N & N Electric - Your Electricians in the Dane, Rock, Sauk and Columbia counties area
N & N Electric is a locally-family owned business focused on serving the Dane, Rock, Sauk and Columbia counties. We are committed to building strong relationships with every customer we serve. We are proud of the work we do, and we want everyone we serve to feel confident in the work we do. Please let us know if you would like us to inspect a home or building you recently purchased, or provide a bid for some electrical work you may need. You’ll find our rates are very competitive with other local contractors, and we are very confident you’ll be satisfied with the work we provide. We focus on all residential services.
The wiring of your home or company is important. By employing the right technology you not only save money and energy, but also gain peace of mind. N & N Electric is a state certified licensed electrical contractor and for nearly the past 15 years our electricians have specialized in residential new construction for the areas leading home builders. Our objective is to provide a high quality product in a timely manner with competitive pricing, and we have consistently been recognized for our excellence in scheduling and service. Currently, we provide quality services in residential new construction, remodels, and service work all throughout Dane County, and we look forward to the opportunity to expand our services to new locations within Southern Wisconsin.
N & N Electric specializes in residential remodels and new construction. Our company objective is to provide a high quality product in a timely manner with competitive pricing. We currently are serving active communities all throughout Southern Wisconsin and are continually looking to expand our services to new locations. If you are a home builder and are interested in receiving more information or a competitive bid for an upcoming community, contact our service department
N & N Electric of Edgerton
| N & N Electric of Cottage Grove|
3020 Pheasant Run, Cottage Grove, WI 53527
|N & N Electric of Deerfield|
13 Greenwood St, Deerfield, WI 53531
|N & N Electric of Janesville|
1915 S Marion Ave, Janesville, WI 53546
| N & N Electric of Lone Rock|
255 E Richland St, Lone Rock, WI 53556
|N & N Electric of Madison|
7182 US-14, #704, Middleton, WI 53562
Our average service call repair is 1.5 hours
If you are like everyone else these days, you’re trying to come up with ways to lower your electric bill. And although there are some areas that have been subject to slightly warmer winters or cooler summer conditions, the habit of manipulating things within our homes to achieve an ideal temperature is always there. But don’t succumb to that temptation! All you need to do to lower your electric bill this winter is to be mindful of a few simple tips. HERE ARE 10 WAYS TO LOWER YOUR ELECTRIC BILL Table of Contents 1. Use a programmable thermostat. 2. Extra-insulate your home. 3. Wear comfortable clothing. 4. Replace your air filter. 5. Lower the temperature on the water heater. 6. Balance Electricity use by using appliances strategically. 7. Save Electricity by Washing clothes in cold water. 8. Reduce Heat Waste by Checking doors and windows for leaks. 9. Check that your appliances work properly. 10. Consider a prepaid electric bill plan. 1. Use a programmable thermostat. The source of our largest expense at home is heating and cooling, but based on external temperature and personal preference, it can be subject to large spikes. You can reduce the energy you consume and lower your electric bill by resisting the urge to turn up the heat or turn the thermostat down, but when that isn’t enough you should consider installing a programmable thermostat. With this device, you can simply program the temperature according to time of day without the need for adjusting it manually. This will allow the thermostat to make the changes automatically which will not only help your home to be more energy efficient, it also allow you to circumvent some of the traditional expenses of heating and cooling. This can be done by having your thermostat set the temperature to more cost-effective levels during periods in which no one is home or when you’re asleep. This will save you money and is even better because you can have your thermostat ready to set things right for the time you awake or arrive home. 2. Extra-insulate your home. In the winter months, the bitter cold of the outside temperature can threaten the comfort within homes. There can be many causes for this but one of the most prevalent stems from poor insulation. Insulation is the protection that enables your home to maintain its temperature, both the heat during the cold months and the cool during the summer months. And because of its capability, insulation enables you to save energy and ultimately money. As a result, it is important to check the insulation in your home, from your walls to your pipes, to reduce the need for heating and to cut the cost of your electric bill. You can even wrap extra insulation around pipes to give your water heater a break from working so hard during the winter months and to prevent the pipes from freezing. 3. Wear comfortable clothing. One of the most effective ways to keep yourself comfortable within your home throughout the year without spending a lot of money is to dress up or down based on the temperature. While in the comfort of your own home, don’t hesitate to bundle up a bit more in the winter or go for short sleeves and a pair of shorts in the summer and spring. As you make the adjustment to your attire, you can manage how you’re feeling without utilizing any electricity-draining appliances or devices to regulate the temperature. This will keep you feeling cozy while still preventing you from running up your electric bill unnecessarily. 4. Replace your air filter. As you go about doing your housekeeping, be sure to keep an eye on your air filter. The purpose of the air filter is to catch debris like dust, pollen, and lint, and circulate the clean air throughout the cooling and heating system. This helps to keep the HVAC in proper working order which is the key to energy-efficient central air and heating systems. The process of replacing your air filters also helps to ensure your system is working optimally, which utilizes less energy than a system with dirty filters. This reduces the work your HVAC system has to do, in turn saving energy and lowering the amount you’ll have to pay on your electric bill. 5. Lower the temperature on the water heater. Coming in a close second to the cost of heating and cooling within the home is the water heater. This is the appliance that is responsible for distributing hot water to sinks and showers, along with laundry machines and dishwashers. A portion of the expense comes from the heater maintaining a store of warm water in a tank. There are tankless water heaters, however the majority within homes come with a tank. By lowering the temperature a few degrees, you can shave some money off your electric bill. The ideal temperature for heaters to be set at is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In the event you ever go on vacation or are spending an extended period of time away from your home, turning off the water heater while you’re gone is another way you can save money. 6. Balance Electricity use by using appliances strategically. Using your appliances strategically can be very helpful when striving to lower your electric bill as it often allows us to be more efficient with the things we do. This can be seen in a number of contexts, as everything from the dishwasher to the laundry machines can be gamed to reduce their expense. One example of this is drying loads of clothing consecutively rather than waiting between loads, which minimizes energy consumption because the unit remains warmer longer. Even when you’re doing dishes you can lower your electric bill by fully loading the machine before washing instead of only partially filling it. Strategies can vary, especially based upon your current consumption behaviors, but doing your best to use them wisely is a surefire way to put money back in your pocket. 7. Save Electricity by Washing clothes in cold water. The process of washing clothing involves a lot and when it comes to energy, there are several ways to make it more efficient. One of the best methods for doing so involves adjusting the temperature of the water you use when washing your garments. In order to provide warm water to your washer, the water heater has to work hard and use a considerable amount of electricity. This energy use can be mitigated however by washing your clothes in cold water. It is still an effective means of cleaning your wardrobe but it won’t cost you as much to do so. 8. Reduce Heat Waste by Checking doors and windows for leaks. It is absolutely essential to check your doors and windows for leaks, openings, and broken seals. Over time these openings appear in our home and can go undetected, having a number of effects on our environment with the most profound likely being their contribution to a high electric bill. Caulking, weatherstripping or replacing seals on your windows and doors as necessary will keep cold air from coming in or hot air from escaping. This will keep you from spending unnecessary money and will improve the overall feel of your home. 9. Check that your appliances work properly. Appliances that don’t work properly are an energy drain on your home. Part of keeping them in tip top condition involves checking them regularly as well as using them. Be sure to check that all appliances are cleaned, repaired, and working properly on a regular schedule. For many larger appliances, a single annual check up is all that is needed and though it may cost you money at the time, the amount you’ll save on needless electricity use and problems that could arise if devices go uninspected is more valuable. If you prefer to simply replace your appliances, be sure to do so with Energy Star models that focus on efficiency. 10. Consider a prepaid electric bill plan. One option not often discussed is the possibility of switching from a long-term contract to a prepaid service plan with an electric company that gives you the option to pay only for the electricity you use. This can be particularly helpful for those trying to cut down on their electricity use or stay within a certain budget as service is only provided up to the point of the payments. Over time, households will be able to track the circumstances of their usage and the causes of spikes in energy use, which can better help them plan and budget for energy use moving forward. As is to be expected, seasonal variation does occur so keeping an eye out for that will prove beneficial in ensuring year-round savings.
Several things could be causing your alarm(s) to alarm briefly or chirp randomly without a regular pattern. Here are some reasons why this could be happening: Loose, or Improperly Installed Battery Refer to the following checklist and determine if one of these conditions might be the cause of your problem: Verify that a battery of the recommended type is securely installed. Make sure to use a battery with a use-by date no later than four to five years in the future. Check that the battery is snapped in completely so it cannot be shaken loose. It is possible that battery connections may not be making good contact with the battery. Disconnecting and re-connecting the battery once or twice will likely fix this. On units with a front-load battery, be sure that the battery compartment door is closed completely as well. Loose white neutral wire can cause an echoing chirp from one unit to the next. Smoke Alarm Sensing Chamber May be Dirty Dust and insects can collect in the sensing chamber of the alarm. An accumulation of dust in the sensing chamber can cause the unit to go off. It's good practice to clean the smoke alarm when you change the battery. Static electricity from the AC quick connector attracts dust and can cause false alarms. To clean your smoke alarm, do the following: Remove your alarm from the mounting bracket as outlined in How to Remove Your Smoke Alarm. Clean the interior of your alarm (the sensing chamber) by using compressed air or a vacuum cleaner hose and blowing or vacuuming through the openings around the perimeter of the alarm. Clean the outside of the alarm by wiping it down with a damp cloth. After cleaning, reinstall your alarm, verify the green LED is on and test your alarm by using the Test button If cleaning does not restore the alarm to normal operation, the alarm should be replaced. Environmental Conditions Refer to the following environmental conditions for possible solutions to an alarm’s random chirping: Humidity, steam and condensation Excess air flow: Check to see if there's a cooling/heating register, a ceiling fan, or an open window within three feet of the alarm. If there is, move the alarm away from the source of the increased airflow. Check your user's manual for the correct placement for the alarm. Temperature - Check the temperature of the room. Smoke alarms operate at 40 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Carbon monoxide alarms operate at 40 degrees to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Causes of condensation are: Extreme temperature changes High ambient humidity Unit being installed in an insulated electrical box mounted on a ceiling beneath an attic If this condition exists, you should move the alarm. View the correct alarm placement in your user's manual. Resetting the Alarm Some smoke alarms have a processor that retains certain error conditions, such as a weak battery. The error condition should reset when the battery is replaced, but sometimes it doesn't and must be manually reset to clear the error. To reset an AC unit with a battery backup, perform the following steps: Turn off the power to the smoke alarm at the circuit breaker. Remove the smoke alarm from the mounting bracket and disconnect the power. Remove the battery. Press and hold the test button for at least 15 seconds. The unit may chirp or alarm for a few seconds before going silent. Reconnect the power and reinstall the battery. The unit will chirp once when the power is restored and should not chirp afterwards. To reset a DC only unit, perform the following steps: Remove the battery. Press and hold the test button for at least 15 seconds. The unit may chirp or alarm for a few seconds before going silent. Reinstall the battery. The unit will chirp when the battery is first connected but should not chirp afterwards. Electrical Condition If the AC power to the unit is interrupted, the unit will chirp when the power is restored. This could be caused by power surges. Refer to the following for specific causes related to an electrical condition: If the chirping seems to occur at about the same time in the evening or morning, it could be due to a surge created when the power company switches electrical grids to meet demand. Check to see if the chirp (or chirping) occurs when something else in the house is turned on, such as an exhaust or attic fan, a heater, etc. If the smoke alarm is connected to a circuit with such a device, the alarm may chirp when the other device is switched on. If this is the case and the device is plugged into a wall outlet, move it to another outlet on a different circuit. If it is a hardwired device, have an electrician investigate it. These conditions can be minimized by installing your alarms on a dedicated circuit in compliance with NFPA requirements. Alarm Needs to be Replaced If none of these conditions exist and the suggestions don't alleviate the symptom, the alarm should be replaced, since age may be a factor. Smoke and heat alarms should be replaced every 10 years, and carbon monoxide and combination alarms should be replaced every 7 years. Most of our alarms have a 5 year warranty from date of purchase (check your user manual). A date code is stamped on the label attached to the back of the unit. If the unit is out of warranty, purchase a replacement product immediately.
An occasional light flicker in your home is normal. But if you’ve noticed flickering that didn’t happen before, has started happening regularly, and/or is severe, you need to investigate. Flickering or blinking lights are usually caused by one of four things: Problem with the bulb (not in tight enough, wrong bulb type for dimmer switch) Loose light plug Faulty light or fixture switch Appliance pulling large amounts of current on startup, causing a voltage drop Or there may be a bigger electrical issue: Sensory overload on a circuit Voltage fluctuations Loose or outdated wiring Problem with the electric utility service Problem with the meter box or main service cable connection Let’s take a look at each. Problem with the Bulb If the flickering is only in one light, first check to make sure the bulb is screwed in tightly. This may seem obvious, but bulbs can come loose over time and lose their connection with the socket. Try tightening the bulb. If that doesn’t work, you may try replacing it. The flickering may be related to the type of bulb. Do you have fluorescent bulbs? They have a tendency to flicker, especially as they power up or in cold temperatures. If your fluorescent lights flicker occasionally, it’s probably nothing to worry about. Do you have LED bulbs? The most common cause of flickering has to do with dimmer switches. Dimmers are made to handle higher electrical loads and don’t always play well with lower-voltage LEDs. More about dimmer switches…they don’t work well with most fluorescent and non-dimmable CFL bulbs. To avoid flickering, make sure you use only dimmable bulbs that are compatible with your switch. Loose Light Plug Is the flickering problem only with one lamp? The problem could be a loose connection between the plug and outlet. Check to see if the lamp’s plug is firmly in the wall socket. If not, try unplugging it, adjusting the metal prongs, and plugging back in again. Faulty Light or Fixture Switch A poor connection between the light or fixture switch and the bulb can cause flickering. Try gently wiggling the switch to see if this causes a flicker. If it does, you’ve found the problem. If your light is already flickering, try toggling the switch on and off and see if this fixes the problem. If it does, the switch is the culprit and should be replaced. Overloaded Circuit Have you noticed that the lights start flickering, blinking or dimming when a major electrical appliance (like your air conditioner or washing machine) comes on? Your problem may be an overloaded circuit—meaning that these appliances are pulling more electrical current than the circuit can handle. If the flickering is infrequent, minor and only happens briefly right when the appliance comes on, this may not be a concern. Large electrical appliances draw more current as they start up. This causes a voltage drop, which results in the flickering or dimming lights. Even in a well-designed electrical system, with large loads on their own circuits, some minor flickering of this nature can happen. The better the system design, the less noticeable it will be. If the flickering happens consistently, is severe and/or doesn’t stop right away, there is a problem. The issue might be with the appliance itself. Bearing failure, for example, will cause the motor to pull more current as it struggles to start. Or, there may be too much sensory overload on the same circuit. Call an electrician to find the source of the problem. Voltage Fluctuation Fluctuating voltage is another cause of flickering lights. Signs include: Lights consistently flicker when you turn on a large appliance Flickering continues after the appliance has stopped running Unpredictable, unexpected dimming Lights burn out frequently Slight fluctuations are normal, but your home should always register between 115 and 125 volts. You can check your home’s voltage using a device called a voltmeter. If your readings average above 125 volts, you’ve found the underlying cause of your flickering lights. An electrician can find the best solution to resolve your voltage problem. Electrical Usage from Neighbors Your home likely shares a transformer with surrounding homes, so their loads impact your electrical supply. A neighbor’s heavy electrical usage could be behind your flickering lights. If the problem doesn’t resolve, an electrician is your best resource for locating the issue. If lights are flickering at your neighbors’ houses, too, there might be a problem with the electric utility service itself. Report it for repair. Loose Wiring Connections Loose wiring can not only cause flickering lights, but is a leading cause of house fires. The problem may be systemic or found in only one location, but is always dangerous. Old and outdated wiring, breakers, switches and connectors are always cause for concern. Outdated wiring is another top cause of house fires. Loose connections in an outlet, light or switch box can cause arcing, where electrical current “jumps” over gaps in the connection. This is a major cause of electrical fires. If a circuit connection is loose, it creates a high resistance point, which in turn creates dangerous point heating. A single loose connection can endanger your entire system. If you’ve noticed an increase in flickering but you haven’t made any changes to your electrical system, loose wiring could be to blame. There are any number of potential problem areas: a switch failure, loose fixture wiring, worn connectors in the breaker box, or loose service conductors in the main electrical panel. Contact an electrician ASAP if you suspect loose wiring or haven’t found another cause for your flickering lights. If the flickering is in only one fixture, you can check it for loose wiring. You must shut off the light at the circuit breaker before removing the fixture. (If you’re not absolutely sure how to do this, do not attempt!) If the fixture appears loose or insecure, call an electrician ASAP to fix. If not, and you haven’t found another cause for the flickering, call an electrician. Wiring problems are not something to ignore. Lights Are Flickering Throughout the House This likely means there’s a problem at the meter box connection or main service cable connection. Call an electrician ASAP. These are high capacity wires and could be a fire hazard. Bottom line: You should never ignore a problem with flickering lights. It may be a simple fix, like a new bulb or fixture switch, but can be a symptom of a larger electrical problem.
