Does this electrical quote seem high?

32 Replies

Hi all,

I am in the process of purchasing an 1100 SF house.  The house currently has a fuse panel and outdated wiring.  We will be changing the layout so, figured we will upgrade all the electrical while we are at.  I had an electrician in for an estimate to replace the 100A fuse panel with a 100A breaker panel, and rewire the whole house.  The house is 3 beds/baths and is 2 stories  of living above a basement.  The panel is in the basemeant, and the service does not require upgrading from the street.  The estimate has come in at $20,000.  This is much higher than I was expecting, anyone have experience with pricing on similar sized jobs?

Thanks.

That should say 3 beds 2 baths.

Seems a little high but make sure u get 3 estimates. Also ask them about how many hours do they anticipate. That way u have an idea of price per hour to compare , buy me in Illinois suburbs its bout 65$/hr. Good luck

That seems really high. I just had to rewire an entire house. 2500 sq ft. Ran about 12k. That was putting in new 200 amp panel. Removing all old wiring and new wiring everywhere. And some of the lights themselves. This was in Minnesota. So depending on what part of the country costs could vary. But I had 3 bids range from $10,800-$13,000.

I will definitely get 3 estimates, I was trying to get a ballpark estimate to help inform my offer on the property.  This is about double what I was expecting.

Originally posted by @Beau Ryan :

That seems really high. I just had to rewire an entire house. 2500 sq ft. Ran about 12k. That was putting in new 200 amp panel. Removing all old wiring and new wiring everywhere. And some of the lights themselves. This was in Minnesota. So depending on what part of the country costs could vary. But I had 3 bids range from $10,800-$13,000.

 Thanks, this seems more reasonable and for a much larger house.

Wow... that sounds like a price a contractor gives someone when they DONT want the job. 

we get this done regularly and it typically runs us $4k for house re-wire and upgrad of fuse panel to breakers...

good luck on the other quotes. 

take care,

sky-mikesell

Originally posted by @Sky Mikesell :

Wow... that sounds like a price a contractor gives someone when they DONT want the job. 

we get this done regularly and it typically runs us $4k for house re-wire and upgrad of fuse panel to breakers...

good luck on the other quotes. 

take care,

sky-mikesell

 Thanks Sky, that is promising.

Sounds high but I only have experience with the fuse to breaker panel replacement piece not a complete rewire.  Nothing special like a generator hookup right?  Things run higher in MA then I hear people quote for down south and Midwest but  maybe someone who flips in Massachusetts will chime in.

No generator.  The stove is gas, there is an electric dryer.

@Colleen F.  What have you seen for fuse to breaker panel replacements?  That will be phase 1 of this project.

Hey @Jeremiah O'Neill  - I've priced out similar jobs for around $12-15k, so I think that first quote is high probably.  Get 2 more bids as others suggested.  Good quotes will have all the receptacles and switches counted in them.  Be sure to think about wired smokes too as it'll be way cheaper to do that now then later.

Sounds WAY high!

Sounds high to me. I would've been shocked to get that bid. I've never paid for a rewire bc I usually do or in the past anyway have done most of it myself. But I hired out half of a rewire on a 700sf 1 bed 1 bath in the past that cost me about  1000$, on another house I replaced the outside box for 500$. Electricians in KS are usually about 60$/hr.

Sounds like a pattern going here lol.

Good luck

I'm sure a lot has to do with location. But around here I pay about $3 a foot to wire a new construction. That everything but the light fixtures.

@Jeremiah O'Neill this is way to high, word of advice if you plan making a lot of changes, get a quote several ways. 1 opening up all the walls and having it all sheetrocked  and have you electrician quote you with the studs exposed if I am wiring a house a charge a lot less for an exposed wall versus ones I have to cut everything in it is very time consuming. 2 get a quote for an electrical install with non exposed walls this will drive up the cost on the electrical side but lower the sheetrock side then you should be able to determine which way is cheaper.

This is all very promising.  

Thanks for the tips Brent, I will price it both ways.  A lot of these wall will be new, so a lot of the wiring will be done in open walls.

First, why not upgrade to 150A if you're going to be upgrading the panel anyway?  Unless it requires new wires to be pulled and there's a ridiculously long lead-time from the power company, I see no reason not to upgrade -- your buyers will appreciate it.

Regardless, $20K is a ridiculous bid.  MA is going to be more expensive than most places, but I'd pay between $6000 (in one of my inexpensive markets) and $10,000 (in one of my more expensive markets).  Definitely get a few more bids...

