Electrician cost guide
Our world is hard to imagine without electricity. Every home is a maze of wiring that supplies power to a multitude of appliances and devices starting from common bulbs and ending with washing machines and microwave ovens. Those are becoming more sophisticated and require more reliable electrical systems, which include breakers, panels, and other components. If you need to upgrade the power supply system in your home, install an outlet, or replace a switch, you'll probably think of hiring an electrician.
Here you will learn about:
Average cost of electrician services
Information to check
Other frequently asked questions
Professional electricians provide a range of services related to the installation and replacement of various elements of electrical systems in homes and commercial buildings. They also perform tests and diagnose problems with electrical equipment as part of general home inspections.
An electrician normally charges customers on the per hour or per project basis, plus takes a flat service fee. The exact amount depends on several factors. Those include the difficulty and extent of the job, accessibility (new installation or remodeling), how urgently the work needs to be done, customer's location, whether this is a business property or ordinary home, pro's experience, and others. You may also have to obtain a building permit and cover the cost of materials. On average, be prepared to spend from $165 to $510. The lowest price is $85, while the highest is $910.
I'm planning to have my house rewired. How much may I expect to pay for this service?
The rewiring of a house is one of the most expensive electrician services. Its price is determined by several factors:
Depending on how far the breaker box is located in your home, you may need between 100 and 200 linear feet of wire, with one foot costing from $6.50 to $7.50. However, the electrician may find some of your existing wiring still good to use. Then, you'll spend less.
Installing new wires is a process that comprises two stages. Expect to pay $125-$175 per one hour (100 square feet).
The price of rewiring also depends on whether it's a remodeling or “blank page” project. If one of the walls has to be knocked down, you may need to have drywall installed. That may cost you up to $1,750, materials included.
On average, be prepared to pay around $1,250 for your home rewiring.
What's the average cost of replacing or installing an outlet and a switch?
Installing a switch or an outlet is probably the simplest of electrician services. Note, however, that professionals take a service fee for the first hour of work. So, with this fee factored in, you'll likely pay $210 for replacing one outlet or $155 for having a new switch installed. If it's a dedicated outlet for something like a dryer, the price may be as high as $610. To save money, inspect your home for the outlets and switches in need of replacement, and hire an electrician to deal with all of them in one visit.
How much does it cost to replace breakers?
- Fire-preventing Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) (up to 20 amps): $47-$77
- Standard circuit breaker (up to 60 amps): $40-$65
An hour of work will cost $70-$90.
$110-$170 for replacing one breaker, regardless of its type.
How expensive is it to hang a light fixture like a chandelier?
The cost of hanging a light fixture also depends on several variables.
- Recessed can light: between $165 and $355. Note that the price of a recessed can light installation is determined by the type of LEDs you've selected. Those may cost from $15 to $35, depending on their brightness, colors, and other characteristics. You can reduce the total cost by purchasing LEDs from an electrician since he/she often works with suppliers and thus is entitled to discounts.
- Crystal chandelier of 300 pieces: $550
- A pendant/glass ceiling light: between $75 and $145
The higher is the ceiling, the more an electrician may charge you.
A heavy chandelier may require more workers to handle, as well as some auxiliary equipment.
If new wiring is required, that will increase the overall cost of the project. You'll need to buy a new wire. Workers will need to prepare the ceiling and install the wire. Note that hanging the light itself will be billed separately from the wiring work.
What's the cost of other services electricians provide?
With a generator joyfully buzzing away, you can keep your appliances running until the grid power supply is resumed. Options:
- You have no generator: from $1,050 to $6,050 for installation depending on the type of the machine and the difficulty of the job.
- You have a generator: from $255 to $260 for repair
This is a cheaper alternative to an air conditioner. You can have it mounted in one room for around $260.
Within a rewiring project, homeowners may also need to install a ground rod. The average price of installing a rod 8 feet in length is $355 or a little more.
Upgrading the panel
To make the main electrical panel in your home more powerful:
- Up to 100 amps: $850-$1,250
- Up to 200 amps: $1,350-$3,050
- Up to 400 amps: $2,050-$4,050
What other factors may affect the total price of a project?
An electrician may charge more for the first hour of work – as much as $155.
Any work that involves identifying a problem and suggesting a solution, may be priced from $55 to $155 for one hour.
Simple homes as opposed to commercial properties
Electricians working with businesses will charge almost a quarter more than those working in homes.
An electrician's career ladder comprises three steps:
- Apprentice: needs to work for up to four years under a master's (journeyman's) guidance. The exact duration of apprenticeship depends on the regulations in a particular state.
- Journeyman: an apprentice who has successfully passed a test. Also needs to work for a number of years in order to become a master.
- Master: the highest grade.
Depending on the current electrician’s status, he/she will charge differently. For instance, while an apprentice can take $45 for a particular piece of work, a master will ask for no less than $110.
Information to check
It's extremely important to find a reliable, licensed, and insured electrician. An incorrect installation or replacement of an electrical system component may cost you dearly, causing a fire or electrocution. Moreover, if you've hired an uninsured contractor and an accident occurs, the insurance company in all probability will not cover your claim. As for the license for electrician services, the requirements are not identical in different states. You should find out what they are in yours.
If you're going to rewire your house or perform another large-scale project, you may have to obtain consent form the local building department.
Other frequently asked questions
How can I cut down on my electricity bill?
Professionals recommend installing some power-saving items in your home. Those include light dimmers, ceiling fans, and motion sensors.
I've heard I might have to pay when I missed the appointment with an electrician. Is it true?
While we can't generalize, the practice of taking a ‘no call fee’ is commonplace. That will normally equal the amount you'll be charged for the first 60 minutes of the service.
Hiring a professional to tackle electrical issues in a home guarantees safety and quality. Depending on the electrician's experience, difficulty of the task, local regulations, cost of materials, kind and scale of the project, and some other variables, expect to pay from $165 to $510 for electrician services.