A circuit breaker “trips” (shuts off the electrical flow) in order to protect the circuit from overheating. It’s a safeguard that helps prevent damage and electrical fires. If it happens often, there’s a root cause that you need to address. The three most common causes of a tripped circuit breaker are: Overloaded Circuit Short Circuit Ground Fault Overloaded Circuit This is the most common cause of a tripped breaker. It usually happens when you’re running too many power-consuming devices on the same circuit at the same time. The demand, or load, on the circuit is too high, and presto! The breaker trips to prevent overheating. Breaker Box Testing With a little detective work, you can often find the device that’s causing the issue. Before you flip the circuit back on, take note of what was running when the breaker tripped. Can you isolate the appliance that you turned on just before the breaker tripped? Have you recently added a new appliance or device to the circuit? Did you start using a space heater or other seasonal device that you haven’t used in awhile? Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a large device. Flipping on your hair dryer while the circuit is close to its max load can be enough to trip the breaker. Have you noticed that any of your appliances have been running hot, making any strange new noises, having trouble starting, or not working as efficiently? A failing or faulty appliance will draw in more amps than usual, which can cause the circuit to overload. If your appliances are good, there are two solutions for an overloaded circuit: Move power-heavy devices from the overloaded circuit to a different general purpose circuit Turn off some of the devices on the circuit to reduce the load If this doesn’t resolve the issue, you may need to have an electrician install a new dedicated circuit and outlet to handle your home’s amp load. Short Circuit A more dangerous potential cause of a tripped breaker is a short circuit. A short circuit is caused when a “hot” or active wire touches either another hot wire or a “neutral” wire in one of your outlets. This results in a large current flow, creating more heat than the circuit can handle. A short circuit should cause a breaker to trip or a fuse to blow. It may also cause sparks, popping sounds or even smoke. You may observe blackening around the outlet or notice a burnt smell. If this happens, leave the circuit breaker tripped and call an electrician immediately. What causes a short circuit? There are many potential culprits, including a loose connection, improper wiring, or damaged wires. A faulty switch, plug, cord, appliance or lighting fixture may be to blame. Some are simple fixes, others more complex. Short circuits are a fire hazard, so don’t wait to address the problem—call an electrician. Ground Fault Safety is paramount in dealing with any electrical issue, whether big or small. Do NOT attempt to inspect or repair any electrical issue unless you’re sure it’s safe and you’re certain of the process. When in the slightest doubt, call an electrician. Unless you’re dealing with a simple overloaded circuit, you will usually need a professional’s help to safely resolve circuit breaker problems. A ground fault is similar to a short circuit. It occurs when a hot wire touches the grounding wire. Like a short circuit, you may notice discoloration or a burning smell around your outlets. Ground faults are usually the result of damaged or faulty equipment. They are also dangerous, as they render the safe “grounding” of your outlet useless. If you suspect a ground fault, call an electrician ASAP! Safety First In the Dane or Rock county area give us a call 608-316-6122
A circuit breaker “trips” (shuts off the electrical flow) in order to protect the circuit from overheating. It’s a safeguard that helps prevent damage and electrical fires. If it happens often, there’s a root cause that you need to address. The three most common causes of a tripped circuit breaker are: Overloaded Circuit Short Circuit Ground Fault Overloaded Circuit This is the most common cause of a tripped breaker. It usually happens when you’re running too many power-consuming devices on the same circuit at the same time. The demand, or load, on the circuit is too high, and presto! The breaker trips to prevent overheating. Breaker Box Testing With a little detective work, you can often find the device that’s causing the issue. Before you flip the circuit back on, take note of what was running when the breaker tripped. Can you isolate the appliance that you turned on just before the breaker tripped? Have you recently added a new appliance or device to the circuit? Did you start using a space heater or other seasonal device that you haven’t used in awhile? Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a large device. Flipping on your hair dryer while the circuit is close to its max load can be enough to trip the breaker. Have you noticed that any of your appliances have been running hot, making any strange new noises, having trouble starting, or not working as efficiently? A failing or faulty appliance will draw in more amps than usual, which can cause the circuit to overload. If your appliances are good, there are two solutions for an overloaded circuit: Move power-heavy devices from the overloaded circuit to a different general purpose circuit Turn off some of the devices on the circuit to reduce the load If this doesn’t resolve the issue, you may need to have an electrician install a new dedicated circuit and outlet to handle your home’s amp load. Short Circuit A more dangerous potential cause of a tripped breaker is a short circuit. A short circuit is caused when a “hot” or active wire touches either another hot wire or a “neutral” wire in one of your outlets. This results in a large current flow, creating more heat than the circuit can handle. A short circuit should cause a breaker to trip or a fuse to blow. It may also cause sparks, popping sounds or even smoke. You may observe blackening around the outlet or notice a burnt smell. If this happens, leave the circuit breaker tripped and call an electrician immediately. What causes a short circuit? There are many potential culprits, including a loose connection, improper wiring, or damaged wires. A faulty switch, plug, cord, appliance or lighting fixture may be to blame. Some are simple fixes, others more complex. Short circuits are a fire hazard, so don’t wait to address the problem—call an electrician. Ground Fault Safety is paramount in dealing with any electrical issue, whether big or small. Do NOT attempt to inspect or repair any electrical issue unless you’re sure it’s safe and you’re certain of the process. When in the slightest doubt, call an electrician. Unless you’re dealing with a simple overloaded circuit, you will usually need a professional’s help to safely resolve circuit breaker problems. A ground fault is similar to a short circuit. It occurs when a hot wire touches the grounding wire. Like a short circuit, you may notice discoloration or a burning smell around your outlets. Ground faults are usually the result of damaged or faulty equipment. They are also dangerous, as they render the safe “grounding” of your outlet useless. If you suspect a ground fault, call an electrician ASAP! Safety First
Lights are an important part of our holiday celebrations, but each year decorative lighting is responsible for numerous home fires, property damage, injuries and even deaths across the nation. To avoid disasters like these in and around your home, here are some safety tips you can follow to make sure you and yours have a safe and happy holiday season. Christmas Trees Keep your tree away from any heat sources like space heaters and fireplaces. Don’t use lit flames on or near your tree, wrappings or decorations. For live trees, cut a couple inches off the tree base before putting it into a tree stand with water to make sure the tree absorbs the moisture. Refill the water in the tree stand every day so that it never runs dry. If you purchase a live tree, make sure it is fresh and not already dried up. Fresh trees will stay alive longer and are less of a fire hazard. Indoor/Outdoor Lighting Overloading outlets with too many devices can cause overheating and lead to a fire. Make sure all electrical cords aren’t pinched by windows, doors or furniture. Limit your incandescent lighting strand connections to three together at once. More than that can cause problems, so plan your decorating accordingly. Don’t mount outdoor lights in a way that could damage the insulation in the string and cause electrical shorts. Unplug decorations before replacing any bulbs or fuses. If you’re purchasing new lights, LED lights run cooler and use less energy than incandescent lights. Check all your electrical decorations for cracks, loose connections or bare wires which can lead to fires or severe shocks. Never leave your holiday lights on when you’re not at home or going to bed. Try not to leave candles unattended. If you use candles, consider battery-operated candles as a safer alternative. Don’t leave open flames such as fireplaces unattended. Extinguish all flames when leaving the room or the house. Only purchase your electrical decorations from trustworthy sources. If electronic decorations are getting old and worn, consider fixing or simply retiring them. Fire Extinguishers If your home doesn’t have a fire extinguisher, consider getting at least one for every level. If you do have one, be sure to check the label for an expiration date, and check the pressure gauge to make sure it is still functional. Most home fire extinguisher have to be replaced every 5-10 years. Be sure everyone in the home knows how to use the fire extinguisher in case of an emergency.
In the U.S., receptacles with “test” and “reset” buttons in the middle are a common sight, but what do these GFCI outlets actually do, and why do we need them? The short answer is, ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) detect and protect us from electrical shock. GFCIs are sometime referred to as GFI. How Do They Work? GFCI receptacles monitor the flow of electricity flowing out of the outlet, through the connected equipment, and back into the outlet. If the amount coming in doesn’t equal the amount going out, the circuit trips, stopping the electricity’s flow. This can happen in as little as 1/30th of a second and be triggered by a difference as small as 4 milliamps. When a person is shocked, some of the electricity flows through their body and out through any surfaces they are touching. That means not all of the electricity that goes out of an outlet comes back in. With a normal electrical receptacle, the electricity would just keep flowing, resulting in electrocution. A GFCI outlet, however, would detect that some of the electricity is flowing where it shouldn’t and then trip the circuit to stop the current before a serious shock can occur. GFCI vs. AFCI Outlets Both types of electrical receptacles are safety devices, but they each serve a different purpose. GFCIs protect people from electrical shock resulting from a ground fault, which is when electricity finds a path to the ground through an unintended path, such as a human body. Arc fault circuit interrupters protect homes and other structures from fires caused by wiring problems. GFI Outlet Where Should GFCI Outlets Be Installed? The general rule of thumb is to install GFCI outlets in any electrical receptacle near water, including kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoors. Each city or community has its own code that determines where the GFCIs are required, so check with your local building authority if you’re unsure whether your outlets are up to code. In Sedgwick County, Kansas, electrical code changes adopted in 2014 added requirements for GFCI outlets for 125-volt receptacles that are within 6 feet of a shower or bathtub, as well as in all laundry rooms, inside garages, on outlets where dishwashers, central vacuums, and single-phase pool pump motors are connected, as well as other areas. Test Monthly Like any electronic component, GFCI outlets can wear out over time, so it’s important to test them monthly to make sure they’re working correctly. Even if the outlet itself works, that doesn’t mean the circuit interrupter itself will work when you need it. Testing a GFCI receptacle is easy – just push the “test” button. If everything’s working correctly, the “reset” button will pop up. If it doesn’t, the outlet should be replaced. Resources found on our website are provided as general guidelines, and Reddi Industries does not assume any liability resulting from the provided information.
Do you have a light switch in your home that isn’t working properly? If you have a screwdriver, voltage tester, insulated pliers and a wire connector you can troubleshoot your light switch to determine the problem and, if necessary, replace the switch. A light switch is inexpensive and has small parts entirely contained inside a plastic casing, so if the switch is bad the best option is to replace it. But before you replace it you need to determine whether it is the light switch that is faulty or if the wiring is the problem. Diagnosing Light Switch Problems If the light switch isn’t working at all, there may be no power to the circuit. Make sure the breaker to the switch is on in your breaker box and determine whether there are any other tripped outlets and switch them on as well. This is the simplest solution you’ll want to try first that may fix the issue. If the light had been flickering, however, you’ll probably need to go a bit further. The problem may be a loose connection or a tripped wall outlet on the same circuit. The first thing you’ll need to do is turn off power to the light switch before handling it. When you’re sure the breaker is off, remove the cover plate and unscrew the switch. With your insulated pliers, pull the switch out of the electrical box making sure to keep your hands and tools well clear of the terminals. Use a voltage tester to see if the terminals are receiving power. First, make sure your voltage tester is working by inserting the leads into a working outlet to verify that it’s getting a reading. If it’s working, test the switch by touching a lead from the voltage tester to the green ground screw and the other lead to a brass terminal. If the light stays off or the meter reads zero, move the lead to the other brass terminal. If you still get no reading, it’s safe to handle the switch. Pull on the black wires coming from the switch to determine if they are tightly connected. If one is loose, tighten down its terminal screw until it’s secure. Then screw the switch back into the electrical box and turn on the breaker to test it. If the light works, screw the cover plate back in place and you’re done. NOTE: If the wires were indeed loose, inspect the switch to determine whether it shows signs of melted plastic. If this is the case, you’ll also need to replace the switch because it has been damaged by electric arcing. If neither of the black wires were loose, disconnect both wires from the switch and twist them together with your pliers and screw on your wire connector. Switch on the breaker and if the light now comes on, you likely have a bad switch and need to replace it. If the light still flickers or doesn’t come on when you bypass the switch, the problem could be a loose connection somewhere else in the circuit and you’ll either have to do further investigating or call an expert to diagnose the issue.
Are you wondering why your light bulbs burn out every few weeks or months, and what to do about it? Here are some common causes and solutions for light bulbs that keep burning out, most of which can be addressed without hiring an electrician. Bad Light Bulbs Sometimes the answer is as simple as a bad batch of light bulbs. If you bought a package of bulbs and installed them in different light fixtures but they’re all burning out after only a few weeks or months, this could be the case. Solution: Return the bulbs and/or change to a different brand. The Bulb is Screwed in too Tight Ensuring good contact between the fixture and the light bulb is good, but tightening too much will ruin the fixture-to-bulb connection. You can check for this by looking at the small brass tab inside the light socket. The tab acts like a spring, and it should stick up at about a 30 degree angle. Solution: If the tab is pressed all the way down into the base of the socket, you’ll need to either replace the fixture or possibly bend the tab back up. To fix the tab, turn off the power at the breaker and then use a pair of needle nose pliers to bend it upward. Caution: Don’t stick your finger or any other objects into the socket without turning off the breaker that gives it power first. Note: To prevent the tab from bending again, replace light bulbs while the fixture is on, and only screw in the bulb 1/8th of a turn past the point that it lights up. Wrong Kind of Light Bulbs There’s a small dot of solder on the bottom of a light bulb where it makes contact with the fixture. This dot should always be about the same size, but some cheaper brands don’t have enough solder, which causes arcing that shortens the life of the bulb. Solution: Try the bulb in a different light fixture, and if it has the same problem, simply switch to a different brand of light bulbs. Too Much Vibration Light bulbs in ceiling fans, near entry doors, or in garage door openers may burn out quickly because of vibrations that cause the filament to break in incandescent bulbs. It’s also a common issue for CFLs. Solution: Reduce vibrations by making sure the fixture is secure, and then change to LED bulbs, which don’t have a filament, or “rough service” incandescents, which are made to withstand more vibration. Bulbs Are Overheating If the bulb’s wattage is higher than what’s recommended for the fixture, it can create too much heat inside the globe. This will reduce the life of the bulb and cause it to burn out prematurely. Solution: When installing new bulbs, always make sure they have fewer watts than what’s recommended on the light fixture or socket. In the case of can or recessed lights, make sure there’s no insulation covering the fixture from above and blocking air flow. Dimmer Switches that Aren’t Compatible with the Bulbs If light bulbs burn out frequently in a fixture that has a dimmer switch, the switch itself could be the culprit. Older dimmer switches were made to use with incandescent bulbs, and they can damage the circuitry in the bottom of CFL and LED bulbs. Solution: If you’ve recently changed to CFL or LED bulbs, installing a new dimmer switch that’s made to work with them should take care of the problem. Turning Off and On Too Often This can be an issue for CFL bulbs, because the electrodes get stressed every time the light is turned on, causing them to degrade over time. So a CFL bulb that’s rated for 10,000 hours of use might only last for 3,000 hours if it’s only turned on for a few minutes at a time. Solution: Replace CFLs with LED bulbs in lights that are usually only on for a short time, such as the bathroom, motion-sensing light fixtures, and closets. Loose or Improperly Connected Fixtures or Wiring This is one problem that may require the expertise of a professional. Loose wiring in a light fixture or the junction box it’s connected to can cause the voltage going to the bulb to vary, which wears out bulbs quickly. Solution: Shut off the power at the breaker, and then remove the fixture. The wires inside the junction box should all be connected tightly with wire nuts. Or, have an electrician inspect the wiring for you. Voltage in the Home is Too High If the problem with frequent burned out bulbs seems to be throughout your entire home, the problem could be with fluctuations in the electrical service to the house. The electrical current flowing into your house should be at a steady 120 volts. Even a small amount of variation can damage light bulbs, appliances, and other electrical components.
Outlet failure is a common problem homeowners face. Usually, an outlet won’t work properly because there is a wiring issue but there are four other common reasons for only half of an electrical outlet working. For example, you may have one of the following: A switched plug An outlet that was set up with backstabbed wiring A wire nut that wasn’t used properly The wrong type of metal wire was used Read how these may affect your outlet and more importantly when to call a professional. Switched Plugs First of all, check if you have switched outlet. Most homes have duplex outlets that allow you to plug two devices into them at once. A half-hot (or switched) outlet is a duplex outlet that only has one plug permanently “on” while the other half is turned on and off by an ordinary wall switch. This kind of outlet is commonly found in modern construction and in rooms that do not have an overhead light. For example, switch outlets are usually in living rooms and bedrooms where you would need to plug a lamp into the switched side of the outlet. This allows you to easily turn a lamp on and off with a flip of a wall switch. Backstabbed Wiring There are two ways to wire a standard plug or switch. The right way is to curl the wire around the screw and tighten the screw down. The wrong way is to backstab the wire by pushing it into the connector that grabs the wire inside. This creates a loose connection that will easily burn out. This can be checked without the help of a professional but if it needs to be fixed, hiring a professional is suggested. To check, take off the outlet plate and remove the receptacle from the outlet box. You should then see if the wires were wrapped properly or backstabbed. Incorrect Use of Wire Nuts Technically, a wire nut is designed to keep all wires together and covered. Some electricians use wire nuts to make a connection between wires. Not using them properly will cause an outlet to stop functioning properly. Call a professional to have your wires properly connected. Wrong Type of Metal Wires Aluminum and copper are the two main types of metal used for wires. Copper is stronger and most devices are rated for copper wiring. Aluminum is brittle, easily breaks and has more resistance to electricity. High resistance causes heat to build up inside the outlet and burns up the wiring.
Our Madison electricians serve the greater Madison area from the Wisconsin Dells to Janesville and Beloit, including: Madison Waunakee DeForest Sun Prairie Fitchburg Middleton Verona Monona McFarland Stoughton Wisconsin Dells Baraboo Sauk City Stoughton Janesville Beloit
Most states call for 100 amps minimum, but with all the new electronic devices, air conditioning and electric heat, I would suggest 200 amps especially in new homes. This also gives you some space for future additions. This is not a job for an unlicensed person to attempt. In most cases it involves replacing everything from the service loop (this is the wire that extends from the top of your meter to the utility tie in ) up to and including the main panel.
G.F.I. – Ground fault circuit interrupter. It is an electrical wiring device that disconnects a circuit whenever it detects that the electric current is not balanced between the energized conductor and the return neutral conductor. Such an imbalance may indicate current leakage through the body of a person who is grounded and accidentally touching the energized part of the circuit. A lethal shock can result from these conditions. GFCIs are designed to disconnect quickly enough to prevent injury caused by such shocks. They are not intended to provide protection against over-current (overload) or short-circuit conditions. AFCI – BPU – NEC – National Electric Code
There are three grades of outlet on the market. Homeowner grade, the cheapest, is the commonest type of outlet for installation in a builder-grade home. However, they are flimsy and tend to wear out in 5-10 years at the most. When you install or replace electrical outlets, go for commercial grade instead – these cost about 50 percent more than the cheaper kind, but the financial difference is insignificant and they will last 100 years under typical home use conditions. Hospital grade are very expensive, costing ten times the price of homeowner quality, and are really not necessary; they are designed for never-fail use in medical facilities, for example to power breathing machines.
This very important addition to modern electric outlets is there to ensure your safety. It is a ground built in to the outlet in order to prevent contact between a hot wire and a neutral one, thereby avoiding the danger of electric shock or fire. If you move into an older house, you will need to install these outlets to replace the old ones.
This is a type of electric outlet that the NEC (National Electric Code) requires to be installed in all newly constructed or renovated residences as of 2008. It is designed to protect children from shock and burns as the result of their sticking small metal objects (for example, paper clips or keys) into the receptacle.
Yes, you can purchase specially manufactured weather-resistant electrical receptacles. These are subjected to extra stringent requirements and tested for their resistance to factors such as exposure to intense cold or ultra-violet light.
Both devices, either breaker or fuse, are designed to trip (turn off) in the event of an electrical overload, i.e. 20amps of electrical load on a 15amp circuit would cause a trip. The only difference is that a breaker is mechanical and may be reset, whereas, a fuse is one time only and must be replaced. Please Note: Modern breakers are much more efficient and offer greater levels of protection.
Turn the breaker completely off and then completely on. Some breakers will look like they are not tripped, but could be in the neutral stage, which still does not allow them to function as if they were completely on. A way to help determine this, is to turn every breaker completely off and then on.
