How Much Does It Cost to Rewire a Denver Home?
August 03, 2018
If you think your home’s wiring needs to be replaced, you don’t want to sit on the decision too long. Outdated, damaged wiring can lead to electrical fires. That said, keeping your home’s electrical wiring healthy means keeping your home and family safe.
But how much will updating the electrical wiring in your home cost? Well, it depends on a lot of factors but typically, the cost to rewire a Denver home ranges from $2,000 to $20,000.
The main 6 factors that affect the price of whole-home rewiring include:
Size of the home
Accessibility of the wiring
Whether you’re replacing aluminum wiring or just “pigtailing” it
Whether your home has “knob and tube” wiring
Whether your home needs to upgrade the main panel
The electrician you choose
Let’s take a closer look at how these factors affect pricing of whole-home rewiring.
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Cost factor #1: Size of the home
Typically, the larger your home, the more it will cost to rewire it.
Why? Well, it’s simple: A larger home has more wiring to remove and replace. And this means more labor and more materials will be needed to complete the job. The price increases even more if you have various floors (vs a one-story home) because the electrician will need to figure out how to best run the wiring up and down to the different floors.
If your home is under 1,500 square feet, expect to pay $2,000 to $10,000
If your home is 1,500 to 3,000 square feet., expect to pay $2,000 to $15,000
If your home is over 3,000 square feet, expect to pay $2,000 to $20,000
Note: The prices above assume a home with easily accessible wiring that won’t need any additional electrical upgrades.
Cost factor #2: Accessibility of the wiring
If your home’s wiring is easy to access, the cost to rewire it will be considerably lower. Wiring that’s easy to access makes the job easier and quicker, which lowers the cost of labor.
So what do we mean by “easy to access”? Well, typically, if the home has at least 16 to 20 inches of crawlspace and/or a basement/attic that’s accessible, the wiring will be considered “easily accessible”.
Having an accessible crawl space/attic/basement allows the electrician to run wiring to the lowest and highest floors of the home without cutting into walls. This method is called “fishing” and is ultimately the cheaper method of removing/replacing wiring versus cutting into the walls.
Cost factor #3: Whether you’re installing new wiring or just “pigtailing” existing aluminum wiring
If your home has aluminum wiring, you’ll want to replace it eventually. But rewiring a home with aluminum wiring can be done in 2 ways, you can either:
Replace all of the aluminum wiring with new copper wiring (more expensive)
Repair the aluminum wiring by “pigtailing” it (less expensive)
Replacing aluminum wiring means to take out all the of the aluminum wires in the home and install new copper wiring. Replacement is the more expensive option because it requires removing walls and bringing all new wiring up to code.
Repairing or “pigtailing” the existing aluminum wiring is the less expensive option because it does not require removing walls/drywall. Instead, only the wiring at connection points (i.e. outlets, switches, fixtures, etc.) is updated with copper wiring.
Want to learn more about these 2 rewiring options? Just check out our in-depth blog on this subject, “How Much Does It Cost to Repair or Replace Aluminum Wiring?”.
Cost factor #4: Whether your home has “knob and tube” wiring
If your home has “knob and tube” wiring, your whole-home rewiring cost will increase.
Knob and tube wiring is an outdated wiring method that involved running copper wiring through black tubes that were held in place by nailed-in porcelain “knobs”. Because knob and tube wiring has no ground wire and because the wire insulation degrades over time, most electricians will suggest completely removing the system to prevent electrical fires.
Removing knob and tube wiring raises your overall cost, though, because electricians will have to manually cut out the individual tubes and knobs, which is extremely tedious.
Cost factor #5: Whether your home needs an electrical panel upgrade
If your home’s electrical panel needs to be upgraded, the cost of the whole-home rewiring job may increase by $3,500+.
Unfortunately, most homes that need to be rewired also need to upgrade their main electrical panel. Why? Well, in most cases, an older home that needs rewiring also has an electrical panel that provides less than 100 amps. For example, most homes built in or before the 1960s have 60-amp panels.
Most homes today, though, require at least a 100-amp or 200-amp panel to satisfy the electrical load of most modern electronics. Also, the NEC (National Electric Code) requires that homes have at least a 100-amp panel. So, if your home has an electrical panel that provides less than 100 amps, you’ll need to upgrade your electrical panel.
Cost factor #6: The electrician you choose
Typically, the higher the skill and the more experience an electrician has, the more they’ll charge.
That said, don’t choose an electrician based on who offers the lowest price. This will likely lead to costly repeat work or worse—an electrical fire. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Our suggestion is to get quotes from various electricians and stay away from any contractors who offer much lower prices than others.
Once you’ve crossed off any low-priced electricians, vet the remaining professionals according to whether:
They work for a licensed and insured electrical company
They operate from a physical building (vs out of a truck)
They offer upfront pricing in writing
They can provide you with references from past satisfied customers
They have at least 5 years’ experience with whole-home rewiring
Need more help finding a qualified professional electrician to rewire your Denver area home? Just check out our tips in “How to Find the Best Electrician in Denver, CO”.