Btw, I just put brand new service (including wiring all fixtures) on a 3500sf new build outside of DC for under $12,000. Not apples to apples, but you get the idea...

I wont get into pricing as that will vary greatly area to area but will also say that while your at it, upgrade to at least 150,  100 is out of date. 

Fuse to break was about $2200 in RI for 5 panels for apartments- nothing done at the pole.  Upgrading at our Shrewsbury, MA home was $1800 for  two 200 amp panels but that was breaker to breaker with upgraded service.

Not more than $12,000 regardless of what needs to be done. I would get a state certified electrician they are do make things easier and faster for me than getting an electrical contractor.

@Jeremiah O'Neill    I got a panel replaced by a licensed electrician in Seattle.  Going from an 80 Amp to 200 Amp.  Original was a Zinsco, which was known to fail and cause electrical fires.  The new panel is a Square D QO series.  Comparing the circuit breakers, my personal take is that QO is better than the Homeline series.  The electrician drove two ground rods and cost was $1600 labor only.

Apprentice level electricians may be cheaper than journeyman electricians.  So you may have opportunity to save some money there.  Any electrician worth his/her salt should be able to tell you what NEC stands for and what the code requirements are.  Local gov inspector will give you a permit to reconnect after inspection.  The one I met is helpful and will point out a few things electrician missed.  But they won't comment on less than perfect workmanship, which engineers likes to see.  :-)

A couple of guys mentioned it, location makes a huge difference. @Jeremiah O'Neill  , you can't compare rates from New England to other places, they don't line up. Ask these folks what they'd pay for that 1100 sq ft house and the price will range from $5000 up to $125,000 where in Cambridge you probably can't get it less then $250,000, twice whet it would cost in other areas.

Something that gets added in to estimates when I bid a job in Cambridge is the daily parking tickets. Most people don't realize what it's like working in Cambridge. I was on a first name basis with the meter maid when I did job down there. Nice lady. The daily sitting in traffic was also billed to the customer.

Don't pay attention to prices on here unless it's from another person in the same city you're looking at, things vary too greatly to rely on them.

That being said, when you buy the house, I have a licensed electrician that works in Boston all the time that will do the job for less then anyone else. I think he only charges $75-$80 per hour. I won't waste his time sending him out just to do an estimate when you don't even own the house though. Let me know when you actually take ownership and I'll get you two together.

Derreck Wells, Contractor in MA (#MR000910)
978-866-2020
Originally posted by @Steven Tierney :

Hey @Jeremiah O'Neill  - I've priced out similar jobs for around $12-15k, so I think that first quote is high probably.  Get 2 more bids as others suggested.  Good quotes will have all the receptacles and switches counted in them.  Be sure to think about wired smokes too as it'll be way cheaper to do that now then later.

 I would have to agree with Steven.  Get at least three bids.  Once I feel comfortable with my sub I stick with them.  He may have priced high to keep from getting the job or to cover unforeseen problems within the walls.  

@Derreck Wells 

Something that gets added in to estimates when I bid a job in Cambridge is the daily parking tickets. Most people don't realize what it's like working in Cambridge. I was on a first name basis with the meter maid when I did job down there. Nice lady. The daily sitting in traffic was also billed to the customer.

Cantabridgia, I know it well. Sometimes there's another solution. When we work on the restaurants in Chinatown, Boston we're there 2am-10am but it doesn't exactly work for residences there;-(

charges $75-$80 per hour. I won't waste his time sending him out just to do an estimate

That's real good! Some of the electricians in our REIA, website in my signature below, will go out with a newbie to look at the electrical but they want a fee which can be credited towards the work if/when they ever get that far.

Unless there is some major issue you haven't mentioned that seems very high to me.

I would expect to pay something between $8-9K (For a guy that I have a good relationship with and does a lot of work with me) and MAYBE $14-15K for a new guy in an area that I haven't done a project in and isn't going to give me an investor discount on the 1st job.  This assumes this is access inside all the walls (No hours snaking stuff through pinholes) and not adding a ton of extra stuff and this is the rough and I'd expect to pay more for the final stuff and those supplies if I am not supplying.

Derreck is right that Cambridge, as well as most parts of Boston and many of the other cities right there, that it sucks to get there and to work there.  You should definitely put a premium on that vs. a town 5-10 miles away where you can park a truck...

I am with the people that think that the guy probably doesn't want to deal with the job so quoted several grand more than he should have to see if you will bite and make it worth it to him.

Let us know what your other bids come in at. 

Shaun Reilly, Real Estate Agent in MA (#9517670)
1-800-774-0737

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