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Old 12-12-2007, 08:28 PM   #1
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Rewiring a whole house


Two questions for the pros:

(1) Approximately how much should it cost to rewire a 1,000 sq ft 1940's lathe and plaster house from 30amp knob and tube to 200amp breaker?

(2) How much is it likely to cost if the work is done in the SF Bay Area?

We bought a house thinking we could have a panel installed and leave the existing K&T except for rewiring the kitchen and bath. Those lovely people at city hall have decided they will not issue a permit unless all of the K&T is replaced throughout the entire house and detached garage, and the entire place brought up to current code.

I'll post the answer to #2 once I have some more quotes.

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Old 12-12-2007, 08:36 PM   #2
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Those lovely people at city hall have decided they will not issue a permit unless all of the K&T is replaced throughout the entire house

You will thank them later. Somebody has to do it someday so it might as well be you and now.


I'm guessing 7k to 15k. That is quite a range but that's how contracting is.

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Old 12-13-2007, 05:13 PM   #3
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220/221 has a very good point. your house is wired with a non-current wiring method which means everything must go all new everything so it will be quite costly.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by greengiant View Post
We bought a house thinking we could have a panel installed and leave the existing K&T except for rewiring the kitchen and bath.
You should have put in a lower purchase offer on the house that would have reflected updating the wiring.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:28 AM   #5
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I have a somewhat similar home, I believe, but in South Carolina.

The house was estimated to have been built in 1960 (no one has any records of the exact date??).

Our house is mostly the original wiring, but apparently the previous owner did a few things:
Added on a master bath and big rear Florida room with all grounded wiring, including GFCI outlets. Well, it's all grounded except for the dryer power outlet in the master bath - the washer/dryer setup is a small closet within the bathroom.

A few outlets were changed out with 3-prong outlets, but they are not grounded, according to a surge protector or two which show "protected" and "grounded" lights.

The total square footage, including unheated space, but where there is electricity, is about 1700 square feet (1300 heated).

I would like to one day upgrade the wiring in our entire house, and have it all up to code.

Any guesses as to what something like that would cost - just a ballpark estimate.

One more note: about oh 5 years ago, I guess it was, I did get a sort of ballpark quote from an electrician in the area, but he couldn't give me a specific quote without coming out to look (and as I wasn't in the market to get the work done - yet, he was unwilling to look at it to give a quote).

His quote (licensed electrician, actually found through [Something]Magic.com) was about $5,000, and included the following:
1. Rewire existing wiring in house
2. Add a motion light in our detached carport - it's sort of attached, but counts as detached.
3. Rewire a separate 20 X 20 (or about that size) garage/workshop
4. Possibly add in a couple of ceiling light fixtures in our living room/den, where there are no ceiling lights.

Does that sound about accurate for now? Would that $5,000 5 years ago now be about $7,500?

Any thoughts at all would be helpful. I am not currently looking to make any changes, although I would love to. It just doesn't fit into the budget too well right now.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kjv1611 View Post
Does that sound about accurate for now? Would that $5,000 5 years ago now be about $7,500?
Are you asking people on a website (who haven't seen your house and don't know your area) to tell you whether a sort-of-estimate by an electrician who also hasn't seen your house is on target?
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:17 PM   #7
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Hmm, guess it could kind of sound that way, couldn't it? Sorry.

What I am looking for is (based on the quote from about 5 years ago, and based on what information I can think of) what sort of ideas would you guys THINK it would run. Maybe a high and low - just to have a ballpark.

Best I know, here are some additional details:
Crawl Space with sort of a mini-basement (where the furnace and hot water heater are).
Unfinished attic, but that does have some flooring - well, it's some 2x6s or something nailed down accross a fair portion of the center of the attic to act as flooring - the rest is just open/insullation.

If I remember correctly the house was going to be $3000 or $3500, and then the shop and additional external light brought the total to $5,000.

I was just thinking that number would give a little more background. Not asking guys on the web to say yay or nay to what I got from a local contractor/electrician.

I hope that helps clear it up a little bit.

One more thought: For the Main/Sub box(es), this is what I have:
1 switch box on the outside of the house
1 30 amp fuse box in the kitchen, which I know controls the kitchen, a/c unit and/or furnace, as well as at least one external light). I know this because I once had to replace one of the bus fuses. Not a comforting thought, being the box looks like something out of the movie, Frankenstein.
1 additional switch box in the newer bathroom, within the laundry closet. I think the master bath and the newer Florida room are on that box.

The newer additions were probably added between 18 and 20 years ago (they said "about 12 years" ago when we moved in, and that was 6 years ago).

Also, the switchbox in the laundry closet has some labels if I remember correctly, but I don't remember there being any labels on the other two boxes.

The previous home owner who was apparently good at doing things with his hands - did all sorts of thigns in the home, as well as other things he did for his job(s), etc - did some things great, and in my opinion (just as the home owner) some things not so great. My biggest thing that I just can't figure out for the life of me is why would you install new wiring in new construction, and ground all of it EXCEPT for the dryer outlet? Maybe there is a logical explanation, but I just can't figure it.

Anyway, any thoughts/suggestions/ballpark ideas would be appreciated. Of course I'm not going to an electrician, and say, these guys online said you ought to charge me this.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:48 PM   #8
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Rewiring a whole house


Greengiant- Get at least 3 reputable local estimates (obtained from electricians through friends, colleagues, anyone that has used their services) to make up your mind regarding the cost for this project. Local codes may affect the pricing and any estimate given on a message board would likely be a general guess.
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Old 01-08-2008, 02:58 PM   #9
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KJV1611: It depends a little on what part of the state you are in and what the going rates are in that area. Here in the upstate of SC that job could be anywhere from $10k to $16K, depending on access, type of wall covering, number of can lights, etc.

Up until the 1996 code cycle, you were permitted to run a dryer (and range) with three insulated wires, connecting the dryer (range) ground to the neutral, as long as the circuit originated in the main service panel.
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:13 PM   #10
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Round here, I don't think it would cost anything less than $12k. The question I wonder is, why? My house is 1962 and the wiring armored cable and, I like the stuff. Very well protected, and grounded. You shouldn't have knob and tube. The only thing I have to do when updating or expanding and using the existing armored cable is make sure I use metal boxes. Makes grounding switches and outlets easy, they're grounded through the metal box which is grounded through the armored sheath. Anyway, I wouldn't update all the wiring in a 60's house.

Last edited by Piedmont; 01-08-2008 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:03 PM   #11
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$7500 if I get to rape and pillage your sheetrock and/or plaster and not have to fix it.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:28 PM   #12
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I'm almost done completely rewiring a 2400 sq foot house (myself). Whatever you think it will cost, you're wrong....it's more.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by steve1234 View Post
Whatever you think it will cost, you're wrong....it's more.

Hey Steve.... I'm a romex cowboy. Bet I can run it quicker, easier, and more profitably than you. That is just a guess, though. Pics?
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:41 PM   #14
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I do not doubt that you can pull romex quicker, easier, better, stronger, faster....... and I'm sure my wife would agree. I have more time than cash, so I pull wires. I also have friends with skills that need my help on their projects, so they pull wires too!!

It's been a few weeks since I've taken some pics. I'll shoot some tonight and post up tomorrow......
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:59 PM   #15
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I do not doubt that you can pull romex quicker, easier, ...and I'm sure my wife would agree....

It's been a few weeks since I've taken some pics. I'll shoot some tonight and post up tomorrow......
Only quicker and easier, bro. . Wife HOT? Bonk will be pissed.

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