Does this electrical quote seem high?

32 Replies

So I am a licensed electrical contractor in California. Yes the bid seems a little high, however if I am reading your post right you have a two story home, with a basement. If this is the case the cost is going to be higher, especially if the layout of the home is in such a way that it does not allow easy access between the two floors. Often times when two story rewires come along they are much bigger jobs than typical single story homes. See in a single story homes all the wiring for the most part (except vaulted ceilings) is accessible by attic, therefore not much drywall needs to be removed Vise-versa two story homes require a lot of drywall to be removed. 

Furthermore, in some other posts I have noticed cost comparison to new construction. These are two completely different beasts! Rewires are a lot more labor intensive! 

Another thing to consider is you get what you pay for. I've seen some complete hack jobs with rewires. If someone comes in and rewires your house in a few days and costs less than 10k something is probably missing. Likely nothing is strapped and only visible things are brought to code. References! References! 

Good luck to you

Originally posted by @Jeremiah O'Neill :

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.

If you have gas and you're planning a rehab, why not plan to have a plumber pull a gas line to the laundry location?  Electric dryers are such a utility cost drag, for either a tenant or new buyer.  I can't imagine using one (or wiring for one) if there is gas already at the property. I'm assuming the heater is gas? Be careful that you don't get quotes for things you don't want to an electric dryer outlet.

As for the quote:   Are you doing any part of the house as a gut rehab so the electricians don't have to pull through walls? Are any parts of the house lathe and plaster? Is your quote for just puling the wires and installing the new panel/box? Or does it include sub work for restoring walls?

I say make your goal a $10K quote.  You might not get one, but it's good to have a goal in mind. And then understand all the variables that make it so that you can't get the job done for $10K. Sorry to say that there are plenty of electricians that are happy to quote you a $20K price when they would do the job it for $10K.  Those guys always freak me out.  They start out with a price I won't pay and then we negotiate, we get to half.....and then they wonder why I don't hire then.  Anyone who will take half has totally lost my trust.

These resi guys are a trip. Now and again I get stuck working with one on a municipal or industrial job. Simple things like changing a transformer connection, repairing a magnetic motor starter, or changing the voltage on a motor, baffle them for the most part. You tell them to do something but then you got to lead them by the hand. Sometimes I play stupid and ask them about something like power factor or I2R losses. My God does the ******** ever start then.

20 G sounds high, unless it's something in Manhattan.

Jeremiah, I had the same kind of bids some even higher to do a similar house here in Pittsburgh. I also found a guy on thumbtack that was willing to do the work for about $8,000. Which included updating the whole houses electrical, breaker box and all new line from the pole to the box. I suggest you get more quotes as others have done. Check out thumbtack, it's a really good source for finding contractors or what ever you need. 

on the low 9500 to 13500 is what you should be paying we have a in-house electrican and wire alot of homes . Get two more bids on what you want to give you a better price point . Also are you requesting  alot of high end fixtures. We did a electrical job a little over that price but the fixtures were very high owner had close to 100 small lights dimmer everywhere that made our electrical bid go above the normal bid. 

I just had my rental property rewire due to thief but it only costed me $3100. I didn't need a new breaker box or rewire all the way to each receptacle, only a few of them. Electrical wires were gone prior to putting in a offer on the house. 

Hi Jeremiah,

I do a lot of development in Brookline and Newton (very similar markets to Cambridge) and from the little that I know of your project I would say this seems high. For my customary finish levels, at that square footage, I would look to pay around $16k assuming there are no extraordinarily difficult aspects of the project.

Good luck with your search-


Thanks everyone.  I think the consensus is clear that I need more estimates.  I will get more estimates, and look into pricing multiple ways, i.e. with more walls opened up for easier wiring with extra drywall costs or leave the walls as-is and pay higher electrical costs.

Thanks again, this has been very helpful.

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