How Much Does It Cost to Rewire House During a Remodel - Is It Worth It?
Your cost to rewire house can seem daunting, especially if you’re already investing in a major remodel. But updating old and potentially dangerous electrical wiring is important for safety. Read on to learn the average cost for rewiring a house in 2023 and whether it’s worth budgeting for.
What Does Rewiring a House Involve?
Rewiring a house is a big project that involves installing all new electrical wiring throughout the home. This includes:
- New wires, circuits, and connections
- A new electrical panel or upgrade
- Removing old, outdated wiring
- Installing new outlets, switches, and light fixtures
A full rewire ensures all electrical components are up-to-current code standards for safety. It also allows incorporating modern amenities like more outlets, recessed lighting, and smart switches. (Resource: NFPA.Org)
Rewiring a house is very labor intensive. You need access to all walls, ceilings, and framing to run the new wiring. In some cases, walls may need to be opened up by cutting holes in drywall or plaster. Electricians will pull out old wires and replace them with modern copper wiring that meets electrical code.
All connections need to be re-done, including outlets, light switches, and fixtures. Old fuse boxes are replaced with new circuit breaker panels. Additional circuits can be added to prevent overloading. Grounds and neutrals are separated.
For safety reasons, rewiring is best left to licensed professional electricians. They ensure proper installation and know how to correctly size wiring for amperage and voltage needs. Attempting DIY rewiring risks electrocution and fire hazards if done improperly.
What Factors Affect the Cost to Rewire House?
Many variables impact the total cost to rewire house. Key factors include:
House Size and Layout
Larger homes with more complex layouts typically cost more to rewire. More wiring is needed to span larger distances. Additional circuits must be added for larger house electrical loads. High ceilings also increase wiring costs. Rewiring can cost around $100 per hour for labor alone.
A simple small home may only take 2-3 days to rewire at 10 hours per day. A large two-story home can take 10 days at 10 hours per day, significantly increasing labor costs. Electricians charge hourly, so more complex homes cost more in labor.
Access to Walls and Framing
If walls are opened up during remodeling, it costs less to rewire since electricians don’t need to cut into drywall. They can access framing and use the open walls as routes for new wiring. Homes with closed plaster walls cost much more to rewire since electricians must cut electrical chases to run wires.
Opening up small sections of drywall for access and patching after is cheaper than re-drywalling entire rooms. But leaving existing drywall intact does limit wiring route options.
Local Electrician Rates
Average electrician rates range from $50 to $100 per hour. Rates are higher in expensive urban areas like NYC or San Francisco. Rural area rates may be lower. Get estimates from 3-5 local electrical contractors to compare rates.
Electrician certification level also impacts hourly costs. Master electricians cost more than apprentices but usually work faster. Ask potential contractors about their team experience and certification levels.
Scope of the Rewiring Project
A minor rewire of just old, damaged wiring costs less than a whole house rewire. Partial rewires allow focusing on the oldest and most hazardous electrical. This costs $2-3 per square foot compared to $4-7.50 for a full rewire.
A full rewire replaces all wiring, upgrades the panel, and adds new outlets/switches. Minor rewires just target the minimum necessary replacements in the worst areas. The scope depends on your budget, goals, and current electrical needs.
Removing or Keeping Drywall/Plaster
For full access, all drywall and plaster may need to be removed prior to rewiring. This adds demolition costs but makes installing new wiring easier. If you’re redoing rooms anyway, it can make sense to combine drywall removal.
Keeping existing walls intact costs less but limits electrician access for running wires. Extra costs accrue from cutting electrical chases into walls and patching afterwards. Labor takes longer due to the added challenge.
Added Costs of New Outlets and Fixtures
The base rewiring cost mainly covers labor, wiring materials, and the panel. Upgrading switches, outlets, and fixtures at the same time does add more in parts and installation costs.
New outlets and switches average $2-$3 each. New can lights are $10-$30. Fancy dimmers or smart switches add $20-$40 per unit. Using basic units helps control upgrade costs.
Is it Worth Rewiring a House?
The investment is usually worth it for major safety and functionality upgrades. Key benefits include:
- Eliminates fire hazards from old, faulty wiring
- Allows for more outlets and circuits for modern needs
- Provides opportunity to add smart home features
- Increases home value significantly
Rewiring costs can be recouped when selling the home. Many homeowners undertake rewiring when remodeling a kitchen or during other major electrical upgrades.
While expensive, rewiring ensures your home’s electrical system is safe, sufficient, and up to the latest code standards. Consider getting a rewiring assessment from electricians to determine if a full rewire is right for you.
How Necessary is Rewiring an Older Home?
Homes over 50 years old likely need rewiring for safety. Outdated wiring from the 70s, 60s or earlier was undersized for modern power demands. Knob-and-tube wiring from the early 1900s is downright dangerous.
Even homes from the 80s/90s may need partial rewiring upgrades. Warning signs like frequent tripped breakers, flickering lights, and nuisance GFCI trips indicate rewiring needs. Aluminum wiring requires inspection and often replacement.