Surges are created by lightning or from the local power station. Sometimes, a surge of electricity can flood out to the residents from the power station. A surge protector helps to protect your electrical devices from a power surge. Usually, surge protectors are used for electronic devices such as computers and flat screen televisions. If you appreciate your electronic devices and want them to perform efficiently without having to worry about replacing them, you may want to consider protecting your devices with a surge protector.
This could be the result of a defective breaker. Replacement should be immediate as this defective breaker could cause serious harm to electrical components.
This overheating is a serious defect and could cause arcing in the breaker. It should be immediately replaced.
This is a normal process. Your electric company isn’t picking on you. The electric company has regulations that will not allow them to turn on the electric if it has been off for over a year, unless a registered electrician or inspector checks the service to ensure safety of it. An inspection will need to take place to ensure that when they reconnect power no damage has taken place in the amount of time the power was off and no one will be hurt through re-connection. One of our licensed electricians will examine the entire service and make any repairs that are necessary if needed. Then, we’ll call a third party inspector to pass the service. Once the service is passed, we will have the electric company reconnect the electric and you will be ready to go!
The plug falls out of the outlet without touching it, or the outlet is not secure and will move easily when touching it. When the outlet is warm or hot to the touch, you need to immediately take care of the issue by unplugging the device and calling Eric Krise Electrical as this type of problem can result in a fire.
N & N Electric suggest a dedicated circuit for refrigerators. They have an extensive amp draw. They should not be GFCI protected like a lot of receptacles found in kitchens and garages. A dedicated circuit will protect your freezer or fridge from being tripped and destroying anything inside.
Yes. We will match the specific dimmer to the lights in your home. There are different bulbs required for specific dimmers. Such bulbs include incandescent, CFLs and LEDs.
GFCIs should be installed in all wet locations including unfinished basements, garages, anywhere outside the dwelling, within six feet of any sink, kitchens, bathrooms and powder rooms.
One button is the test button. When it is pushed, it should turn off the outlet and all other outlets that are tied to it. The other button is a reset button, which is used to turn the power back on to the outlet and any others that are tied into the outlet.
To an extent, as knob and tube wiring can be very dangerous. There are ways to keep your home and family safe until you are ready for the re-wire. First, an inspection would be completed by N & N Electric. to determine the current state of the knob and tube wiring in your home. A 15-amp arc fault circuit interrupter can be installed on the circuit occupied by the knob and tube. An arc fault breaker is a circuit breaker designed to prevent fires by detecting an unintended electrical arc and disconnecting the power before the arc starts a fire. An AFCI must distinguish between a harmless arc that occurs incidentally to normal operation of switches, plugs and brushed motors and an undesirable arc that can occur, for example, in a lamp cord that has a broken conductor in the cord.
Conventional circuit breakers only respond to overloads and short circuits; so they do not protect against arcing conditions that produce erratic, and often reduced current. An AFCI is selective so that normal arcs do not cause it to trip. The AFCI circuitry continuously monitors the current and discriminates between normal and unwanted arcing conditions. Once an unwanted arcing condition is detected, the AFCI opens its internal contacts, thus de-energizing the circuit and reducing the potential for a fire to occur. An AFCI should not trip during normal arcing conditions, which can occur when a switch is opened or a plug is pulled from a receptacle.
We recommend a whole house safety inspection to understand the current status of the wiring. Some wiring that is considered a major hazard is: knob and tube wiring, BX wiring, and an ungrounded system. These compose hazards on your home and if in poor condition, a re-wire shall be considered.
With experience in homes dated over 100 years old, N & N Electric can find efficient paths and ways to complete a project in a safe, neat manner. Our company will preserve the beautiful details and structure of your home, which in turn will keep the costs and heavy repairs to a minimum.
Most homes can be completed 2 days. Larger homes can take up to 3 days You will not need to move out of the home during the process.
Ceiling Fan Installation Cost According to almost 7,000 surveyed homeowners, the cost to install a ceiling fan averages $245, or between $144 and $351. Either an electrician or handyman can install the fan, but this will depend on the electrical capacity of its placement. Cost to Install a Ceiling Fan Ceiling Fan Unit $40-$3,000 Labor $85-$600 Average Total $144-$351 Nothing is better for cooling you down, increasing air circulation, removing stale cooking smells or even distributing heat than a ceiling fan. You can have a new ceiling fan installed or replace an old one fairly simply and at a reasonable price. Here are a few things that may affect the cost of installing a ceiling fan What's your style? There are ceiling fans in every possible style from traditional carved oak to slick stainless steel, to fans that resemble the propellers of old airplanes. No matter what your style there is a ceiling fan made to match. The first thing to consider when choosing a ceiling fan is how much prominence you want it to have in the room. If you have a small room, a large fan will become a focal point. But If you have 16 foot ceilings, the fan will be much less noticeable. If you want your ceiling fan to match your home's decor consider choosing colors that will compliment the room colors, wood tones that will match existing wood trims or a similar style (modern, country, etc.). Which ceiling fan you choose will affect the price of the project of course. There are as many prices for ceiling fans as there are fans to choose from, so choose one that fits your style and budget. Ceiling Fan Installation Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$245 Typical Range$144 - $351 Low End - High End$85 - $600 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 7,928 HomeAdvisor members. Fan Size Ceiling fans are designed to evenly distribute air in a room, so the size of your room can dictate the size of the fan. In very large rooms, you may consider more than one fan. The larger the fan motor, the more expensive it may be. However, if you choose a smaller fan, or choose to use one fan rather than two in a very large room to save on costs, this might end up not giving you the fan power that you need. So weigh your costs against the functionality that you want before making a decision. Hidden Costs of Electricity Ceiling fans need about the same amount of power as most light fixtures, so be careful that your electrical circuit doesn't get overloaded. If the fan includes a light fixture, make sure ahead of time that the circuit is able to handle both the fan and light. If your circuit will not hold this capacity then a new circuit must be run from the home's main panel to the fan. So there may be costs incurred with the installation of a ceiling fan for both installing a new circuit, and for increases to your electrical bill. Fan Installation Although some ceiling fans have exposed cords that can be plugged into wall sockets, the preferable installation is for the fan to be wired into the ceiling like a light fixture. If there was an existing fan or light fixture already in the room, the installation is reasonably simple using the existing wires. However, if there was not a preexisting fixture, you will need to create a place to hang the fan. Of course, it is easiest to install ceiling bracing and electrical wiring during new home construction even if you will be installing a fan at a later time. But if you want to place a fan in a new location in your home, new wiring must be run to the new location. Consult an electrician about the costs for wiring the new ceiling fan or for using the existing wires.
If you're thinking about installing a new light fixture, there are a few simple things to consider when estimating the cost. Electrical projects can be dangerous for homeowners to attempt, so the first major expense is hiring a licensed electrician. This is a critical step because there are local codes your electrical work has to uphold, and you need to make sure you hire someone who is versed in these codes and licensed to perform the intricate work required. Once you find the right pro, then the cost of lighting installation is easier to predict. Lighting Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$466 Typical Range$151 - $808 Low End - High End$75 - $2,000 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 4,305 HomeAdvisor members. What Type of Lighting Fixture Are You Installing? The most significant factor when it comes to the final cost of installing a light is the type of fixture you choose. Simple options are usually quite affordable, and may cost $100 or less. On the other hand, more intricate features such as recessed lighting and expensive fixtures such as detailed chandeliers can cost upwards of $1,000 or more when all is said and done. Not all lights fit into every space, either. To avoid further costs and difficulties, before purchasing a fixture you should check with an electrician to ensure it is rated for the power provided to that spot and that there is space to fit it onto the wall or ceiling. Traditional Ceiling Mounted Lights This is the most common type of lighting fixture and the one most often found in older homes. These lights are mounted to a metal box that is secured to overhead studs or joists. This box is then connected to the in-house electrical wiring and may also connect to a switch. Traditional mounted lights range from half dome-shaped flush mounts to hanging chandeliers and ceiling fans, offering a selection of options diverse enough to match the decor of virtually any room. While the costs of the fixtures themselves vary dramatically, the installation costs for ceiling mounted lights are usually on the low end, taking only an hour or two of labor and costing homeowners anywhere from $88 to $222. Wall-Mounted Lights Virtually identical to ceiling-mounted styles, wall-mounted lighting fixtures require the same access to a mounted electrical box secured to a wall stud and connected to in-house wiring. The styles of wall-mounted lights include traditional sconces, powerful LEDs, and more modern shapes that create a targeted lighting environment in a bathroom, hallway, or stairwell, for example. The costs to install a wall-mounted light are similar to the ceiling-mount, taking just a few hours with a cost range from approximately $90-$230. Recessed Lighting Unlike mounted lighting options, recessed lighting fixtures are not part of a room's decor. Also known as can lights or pot lights, they are set up into a ceiling in order to provide targeted or overall light without altering the lines of the ceiling. A recessed lighting installation job is therefore more complex than a mounting one because it involves cutting and finishing drywall around each inset fixture along with installing a junction box to power each light or a system. In general, installation takes about three hours to complete. The cost ranges from approximately $175-$225, not including the materials. Track Lights Track lights are an easy way to provide targeted, personalized lighting to any room. Popular commercial uses include those in museums and art galleries, which use the tracks to highlight specific installations. In homes, track lights are popular in kitchens where homeowners can customize the arrangement on the metal tracks to suit their space and workflow needs. Installing track lights in a room that already uses overhead lighting is a simpler job than installing them alone because electricians can easily tap into existing wiring and switches. Installation also includes securing the lights to the ceiling using either drywall or stud screws. The process generally takes three hours and costs approximately $100-$250. Pendant Lights As their name suggests, pendant lights hang down from their ceiling mounts like a pendant on a necklace. Although this style was traditionally used in restaurants to create ambience and low light, many homeowners install pendant lights in their kitchens over food prep and service areas such as breakfast nooks to create a similar, restaurant-like atmosphere. Often lightweight, many pendant lights are easy to anchor into ceiling drywall with drywall screws. Due to their low voltage requirements, they can operate off of a junction box from a larger light. The cost to install varies, however, depending on the existing structures in the home. Electricians may need to install a switch, for example, which can add an hour onto total labor costs. Typical installation usually takes between one and three hours and costs approximately $95-$250. Fluorescent Lights Fluorescent lighting is most often found in garages or other workspaces where the function of a light is more important than its style. However, the lower cost of operating fluorescent lights compared to standard incandescent bulbs also makes them popular among energy-conscious homeowners. Styles of fluorescent lights vary slightly, but most are standard 36-inch, two-bulb fixtures that electricians can either mount into ceilings, especially drop ceilings, or anchor to ceiling studs. Depending on the electrical setup of a room and the wiring options available, installation takes between one and three hours, costing between $85 and $217 excluding supplies. HIRE A LIGHTING PROFESSIONAL NOW Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Existing Wiring & Other Considerations Other major contributors to the final price of any lighting fixture installation project are the existing wiring and power supply in the house and the existing setups in the wall and ceiling. When building new, the electrician needs to install all the wiring, junction boxes, and switches before the drywall goes in and direct contractors to leave spaces for the lighting as needed, which adds to labor hours and final costs. In older homes, outdated wiring or insufficient amperage may require electricians to completely rewire a home or room. Electricians may also need to cut and patch drywall in order to add more detailed fixtures such as recessed lighting. If homeowners need to add a switch or dimmer to a light, this also increases time and cost by an average of $104. Return to Top If You Own an Older Home Homeowners renovating older homes have additional considerations to make because electrical wiring, wall outlets, panels, and amperage may need to be upgraded in order to pass inspection or support a more modern lighting system. Here are some common issues in older homes that may affect the final cost of your lighting fixture installation project: Knob and Tube Wiring Any home built before 1900 likely uses knob and tube wiring, a system in which builders nailed insulated ceramic knobs to the joists in homes’ frames to keep the wires off the wood. When a wire needed to run through a joist, a tube was used instead. While not inherently dangerous, it is hard to determine if this old style of wiring, which was phased out by the 1930s, can meet modern codes. Electricians who work in homes with knob and tube wiring need to discontinue the knob and tube service and run a new wire for every light that they install. Aluminum Wiring A more dangerous older-home wiring feature, aluminum wiring presents a clear safety hazard when compared to the safer, modern standards of copper wiring. Homes built in the 1960s and 1970s are those most likely to have aluminum wiring features, which can loosen over time and cause electrical fires. Homes with aluminum wiring may still meet codes if there are no issues present, but electricians may want to install pigtail or copper connectors at any point where they work, including circuit breakers and any junction box or receptacle. Insufficient Power Supply The power needs of the modern homeowner are far greater than those of previous generations. As such, homes built prior to the 1970s often lack enough incoming amperage to run all the necessary equipment of modern life such as air conditioners, hair dryers, washers, and dryers. Once upon a time, the standard home amperage level was 60 amps. Today, that standard is 200 amps, although smaller homes under 1,800 square feet may be okay with only 150 amps. Upgrading your power draw is not only important in terms of convenience but for safety, too; an insufficient power supply can damage certain equipment. Homeowners may need to consider much more extensive work to their homes that involves installation of a new, larger electrical panel. It may also be necessary to work with a local electric supplier to increase the amperage supplied to the home. Return to Top Need Inspiration? Adding lighting options that complement home decor and provide the ideal amount of illumination is as much an art as it is a science. Homeowners can visit local hardware stores to peruse the variety of choices that exist in terms of style, electrical usage, and design that make selecting lighting as fun and diverse a decoration task as picking out wall colors and trim details. To join in on even more design fun from the comfort of home, visit HomeAdvisor’s DesignMine Gallery to learn inspiring new lighting tips and view examples of the types of installations that can enhance your home's decor and functionality.
If you're having trouble with your lighting fixtures, it's time to call in the pros. Electrical issues can be dangerous for inexperienced homeowners to deal with, and it's much smarter to deal with a licensed professional for a job like this. Not only will it keep your home safe, but it can keep you safe from electrocution or fire. With that being said, it can be tough to guess what lighting repair prices to expect. The cost of the licensed electrician will be basically the entire expense, but here are some factors that could affect your lighting repair. Age of Your Home If you have a newer home, then a repair should be relatively straightforward. Something may have just shorted out or could be malfunctioning, but the overall system should be still working well. At the very least, the wires will be newer and easier to work around or with if the electrician needs to install anything new. Older homes have older wires and are typically harder to reach and in need of an upgrade. If you repair unearths some bigger electrical problems with old wiring, then a simple lighting repair can become more expensive. Lighting Fixture Repair Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$190 Typical Range$108 - $273 Low End - High End$60 - $596 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,971 HomeAdvisor members. Fixture Access If your pro can easily access the problem, then lighting repair prices should be low. This is typically true with newer houses. If the electrician needs to cut through walls or ceilings to access the wires necessary, then the lighting repair prices will go up. Outdoor Lighting If you need help with outdoor lighting, then there are some other factors to consider when estimating outdoor lighting repair costs. Generally, outdoor lighting isn't quite as complicated as other home tasks, and can be less expensive to repair. These contractors often offer a variety of services, so it might help to bundle the job with other items to get the most bang for your buck with your outdoor lighting repair costs. One thing to consider is to add extra outlets outside your home so you don't have to worry about using extension cords for lawn equipment or holiday lighting. Complexity of the Repair If the problem with your lighting turns out to be a more complex wiring fix, then it will bring the lighting repair prices up. But in general if it's a problem with your fixture, it should be relatively straightforward and not necessarily an overall wiring issue. Overall, the complexity of the problem with your fixture, as well as the age of your electrical wiring will determine the lighting repair prices. Outdoor lighting repair costs tend to be a little bit less complex and should be easy for a licensed professional to fix. Just make sure to work with a licensed professional who is versed in the local codes and laws for electrical work. This could save you time and money in the future, as well as ensure the safety of your home.
