1926 2 story home needs complete rewiring of knob and tube. There is a crawl space and attic. First electrician called said to gut all plaster and start from studs. I don't want to lose all the plaster.
Possible? Wonder what the ballpark figure would be to rewire with panel a 2900sft 2 story? Not including any wall repair.
That guy is not a rewire electrician. He is new house installer. Find someone who has experience in rewiring old homes. There is no need to gut the entire house the rewire it. Houses are so different there is no way to get a realistic estimate over the internet.
You can cut-in openings and sections where wiring is needed instead of destroying all the plaster. The repair cost will be cut significantly and the electricians can still do what needs to be done.
You will want a new grounded service panel upgraded to 200A .... dedicated circuits to kitchen and laundry ... fully grounded and circuit protected with GFCI ... receptacles for modern electronics (may as well bury a pair of HDMI cables for your big screen TV) ... ceiling fan boxes ... recessed lighting in kitchen and bathrooms ... 20A and 220A receptacles/circuits in garage for shop tools ...
With a crawl and attic it CAN be done without damaging pretty much any plaster. That is IF your guy is skilled at remodel work.
NO ONE can give you an accurate estimate without seeing the job in person. Don't be shocked if someone will only do it time & material.
Jennype, I had the same problem and gutted most of my downstairs for the new wiring per the electrician. I do not want to do that upstairs however and have not been able to find an electrician that will do it. One told me he would have done the whole house but will not come in and work after another electrician has started. I'm still looking.
Maybe call a few more electricians? The "new work only" guys are few and far between, since new work is very scarce these days. I'm not sure how big of a town you live in, but I'm sure there is more than two electricians within working distance.