If you feel any doubt about old wiring safety, it’s smart to get a professional assessment. An electrician can gauge the condition and whether any sections need replacement.
Does Rewiring Increase Home Value?
Updating inadequate or hazardous wiring greatly boosts resale value. Trading old fuse boxes for modern circuit breaker panels is especially valuable. Most home buyers would be wary of purchasing a home with very outdated electrical.
Replacing knob-and-tube wiring can increase sale prices 5-10% alone. The expense of rewiring is recouped upon selling. Safely updated electrical systems position homes as move-in ready.
Can I Spread Rewiring Across Multiple Projects?
Since rewiring has a high upfront cost, spreading it across several years can make the process more affordable. When renovating different parts of the home, old wiring can be replaced in phases.
For example, rewire the kitchen when remodeling it. Then update upstairs wiring when converting an attic later. This incremental approach works if wiring is not totally hazardous currently. Prioritize the oldest and riskiest sections first.
Cost of House Rewiring by Square Footage
The cost per square foot provides a useful baseline estimate for home rewiring:
House Size – Cost to Rewire House
800 sq.ft. – $3,200 to $6,000
1,200 sq.ft. – $4,800 to $9,000
1,600 sq.ft. – $6,400 to $12,000
2,000 sq.ft. – $8,000 to $15,000
2,400 sq.ft. – $9,600 to $18,000
2,800 sq.ft. – $11,200 to $21,000
3,200 sq.ft. – $12,800 to $24,000
3,600 sq.ft. – $14,400 to $27,000
4,000 sq.ft. – $16,000 to $30,000
Other major cost factors like layout, access, and local electrician rates impact the final total as well. Get multiple estimates before your rewiring project.
How to Rewire Your Home More Affordably
If the upfront cost seems unaffordable, here are tips to reduce expenses:
Consider a partial rewire instead of the whole home. Prioritize the oldest, most hazardous wiring.
Combine rewiring with a remodel project when walls are open already.
Use basic, cost-effective light switches and outlets instead of fancy smart versions.
Hire apprentice or journeyman electricians who charge less per hour.
Schedule the work during the slower winter season when electricians may offer discount rates.
- Finance the project via a home improvement loan, HELOC, or personal loan if needed.
Summary of Main Points
- Full house rewiring costs $4-7.50 per square foot on average
- Factors like house size, layout, walls, and location impact costs
- It’s a big investment but usually worthwhile for safety and function
- Rewiring can be combined with other remodeling projects to save costs
- Get quotes from local electricians to determine your exact rewire price
- Consider partial rewiring or phasing full rewiring over time to spread out costs
- Updating hazardous electrical wiring adds value and appeal for home buyers
In conclusion, rewiring a house is a major project requiring professional electricians and a sizable budget. But improving electrical safety provides peace of mind. And the cost is recovered when selling the home. Consult with qualified electricians in your area to explore options and get an accurate estimate for your rewiring project.
Q: How much does it cost to rewire house during a remodel?
A: The cost of rewiring a house during a remodel can vary depending on several factors such as the size of the home, the complexity of the project, and the location. On average, the cost can range from $4 to $10 per square foot.
Q: Do I need to rewire my home?
A: If you have an older home with outdated electrical wiring or if you’re experiencing electrical problems such as flickering lights or frequently tripping circuit breakers, it may be necessary to rewire your home to ensure safety and functionality.
Q: What is the cost to rewire house?
A: The cost of rewiring a home can vary depending on the size of the house and the extent of the project. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $8,000 and $15,000, but this can go up or down depending on the factors mentioned above.
Q: How much does it cost to rewire house per square foot?
A: The cost to rewire a house per square foot can range from $4 to $10, depending on the complexity of the project and the location.
Q: How long does it take to rewire a house?
A: The time it takes to rewire a house will depend on the size of the home and the complexity of the project. On average, it can take anywhere from one to three weeks.
Q: How can I save on cost to rewire house?
A: To save on home rewiring costs, you can consider getting multiple quotes from different electricians or electrical contractors. Additionally, you can opt to do some of the simpler electrical work yourself, as long as you have the necessary skills and knowledge.
Q: What factors can affect the cost to rewire house?
A: Several factors can affect the cost of rewiring a house, including the size of the home, the complexity of the project, the cost of materials, the contractor’s labor rates, and the location of the property.
Q: Can I rewire a house without removing the drywall?
A: In some cases, it is possible to rewire a house without removing the drywall. This can be done by using certain techniques such as fishing wires through existing walls or utilizing access points like electrical outlets.
Q: Is it worth the cost to rewire house in 2023?
A: Rewiring a house can be a worthwhile investment, especially if you have an older home with outdated electrical systems. It can improve the safety of your home, increase its value, and ensure that it meets current electrical codes and standards.
Q: What is the average cost to rewire house?
A: The average cost to rewire a house can range from $8,000 to $20,000. However, it’s important to remember that this is just an estimate and the final cost may vary depending on the factors mentioned earlier.