Most homeowners pay between $1,254 and $6,900 to install a generator in their home. While the project can cost as little as $400 and as much as $9,500, the average installation price including all variables is $4,076. When you lose power due to bad weather or a natural disaster, you will realize why home generators are becoming increasingly popular. It can provide light, heat and electricity until the power is restored. A wide range of types and options make it affordable for all budgets and needs. Here are a few factors that will influence the price of adding a unit in your home. On This Page: Prices by Type Gasoline Natural Gas Diesel Liquid Propane Solar Generac Prices Whole House vs. Major Appliance Units Installation Costs Noise & Location Consideration Transfer Switches Standby/Backup Generators Small Portable Units FAQs DIY vs. Hiring a Pro Generator Installation Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$4,076 Typical Range$1,254 - $6,900 Low End - High End$400 - $10,000 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,309 HomeAdvisor members. Generator Prices by Type The type of home generator you buy will be the biggest cost variable. Small, portable models can cost as little as $300. Large, permanent, diesel-powered alternatives are priced as much as $15,000 to generate enough electricity for a large home. Generator Costs Type Price Gasoline $500 - $3,000 Natural Gas $1,900 - $5,000 Diesel $3,000 - $15,000 Liquid Propane $500 - $6,000 Solar $300 - $5,000 Gasoline - $500 - $3,000 This is the most cost-effective option. Because gas is easily available in most regions, this is a popular choice. However, gasoline is difficult to store. It has a short shelf life and issues in cold weather. Natural Gas- $1,900 - $5,000 While you may dislike the higher price, natural gas models can be more convenient. They don't usually require fuel storage because they can be hooked up to the utility grid. This type also works well in cold climates. However, it uses more fuel than other types. Diesel - $3,000 - $15,000 Diesel generators are commonly used to power an entire home. These large units run more efficiently than natural gas or gasoline. The more power you need, the more beneficial a diesel model becomes. Liquid Propane - $500 - $6,000 Liquid propane burns clean and has an indefinite shelf life when stored correctly. However, these models don't last as long, and the fuel can be difficult to store. Solar - $300 - $5,000 Sustainability is a big benefit to solar backup systems. These don't require a constant fuel supply. However, small units cannot store large amounts of energy and may be affected by limited sun exposure in a storm. Return to Top Generac Generator Costs Generac is a leading brand in home generators. They specialize in permanent, whole-house models. After products are installed, they turn on automatically when the power goes out. They run on natural gas or liquid propane, and are normally tap into local utility lines. Large units are beneficial in areas with frequent power outages and extreme weather. The exact capability depends on your home and needs: Costs of Generac Generators Power Capability Average Price Typical Coverage 7 KW $1,900 1 appliance or up to 8 circuits 11 KW $3,000 2 appliances or up to 16 circuits 16 KW $3,700 Full 1K 3K sq. ft. home 17 KW $4,500 Full 2,500 3K sq. ft. home 20 KW $4,900 Full 3K 5K sq. ft. home 22 KW $5,800 Full 5K+ sq. ft. home 30+ KW $12,000 Commercial Applications Only Return to Top Whole House or Major Appliance - How Much Power Do You Need? The most important cost factor when installing a home generator is how much electricity it can produce. You can choose to install a permanent generator unit that creates electricity for your entire house, so that when it kicks on, it feels as if there is no difference between your home with regular power and your home with backup power. However, adding a stationary unit can be expensive, and costs up to $15,000. To cover your basic needs, you may choose to go with a smaller, less powerful (and less expensive) model that will only power your major appliances. A portable unit still provides heat, hot water, and the ability for your refrigerator to keep your food from spoiling. The level of comfort you desire at the time of an outage will dictate how much power you want from your generator. Running all your electric appliances at the same time will require a standby unit at or above 20 KW depending on the size of your home. Running only a single or select few major appliances may only require a portable alternative that can be turned on and off as needed. Finally, its important to consider your area's typical weather conditions. Those in areas with frequent and long-lasting outages should consider investing in a powerful generator. Homeowners in hurricane-prone regions should look for larger and greater KW option than those in the relatively calm mid-Atlantic region. CONSULT WITH AN ELECTRICIAN WHEN CHOOSING A GENERATOR Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Average Generator Installation Costs Installing a permanent home generator ranges between $500 and $3,000. This is in addition to the cost of the unit itself. Portable units are mobile, and don't require more installation costs. Most generators sit outside the home on a previously prepared concrete area. They are added as permanent fixtures and will need electrical wiring and gas hookup. For this reason, you should invest in professional installation. Although it may seem expensive in the short term, adding it yourself without prior experience could be costly and dangerous in the long run. Most installations are charged on a per-project basis. However, some contractors charge according to individual factors, such as: Assessing energy needs, usually free with installation. Site preparation and concrete pad construction - $50 to $75 per square foot. Adding a fuel tank or connection to existing utility lines - $50 to $100 per hour. Improving electrical panel, transfer switch and new wiring - $65 to $85 per hour. Permits and permissions - $50 to $200 per permit. Materials and equipment - $300 to $2,000. Potential Installation Drawbacks Noise is the biggest potential disadvantage of installing a home generator. Decibel levels are typically measured at 25 feet, which is not always adequate for tight city properties. At that distance, a typical home generator reaches between 60 and 70 decibels. For reference, that's between the decibel levels of an average conversation (60 dB) and the background noise in a restaurant (70 dB). The noise level should be a core consideration when choosing a unit to include in or by your house. Safety considerations also matter in your project. Most building codes require these units to be at least five feet away from a house opening. Accommodating these restrictions in a tight lot may require additional consideration and installation cost. Transfer Switches for Generators It will take an electrician three to four hours to install a transfer switch, and will cost about $200 $400 in labor. They can be added with manual or automatic functionality. For more information on the costs and considerations when installing or replacing a transfer switch, visit our Electrical Switch Installation Cost Guide. HIRE AN ELECTRICIAN TO INSTALL YOUR GENERATOR Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Cost of Home Standby/Backup Generators Small, automatic generators can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. A large unit above 20KW, designed to completely power a large home of more than 5,000 square feet, can run more than $20,000. Size is the biggest factor in determining how much your automatic unit will cost. Take time with your contractor to properly size it to your needs. Despite the cost, many homeowners are realizing that investing in one is a necessary step to ensure their home's safety. The days when occasional power outages could be endured with candles and ghost stories are growing short. Backup generators are designed for these types of power outages to ensure continued power and heat in your home. Random thunderstorms and freak accidents that threaten to cut power for a few hours are now only one potential danger to your home. Shifting weather patterns are causing severe weather in areas where homeowners are unaccustomed to them. Power supply shortages and power grid failures are becoming an increasingly common problem. Emergency generators are designed to run only the heating, refrigerator/freezer, and basic lighting in your home. Stoves and hot water tanks require a lot of power to operate. Some can supply power to both appliances individually, but not simultaneously. High-quality ones also run a lot quieter. Small Portable Generators A portable unit is priced between about $300 and $1,200. This will depend on its power and size. Its the better option if you cannot afford the cost of a full-house backup energy source. Portables are much less expensive than permanent models and avoid the need for installation entirely. However, they have much less power and typically power only one or two appliances, like a refrigerator, during an outage. If power outages are infrequent in your area, and your main concern is singularlike heat or food spoilagethen you may consider investing in a portable one. It's also a good temporary option if you need to have backup power in place while waiting on the installation of a permanent unit. Return to Top FAQs How Much Does It Cost to Run a Generator? Installed home generators draw a lot of power and gas and therefore are expensive to run. During an extended power outage, you may spend up to $30 per day on gas alone. Only use it when the power is out, and it is your only power source. On standby/test mode, running it in case of an unexpected outage will run you no more than $5 per month. What's the Estimated Cost to Wire a House for a Generator? An average electricians rate is between $65 and $85. The overall cost to install a subpanel and wire the house runs between $500 and $900. That includes the installation of a transfer switch, which connects the generator to your existing wiring while keeping everything safe. What Do I need to Know About Generator Maintenance After Installation? A generator needs regular maintenance to be reliable year after year. Schedule a professional inspection at least once per year. Generator maintenance and repair costs between $75 and $300, depending on what minor damages need to be fixed. How Long do Generators Typically Last? Most units last at least 20 years in normal conditions. Frequent use can reduce the life expectancy, sometimes significantly. You can also extend its life with regular service. Look for extended warranties to maximize your investment.
Attic fan repair averages $293, typically costing homeowners between $186 and $400. Whole house fan repair ranges from $250 to $350 but can cost up to $650. Replacing a broken motor will cost about $125 for an attic fan and between $50 and $100 for a whole house model. Professional installation will run an added $80 to $100 per hour. An attic fan is installed at the roof level of your home and regulates heat by exhausting hot air. It needs more roof vents to draw in fresh air as the hot air moves out. They run during the heat of the day, ventilating the attic space only. If its still broken, heat will continue to build up and cause temperature problems in the rest of your home. A whole house fan is mounted in the attic floor above a grille in the ceiling of a central hallway. In the morning and/or at night when outdoor temperatures are cool, the homeowner turns on the system. It draws warm air out, while open windows allow cool air into the home. Though commonly confused, these two models serve different purposes. However, the construction of the units is similar. Repairs will also be comparable. To ensure your unit is working properly, consider hiring a professional to do the work. On This Page Finding the Issue and Steps to Fix Motor Replacement Electrical Work Thermostat Belt & Switch Mount to Roof vs. Wall Gable vs. Floor Solar Fans Other Parts Attic and Whole House Fan Replacement vs. Repairs How to Replace Cost Factors Accessibility Energy Savings DIY vs. Hiring a Service Who Does These Repairs? Attic Fan Repair Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$293 Typical Range$186 - $400 Low End - High End$85 - $600 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,375 HomeAdvisor members. What Isnt Working? How to Fix Your Fan The first step to repair is figuring out whats not working. This information will tell you how much it will cost to restore the part, or whether it would be cheaper to replace the part. You may be able to complete minor fixes yourself. To ensure safety and prevent future problems, you should always hire a pro for major projects, like electrical or roof work. Expect to pay between $80 and $100 per hour for labor with a one-hour minimum. Vent Fan Motor Replacement - $50 - $100 + labor These range in price from $50 to $100 to replace, not including the hour or two of labor required. Professionals charge between $80 - $100 per hour. The most expensive fan repair is the motor. Once you rule out electrical, thermostat, and other minor problems, it is the most likely culprit. If the motor is not running properly, you will need to have it serviced by a professional. Either option's price depends on what exactly the issue is in the motor. Buying a new motor and paying the cost to repair it could be more expensive than a full system replacement. Electrical If the problem is electrical, it could be as simple as a blown fuse or a bad connection. Check your electrical box for a tripped circuit. You may be able to simply flip the breaker for an inexpensive fix. If your electricity appears to be working, check your units belts, switches, and thermostat (see below). If those all function properly, check the motor. If none of these seem to be the problem, find and call an electrician. Thermostat - $50 - $100 + labor If a thermostat controls your fan, try turning your switch on and off and bypassing the thermostat. If that works, then you know this is the source of the issue. Repairs vary in price depending on the problem, and it might be cheaper to replace. Consult a professional electrician or HVAC contractor for exact costs. He/she may be able to install a remote thermostat for $50 to $100, plus labor charges. Belt & Switch - $10 each At around $10 each, belts and switches are the easiest and least expensive replacement to make. If the parts are easy to access, a homeowner can service them him/herself. Otherwise, a professional contractor can give a quote for labor. HIRE A CONTRACTOR TO HELP DIAGNOSE THE ISSUE Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Mount: Roof vs. Wall Gable vs. Floor It is difficult to only replace the mount of a fan. Professionals can find and insert new parts, but the physical mount itself often attaches to the section of the fan which holds the blades. If there is surface damage to the mount, then consider replacing the whole fan with a new one. Professionals can fix problems related to the mounts base. If it is unstable or unsecure, a handyman can tighten the grips holding it in place. They can also work on the surface where the mount attaches. Roof, ceiling, and wall repairs are often part of mount repairs. Depending on the damage, a roof repair can cost between $340 and $1,250. Fixing your wall cost between $50 and $1,250. A ceiling fix can be the cheapest at a range of $150 to $2,200. Regardless of the location of your fan, part prices and labor rates will remain about the same. However, in the event your attic is in poor shape or your unit is hard to reach, a professional may need more time to make the repairs. Hourly labor charges will increase if this is the case. These mount on either the roof of the home or a gable wall of the attic. At a rate of $45 to $75 per hour, a roofer can cut the hole, install the roof-mounted unit and roof vents, and reseal the roof. For about $70 per hour, a carpenter can cut a hole or widen a gable vent to install a gable-mounted unit. Solar-Powered Ventilation Fans Solar fans feature many of the same parts as electrical ones. Many of the parts, like belts, thermostats, and switches, will be the same. The costs to repair or replace them are also similar. In the event the solar panel itself breaks, you should contact a solar professional to restore the units. Solar panel repairs cost most homeowners between $200 to $1,100. When installed and serviced by a license professional, many include a manufacturers warranty that covers parts and labor for up to 25 years. Other Parts Ventilation systems have a variety of other pieces that can break. Due to their complexity, a professional should complete most of the repairs. Shutters/Grill: $80 to $100 each Blades: $10 to $15 each Cover/Cap: Contact a professional for replacement options. Pros may also be able to provide parts that are unavailable to consumers or difficult to find. In the event the manufacturer discontinues a model, your pro may be able to source a new part from scraps or make the part him/herself. Otherwise, you may need to replace the entire unit. CONSULT WITH A FAN REPAIR SPECIALIST Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Attic Fan Replacement vs. Repairs When the cost of repair far exceeds the cost of replacement, you should install a new attic or whole house unit. If the two are close in price, then you should repair. Replacement may include hidden fees such as uninstalling or disposing of the old parts. Attic fan replacement averages about $560. Most homeowners can expect to pay between $340 and $780. Depending on the quality of the model you choose, location, and add-ons, the project can run as little as $200, or as much as $1,300. Labor rates fall between $90 to $150 per hour for the two hours that it typically takes for the replacement project, including removal of the old unit. Rewiring will take about one hour at a rate of $65 to $85 per hour. Replace or Repair a Whole House Fan Sometimes a fan is not salvageable. When this is the case, property owners should consider the factors affecting replacement. Homeowners pay between $1,200 and $1,800 on average. On the low end, you can expect to pay between $700 and $950, including labor. On the high end, the project can cost $2,000 to $2,750. Installation requires the expertise of both a professional carpenter and an electrician at a rate of $65 to $85 per hour to ensure proper ventilation and wiring. Some professionals have experience in both fields but might charge a higher hourly rate. A carpenter will charge around $70 an hour to install and make any necessary ceiling modifications. The work will take about 2 hours, for a total labor cost of around $140. You will also need to hire an electrician to connect the unit to your homes electricity source. Your pro can also mount and connect solar panels. Wiring will take at least one hour at a rate of $65 to $85 per hour. How to Replace a Fan Replacing your whole house or attic fan requires extensive electrical knowledge and manpower. The required steps include: Turning off the fans power supply Opening the thermostat/regulator cover and remove all wiring. If youre replacing your regulator as well, unscrew and remove that along with the other parts. Unscrewing and removing the motor and fan, disposing of the old parts. Inserting the new fan into the existing space from the old one. If it is a different size than the old one, consult with a professional to either fill in or widen the space without compromising the integrity of the roof, floor, or wall. Clamping all cables together and remove sheathing from the wires. If youre replacing your regulator, attach the new thermostat to the wall. If not, move on to step 7. Attaching all wires to the regulator. This process can vary depending on your brand or type of fan. Consult the instructions provided with the unit. Snapping the cover back on the regulator and set controls to your desired temperature Turning your circuit breaker back on for testing. Its always best to work with an electrical contractor if youre unsure of your ability to perform the task. A professional can give you the peace of mind that the unit is safe and accurately installed. HIRE A REPAIRMAN TO REPLACE YOUR ATTIC FAN Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Cost Factors In some cases, other factors will affect your decision to repair or replace your attic or whole house system. Accessibility How easy is it to get to your attic fan? If it is in a space that is difficult to find and access, this could add to the cost of repair. If there is no room to get to it, it removal might be necessary. Any of these circumstances could increase the amount of time it takes to complete the project. If its difficult to access, ask your pro to inspect the unit and provide a quote prior to performing the work. Regardless of the location of your fan, part prices and labor rates will remain about the same. However, in the event your attic is in poor shape or your unit is hard to reach, a professional may need more time to make the repairs. Hourly labor charges will increase accordingly. Energy Savings An attic or whole house fan can save you a lot on your energy bills because it can cool down your home instead of using air conditioning. A faulty unit may cost a lot to repair, but you may make up the difference with the energy savings. Attic temperatures can reach up to 150 degrees in mild to hot climates. Fans pull hot air outside to reduce the temperature. No longer competing with the super-heated air above, your air conditioner cools the air inside your home more efficiently. In some cases, your professional may suggest an alternative solution, such as upgraded insulation and/or a better seal to prevent heat from affecting the rest of the home. A whole house unit offers significant energy savings. In mild to moderate climates, this type of system can eliminate the need for AC for most of the year by pulling warm air from the interior of the home and replacing it with cooler, outside air. It only uses 10 to 15% of the power of a traditional air conditioner. HIRE AN FAN CONTRACTOR TO REPAIR YOUR ATTIC OR WHOLE HOUSE FAN Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top DIY vs. Hiring a Service If your unit stops working, you can and should take minor troubleshooting steps before calling a professional. Check for a tripped breaker, faulty thermostat, or broken belt. The repair and replacement of these ventilation systems is complex and requires professional expertise, however. Hiring a pro will ensure you address safety concerns like attic ventilation and expensive future repairs. Who Repairs Attic Fans? Installation may require the expertise of more than one contractor. Labor rates will depend on the model you choose and your existing home features. A roofing professional can install a roof-mounted unit. A carpenter can install a gable-mounted or whole-house fan. An electrician will need to complete the wiring. An HVAC company specialist will likely be able to provide turnkey installation because they have professionals in each area of expertise.
