Having my house re-wired... good quote?
I just bought a house with my g/f in September of 2008. We spent a lot of money on home inspections on 2 other places we looked at, and didn't really have the money to do one on this house. We are slowly descovering some much need upgrades...
A family member of mine is a general contractor, and he did a home inspection cheap for us, and say our next project should be to have the entire house re-wired, especialy with the upgrades we want to make with some future appliances and what not.
We currently have a lot of empty spaces for new breakers available in our panel box. He says we have the room to get a proper wiring done. Right now, if a breaker where to pop, we would loose multiple rooms at a time. Like, the 3 bedrooms and bathroom on the 2nd floor are all tied on one breaker. The central air unit is on 2 20s and he says it should be at least on 2 40s (the lights dim when the A/C kicks on). Our house is pretty old and has gone through some updates over the years, but a proper wiring was never done apparently. And there are some querky things we want changed.
For instance, it is only a 2 wire setup so nothing is grounded apparently. We have no light fixtures installed in the living room (we use lamps, we have nothing in the cieling and what not), no lights in the master bedroom, one bedroom has the light switch on the far wall so you have to walk all the way across the dark room to turn it on, ect.
One of the things this house had a lot of, was Skonses in the bedrooms. Whoever took them out did a terrible job on the wires for them. There where 3 of them in the master bedroom, and after they covered them with the plates, they wall papered over them. Today, we had to peel the paper off of them to get acces to them, because it was labled a saftey issue that they where covered. Some of the wires where frayed. A couple where taped with masking tape instead of electricle, and none where capped at all. For some reason, a couple of them where sadered together, witch my cousin (the one doing the work) says was the worse thing he has ever seen.
So over all, with future appliances/upgrades we want, new switches for lights, new cieling lights put in, ect, he is suggesting we just rewire the entire house. He wants to put each room on its own breaker, and all major appliances on thier own breakers where he can, and of course run a grounded system. With the basment, and all the rooms in the house, we have 9 rooms and a 2 story garage total. He is offering to do it for $1300.00 and that includes all materials and labor. Is this worth it?? I'm sure if we hired a 'pro' we didn't know, it would be more. But he just moved back from CA where he built several places from the ground up and did all the work himself. So I trust his work for sure. Just looking for other opinions on this... I trust his judgment on everything, especialy with him being close family. But we were curious what it would cost on a "pro install" price tag.
Thanks in advance for any replies!
No EC would give a price without going to the site first and it will be impossible for anyone here to tell you a ballpark price just from being online.
A few words of warning however...
This is a LARGE amount of electrical work and because you are having someone else (a GC) do this work they MUST pull a permit and have all this work inspected. Depending on your location a General Contractor may not be able to do the work.
If all this work is performed and then (*knock on wood*) the house catches on fire the insurance company will see the new electrical and if no permit was pulled... there goes your policy. Even if the electrical isn't to blame it WILL be the scapegoat.
I do not mean to imply anything but I just want to throw that out there first.
1. The AC unit MUST be on it's own two pole breaker. It CANNOT be on two separate breakers unless they are mechanically connected together with a tie (I assume they are not because you do not mention that).
1b. The lighting dimming may or may not be related to the current wiring. Even with the upgrades the lights may dim due to the startup current draw of the AC unit.
2. You are correct in that the bathroom needs to be on it's own circuit (GFCI protected as well).
3. It is common practice to have multiple bedrooms on one circuit still but if this is just for convince and for possible expansion so be it. But there is no code violation.
Sounds like alot of work.... as i said no one can give you a price but IMO that seems VERY low! Does he include all the AFCI and GFCI breakers you will need? Are permit/inspection fees in there?
If no permits are going to be pulled i would thank them for the help in the inspection and call someone else because as stated before this could be an insurance issue if anything should happen.
How old is the wiring? And how large is the house?
And I agree with Down River - that price sounds very low to me, unless this is a very small house.
While I'm sure you could find some forum somewhere, that someone would answer you with a price. It wouldn't be a valid price. As the others said. Need to see the house and set up to give out a real price.
Next, questions of this type are not within the scope/keeping, of our DIY site.
Please don't ask what contractors would charge. Thank you.
liberty610 (Poster #1, original Poster)
I will just address your concern about the price of the rewiring job, even though this site has a policy of not dealing with price quotes. The price is ridiculously low, and probably doesn't cover most of the major issues that should be addressed as part of the upgrade. A Licensed Electrical contractor would probably charge Ten times the amount. What about the Service? To upgrade that, will involve a lot of expensive material and labor. What about the rest of the house?! And don't forget that even if the upgrade is done on a homeowner's level, the proper permits have to be taken out and the job must be inspected. Otherwise, you might have problems with your Homeowner's Insurance.:yes:!
I agree with spark plug. "ridiculously low" is the perfect term here.
I would also not flat out trust your cousin just because he is family and built two house "from the ground up" by himself. NO ONE knows enough to build a whole house and get everything right and safely to code.
Sure, I could build a whole house myself, but I am not a master of any other trade and don't claim to be. 99% of the "One call does it all" contractors I know are pretty much hacks in half of the trade work they do.
His "The central air unit is on 2 20s and he says it should be at least on 2 40s" vague statement makes me wonder right off the bat. :whistling2:
What's the sq footage of the house ?
What size is your service feed ?
Is he licensed & insured in PA ?
Think long & hard about someone rewiring your entire house
Get several itemized local quotes & check references
This site is geared towards DIY, not cost estimates
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