Cost to rewire home?

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by FlyingTexan, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Jan 25, 2013 #1

    FlyingTexan

    FlyingTexan

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    I've been looking to purchase my first home in Houston, Tx. I'm nervous as any first time home buyer would be. I had the inspection report done and an item he mentioned was the wiring in the home is old. It is aluminum "tube" wiring on a 1930s, 2800sq ft, duplex.

    I'm buying it primarily for the location but like the idea of being able to have a renter and someone there all the time, I'm a pilot and gone a lot.

    Can anyone give me an idea of what to expect cost wise to have this replaced with modern wiring? The property has all kinds of initial issues, pier and beam foundation needs work, electrical wiring, and roof could have a leak but like I said the value is in the land. I'm not sure how much the current seller is willing to budge on the repair costs so I'm thinking of pushing him to have the foundation repaired then I'd tackle the cost of the electrical rewiring. I use to do roofing in the past so I'm not too worried about I can do all of that on my own with the help of a few laborers.

    Thanks for any help!

    EDIT** It should be known there are two breaker boxes on the outside. One for each unit.
     
  2. Jan 25, 2013 #2

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    My question is why do you expect him to budge at all over these issues??
    If they are that obvious I would assume that was taken into account with the price.
    Is the price high? Average? Low?

    All we know is this is 2800 sq/ft duplex in Tx. With just that it is nearly impossible to even guess. Maybe $6-7000. Maybe $12-15K. maybe more.
    You have to remember, you have two smaller homes in one.
     
  3. Jan 25, 2013 #3

    JoeD

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    Only someone on site could give you that info.
    I question the statement 'aluminum tube wiring'. As far as I know they did not use aluminum wire in the 1930s. It could be knob and tube wiring.
     
  4. Jan 25, 2013 #4

    drewdin

    drewdin

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    I purchased a home from 1927, it had real old BX cable, I opened most of the walls and had the electrician replace it if he could see it. So i replaced about 95% of the wires in my house and it cost me around $10k. The house is about 2000sqft

    I guess that is a rough estimate for you
     
  5. Jan 25, 2013 #5

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Based on a net search and the numbers given above, half come in at $8 to $15 per sq. ft., with a low of $2 and a high of $17, average = 11, median = 10, 14 samples.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  6. Jan 25, 2013 #6

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    Based on a net search of what?
     
  7. Jan 25, 2013 #7

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    My search terms

    [ame]http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=cost+to+rewire+house&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&tbo=d&rls=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=%22cost+to+rewire+house%22&oq=%22cost+to+rewire+house%22&gs_l=serp.12..0i7j0j0i7j0.4297.4297.1.6657.1.1.0.0.0.0.54.54.1.1.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.6zpxRVd2E8o&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.41524429,d.dmQ&fp=9471e6e3b7155cac&biw=1020&bih=764[/ame]


    My samples

    rewiring a house
    sq ft kilobucks $/sq ft
    1800 4 2
    2000 10 5
    1000 6.5 7
    1000 7.5 8
    1000 7.6 8
    1800 15 8
    1000 10 10
    1000 10.3 10
    1000 12 12
    1000 13 13
    1000 16 16
    1000 16.6 17
    1000 16.6 17
    1000 16.6 17

    11 =avg.
    10 =median
    17 =mode
    8 =1st quartile
    10 =2nd quartile
    15 =3rd quartile
    14 =number of samples

    If you have questions I recommend the Talkstats forum.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
    CallMeVilla likes this.
  8. Jan 25, 2013 #8

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    Holy sh*t. I WISH I could get $10-12 sq/ft to re-wire a basic smaller home. Those numbers are insane.
     
  9. Jan 25, 2013 #9

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    My bad. Fixed your 6 & 7 and 12 & 15 numbers to show 2800.

    sq ft kilobucks $/sq ft
    2800 6 2
    1800 4 2
    2800 7 3
    2800 12 4

    2000 10 5
    2800 15 5
    1000 7.5 8
    1000 7.6 8
    1800 15 8
    1000 10 10
    1000 10.3 10
    1000 12 12
    1000 16 16
    1000 16.6 17
    1000 16.6 17
    1000 16.6 17

    9 =avg.
    8 =median
    17 =mode
    5 =1st quartile
    8 =2nd quartile
    13 =3rd quartile
    16 =number of samples


    Based on corrected values, half come in at $5 to $13 per sq. ft., with a low of $2 and a high of $17, average = 9, median = 8, 16 samples.

    Your bids come in in the lower 1/4th. The OP should hire you!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  10. Jan 26, 2013 #10

    FlyingTexan

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    The report says the following;

    Service Entrance & Panels cont

    SERVICE WIRING: Observed service type of wiring is aluminum

    FEEDER WIRING: Observed feeder type of wiring is copper

    Was I mistaken in thinking the service wiring was wiring that ran throughout the house?
     