The cost to install a light switch is affordable at an average of around $144. Most homeowners pay between $98 and $193 for the service. Transfer switches can be purchased and installed in a range from $300-$2,400, depending on the model. Adding dimmers averages $100-$200. If you're thinking about installing new light switches in your home, the first thing you need to do is find a licensed electrician. The same is true of dimmer and transfer styles because properly wiring these products is vital to safety and efficiency. Licensed professionals are well-versed in local codes and laws. Qualified electricians can make sure that everything is up to code, which means that you'll pass home inspections and rest easy. Though the process seems simple and the expense of hiring an electrical professional could seem unnecessary, even the most basic electrical tasks are complex and dangerous, so it's best to stick with the pros. On This Page Transfer Switch Installation Costs Manual Switches Automatic (ATS) Light Switches Installation Costs Cost to Replace Switches Moving or Relocating Types of Electrical Switches Dimmer Switch Prices DIY vs. Hiring a Pro Bundling the Job Light Switch Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$144 Typical Range$98 - $193 Low End - High End$60 - $300 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,290 HomeAdvisor members. Since the price of installation will be based so much around an electrician, it is tough to predict how much the project will be. Here are some of the most common factors in the price of installing transfer, light and dimmer styles. Transfer Switch Installation Costs Professional installation of a transfer switch averages $200-$400 because electricians charge $50-$100 per hour, and this is a 3 to 4-hour job. The units themselves are priced in a range from $100-$800 for a manual and $300-$2,000 for an automatic. These price ranges are associated with residential use. Commercial-use units are much more expensive. Transfer switches are installed near the main breaker of your home and direct power from a portable or standby generator to select appliances. They change the power source from the main panel to the generator and prevent power from reversing into the local utilities. Such a reversal, or back feed, would be hazardous to the electricians working to repair local utilities. These units are often complicated, so they arent inexpensive to install. If your main electric panel is in your garage, it'll be easier for an electrician to install your power transfer system. If it is in the basement, then they will need to either run a cord through a window or install a power inlet box outside of your home near the panel. This would increase the labor time and price. Manual - $300-$800 Manual transfer units average $100-$500 and will be $200-$300 to have installed, for a total of $300-$800. These units are the less complicated style of the two, making them faster to hook up and keeping labor costs low. To use this type, the homeowner must manually switch the unit on in the event of a power outage. Though this may sound inconvenient, manual styles are very common in residences. Many homeowners can manage a few minutes of an outage and navigate their panels with ease. It is most convenient to use these types with portable generators, which are less expensive than standby styles. Automatic (ATS) - $600-$2,400 Automatic units are often more expensive, running from $300-$2,000, and installation will be closer to the $300-$400 range. There are commercial-grade ATS types that cost up to $7,000. Amps and voltage, phase, and enclosure type factor into the broad range in price. For example, most households use a single-phase unit which costs much less than a three-phase, commercial unit. Three-phase units are meant to power large energy consumption. ATS units are more expensive because they are complicated and work independently of the homeowner. This backup power system is convenient, permanent and reliable. ATS units are triggered by a power outage and transfer power without manual assistance. They are commonly used with standby generators. They can be very useful in homes where: Power outages are common Medical machines need to be run without interruption Residents have disabilities which would be disadvantaged by outage Homeowners work and need uninterrupted power Numerous appliances depend on power HIRE A PRO TO INSTALL YOUR TRANSFER SWITCH Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Light Switches Light switches of various types average $5-$15 each and $100-$200 to install. It is a quick process, though you will still benefit from professional installation. Improper wiring or placement could lead to failed inspections and could end up costing you in replacement work. The hourly rate for an electrician is $50-$100 and homeowners can make the most of that rate by bundling other electrical jobs with the work. Installation Costs Expect a flat initial rate, labor, materials and supplies. Electricians typically bundle the cost of parts and supplies into either a flat rate or your estimate. The flat rate of $70-$100 covers the basic expenses of a service call. Then you have labor, which adds $50-$100 an hour. On top of that, the switch itself may only be $5, but supplies like mounting hardware and fittings add $5-$10 more. Some companies will allow homeowners to provide their own materials, but the cost of those materials will not vary greatly. The greatest variable will be labor. Certain types take more time to wire and fit, such as with a double pole style. Basic switches wont take as much time and will cost less overall. See below for the benefits of bundling services. Cost to Replace When a switch malfunctions or is out-of-date, replacing it can be a simple and only cost $50-$150. Fixes or upgrades to other styles will carry that rate upward, both in price of materials and labor fees. Double pole styles, for example, have more detailed wiring and will demand more time and work. The same goes for dimmers. These styles can cost closer to $200 to replace. The price will be similar if a single pole type is being upgraded to another style, such as dimmer or double pole. Return to Top Moving or Relocating Relocating will average $100-$150 and is dependent on a number of factors. If the electrician needs to cut into the wall or do any repair to the drywall afterwards, the overall expense will go up. Material costs will be the smallest factor in the final price. Some homeowners move these units for added convenience and adapt to a new layout in their home. Others do so during a remodel, especially if they are removing or adding a new wall. Types of Electrical Switches The cost to install a 3 or 4-way switch is different than the cost to install a standard one. The more complicated the style you pick, the more expensive the labor and material will be. The total charge will average $100-$200 per switch. Single Pole - $1-$15 each; The most simple and easy-to-install style. Controls one electrical fixture. Double Pole - $10-$20 each; Involves the control of two fixtures from one location, featuring two toggles or rockers per unit. 3 Way - $3-$15 each; Powers one fixture at two locations and has a more involved installation process. 4 Way - $10-$25 each; Operates one fixture from three locations. Dimmer $10-$25 each; Lets the user adjust brightness to fit their needs and can be found in single, 3-way and even smart styles. Smart Light Switches - $45-$150 each; Allows homeowner to program and control switch to their schedule and needs. The unit can be managed via smart device. Can be installed in place of a switch. There are also plug adapters that simply plug into outlets. HIRE AN ELECTRICIAN FOR YOUR LIGHT SWITCH INSTALLATION Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Dimmer Switch Prices - $100-$200 Dimmers average $10-$25 each, though there are styles that cost up to $50. Installing new or upgrading to this type will range from $100-$200. With these, light can be adjusted to soft or bright according to the needs of the homeowner. This upgrade shouldnt involve much adjustment to the wiring or placement of the switch. However, there are a few things to be aware of: Wiring Code - This may be a good opportunity to bring the wiring up to code. The electrician may recommend doing so if it seems necessary. Box Size - A professional may recommend a larger box size to accommodate new safety standards. This box houses the essential wiring. Electrical panel upgrades cost between $500 and $1,700. Buying Dimmers - Its important to buy the right type for the need. For fixtures that are controlled at two locations, you will need to replace with a three-way dimmer. For single pole designs, you only need a single pole dimmer. Bulb Compatibility - Not all bulbs will work with dimmers. LED bulbs, for example, must be the dimmable kind in order to function properly with them. Some fluorescent bulbs are either incompatible or require a special brand or type of dimmer. It is true that the installation process is relatively simple but a small mistake with one of these factors could lead to expensive problems. It is not recommended to do this work on your own, unless you have extensive electrical knowledge and experience. CONSULT WITH AN ELECTRICIAN TODAY Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top DIY vs. Hiring a Pro Certified electricians keep up with local codes and the latest technology in the industry. They can help you to maximize on your upgrade or your installation. There are plenty of DIY guides out there for performing this work, but every situation is different, and an expert may catch something that the guides didnt mention. For example, your wiring may be old and need an upgrade to meet safety codes. This is particularly difficult to diagnose if you dont have electrical experience. Research and reach out to trusted local electricians for a faster, safer and more efficient install. Bundling the Job Most electricians work on an hourly rate of $50-$100, on top of a flat fee of $70-$100. Considering this, it's smart to bundle as many electrical jobs as you have into one trip. If you're changing all of your light switches out for dimmers or to decorative kinds, it would be smart to do all of them at once. Popular bundles include the installation of 6 basic types for $100-$200 and that of 5 dimmers for $150-$250. The best way to find out how you can combine services like this is to contact reputable electricians in your area. Find out what their basic service fee is and how much you could save by bundling. Make sure to pick a licensed electrician. Research and talk to at least three pros before deciding on one. Once you find a good option, consider getting all of your electrical work done at once to save money in the long run.
It is possible to fix your bath fan without replacing the entire unit and improve air flow with a first class vent system. You can replace a dead motor without tearing out the ceiling and replacing the whole thing. You can also improve venting and prevent roof rot by running the vent through the roof, and not leave it in the attic as was done by many contractors. There are many options when it comes to fixing a vent fan, which means many options for pricing. Motor Replacement Even if you fan is decades old, chances are you can get a replacement motor. Although a new motor costs about the same as a new fan, simply replacing the motor saves time, money and trouble. Your professional won't need to cut into the ceiling (thus adding expense of repairing ceiling), crawl around your attic or get up on your roof. It usually takes a professional less than an hour. Adding a New Duct Many times, when there's an attic above the bathroom, some installers may have taken a shortcut when they built your home: Instead of running the duct through the roof, they end the duct inside the attic. The result is that the fan fills the attic with moist air and that moisture can cause your wood to rot. In winter, frost forms in the attic and as the frost melts, water can damage the ceilings below. You may notice this as a ring on your ceiling. Running a new duct up through the roof isn't a complex job, but your professional electrician will have to work in the attic and on the roof. Bath Fan Repairs Cost Calcualtor Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$252 Typical Range$141 - $364 Low End - High End$81 - $600 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 534 HomeAdvisor members. Lighting Repair Many bath fans also include lighting as a part of their structure. Based on the type of lighting in your fan, it can run you from just a few dollars to even a couple hundred dollars to fix. If there has been condensation within the electrical components, you may need more work done in order to get the lighting to work properly again. Duct and Vent Cleaning Indoor air quality can have a major impact on your health and comfort. Over time the air ducts in a home build up with dust, debris and even mold. Removing these contaminants provides your home with cleaner air and can make your systems run more efficiently. The time and cost it takes for a professional duct-cleaning service to clean your ducts and vents can vary. Typically, the entire process takes 4 to 5 hours and you can expect to spend $50 to $150 an hour. But if you take into consideration how much money you might waste on dirty, leaky ducts and on any associated medical expenses, this upfront investment might be well worth the cost. Likewise, your local utility company might issue an energy rebate for maintaining your home ducts and vents.
The national average cost of a building permit is roughly $1,093. Homeowners spend anywhere between $378 and $1,807. Depending on what city you live in, the cost may be as high as $7,500, whereas small towns may only charge $100 for one. If you intend to take on a building project or remodel a home, permits are serious requirements upheld by state and local authorities to ensure compliance with building code safety. You usually need a building permit for structural additions, renovations and even electrical or plumbing projects on your home. On This Page: Building Permit Costs Garage Conversion Electrical Roofing Fence Plumbing HVAC Construction Bathroom Deck Shed Pergola Building Inspection Fees Basement Window Demolition Average Cost of Building Permits Residential vs. Commercial Building Permit Cost What is a Building Permit? Why Are Permits Needed? When is a Permit Needed? New Construction Room Additions or Conversions Major Renovations Structural Changes Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical Work How to Get a Permit What is a Permit Service? FAQ Get a Building Permit Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$1,093 Typical Range$378 - $1,807 Low End - High End$150 - $5,900 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 68 HomeAdvisor members. Building Permit Cost Building permits can be tricky to price because it depends entirely on which types you need for your project. Below is a helpful table of various permits and the average costs you can expect for each one. Learn more in the sections below about the details of each permit including when or in what regions it might be required Type of Permit Average Cost Building a House $1,200-$2,000 Garage Conversion $1,200-$1,500 Electrical $10-$500 Roofing $225-$500 Fence $60 Plumbing $50-$500 HVAC $1,200-$2,000 Construction $1,200-$2,000 Bathroom $1,200-$2,000 Deck $0-$500* Shed $0-$2,000* Pergola $0-$2,000* Building Inspection $200-$500 Basement $1,200-$2,000 Window $260-$600 Demolition $200 *$0 price ranges mean that a certain project may not require a permit depending on the complexity of the work. Garage Conversion Permit Cost A permit for a garage conversion costs between $1,200 and $1,500. In most cities, this type of project is considered an extension of the home and will require an overall building permit to execute work. The price is higher due to building aspects like wiring, HVAC installation, outlets, air ducts and vents. Electrical Permit Cost Gaining this type of permit costs anywhere from $10 to $500 depending on the amount and complexities of your project's electrical needs. The cost of electrical work varies according to: the total number of circuits amps sockets outlets installed Individually, these components are affordable, but when dealing with large quantities and higher voltages, the price can skyrocket, which increases your permit costs. Tiny repairs (like replacing light fixtures or fixing a ceiling light) do not need a permit, whereas any projects that require wiring installation or rewiring to a new placement do require one. Return to Top Roofing Permit Cost If you're planning to re-roof a home or structure, then you can expect to pay between $225 and $500 for a permit. Your initial building permit covers roofing when remodeling a home, so you can save money if you fold other projects into one license. However, a roofing permit is a separate requirement for one-off projects. Typically, it covers you up to the first 1,000 square feet, but you may need to pay more for any additional square feet after that. When hiring a contractor, they should be able to include the cost of a roof permit into your final bill. Fence Permit Cost You can expect to pay around $60 for a fence permit. The need for a fence permit depends entirely on where you live. For instance, if you live in an urban city with lots of people, then chances are you'll need a fence permit. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that fences under 6 feet tall typically do not require a permit. That being said, always consult with your neighbors to make sure they're on board with your design and confirm with a contractor that they can provide you with a permit in the final cost of your fencing project. Plumbing Permit Cost The average cost of a permit for these projects is between $50 and $500. Plumbing operates in a similar fashion to electrical work, meaning that its complexities have comparable pricing and permit models. Anything that needs the following will require approval: repiping drain replacement sewer replacement new plumbing installation new water heater installation Plus, licenses for each plumbing project costs something different. A good way around these fees is to plan for a complete remodel of your home or bathroom. That way, you can pull one permit to cover all aspects of the job, rather than bits and pieces. Return to Top HVAC Permit Costs Since these projects involve installing air ducts and vents throughout a home, they typically incur permit costs between $1,200 and $2,000. Altogether, they fall under a general building permit requirement, and a contractor should be able to include this fee into the total price of installing a heating and cooling system. Even if you're replacing a broken appliance, you need a permit to pass a final inspection and ensure functionality by a contractor, HOA, landlord, etc. Construction Permit Costs These permits cost anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000 since they involve many elements that warrant structural changes to an entire home or project. For example, these projects may share the same cost as a general building permit: removing or building interior walls pouring a concrete basement building a patio remodeling a kitchen repairing a ceiling relates to construction. Be sure to check with a contractor, architect, or engineer when mapping out the final cost of building a house to ensure that you're meeting all the right permit requirements. They should be able to include an estimate for one into your final price. Bathroom Permit Costs Doing repairs to a bathroom or adding one to your home requires a permit, which costs between $1,200 and $2,000. You’ll need a general building permit to execute each of these tasks to pass inspection: plumbing electrical construction HVAC A contractor should be able to provide you with one in the final cost to remodel a bathroom. Return to Top Deck Permit Cost For existing decks to a home or outdoor space, a permit isn't required. However, the final cost to build a new deck may include a permit fee of up to $500. The good thing about decks is that they usually don't require any special building components, such as wiring, roofs, outlets, etc. In some cases, you may have to hire a land surveyor to assess where your deck can extend to. Also, if you plan to build additional structures on your property, it may be beneficial to rezone your home to explore your options. In any case, your contractor should be able to provide you with the necessary permits for your deck project. Shed Permit Cost Depending on the square footage of your shed, you may not need a permit to build one. Installing a shed that's 6 foot by 8 foot or 8 foot by 8 foot generally falls under most compliances and doesn't warrant a permit. In fact, you can even purchase pre-made sheds from your local hardware store that are a great space for extra storage with minimal upkeep. That being said, sheds that involve other livable elements, like electricity, plumbing, outlets, etc., will require a building permit that could cost up to $2,000. The same rule applies for a shed that covers a large surface area and challenges zoning restrictions. Each county has different requirements, so be sure to check with your area before starting and working that total into the final cost of your shed project. Pergola Permit Cost Most pergolas do not require a permit for installation because they are not an entirely outdoor building. Generally, they do not have a covered roof, posts supporting the structure do not penetrate deep into the ground, and they usually have no complex lighting systems or electrical wiring. With that in mind, if you plan to involve any of those aspects into your project, then you may need a general building permit that costs anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000. The cost to build a pergola can increase quickly on account of its design, so consider purchasing a pre-made pergola kit that removes the need for a permit and is easy to set up if you're concerned about approval factors. Return to Top Building Inspection Fees Once your projects are complete, you may need to hire a building inspector to approve the work or offer an appraisal on your home. On average, homeowners spend just over $300 for this service, with a typical range between $200 and $500. Make sure to do some research and get different quotes from inspectors. Also, keep in mind that factors such as home size, the complexities of your home, and overall inspection time play a significant role in determining a final price. Something else to consider is that if you obtain a building permit for a project, it should come with a free inspection process when it's complete. Basement Permit Cost You can expect to pay between $1,200 and $2,000 for a permit within the final cost for a basement remodel. Your basement is inside your home and typically involves several livable components, such as electricity, plumbing, heating and cooling, and may need additional construction work. For this, you'll have to obtain a general building permit to ensure that all work is compliant and up to code. Window Permit Cost To repair or replace existing windows, most cities and counties require you to have a permit that costs anywhere from $200 to $600. The reasons for a window permit are that your new ones must meet certain standards to ensure safety and energy codes. For instance, there are standards for egress, tempered glass, smoke detection, carbon dioxide detection, and energy efficiency. The good news is that permits for windows can be bought over-the-counter on a per window basis. A permit for one window installation may cost $200, wheres 2 to 5 windows may cost $400. Make sure to check with your local authorities to map out pricing before starting your project. Demolition Permit Cost When hiring a demolition service, an average $200 cost of a permit is usually within the final estimate. On the other hand, larger cities may charge much higher prices for demolition, so be sure to check with your local authorities to nail down an exact price. Even when working with a contractor, they should be able to include the cost of demolition and permit for the cleanup of your project. Return to Top Average Cost of Building Permits Aside from the national average price of $1,200 for a building permit, several states operate under their own guidelines when it comes to new construction or remodeling projects. Below are standard procedures and prices for California, Oregon, and Idaho: California Building Permit Costs Constructing a new building and most remodeling work in the state requires a permit. Overall, there isn't a statewide price point to expect for building permits because jurisdiction is typically left up to each county to decide for their residents. However, you can expect your total permit fees to account for a range between 6% to 18% of your project's total budget. Oregon Building Permit Costs Luckily, this state offers many loose restrictions on building permits and only charges fees according to the total cost of your project. For example, if you have a bathroom remodel that's going to cost $10,000, your expected permit fees are around $300 or 3%. For additional permits regarding plumbing, electrical, and mechanical work, fees are subject to the total number or type of installations. Each county offers their own pricing models for these expenses, so be sure to check with your local authorities for an accurate quote. Idaho Building Permit Costs Much like Oregon, Idaho offers a valuation price model to calculate your total building permit fees for a project. For instance, on a $10,000 valuation on a room addition, you can expect permit fees just over $250 or 2.5%. Other counties throughout the state operate in the same fashion, although you may incur additional inspection fees that aren't necessarily a part of the permit package. General inspection fees are just under $50 per hour. DON'T LET PERMITS SLOW DOWN YOUR PROJECT. Enter Zip Hire a Permit Service Return to Top Return to Top Residential vs. Commercial Building Permit Cost These two project types are similar when it comes to obtaining permits, but commercial buildings tend to be more expensive. Commercial Buildings: Represent businesses Requirements and approval processes are more strict Permit and inspection fees are demanding and costly Residential Buildings: Represent livings spaces for families, couples, individuals Requirements and approval process are on a case-by-case basis, often less strict Permit and inspection fees depend on county regulations, location, and type of work completed Commercial buildings still must apply for the same building permit as a residential space would for any kind of new construction or remodel, although an additional valuation applies to the total cost along with the permit application fee. In most cases, anywhere from 1% to 5% of the contract's value in addition to the building permit applies. Also, commercial buildings are subject to demanding inspection fees to comply with local and state regulations, whereas residential properties are only subject to county rates that are often a part of a building permit's package. For accurate prices for these two property types, check with your local authorities before starting construction. What is a Building Permit? A building permit is an official document required to begin legally sanctioned construction or renovation on a property. Every jurisdiction - including states, counties, cities or towns - has different requirements for issuing permits, along with different building codes and fees associated with the permits. Essentially, the Board of Permits and Inspections or Building and Zoning Board knows what the homeowner permit is for once a plan is submitted by a builder. Once fees are paid, permits are issued. Later, the agency will have the construction inspected to make sure it passes code. Why Are Permits Needed? The rationale behind building permits includes public health and safety, uniformity of construction quality, and easier property valuation. The most crucial of these is health and safety. Buildings that are constructed, wired or plumbed improperly can lead to dangerous conditions that would affect more people than just the owner or occupants of a property. These conditions could include risk of fire from poor wiring, disease from poor plumbing and bodily harm from poor structural integrity. NOT SURE IF YOU NEED A PERMIT? TALK TO A LOCAL PERMIT PROFESSIONAL. Enter Zip Contact Local Permit Pros Return to Top When is a Permit Needed? The answer to this question depends on local regulations regarding construction and renovation. In general, urban and suburban areas require more permits than rural areas; however, it is always better to be safe than sorry. The following are circumstances that frequently require building permits: New Construction Constructing or building a new home or other structure generally requires a permit. This category includes structures like guest houses, garages, storage buildings and gazebos. Many areas also require a special building permit for fences and privacy screens if they are set in concrete. Room Additions or Conversion This includes adding new rooms or a sunroom to a home, but it also encompasses the construction of patios, porches and decks as well, depending on local codes. Enclosing a garage may be considered an addition because it would increase the heated space of the home. Major Renovations This can include everything from restoring an older home to a dated kitchen renovation or garage remodel to a dreary bathroom. Many new homeowners who have purchased a fixer-upper get in trouble here by not applying for permits to renovate their vintage home or by deviating too substantially from submitted renovation plans. Structural Changes Structural changes generally involve alterations to the bones of the structure, including the addition or removal of walls or finishing an attic or basement space. Demolition is another example. These permits can be especially important when changing load-bearing portions of the structure because if these are altered in an unsatisfactory way, the structure could be condemned as unsafe. Electrical, Plumbing and Mechanical Work These three areas encompass an enormous amount of potential construction or renovation work and may require separate forms in addition to the actual building permit. Some examples of this type of work include installing outdoor lighting, adding a hot tub or replacing garage doors. Depending on the area, some of these projects may require a permit. In other locations, they may not. The installation of a sophisticated home automation system may also require a permit. How to Get a Permit The homeowner or contractor must complete the appropriate forms and return them with fees to the local body that governs building permits depending on the property's location. The permit may be immediately approved, require changes or undergo additional review. This can be a complex process. Construction should not begin until after final approval is granted and the building permits are issued. LOOKING FOR A PERMIT SERVICE? HOMEADVISOR CAN HELP YOU FIND THE BEST NEARBY PERMIT ACQUISITION SERVICES. Enter Zip Find the Best Permit Pros What is a Permit Service? A permit service is a company that manages the building permit application process on behalf of a homeowner or contractor. On average, you can expect to pay between $35 to $70 per hour when hiring a building permit service or expeditor permit service. Plus, you may have to pay additional fees for travel, copies, mileage, and extra time if the process is especially difficult. Here's a rundown of the services they offer: Take care of filling out paperwork on your behalf Keep track of fees and inspections to avoid extra or unnecessary costs Superior knowledge of permit requirements to streamline the process Allows you to focus on the enjoyable parts of construction or renovation. A permit service can make certain that every form is completed properly and that every permit is exactly as it should be, preventing difficulty further along in the process. Permit services help homeowners avoid fines, stop-work orders or legal action regarding their projects. Having one reduces the potential for bad inspections or inadvertent permit violations. Overall, permit services take some of the stress and frustration out of the building equation. The actual permit costs depends on the location of the property and the type of work that will be performed there. For many homeowners, the process of applying for a permit may seem daunting, but it cannot be avoided without risking fines or worse. These services are a great alternative for homeowners who'd rather not deal with all the paperwork themselves. FAQ How Much Do Permits Cost for Building? The final cost of building permits depends on the type of project and its complexities. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,200 to $2,000 in permit fees when executing building projects at home. For instance, a room addition permit may cost $1,500, whereas renovating a bathroom may cost $1,200. Check with your local authorities to get accurate estimates and plan ahead. What Requires a Building Permit? Projects that require a building permit include: Any new construction to your home Room additions or conversions Major renovations to your home or outdoor living spaces Structural changes to your home or outdoor living spaces Any electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work done to your home or outdoor living spaces How Long Does it Take to Get a Building Permit? After submitting your application, it usually takes two weeks for residential properties to receive a building permit, whereas commercial properties may take up to four weeks for approval. Some permits for smaller jobs may be received the same day, but you must check with your local authorities to see what documentation is needed and what jobs qualify for quick turnarounds. What Happens if You Build Without a Permit? If you're caught building without a permit, you may be forced to shut down your project and pay hefty fines in order to gain compliance. In some cases, violations to permit licensure may result in costs that match or exceed the project total itself, so it's always a good idea to obtain a permit before starting any work on a project. Can a Homeowner Pull their Own Permits? Yes, a homeowner can pull their own permits by making an inquiry to their local agencies and providing them with their address and personal information. This is a handy resource for homeowners or contractors who have lost their permit and need additional copies. What is an Owner-Builder Permit? Do I Need One? An owner-builder permit is a type of permit that makes you personally responsible for the work being done on your project. You should get this type of approval if you plan to do all of the construction yourself and serve as your own contractor. Overall, you save money by not outsourcing this job to someone else who may charge additional fees to hire sub-contractors and day laborers. However, the major downside to this type of permit is that you are subject to great financial risk in the event deadlines aren't meant on time or if a worker you hire gets hurt on the job.
