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Old 02-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #1
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estimating value for electrical permit


I have to put a value/cost on my application for my electrical permit. I am doing all the work (local code allows me to pull the permit as a homeowner). I am installing:
- 3 new 20 A circuits;
- 10 light fixtures;
- around 18 rec;
- 8 3-way switches;

How do I estimate the value of this? Any thoughts?

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Old 02-27-2008, 02:25 PM   #2
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estimating value for electrical permit


Is this for the fee of the permit or just as a requirement? You will need to build a product list anyway before you get started. I would go to the local home store or electrical supply with your list and the number and types of products you need (receptacles, switches, fixtures, cable, boxes, wirenuts etc.) and price them out as to what they will cost you. You could also add a labor cost if the permit allows/expects this. For my home addition my town only wanted a quantity list of outlets and circuits installed, and a very general estimate of cost.

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Old 02-27-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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estimating value for electrical permit


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
I have to put a value/cost on my application for my electrical permit. I am doing all the work (local code allows me to pull the permit as a homeowner). I am installing:
- 3 new 20 A circuits;
- 10 light fixtures;
- around 18 rec;
- 8 3-way switches;

How do I estimate the value of this? Any thoughts?
Often the value of new electrical construction is priced according to the number of "openings". That is, how many boxes. Electricians price anywhere from $15 to $40 per opening. The price of the wire is generally included in this charge. The number of homeruns is charged, and you may pay $150 per ceiling box that is meant to support a heavy fixture of ceiling fan. Recessed can lights may be from $50 to $200 per can.

Let's say $20 an opening, including your light boxes if they are plastic. And $100 per homerun

3 homeruns x $100 = $300
10 lights x $20 = $200
18 recs x $20 = $360
8 sw x $20 = $160

Total, $1020.00

Of course this is way on the low end, but you get the idea. Also, GFCIs are priced more than the opening.

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Old 02-27-2008, 02:47 PM   #4
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estimating value for electrical permit


So, yes. I called the permitting office (its run by MDIA) and they told me I would just need a list of materials.

If I am able to add labor what is the going rate for a thirty-something DIYer?

Seriously, I guess I am also trying to find a 'value' of this sort of job. As in, when we apply for a re-fi in the spring how much value does my permitted job add to the house?

InPhase - thanks for the detailed breakdown. Nice job demystifying it.

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Last edited by Leah Frances; 02-27-2008 at 02:48 PM. Reason: To add a thank you to InPhase 277
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:02 PM   #5
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estimating value for electrical permit


I would state the value as the entire cost of materials only. Your labor is free. It's impossible to pay yourself. If the permit department is hung up on "value" that's because they want to add it, or a % of it to your home's assessment.

If you want to find out how much you've increased your home's value after the work, I suggest you'd need a few quotes from licensed home appraisers. You'll probably find that adding a few circuits and lights to a house doesn't increase it's value one iota, and, depending on what you choose and where you place them... you may actually decrease it's value.
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:07 PM   #6
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estimating value for electrical permit


Just wondering Sparky, how could I decrease the value of the home by adding circuits (seriously, I am not arguing with you, just curious)?

FYI: new circuits are going in to fix a few problems: ungrounded rec masquerading as grounded ones; removal of K&T and its accompanying 60+ year old wiring; insufficient overhead lighting; number and location of recs not to code.

Leah Don't tell me my time isn't worth anything Wade
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
Just wondering Sparky, how could I decrease the value of the home by adding circuits (seriously, I am not arguing with you, just curious)?

FYI: new circuits are going in to fix a few problems: ungrounded rec masquerading as grounded ones; removal of K&T and its accompanying 60+ year old wiring; insufficient overhead lighting; number and location of recs not to code.

Leah Don't tell me my time isn't worth anything Wade

Leah, never assume that every dime you put into a house increases it's value. What you do may well devalue it, in the eyes of a potential homebuyer. Like I said, it depends on exactly what you're doing, and if that has any added value to someone else. (At least, this is how I define value to a tax assessor)

For instance, you might be installing wall sconces, in a small bedroom. But I like tall furniture so, they wouldn't work for me. Or you're installing recessed cans in a circa 1800 period home with original crown mouldings. Bad mistake IMO.

The point is "estimated value" are both very subjective statements. Sure, adding circuits probably won't de-value a house. But to someone else, "Updated electric"might conjur the idea that the overall electric is deficient.
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:06 PM   #8
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estimating value for electrical permit


If this is a remodel where I would be pulling new circuits behind existing wall coverings, it would be in the range of $2500 - $4000, depending on the access.
I should add, if it was my house... $500.
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Last edited by HouseHelper; 02-27-2008 at 07:40 PM. Reason: Added info
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:38 PM   #9
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One hundred dollars.


If they complain, say "two hundred dollars"


You need to learn the magic number as the are probably going to charge you according to the value of the work.
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:15 PM   #10
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estimating value for electrical permit


I agree with 220/221. In my area, permit costs are based on the "value" of the work....keep it low to keep the permit cost down. Any value added to your house will result in increased property tax (in my area).....keep the cost estimation as low as you can get away with. Don't let your ideals of how much value your project is adding to your house (ego) get in the way and cost you in permit fees. Worry about the actuall value you added to the house when you sell it.

Keep track of all the actuall costs you do realize in order to adjust the cost basis of the house when you sell it, just try not to pay for those in permit fees.

When I pulled my permits for a major remodel, I put down a value of $50k. The county guy said NFW I could do this project for $50k. I said I was doing it all myself. His response was that the "value" is based on market rates for the work even if the homeowner is doing everything. That keeps their permit revenues up.

We happened to be there first thing in the morning on a bright sunny day trying to make friends with everybody.....it also happened to be pay day. Everybody was happy and the county engineer let us go with our declared value. He was correct on the NFW, and they could have made a stink which would have cost us in permit fees.

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