  11. Jan 26, 2013 #11

    FlyingTexan

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    It does go to say on the next page that it observed wiring is a mix of Romex and antiquated Knob and Tube. Is all K&T copper? does that make things better or worse?
     
  12. Jan 26, 2013 #12

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Using the search terms

    cost square feet rewire house

    and picking one quote from each of the 10 pages returned by this search to try to get more randomness in my choice of values, I now get

    sq ft kilobucks $/sq ft
    2800 6 2
    1800 4 2
    1600 4 2
    2800 7 3
    2400 6 3
    1000 3 3
    2000 8 4
    2800 12 4
    2000 10 5
    800 4 5
    2800 15 5
    1000 8 8
    1000 8 8
    1800 15 8
    1000 10 10
    1000 10 10
    1000 12 12
    900 12 13
    1000 16 16
    1000 17 17
    1000 17 17
    1000 17 17

    8 =avg.
    6 =median
    5 =mode
    3 =1st quartile
    12 =3rd quartile
    22 =number of samples

    half the cases are between
    3 $/sq ft
    and
    12 $/sq ft

    Getting enough quotes for each subcategory of this (type of wiring, number of outlets, age of house, ZIPcode, etc.) will be very difficult unless lurking electricians step forward with their historical data on the rewire jobs that they did.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  13. Jan 27, 2013 #13

    dthornton

    dthornton

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    Not positive, but I believe they stopped using knob and tube before they started using aluminum. K&T is inherently safe as long as the insulation remains intact, because the hot and the neutral wires are separated by space. However, that type of wiring has no ground. I have a house built in 1890 which still has some K&T. I have discovered that the insulation has cracked off of some of the wring, so I'm in the process of replacing it. As far as your wiring, I'd ask a local electrician to take a look at what you have and advise you. Aluminum wire used to be used extensively in mobile homes because it was cheap; and, aluminum is an excellent conductor. The problem with aluminum is that when you connect it with copper, there is a bimetallic reaction and the aluminum will corrode. Corrosion causes resistance, which can cause a fire. Outlets and switches made to connect to aluminum wire will (or should) be marked CO/ALR.
     
  14. Jan 27, 2013 #14

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    No, the service wiring is what feeds the house. From the utility drop, to the meter, then to the panel.
    In most places around the country this is aluminum wiring.

    Feeder wiring is between the main panel/disconnect/service and other panelboards. NOT surprisingly your home inspector used the wrong terminology. That is a pretty substantial mistake in terms.

    Branch circuit wiring is the wiring run throughout the house.
    AL wiring here is not good. It will not automatically burn down you house, but it MUST be dealt with properly.
    IMO K&T is the same. It's OK in pristine condition and without any insulation (the pink/yellow/blown-in kind) around it. One you mess with it or put insulation around it it typically becomes a problem.
     
  15. Jan 27, 2013 #15

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Here's possibly a better search, and it was easier:

    using the search terms

    cost rewire house "per outlet"

    $/outlet
    82 =avg.
    70 =median
    120 =mode
    30 =ratio, high sample value to low sample value
    20 =number of samples

    half the cases are between
    38 $/outlet
    and
    105 $/outlet
    with a max range of $10 to $300 per outlet.

    A histogram of prices tells yet another story
    10 to 75 xxxxxxxxxxxx
    76 to 141 xxxxxx
    142 to 207 x
    208 to 273
    274 to 339 x
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  16. Jan 27, 2013 #16

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    So in a profoundly long winded way you are telling us that the range is too great to even guess at a price.
     
  17. Jan 27, 2013 #17

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Early on, you yourself guessed at four prices.

    With these summary stats the OP and lurkers may at least know how much is too much to pay, or wonder why they paid so little.

    It does seem that counting outlets rather than counting sq. ft. will give a better answer.
    I finally plotted sq. ft vs. rewire cost and found that there is almost zero correlation.
    There may be more in these stats but I don't see it yet.

    Relax. You are not paying for my advice. Go have a beer with Mr. Port, and more than one if it's absolutely necessary.

    In all fairness, I should say that even engineering companies don't like stats - it's too much like quality control.
    It's too bad, because this branch of science is very good at detecting lies, waste, fraud, out-of-control production processes, etc., in addition to evaluating how effective or dangerous medical treatments are.
    Even "60 Minutes" doesn't seem to use it as often as they should.

    And speaking of quality control, if the cost of living in the US varies in only a 7:12 ratio, Austin:Honolulu, why is the cost of doing the same thing so different in these United States? Huh?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  18. Jan 27, 2013 #18

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    These are the times I actually wish I did drink. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Jan 27, 2013 #19

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Can't let this go. . .
    New search, new strategy,

    For rewiring a house from 1100 to 3700, didn't get many samples but got excellent correlation between house size and price.

    $/sq. ft.

    4.9 =average
    4.8 =median
    8 =number of samples
    0.94 =correlation, sq ft & kilobucks

    half the cases are between
    4.2 $/sq ft
    and
    5.6 $/sq ft
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013

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