The average homeowner will pay between $504 and $1,724 to replace or upgrade his or her home's electrical panel. Nationwide, this type of project averages $1,111. A low-amperage unit can run as little as $125 excluding labor, permits, and other materials. Depending on the amperage, the type of home, and the number of circuits, the job could cost as much as $3,000. Whether it's a farm home in the country or a large commercial complex in the city, electrical systems are the lifeblood of modern properties. Electrical boxes control power in the house. When an upgrade is needed for added power usage or modernization, many factors can decide the costs. Before a home or business owner decides to commit to an upgrade, he or she should carefully consider all of the factors involved. On This Page Costs to Replace & Upgrade Upgrading to 200-Amp Changing from a Fuse Box to a Circuit Breaker Moving a Panel Installing a New Breaker Box or Sub Panel Replacing a Circuit Breaker Switch or Fuse Inside vs. Outside Electrical Boxes Electrical Panel Costs AFCI vs. GFCI Breakers Top Service Panels Additional Costs Reasons to Upgrade or Replace Pros & Cons of Updating DIY vs. Hiring a Pro Electrical Panel Upgrade Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$1,111 Typical Range$504 - $1,724 Low End - High End$125 - $3,000 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 14,319 HomeAdvisor members. Labor Costs to Replace & Upgrade When upgrading a panel, labor will be the most sizable part of costs. An average upgrade takes about 8 to 10 hours to complete. Electrical professionals charge anywhere from $50 to $80 per hour. Clients can expect to pay between $500 and $800 for their project labor. Electrical contractors are highly trained professionals. They earn a good hourly rate for their services. Typically, wages are set by an official body like the National Electrical Contractors Association. Prices fluctuate depending on site conditions. An electrician may need to do extra work when existing wiring and conduits, copper grounding, split circuits, new sub panels, or access to the exterior source need repair. A quote from a professional should include any of these extra tasks, as well as disposal of old equipment. Upgrading to a 200-Amp Service - $1,300 - $3,000 A homeowner should expect to pay between $1,300 and $3,000 to upgrade an existing unit to a 200-amp service, including professional install. Alone, a 200-amp box will cost $100 - $220. In comparison, a 150-amp version runs between $100 and $150. TOTAL COST TO UPGRADE Amperage Costs 100 $800 to $1,200 or $1,500 to $2,500 if a new box is needed 200 $1,300 to $3,000 400 $2,000 to $4,000 Older homes often run low-amperage boxes because they didnt have central air, modern appliances, or todays electronics in mind. Many homes with 60- to 100-amp units run close to maximum capacity. An increase to 150- or 200-amp service gives you room to grow. Homes with additions or large garages and hefty electrical equipment may need added amperage to support the extra power draw. A homeowner should contact the power company to decide if the supply line to the home needs an upgrade to support the added power. Costs could more than double if extensive work, such as trenching, is required. However, if your existing line can support 125, 150, or 175 amps, you can save money by changing your box to a lower amperage. While the units themselves do not vary a lot in price, you will save money on labor to both install the new model and replace the power line. Call a licensed professional for specific project costs and to plan for your specific electrical needs. CONSULT AN ELECTRICIAN BEFORE INSTALLATION Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Costs of Changing from a Fuse Box to a Circuit Breaker Box - $1,500 - $2,000 Some older homes have a fused electrical service. While there are positive aspects of both, some homeowners may wish to update the fuse box to a modern circuit breaker. Replacing a fuse box with a breaker box runs between $1,500 and $2,000. CIRCUIT BREAKER Advantages & Disadvantages Pros Cons Easy to reset No Fuse replacement Works with GFCI breaks Works better with modern electrical needs Less sensitive Slower to react to surges More sensitive to sudden movement and vibrations FUSE BOX Advantages & Disadvantages Pros Cons More sensitive than circuit breakers Inexpensive Sensitivity can lead to more frequent blown fuses One-size-fits-all circuits support any amp fuse (can lead to fire hazards) Does not work with GFCI circuits Harder to maintain/repair If new wiring is necessary, or the homeowner wants to add additional circuits to the home, the price of materials and labor increases. Rates to upgrade an old circuit breaker box to a new one will be close to replacing a fuse box. Homeowners, especially those in older homes, should consult a professional for a quote. Return to Top Moving an Electrical Panel - $1,000 - $2,000 Estimated rates for moving a panel from one area of the home to another range from $1,000 to $2,000. Actual costs can vary depending on project factors such as: whether the unit is indoors or outdoors how many floors are in the home how many circuits will move whether code allows using the existing box as a junction point Where extensive work is required, the project may be considered a rewire. Price will change accordingly. Average Price to Install a New Main Breaker Box or Sub Panel - $500 The cost to install a new electrical breaker box or sub panel is about $500. Exact cost depends on the number of circuits and the amperage of the unit. If the main box is full, installing an extra one will allow homeowners to add more circuits. You may also need to provide power to new rooms when remodeling or building additions. Replacing a Circuit Breaker Switch or Fuse Standard, 15- to 20-amp circuit breaker switches cost $5 to $10 each. Standard, 15- to 20-amp fuses come in packs of three costing $5 to $10. Homeowners should expect to pay at least $100 for professional installation. Older circuits and fuses may be difficult to find and cost up to $70. Price for installation should be about the same. Inside vs. Outside Electrical Boxes Electrical box regulations now require they be attached outside of the home. In a fire, firefighters can turn off the homes electricity safely and quickly from the exterior. Homes more than 12 - 15 years old may still have indoor boxes. Moving it outside could be necessary and add to the cost of the project. Otherwise, location shouldnt affect the price of installation. Project cost increases if a professional must tear out and replace drywall or plaster to perform the necessary work. Expect to pay about $1.50 per square foot for professional drywall repair. HAVE A LOCAL ELECTRICIAN INSPECT YOUR PANEL Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Electrical Panel Costs Retail price of the panel itself is $100 to $220. Total material costs depend on the type of unit and features you choose. In some cases, the local power company will need to install a new power supply and meter to meet the property's new electrical needs. Meters cost $300 to $500 to replace. Small materials like fittings, connectors, and fasteners usually total less than $100. The panel itself will be the biggest expense. How much power you need will affect the total price. Some older homes have their original 60-amp units, but modern homes typically need 100 to 200 amps of power to handle the everyday electrical load of computers, air conditioning, and appliances. Installing a box with more amperage and more circuits can prevent the expense of future increases. ELECTRICAL PANEL UNIT PRICING Amperage Cost 100 $50 to $100 150 $100 to $150 200 $100 to $220 AFCI vs. GFCI Breakers AFCI and GFCI breakers can be as much as 10 times the price of standard versions, between $35 and $70 each. Specialty breakers offer extra protection to help reduce the likelihood of electrical hazards, like fires or electrocution. Code requires this type of protection in areas of the home such as common rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens. Arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers protect against damaged wiring. Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) models protect against water damage. When the system needs both types of protection, you have two choices. You can either use a combination AFCI/GFCI breaker or an AFCI breaker with a GFCI receptacle. Combination breakers cost about $50 at home improvement stores. Combo units are usually more cost-effective than buying the specialty breaker and receptacle separately. Federal Pacific & Other Top Service Panels In addition to amps and number of circuits, the brand you choose will affect how much you pay. Some manufacturers offer warranties on their products when installed by a licensed professional. Home Depot Product Pricing Brand Model or Product Line Price Warranty Square D QO $50-$270 Lifetime Square D Homeline $30-$270 10 Years Eaton All $50-$300 Lifetime Siemens All $50-$500 10 Years General Electric (GE) All $60-$300 1 Year Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) and Zinsco were two of the most common manufacturers of circuit breaker boxes from the 1950s to 1980s. When these units did not meet safety standards, retailers stopped selling them. However, these brands are still installed in many homes across the country. If your home has one, you should contact a professional to replace it as soon as possible. GET YOUR OLD CIRCUIT BREAKER REPLACED Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Additional Costs Panel upgrades are not always independent projects. An old unit may also have old wiring, worn outlets, outdated fixtures, and damaged circuits. Electricians who notice extensive wear and tear may recommend upgrades to other components. Necessary updates can significantly increase the costs of a given project, but they support a safe and functional power system. Reasons to Upgrade or Replace You can upgrade your panel for both functional and financial reasons. Modern homes need more power than decades-old homes and businesses. As technology grows, power requirements will continue to increase. Prospective homeowners may look at old panels as a sign of an obsolete electrical system in disrepair. Updating can make a difference for resale. Update systems with safety hazards and urgent signs of failure immediately. FPE or Zinsco models, known to be safety hazards, should be replaced as soon as possible. Conditions that show an immediate need for attention include: flickering lights buzzing crackling sounds blown fuses If you see any of these symptoms, contact an electrician as soon as possible. In some cases, heat can build up in the walls and cause a fire. While repair may be enough, pros will often recommend an upgrade to improve the overall quality of the system and prevent future hazards. Advantages and Disadvantages of Updating Your Electrical Box Updating a panel has a lot of advantages. Most older homes only used enough electricity to need 100 amps, but modern equipment often requires as many as 200 amps. Homeowners who upgrade can install new devices and appliances without the fear of running out of juice or breaking their system. The main disadvantages to panel upgrades are the upfront costs and the turmoil construction often brings. Address both disadvantages by starting the project during a planned renovation or addition. When walls are already being torn down for other purposes, an electrician can jump in and make the necessary upgrades. The savings earned by coordinating projects can be significant. HAVE A PRO UPGRADE YOUR ELECTRICAL BOX Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top DIY vs. Hiring a Pro Electrical repairs are dangerous. The perils of replacing your box are too many to consider doing it yourself. When a property owner has decided to upgrade, he or she should find a licensed and insured electrician. Leave electrical system issues to trained professionals who know exactly how to handle them. Pros pull the proper permits and work with your local power supplier. A professional will also be familiar with current code and safety requirements. This will ensure your family is safe from hazards, as well as prevent expensive repairs in the future. To keep expenses as low as possible, homeowners should request quotes from at least three different contractors. Use a combination of trust, cost, experience, and reputation to make a final decision.
