Like everything else in life, the cost of rewiring a home in Los Angeles comes in many shades of grey. And to be honest, this is the first question that comes to mind for those looking to remodel their home, and for first time home buyers looking at purchasing a fixer upper. That often means replacing outdated or damaged wiring, or at least adding some new wires to boost your home’s safety and capacity for handling today’s electric loads. At Penna Electric, we get this question a lot and we have some simple answers to help you understand the costs associated with a whole home rewire.
There are many factors that influence the cost of rewiring an old house, here is a quick breakdown of some of the most common:
- The size and age of your house
- Ease of access to the wiring to be updated or replaced
- Materials used
- Whether other projects are involved: are you just replacing the wires, or do you need to update outlets, lighting fixtures, or the electric service panel? Is this part of a larger home improvement project, such as renovating the kitchen?
- Labor involved
- Whether the walls will need to be opened
- Individual electrical rewiring needs: do you need everything replaced, or just a few new wires added in?
Without getting an actual estimate from a licensed electrician, there isn’t a fixed cost to rewire a home. However, we can provide a range based on the size of a home. Below is a ballpark figure for moderate pricing. This is a ballpark figure and prices will vary throughout Los Angeles depending on the electrical contractor you use.
- Small Home (2 bedrooms, 1 bath): $3,000 to $5,000
- Mid-Size Home (3-4 bedrooms, 2 bath): $5,000 to $13,500
- Large Home (4+ bedrooms, 2+ bath): $8,500 to $25,000+
There are ways to reduce the cost of rewiring your home. You should know what materials work best for you. At a minimum, expect the following:
- Copper wire could start as low as $400 and run as high as $3,000 if you need extensive upgrades to outlets and fixtures.
- If one of your service panels needs updating or replacing, it could cost between $800 and $3,500.
- Replacing other devices like outlets, switches or fixtures could cost between $25 and $165 per device.
- Dedicated circuits for larger appliances could cost between $150 and $250 depending on distance and degree of difficulty.
The most expensive part of your estimate will be labor. If you want the job done correctly, make sure your electrician is licensed, bonded and insured. To minimize costs, shop around, get quotes and check the companies reputation with community advice forums or public opinion listing sites. Lookup their electrical contractor’s license via the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) website.
There are several things to think about when determining whether you need to rewire your house.
If you are planning to remodel a kitchen, add a new room, or some other renovation as part of a bigger project, you may need to rewire your home for things like proper grounding to your outlets, under cabinet lights, recessed lighting, or new appliances that require a heavier load or dedicated circuit. Not to mention, this is the most convenient time to procure this work as the walls are likely open and will same time, translating to money in this case.
Your licensed electrician is the best person to ask, always. Upon inspection, a complete assessment will be conducted to thoroughly weigh your options and prioritize the work that needs to be done.
Figuring out whether your eyes were bigger than your stomach will be easy in this case, and you can bite off as much as you would like to chew by taking off items one by one with your contractor .
In these modern times, we rely on a growing number of gadgets and appliances. The comforts of life have begun to be defined through new technologies as well. Thus, functionality and comfort depend on the use of electricity. This unfortunately equates to more wiring as well.
Our tendency towards living large around here means the mom and pop homes of yesteryear aren’t equipped to handle us. The standard home used to be 60 amps in total. While old homes can boast structurally, they now require 200 amps to function well, without half the home going dark at least.
Damaged computers or high def TVs may feel life altering but in reality are the least of the damage to worry about when you take into account the risk of fire or electric shock that can result from poorly equipped homes.
I won’t bore you with what knob-and-tube wiring is, just know it’s what causes most of the aforementioned issues. The problem is so prevalent that removal or augmentation of it with updated wiring is a prerequisite for most home insurance to cover your property.
Seek professional help if any of the following apply:
- Burning smells, sizzling sounds, or dark marks on or around the openings of your outlets, fixtures or most importantly your electrical panel.
- Heat emanating from the surface of outlets,switches, or your electrical panel.
- Needing excessive amounts of extension cords or surge protectors in your space.
- Consistently resetting your breakers and/or replacing your fuses.
If not a little messy. In some cases small notching in your walls will be necessary in order to run the new electrical wires. Most companies will re-patch the area, though you shouldn’t expect it to be paint ready and all of this, as well as the price should be made clear before the work begins.
There may be exceptions to the messier bits. This is why it is vital to shop around. If your electrician knows the tricks of the trade, they may be able to find alternatives that aren’t quite as destructive. You may be able to fish the wires through the walls, or gain access through basements, crawl spaces, or the attic. Any of these, if applicable would save you the cost of longer working hours and tedious task of dusting.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to getting what you need from someone you can trust.
If you are in need of these services, contact Penna Electric Inc. Licensed, insured and serving South County with over 20 years experience and enough A+ referrals to make pops proud.