house using romex and brought it up to code. He did it through the crawl space and attic whichever was easier. He didn’t have to remove a single wall which is impressive considering old homes are hard to fish wire through. I was there working most of the time when he was rewiring and his team did a good job. The only area I have to repair is in the guest bathroom there was two sconce light fixtures and he had to make the hole a little bigger than it already was. That’s an easy fix though.

The difference between a 200A and a 150A is negligible.

@brennan Don't see how you get a house completely rewired for that price. A panel upgrade is $3000+ now. I suspect there were corners cut that will pop up later.