The average cost to wire a home is $1,323. While the project can run as little as $125 and as much as $4,300, wiring or rewiring typically falls between $537 and $2,108. This will depend on how much, what type of work you need done, and how long it will take an electrician to complete. Installing wiring and panels or rewiring a homes existing electrical system are potentially hazardous home projects. Hire a licensed professional to get the job done safely and correctly. This type of work also requires permits and inspections to ensure the installation meets code. While this will likely add to the timeline and price of the project, it is necessary to ensure your home is safe and up-to-code. On This Page: Electrical Wiring Installation Costs Wiring per Sq. Ft. Electrical Panel Installation Materials Labor Rates to Hook Up Electricity Considerations When Adding New Wiring Attached Garage Detached Garage Shed Basement Rewiring a House Labor Upgrading an Electrical Service Panel Opening Walls and Running Wires Adding Outlets and Switches Additional Price Factors Permits & Inspections Knob & Tube Replacement Electrical Codes Preparation Site Cleanup Collateral Damage DIY vs. Hiring a Pro Electrical Panel And Wiring Installation Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$1,323 Typical Range$537 - $2,108 Low End - High End$125 - $4,500 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 7,264 HomeAdvisor members. Electrical Wiring Installation Costs How much you pay will depend on three main factors: the price of the electrical wires themselves, the cost of other materials (like panels), and your electricians hourly rate. Your pro should provide all the tools and materials needed to complete the job. These factors will vary depending on where you live as well as the complexity of the project. Average Wiring Costs per Square Foot New wires typically range from $6 to $8 per foot. For an additional $2 per foot, you can invest in structured wiring: heavy-duty electrical and data cables designed for modern entertainment and communication devices. A bid from an electrician will probably not list a separate charge for wiring. In a home where electrical service is already accessible, pros charge a set fee per opening. Openings include switches, receptacles, and fixture boxes. If you want to know exactly what kind of wiring your pro is using and how much you are being charged for the service, you may need to ask. LET A LICENSED PRO HANDLE ELECTRICAL WORK. Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Electrical Panel Installation Materials The physical materials required for your project will factor into the installation price. There are usually a range of options you can choose from. Like with other things, there is an array of lower-priced to more expensive models. With materials also come fees for shipping and storing the products until you are ready to use them. Your panel, also called a breaker box, will likely be the biggest extra expense. The price will depend on how much power you need. Older homes usually have 60-amp panels. New homes typically require 100 or 200 amps to handle the modern electrical load of computers, air conditioning, and appliances. A box with more amperage can provide more circuits for your home and may prevent expensive future upgrades. Heres a breakdown of average cost ranges of break boxes by amperage. 100-amp - $50 to $100. 200-amp - $100 to $200. Other materials that may add to the price of your project include outlet and switch plates, light fixtures, and fan units. Choosing standard, contractor-grade finishes for these items will keep costs down. Contractors will likely be able to purchase these at a discount, and the costs will be included in their quote. If you prefer higher-end finishes and fixtures, you will likely need to purchase those yourself. For example, you can expect to pay $45 for a basic light, $150 for a mid-range light, and up to $800 or more for a luxury light fixture, including installation. Labor Costs to Hook Up Electricity A licensed electrician may charge anywhere from $40 to $100 an hour for labor depending on the job and skill level it requires. While they dont usually charge by the foot, pros say it takes about an hour to lay 100 feet of new wiring. Hourly rates can vary widely depending on the area of the country you live in, as well as whether you are working with the professional directly or via a general contractor who will then hire service specialists. Contractors may mark up the price of the overall job to cover their labor in sourcing the electrician and managing the project. Return to Top Wiring a New Home With new construction, the size and layout of your home can impact the cost of the project. The more square footage you have, the more linear feet of wiring youll need. The more rooms you have, the more outlets and switches you will require. While basements, crawl spaces, and attics can reduce costs by making it easier to access wiring, adding electrical power to spaces like garages, basements, and exterior storage sheds may add to the price of your project. Attached Garage Recommendations for attached garages include at least one three-way switch ($5 to $20) for convenient operation between the doors. Garages must also have at least one ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacle ($7 to $25) for each car space. All other receptacles must also be GFCI. Detached Garage Depending on your needs, your detached garage can be supplied by a single- or multi-wire circuit. For basic needs, a single-wire circuit can be run to accommodate both lights and receptacles. For higher electrical loads or in instances where lighting and receptacles need to be separate, a multi-wire circuit ($1,200 to $2,500) can be installed instead. These types of circuits work best when high-draw equipment like welders or compressors will be used regularly. Detached Shed The same rules apply to detached sheds as detached garages. Consult a professional for specific cost information, as these projects vary depending on factors such as the size of the unit and its intended use. Basement The rate of basement work, like any other area of the home, depends on the amount of square footage, number of outlets, and type of fixtures required. In new homes, work should be completed before walls are closed to reduce project costs. Basement power requirements should be factored into the overall power load to ensure you select a service panel with appropriate amperage. FIND TOP-RATED ELECTRICIANS NEAR YOU. Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Rewiring a House Rates for work on an existing structure vary greatly depending on the scope of work. Less intensive projects, like upgrading service panels, will be far less expensive than projects like rewiring the entire home. Labor ($65 - $85 per hour) At an average price of $65 to $85 per hour, the amount of labor your project requires will be the biggest cost factor. For a 1,200-square-foot home, estimate two hours per wiring connection at a rate of $130 - $170, excluding parts. Upgrading an Electrical Service Panel ($1,300 to $3,000) Many older homes have 60-amp service panels not equipped to handle modern electrical loads, especially if you are considering an addition to your home or adding wiring to a garage or basement. Upgrading to a 200-amp panel ranges from $1,300 to $3,000, including materials. Opening Walls and Running Wires In an existing structure, wiring is hidden behind plaster or drywall which makes it difficult to reach. Removing, replacing, or adding wiring means opening walls and performing the work, then repairing them. For a 1,200-square-foot home, this ranges from $3,500 to $8,000. If an electrician can access and run them via a basement, crawl space, attic, or joists in the floor, the overall price will be on the lower end. For larger homes or those with restricted access to wires, the project cost could increase by up to $20,000. Any quote from a professional contractor should include the cost of materials, wall opening and repair, and disposal of old material. Adding Outlets and Switches ($100 to $185 each) For between $100 and $185 each, you can add a switch or outlet to any room. Most spaces require two or three outlets for convenience and to meet code requirements. Return to Top Additional Price Factors The most common additional costs for installation will be associated with code compliance, permits, and inspections. Homeowners may incur additional fees related to preparing the space for the work and/or cleaning up after the job is complete. Local Codes: Permits & Inspections Electrical projects must abide by local codes and laws. Usually, they also need to have permits and be inspected by local authorities. These rules shouldn't be looked at as road blocks, since they will help to ensure that your home is up to modern standards and safe. Taking the time now will save money and headaches in the future, especially if youre hoping to sell. This does factor into average electrical installation costs. Typically, your contractor will include the cost of the permit (which includes the inspection) in your quote. Your professional will also be able to inform you if the inspection will extend your projects timeline. Knob and Tube Wiring Replacement (Up to $5,000) Homes built before the 1950s may have knob and tube wiring. While no code mandates removing all the existing material, some local codes require it be removed at all accessible locations, which can cost around $5,000. The permit to perform this work will be an additional $250 to $500. Common Electrical Codes There are code regulations dictating electrical requirements for nearly every room of a home. When working on an older home, you must upgrade to meet existing codes. For example, all outlets must be tamper-resistant, and any outlet that is not GFCI-protected must be arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI)-protected. Licensed electricians should be familiar with these code requirements and, unless you have special requests, the price of incorporating them should be included in your quote. Below are different rooms and the code requirements for each that may cause you to incur additional costs. Bathroom Outlets require 20-amp circuit outlets Receptacles require GFCI-protection Light fixtures in bathing areas must be rated for damp or wet locations. Kitchen Requires at least two 20-amp small appliance circuits for countertop receptacles. Lighting requires a separate 15-amp circuit at minimum. Countertop receptacles and those within six feet of a sink must be GFCI-protected. Living, Dining, Bedroom Wall switches required next to entry doors. Ceiling fixtures must be controlled by wall switches instead of pull chains. This may require extra labor and wall switches Distance between receptacles cannot exceed 12 feet on any wall surface. Wall sections wider than two feet require a receptacle. May require added receptacles. Dining Room Require one outlet on a separate 20-amp circuit for a small appliance, entertainment center, or window A/C unit Stairway Three-way switches required at top and bottom of stairs Additional lighting required if stairs turn Hallway Hallways more than 10 feet long must have an electrical outlet. Three-way switches required at both ends Closet Fixtures with incandescent bulbs must be enclosed or covered and cannot be installed within one foot of clothing storage. Fixtures with LED bulbs cannot be installed within one foot of clothing storage. Recessed fixtures/fixtures with CFL bulbs must be installed at least six inches from clothing storage. All non-recessed fixtures must be placed on ceiling or wall above closet door. Laundry Room Requires at least one 20-amp circuit for shared washer and gas dryer receptacle. Electric dryers require a separate 30-amp, 240-volt circuit wired with four conductors. All receptacles must be GFCI-protected. Return to Top Preparation for Installation With electrical projects, preparation must be done to get the work site ready. This includes protecting existing finishes, materials, and components that might already be there. Since it ultimately will help save money to use what's already in the home, it's worth preparation labor and costs. You should remove valuables and personal belongings, like electronics or heirlooms, from the area to protect them from damage and make the professionals job faster and easier. Site Cleanup When the project is completed, there will be a site cleanup and debris removal. This is common on most projects, but is something that adds to the average electrical installation costs. Check with your professional to ensure the price of cleanup is included in your quote. If not, you will need to , which may add to your project total. Collateral Damage When working with electrical wiring, pros may have to cut into surfaces to get to the wires and areas they need. If this becomes necessary, there will be costs associated with restoring finishes or replacing anything that had to be cut away. While skilled professionals will be able to minimize damage, you could pay up to $1,000 for drywall repair and refinishing. DON'T DIY. HIRE AN ELECTRICIAN. Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top DIY vs. Hiring A Pro Whether you are rewiring or adding or installing new wiring, electrical work should be left to a licensed professional. In addition to being high risk, the installation must be completed according to applicable local codes to avoid costly mistakes and future repairs. Otherwise, the safety of your home, family and investment could be at risk.
The national average to install or replace an electrical outlet is $207. A new one can cost as little as $75 or as much as $485. The project typically ranges from $132 and $287. Each receptacle unit will cost between $3 and $50 depending on the type you need. The price of hiring an electrician will range from $40 to $100 per hour depending on the pro you choose. Some, such as GFCI-protected or 220-volt units, will cost more in both materials and labor to install than others, like a standard, 120-volt unit. On This Page Outlet Prices by Type Standard 120V 2-Prong vs. 3-Prong 220V, 240V, & 250V GFCI Cable/Coaxial Wall Plate Floor Units Smart Costs to Install New Outlets New Construction & Whole-Home Remodels Floor vs. Wall Labor Rates Location Dryers or Other Appliances Existing Wiring Childproofing GFCI Installation Replacement Replacing Wiring Upgrading Changing from 2-Prong to 3 Moving an Outlet DIY vs. Hiring a Pro Bundling Installations Outlet Installation Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$207 Typical Range$132 - $287 Low End - High End$76 - $500 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 3,713 HomeAdvisor members. Prices by Outlet Type The biggest factor in the price to install an electrical outlet is the type you choose, which will range from $3 to $50. Most electricians include this cost in the total project quote. If a homeowner already has materials or requires a specialty unit, an electrician will charge for installation only. Standard 120V- $3-$22 each Standard outlets of 120 volts are typically on the lower end of the spectrum at $3 to $5 each. These 15-amp units, in use since the 1950s, can also power 110-volt devices. The actual voltage ranges from 110-125 volts, and manufacturers build modern appliances to withstand the variations. A standard 15-amp, 120V with two USB ports costs $13 to $22. Including USB ports in the socket allows you to plug smartphones, tablets, and other USB-powered devices directly into the wall to charge. 2-Prong vs. 3-Prong- $3-$5 each Standard units are available with either two prongs or three. Two-prong receptacles will be at the lower end of the standard price range of $3 to $5. Three-prong versions will be on the higher end. A two-prong outlet has a hot and neutral line only. The hot line connects to the power, and the neutral line completes the circuit. Older homes often feature 2-prong outlets. A three-prong unit also includes a ground wire that connects to the earth to drain unused power. In appliances with metal casing or metal power supplies, like microwaves and computers, the metal connects directly to the ground prong on the power cord. If there is a loose wire, grounded receptacles trip a circuit breaker to shut off dangerous power and prevent electric shock. Modern homes typically features these outlets. 220V, 240V, & 250V- $10-$20 each Standard, higher-voltage versions are also in the lower price range. In the past, electricians could offer both 220V and 240V outlets. Now, most come in at 250V. Heavy appliances like electric clothes dryers and ovens typically require these higher-voltage units. Exact price will depend on the type of appliance and required amperage. High 250 Voltage Outlet Pricing Amperage Outlet Type Cost 20 Straight-blade, narrow body $12 - $18 30 Dryer $10 - $12 30 Surface-mount dryer About $12 50 Ranges $10 - $20 Return to Top GFCI- $7-$25 each Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles for kitchens, bathrooms, or any area near water or moisture are typically a little bit more expensive at $7 to $25 each. Exact costs depend on quality and style, because all GFCI units function the same way. Like a standard, 3-prong outlet, a GFCI receptacle has a ground wire. Both types of units feature two vertical slots and a round hole. The left, neutral slot on the unit is slightly larger than the right, hot slot. The hole is the ground. When an appliance is working properly, all electricity generated flows from hot to neutral. Unlike a standard unit, this type monitors the amount of current flowing. An imbalance of as little as 4 milliamps will trip the circuit in as little as one-thirtieth of a second. Cable/ Coaxial Wall Plate- About $5 each Average cost of a coaxial wall plate is about $5. A phone, television, or internet provider usually installs these, not an electrician. Floor Outlets- $30-$50 each Box kits run between $30 and $50 each. You may step on the receptacle or expose it to water when cleaning the floor. To ensure safety and durability, these require an approved assembly that consists of a: metal box gasket seal special receptacle durable cover plate moisture-proof cover Smart Outlets- $15-$50 each Hardwired smart outlets range from $25 to $50 each. Some brands, like Amazon Echo and Google Home, need a separate control hub that connects the unit to the internet and/or allows voice activation. These can reduce electricity consumption and save money on electric bills. Homeowners can buy plug-in smart models for $15 to $40 online or at big box and hardware stores. Standalone plugs, power strips, and switches offer many of the benefits of hardwired versions but can simply be inserted into existing units. HIRE AN ELECTRICIAN FOR YOUR OUTLET INSTALLATION Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Average Costs to Install New Electrical Outlets A professional electrician charges an average of $55 per hour, but labor rates can range from $40 to $100 per hour. A seasoned pro can replace up to a dozen in an hour, while installing a single new one can take up to two hours. Actual rates will depend on the type of installation and the pros skill level. New Construction & Whole-Home Remodels Electricians generally charge by the receptacle for new homes or whole-home remodels instead of by the hour. The electrician will set a price for each receptacle based on labor and materials and multiply it by the total number of outlets in the home. He/she will price installation of specialty items separately. The cost to install light fixtures and bathroom exhaust fans will include materials and labor. Price to install items provided by the homeowner will be labor only. Adding Floor vs. Wall Outlets Installing in the floor or ceiling allows homeowners to access electricity from the middle of a room, preventing the need to run dangerous, unsightly cords from the wall. The hourly labor rate to install these receptacles will be the same. However, there are some factors that could increase installation costs by increasing the amount of time it takes to install. For example, concrete floors and floors over finished ceilings may be more difficult to work with than those over unfinished basements or crawl spaces. Likewise, ceilings under floors will need more care than those below attics. Location Certain locations in your home may require heavy-duty or GFCI units, which will cost slightly more to install due to the price of the unit itself and the necessary skill required. Refer to the GFCI section below for a list of areas requiring GFCI protection. Dryers or Other Appliances Heavy-duty, 250V outlets for dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, ranges, and other appliances cost more to install than standard, 120V units. Specialty receptacles cost more up front and also take more time and expertise to install. For pricing on your specific project, consult a professional for a quote. Return to Top Existing Wiring You will have to see if you need to install new wiring to accompany your new outlet, which will increase the price charged by an electrician. You will also need to ensure that the new unit won't draw too much power from one circuit. If it does, a new circuit is required. Your professional contractor can inspect the area and account for the additional added work needed in the project quote. Childproofing Outlets A common concern with electrical outlets is childproofing them for when kids will be present. This will be an added expense to the installation cost, but one that will increase safety and add to your peace of mind. The price to do this shouldn't tip the average rate of an electrician by much. Tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles are about 50 cents more than traditional receptacles. TR units feature spring-loaded receptacle cover plates. When you apply equal pressure to both sides, the cover plates open. When you apply pressure to only one side, they remain closed, preventing children from inserting foreign objects. National code requires TR units in new construction. CONSULT WITH AN ELECTRICIAN TO CHILDPROOF YOUR OUTLETS Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top GFCI Outlet Installation Installing or replacing a GFCI outlet will cost about the same as putting in a standard receptacle, except for the price of the unit itself. However, electrical code requires outlets in areas of the home where water or moisture is present to be GFCI-protected. In some cases, the receptacle must run off a 20-amp circuit, which may also impact overall project cost. GFCI Requirements Room Code Requirements Potential Added Costs Bathroom Outlets need 20-amp circuit Additional electrical panel amperage Receptacles need GFCI protection GFCI receptacles Kitchen At least two, 20-amp small appliance circuits to serve countertop receptacles Additional electrical panel amperage Countertop receptacles/those within 6 feet of a sink must be GFCI-protected GFCI receptacles Laundry Room At least one 20-amp circuit for shared washer/gas dryer receptacle Additional electrical panel amperage Electric dryers need separate 30-amp, 240-volt circuit wired with four conductors Additional electrical panel amperage All receptacles need GFCI protection GFCI receptacles Garage Need at least one receptacle, including one for each car space Additional receptacles All receptacles need GFCI protection GFCI receptacles Return to Top Replacing an Outlet Replacement and repair is usually straightforward for a licensed, experienced professional. However, factors like accessibility or the scope of work can increase the amount of time it takes to complete a project, which may impact project costs. Replacing Wiring In some cases, a faulty outlet may indicate a bigger overall problem with your homes wiring. In this case, your small repair project may turn into a more involved, more expensive venture. Rewiring: $540 to $2,100 varies per project and hours needed Service Panel Replacement: $1,300 to $3,000 including materials to upgrade to a 200-amp panel for enhanced electrical needs Opening walls and running wires: $3,500 to $8,000 added cost to open and repair walls Open ground: consult a pro for a quote may be a simple fix or may require extra hours of work to locate problem Upgrading Upgrading can enhance safety and convenience for a homeowner. Expectant parents may consider upgrading to TR units. Owners of older homes may want to replace 2-prong receptacles with grounded, 3-prong units. Technologically-inclined homeowners may want to incorporate smart models to manage their devices and save energy. In addition to cost considerations, youll want to be sure you upgrade according to code. Changing from 2-Prong to 3 Taking your standard 2-prong outlets into the 3-prong variety is a common project. If you have a grounded fuse box, a seasoned pro can replace the outlet in about half an hour for a total cost of $20 to $50. If your electrician must ground your fuse box or upgrade your panel, price of the project will increase. Before you change anything, you should consult a professional to determine your homes status and to provide an exact quote. Moving an Outlet This project can run as little as $25 or as much as $300. The type you choose will affect material costs. Condition of the walls will be the biggest cost factor when it comes to labor. Working on exposed walls without drywall or insulation takes less time and work for an electrician. Finished walls may require additional work and drywall repair, increasing the total project price. Consult your pro for an exact estimate. CONSULT WITH A PRO WHEN MOVING OR CHANGING YOUR OUTLETS Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top DIY vs. Hiring a Pro If you need to install an outlet, you'll need to find a reputable, licensed electrician to do the work. Some smaller electrical jobs may seem doable on your own, but electrocution and fire are valid electrical safety hazards. A pro will also know the local codes and laws surrounding electrical work in your area. Making sure everything is up to code will save you headaches in the future and ensure your family is safe. Electrical work and repair costs will depend on the electrician you choose. You can save some money by getting all of your electrical needs taken care of at once. Overall, putting in new outlets is an affordable job compared to other home projects. Bundling Installations One of the easiest ways to bring down the average rate of an electrician is to bundle a few electrical jobs at once since pros tend to charge by the hour. Determine if there are any other rooms that have been a hassle because of too few outlets and speak with your electrician before he or she arrives to your home.
Attic fan installation costs an average of $590. Most homeowners can expect to pay between $369 and $879. Depending on the quality of the unit you choose, location, and add-ons, the project can run as little as $200, or as much as $1,300. To add a whole house fan, homeowners pay between $1,250 and $1,830 on average. On the low end, you can expect to pay between $700 and $950 including labor. On the high end, the project can cost $2,000 - $2,750 including labor. There aren't a whole lot of downsides to installation. Attic units reduce heat build-up in your attic, which can get up to 150 degrees F in the summer. That kind of heat can ruin what you have stored there, not to mention the hit your energy bills will take. This also reduces the life of your roofing materials. Whole house units, on the other hand, cool your entire home by pulling cooler, outside air in and circulating it with cross breezes from open windows. In mild to moderate climates, these can cool without air conditioning. In either case, controlling the heat at the top of your home and allowing for proper ventilation will be a great asset to your home. On This Page Attic Fan Costs Roof Vent Fan Costs Gable Solar-Powered Whole House Fan Costs Exhaust Ventilation Fan System Installation Prices & Factors Materials Location Humidistat & Thermostat Conditions FAQs DIY vs. Hiring a Pro Attic Fan Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$590 Typical Range$369 - $879 Low End - High End$200 - $1,400 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 2,507 HomeAdvisor members. Attic Fan Costs Attic units range in price from $80 to $400 or more. The model you choose will affect the rate to install. There is a range of models for both roof and wall installation. Some models move more air than others, measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). Others feature higher-end finishes. Solar units include a roof-mounted solar panel. Location may also change price. They installed through the roof or on a gable. All these factors affect your total project cost. Roof Vent Fan Costs- $75 - $400+ Roof or ridge-mounted models range from $75 to more than $400. Price will depend on factors like size and airflow. In addition to cooling your attic, these systems... Inhibit mold and mildew growth by reducing moisture Prevent dust and dirt from settling in the home Are easier to mount Gable - $75 - $300 Gable-mounted models cost between $75 and $300 depending on size and airflow (cfm). They offer the same advantages as roof units in most ways. However, manufacturers make these fans in larger sizes, giving them more cooling capacity for larger areas. They can also be easier to install if an existing gable vent is already present. Installation will not require roof work or disruption of shingles. Leaks are also less likely because the units exist on a vertical surface and are covered by a roof overhang. Solar-Powered Attic Fans - $200 - $500+ Solar-powered ventilation systems run from $200 to $500 or more. While more expensive up front, they cost nothing to operate once placed. Energy Star-rated solar units may also qualify homeowners for a federal tax credit. These models also draw less air than electrical ones. As a result, they do not create zones of negative pressure. Therefore, they reduce efficiency by pulling conditioned air from the inside out. The lack of backdrafts also means the unit will not pull dangerous gases from combustion appliances back into the home. Return to Top Whole House Fan Costs Whole house fans range in price from $300 to $1,400 or more. To reap all of the benefits of a whole house ventilation system, you must choose the correct size and airflow. These factors will also affect the price of the unit. You install the unit in a central location in the upstairs ceiling and vent it through the attic. The fan draws hot air from within the home. Open windows create drafts and fill the home with cool air from outside. These units are more energy efficient, more cost effective to operate, and easier to put in. They also cool more quickly than a central AC unit when the external air is cooler than the inside air, operate quietly, freshen indoor air, prevent odors, and provide ventilation throughout the home. CONSULT WITH AN ATTIC AND WHOLE HOUSE INSTALLATION PRO Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top Exhaust Ventilation Fan Installation Prices & Factors Installation may require the expertise of more than one contractor. Labor rates vary based on the model you choose and your existing home features. A roofing professional should work with roof-mounted units. A licensed, experienced roofer will charge between $45 and $75 per hour. The process will take approximately two hours, for a total labor cost of $90 - $150. When a vent is not already present or needs modification to fit a gable-mounted unit, a carpenter can perform the work. He/she can also make the ceiling modifications necessary for a whole house ventilation system. Carpenters charge around $70 an hour. The work will take approximately two hours, for a total labor cost of approximately $140. You will need to hire an electrician to connect your electric or solar unit to your homes electricity source. Your pro can also mount and connect solar panels. Wiring will take at least one hour at a rate of $65 - $85 per hour. Materials In addition to the fan, you'll also need caulk, plywood, and a few electrical items for installation. None of this should break the bank, but it's something to consider as part of the overall cost. Shingles - $100 per square foot Siding - Up to $100. Cost depends on the size of the hole. Caulking - About $4 to seal the unit Gable-Mounted Vents - Between $10-$60 Roof-Mounted Vents - About $40 Location Prices will be similar whether you choose to place your powered ventilator on the roof or on a gable wall. The cost to add a roof unit might be slightly higher since it means cutting a hole in the roof, and then placing shingles above and around the plastic or sheet metal bases that serve as the flashing. The price to install into a gable wall depends on if you're choosing to install it in place of an existing vent. This might be a cost-effective option since you'll probably only need to widen that opening to fit. If you need to cut a hole into the wall, then it might be slightly more expensive. Return to Top Humidistat & Thermostat Most powered attic ventilators come with a thermostat, which controls when the fan turns itself on. These run $100 to $300 each, and installation costs around $100. Units without a thermostat run between $80 and $100. You can buy a separate thermostat/humidistat controller for $40 to $50. Since attics account for up to 20 percent of the average cooling bill, fans that turn on and off automatically are a worthwhile investment. More expensive models usually include a humidistat as well. Models with this feature will help to control excess humidity. This can be a problem in colder months, and can cause mold mildew peeling paint decaying shingles warped beams and floorboards Whole house fans do not include a humidistat or thermostat. These systems operate only when needed. A homeowner manually turns the machine on and off, usually in the morning or evening when it is cooler, for 30 minutes to an hour. Attic Conditions The condition of your attic will also contribute to the cost of installation. If it's difficult to access it, then it might increase the price. It's smart to clear some space if you have things stored up there. If moisture has wreaked havoc on the floorboards, then it might be dangerous to walk around. This would mean your professional will have to be careful, which could potentially make the project take longer and be more expensive. Both systems require attic access. Most pros will perform an initial inspection before they quote the work. Speak with your service providers about concerns about access or safety hazards at that time. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL TO INSTALL YOUR ATTIC FAN Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top FAQs Why Install an Attic or Whole House Fan? A powered ventilator lowers the temperature of the attic to reduce how hard a homes AC system has to work. A whole house fan lowers the indoor temperature of a home by removing warm air. Both models reduce energy consumption. Which is Better Whole House or Attic Fans? Whether a whole house or attic style is better for you will depend on a variety of factors. For example, attic fans will not raise home value but they are cheaper to purchase and install, while whole house are more expensive and can raise your home value. Also, whole house styles depend on a lower outside air temperature, while the attic styles can work with high temperatures. Who Installs Attic & Whole House Fans? Depending on your specific situation, you may require more than one professional contractor. A roofer should add the roof-mounted systems. A carpenter can make necessary structural modifications needed to place gable-mounted and whole house systems. Electricians can wire the unit to your homes electrical supply and mount and connect solar panels. How Much Does It Cost to Repair or Replace a Fan or Motor? Depending on the problem, the price of repairing an attic fan ranges from $180 - $400. How to Install or Replace a Bathroom Ventilation Fan A bathroom ventilation fan is different from an attic or whole house unit. Installing or replacing a bath fan averages just under $400. Because bathroom fan projects include electrical wiring, homeowners should consult a professional electrician. HIRE AN ATTIC & WHOLE HOUSE FAN INSTALLATION PRO Enter Zip Get Estimates Now Return to Top DIY vs. Hiring a Pro In most cases, you can install passive, gable-mounted vents yourself. If you are mounting on your roof or are adding an electric or solar-powered fan, you will need to hire a professional roofer, carpenter, and/or electrician. Overall, installing an attic fan is beneficial for ventilation and will lower your energy bills. The cost will be mostly determined by the current state of your attic and where you decide to place it. Make sure to talk to at least three professionals to find someone you trust and who understands the needs of your space. They'll be able to help you decide the best route for installation.
Cost to Install Bathroom Fan More than nineteen hundred homeowners report that the average bathroom fan installation cost is $373, or between $239 and $535. The fan itself can cost $15 to $300 or more. On average, buying a fan and having it installed costs as low as $110 and as much as $800 on the high end. Bathroom exhaust fans are essential for clearing out steam and moisture. Excess moisture and humidity (that accumulates after a shower) can affect paint and lead to mold and mildew. The price to install a bathroom fan depends on four things: The cost of the fan The cost of labor Whether or not there are air ducts Replacing vs. installing for the first time On This Page Bathroom Fan Installation Cost Calculator Exhaust Fan Prices Bathroom Exhaust Fan Installation Cost Install Bathroom Vents & Ducts Cost Install Bathroom Fan Through Roof Costs Vent Bathroom Fan Through Wall Costs Cost to Replace a Bathroom Fan Cost Factors Bathroom Size Installing Electrical DIY vs. Hiring a Handyman for Fan Installation FAQs Bathroom Exhaust Fan Installation Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$373 Typical Range$239 - $535 Low End - High End$110 - $800 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,991 HomeAdvisor members. Exhaust Fan Prices A simple bathroom exhaust fan can cost as little as $15. Exhaust fans with lights and energy efficiency add-ons cost around $140. Bigger bathrooms need bigger fans. Expect to pay anywhere from $120 to $370 for fans that service larger bathrooms (100 or more square feet). You can also install an all-in-one bathroom fan and light. These cost between $40 and $140. More enhancements (such as fans with Bluetooth speakers or fans that fit your bathroom’s decor) will raise the price. Return to Top Bathroom Exhaust Fan Installation Cost Hiring an electrician costs $50 to $100 per hour. Installing a fan in a bathroom for the first time could take 2 to 4 hours. Project prices depend on where you live, the electrician’s experience and how extensive the project is. Replacing a fan will cost less; adding ducts or new wiring costs more. Cost to Install Bathroom Vents & Ducts If there is no vent access, you’ll need to install ductwork. Duct installation costs between $150 and $2,000, based on location, home size and how much time it will take. In bigger homes, ductwork might cost upwards of $4,000. Contact a handyman near you to get a quote. Excess moisture in a bathroom needs to vent and flow outside. Most bathrooms have vent access, either through the roof, a wall or both. Cost to Install Bathroom Exhaust Fan Through Roof A bathroom exhaust fan costs between $15 and $300. With labor, expect to pay $60 on the low end and $500 on the high end. This cost depends on the fan price and the project difficulty. You can also redirect air and moisture outside with a roof vent. Ridge roof vents cost $2 to $3 per linear foot. Vent Bathroom Fan Through a Wall Through-wall fans cost $50 to $70, but can go as high as $200. With labor, venting through your bathroom wall costs $130 to $340. COMPARE BATH FAN INSTALLATION QUOTES FROM LOCAL PROS Enter Zip Get Quotes Return to Top Cost to Replace a Bathroom Fan Replacing or repairing a bathroom fan costs less than starting from scratch. For labor and the fan itself, you could pay as little as $60 and up to $400. It might only take 1 to 2 hours. Cost Factors to Installing Bathroom Ventilation Fan In addition to the cost of the fan, there are two things that factor into installation costs. Bathroom Size The size of your bathroom affects the size of the fan needed to expel moisture. Most bathroom fans accommodate the standard range of bathroom sizes, but in many newer homes the bathrooms are very large accommodating two-person showers and whirlpool tubs. Bathrooms that are 100 square feet or more will need a bigger bathroom fan or two standard-sized fans. Fans for bigger bathrooms cost between $120 and $370. Depending on if you’re replacing or installing a fan for the first time, you’ll pay between $150 and $690 with labor. Installing Electrical Since heat and steam rise, bathroom exhaust fans are best installed in the ceiling. When installing a bathroom fan where one doesn’t currently exist, an electrician will have to cut a hole for it and add new wiring. This will take 2 to 4 hours on average, but could take longer depending on your home’s structure. Return to Top DIY vs. Hiring a Handyman for Fan Installation To replace a bathroom exhaust fan yourself, you’ll pay $15 to $370 just for the fan, not including any additional materials. Installing a bathroom fan from scratch is complicated. You’ll need a special kind of drill, a ladder, ducts and many other specialized tools. Unless you already have all the tools and experience, you will likely pay more to DIY a bathroom fan than to hire someone. Working with electricity is dangerous, even for experienced electricians. It is safer to hire an electrician to wire in a replacement fan or install a new one. FAQs How much electricity does a bathroom fan use? Most fans use 6 watts on the efficient side to 60 or more watts for standard models. Fans with enhancements (such as Bluetooth speakers) will use 43 to 1,500 watts, but only when those features are in use. Do I have to vent my bathroom fan to the outside? Yes. Some homes vent fans to the attic, but this leads to mold and other structural damage. Even if the attic is vented, a bathroom exhaust fan still needs to vent directly outside. Who installs bathroom fans? Electricians handle bathroom fan installation. We recommend hiring a plumber or HVAC specialist if you need new ductwork. But for fan installation and wiring itself, electricians are the ones to call. How much does it cost to install a bathroom light fixture? On average, installing a light fixture costs $464. The cost of labor ranges from $80 to $230. Simple light fixtures (some of which include a bathroom fan) are less than $100. Ornate fixtures cost $1,000 or more. In total, you could pay between $180 and $1,230 for a new light fixture. How much does kitchen exhaust fan installation cost? A ceiling fan or wall fan costs anywhere between $30 and $300. The price depends on the type of fan you choose and the nature of installation. If the ductwork and wiring is already in place, you’ll pay less. Installing a range hood costs up to $4,500. Including labor, expect to pay between $280 and $6,000 for installation. Are toilet exhaust fans required in a bathroom? Building codes for bathrooms vary depending on location. While exhaust fans are not required, some form of ventilation (such as a window) must be present. Since most bathrooms don’t have windows, installing a bathroom or toilet exhaust fan provides the necessary (and legal) ventilation.
On This Page: What Does a "Smart Home" Really Mean? Pros and Cons of Home Automation What Home Automation Can Control Popular Apps, Brands & Systems Installation Considerations Conclusion Smart Home System Installation Cost Calculator Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located? ZIP Code National Average$927 Typical Range$290 - $1,563 Low End - High End$67 - $3,200 Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 106 HomeAdvisor members. For many homeowners, the idea of home automation conjures up images of futuristic living. While home automation technology is relatively new, it has improved the comfort, convenience and security of many homes. What Does “Smart Home” Mean? Home automation deals with syncing household devices and systems with schedules or responsive sensors. Smart home technology is only possible with modern devices like smartphone applications and wireless internet routers. Devices that turn on or off with a switch, remote control or timer are not considered smart. Smart devices activate according to a program or input from a wireless device. Examples of this include: A thermostat that adjusts itself according to your work schedule. A sensor that calls your smartphone and gives you a visual image of your front door when someone rings the doorbell. A refrigerator that keeps a running inventory and suggests menus and healthy choices. Return To Top Pros and Cons Modern home automation and smart technology go a long way toward improving your home’s convenience and comfort. But this technology isn’t without drawbacks. Here are several pros and cons of home automation and smart technology: Pros Money saving – Modern smart homes are 30 percent cheaper to operate than conventional homes. Some insurance companies even offer discounts to homes using smart technology. Convenience – Auto-preheating ovens, self-adjusting shades and self-managing appliances will help increase your peace of mind. Security – Door sensors will let you know if a door is opened while you’re away. Door alarms will help you keep track of your children and the people coming and going from your house. Some systems will also alert you when someone is at your front door and let you speak to your visitor remotely. Ease of use – Smart technology is designed with the user in mind. You won’t need a degree in programming to install or maintain your system. Cons Online vulnerability – Smart home technology is vulnerable to cyber attacks. In some cases, online criminals can steal your home automation passwords and information if they are stored on your computer. Make sure to store your passwords and other access information in a safe place. Expense – Smart technology is more expensive than conventional options. A normal light switch might cost several dollars, while a smart replacement may cost around $40. Reliability – Electronic signals from other devices can sometimes confuse your smart home systems. Hardwired setups aren’t prone to signal interference, but they are very costly and require professional installation. Return To Top What Does Home Automation Control? Home automation technology is grouped into six categories: energy management, climate control, security and access control systems, lighting/window/appliance control, home appliances and healthcare/assisted living systems. Some homeowners choose to focus on one category at a time, while others opt for full automation right away. Here are several candidates for home automation: Interior and exterior lighting Alarm and security systems Door and window locks Pool, hot tub and steam bath temperatures Home theater systems and speakers Phone and Internet lines Yard irrigation Thermostats Shades, blinds, shutters and curtains Turning off or lowering water heaters and HVAC functions Detecting water and gas leaks Return To Top Popular Apps, Brands and Systems Belkin We-Mo Switch: $80 to $90. The We-Mo Switch is a combination of motion sensors and programmable technology. Plug your appliances into the We-Mo and control them through the smartphone application. The We-Mo Switch boasts impressive functionality for the price and makes a great beginning automation system. Frontpoint: Components cost less than $100. Frontpoint is an automated home security system that is supported by over 200 manufacturers of over 600 devices. It has no installation charge and offers a full range of security upgrades. Frontpoint can expand to meet your home’s needs, regardless of its size or security level. Nest: Thermostat, $249. Smoke and carbon monoxide detector, $99. Camera, $199. Nest offers smart thermostats, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and cameras. Thermostats take about a week of manual setting to learn your schedule and adjust accordingly. You can also control your thermostats from your smartphone. Smoke and CO detectors alert you to a problem through an alarm and text. Cameras have a 130-degree view and can automatically turn on, depending on your phone’s location. The cameras can differentiate between leaves blowing in the wind and more significant movement, like someone at the door or window. Control 4 My Home: $100 annually. Control 4 My Home allows you to control your lighting, temperature, security, energy and entertainment systems. It will even let you turn off monitors and televisions remotely. Crestron: Costs depend on the features. Crestron offers a full suite of tech, including systems that pre-heat your shower, tune your TV to your favorite morning news station and handle security while you’re at work or on vacation. Savant: Basic system, $499. Full systems, $1,600. Savant offers a remote controlled system. You can program profiles into the Savant system so that each person in your home can set a room to their ideal levels. Savant also works with Z-Wave and other wireless platforms. Other Providers There are many providers of home automation systems. If you’re interested in home automation, research the big names like Vivint, Honeywell and ADT. These brands have an established history in commercial and industrial security and automation. Return To Top Installation Considerations Once you have chosen your smart technology, you will have several additional factors to consider. Make a list of the features you want before you begin shopping. What are the Costs? Here are some basic costs of installing home automation: Basic starter kit (lights or deadbolt controls): $40 to $500. Wireless mesh systems (Z-Wave, etc.): $300 to $600. Monthly service: $35 to $70 per month, plus activation fees, which normally cost around $200 to $500. Equipment is usually free. Cloud automation – $179 to $299. Hardwired – Unlike the above choices, which simply plug into your existing outlets, hardwired systems become part of your home. Hardwired systems are much more reliable and cost from $3,000 to $15,000 to install. Cost to Install? In general, the cost to have a professional install your system is around $85 an hour. Most homeowners can install plug-in systems, but it’s best to have a professional install hard-wired systems. Wireless or Hardwired? Wireless systems are cost friendly and simple to install. It’s best to have a professional install a hardwired system because of the complex nature of the job. Most hardwired electrical systems are substantially more expensive than wireless options. Security is the biggest difference when it comes to wireless and hardwired setups. Wireless systems are prone to interference and hacking. If your phone network goes down, any control apps on your phone become inaccessible. Hardwired systems are less prone to interference and can be very difficult to hack. But a battery backup is a necessity in case of power outages. Also, hardwired systems aren’t mobile, meaning you can’t take them with you if you move. But hardwired systems can increase a home’s resale value. Which Systems Should I Automate? The complexity of a system will affect your cost. Lights are often either on or off, unless you have dimmers. Systems like showers require specific settings, making them more expensive to automate. Do I Need an Internet Connection? If you intend to control or monitor your home from a distance, you will need to have a secure internet connection. Some apps require an internet connection in order to function properly. If your internet connection goes down, so do your controls. Can I Synchronize Systems? Synchronizing systems means that your devices will activate or deactivate according to certain conditions. For example, if you set your thermostat to the away setting, then your coffee pot knows not to turn on in the morning. If your alarm clock goes off, then the shower turns on and heats up to your desired temperature. Different brands may have trouble syncing with one another. Fortunately, there are hubs like Wink -- which cost around $49 -- that ensure your systems work in harmony. Pros and Cons Pros Some systems allow you to better monitor and regulate your energy use. Lighting and remote communication help keep your house secure by creating the illusion of someone being at home. Automated watering systems keep your yard looking nice, even adjusting watering times according to outside temperatures. Checking your doors and windows remotely reduces your security concerns while you’re away. Many buyers want a house with automation already installed. A robust system can increase the value of your home. Cons Available systems are incredibly varied. Be sure to research your system thoroughly before you buy. Different brands aren’t always compatible with one another. Most systems now have a monthly subscription fee. It’s important to also be aware of additional fees hidden within contracts. Read contracts thoroughly to avoid unpleasant surprises. All systems require power to operate, so be sure your home has a back-up power supply. Blackouts and brownouts can render your systems inoperable. Smart technology and home automation systems won’t work without a reliable internet connection. How Secure is My Data? Your data, programs and account information are stored by your service provider. Make sure to ask about your data’s security before signing a contract. You should also ask if your information is shared with other companies. Why Should I Automate? There are many benefits to home automation and smart technology. Many homeowners who use smart and automated technology enjoy lower energy costs, time savings and boosted security. Return To Top In Conclusion The benefits of smart technology and home automation will continue to grow as technology expands into additional aspects of homeownership.