How Much Does It Cost to Wire or Rewire a House?

National Average Range:
$5,000 - $15,000
Get free estimates from electricians near you
authorship avatar
Reviewed by Adam Graham. Written by

Your home’s wiring is integral to the way that you live in your home. While you may not see the wires hidden inside your walls and ceilings, they are delivering electricity to your lights, power strips, chargers, and appliances. When building a new home or addition, you need electrical wiring installed in the process. Homes built before 1960 may not have the capacity to handle modern appliances. Some older homes may also have older wires that are corroding and causing issues that could be dangerous. When dangerous issues develop, replacing the wiring or rewiring the house with a panel upgrade and updates to the outlets and many fixtures is usually required.

Because there are many types of wiring jobs, there is a wide range of associated costs. Since 2020, costs for electrical supplies have increased by an extraordinary rate each year. However, increases should slow down in 2023 and 2024 to approximately 3% to 5% per year. The national average range to wire a new home is between $5,000 and $15,000. The average homeowner pays $10,000 for new wiring, panel, outlets, and switches installed in a 1,750 sq.ft. home. This project’s low cost is $1,500 for new wiring for the outlets and fixtures for a tool workstation along one wall of a one-car garage. The high cost is $30,000 for rewiring an older 2,500 sq.ft. house with challenging access for wiring, an upgraded panel, new fixtures, outlets, switches, jacks, and significant cabling.

Cost Rewire a House

Electrical Wiring Cost
National average cost$10,000
Average range$5,000-$15,000

Electrical Wiring Cost by Project Range

Adding new wiring, plugs, and a few lights for a tool workstation along one wall of a 1-car garage
Average Cost
Installing new wiring, outlets, switches, and panel in a new 1,750 sq.ft. home
Full rewire of a 2,500 sq.ft. with challenging access for wiring, an upgraded panel, and new fixtures, outlets, switches, jacks, and significant cabling

Electrical Wiring Cost by Type of Installation

Electrical wiring is running wires or cables to areas of the home. This is done through the walls and usually includes ensuring the various components and connections are in place for use, such as outlets, switches, and panels. This process is easier in new construction because it is done before the walls are finished. This makes the process easier and keeps costs down. Rewiring happens in a home with old wires that no longer work safely. It is more labor-intensive because older wires must be removed first. The table below shows the cost of installing electrical wiring in a new home versus an existing one.

Cost per sq.ft. of electrical wiring by type of installation: new construction and house rewiring

Cost per sq.ft. of electrical wiring by type of installation: new construction and house rewiring

TypeCost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
New Construction$4 - $7
House Rewiring$6 - $12

Electrical Wiring Cost for a New House

Electrical wiring in a new house costs between $4 and $7 a square foot on average. Wiring for new construction is considerably easier than older homes. The wiring goes in before the walls so that the process is easier and less labor-intensive. Wiring a new home requires inserting the wires in the walls, floors, and ceiling and installing features like outlets, switches, and lights. It also requires the installation of an electrical panel. Some new homes also require the installation of ethernet cables and other related wiring. The first part of wiring a new house is called the rough-in phase. The cost for this portion of work without the second phase of finish work, where fixtures and finishings are installed, is approximately $3 to $6 per sq.ft. However, electricians generally perform both phases of work, so the total cost remains $4 to $7 per sq.ft. Wiring for a new house is always unique to the home and homeowner’s needs, so it varies in overall costs.

Cost to Rewire a House

The average cost to rewire a house is between $6 and $12 a square foot. In rewiring, all the current wires are removed and replaced with new wires. In this case, small openings may need to be made in walls, ceilings, attics, or crawl spaces to pull the old wires out. New wires are threaded through, so this process is longer, more labor-intensive, and more costly than wiring a new home. If the areas being rewired are difficult to reach, the drywall may need to be removed. If this is the case, expect additional costs for new drywall installation and finish work. For the rough-in or first phase of work, costs range between $4 and $9 per sq.ft. As with the wiring in a new home, electricians price their work with the second phase, or finish, included in the total, so the overall price remains $6 to $12 per sq.ft.

Compare quotes to get the best price on electrical wiring

Cost to Wire a House per Square Foot

The average cost to wire a home per square foot is between $4 and $7. These average costs include all labor and material for the wiring and the costs associated with outlets, switches, and the panel. The larger your home, the more outlets and switches, and the more complex your needs, the higher your costs. Your costs may also change based on the quality of the components you choose. For example, the cost to wire a 1,000 sq.ft. house is usually cheaper than the cost to wire a 2,500 sq.ft. house because more materials and time are needed for the wiring. Meanwhile, an average-size home costs between those ranges. The cost to wire a 1,500 sq.ft. house, for example, averages $6,000 to $10,500. The table below shows the cost of electrical wiring in a new house based on its size.

Cost to wire a 750, 1,000, 1,250, 1,500, 1,750, 2,000, 2,250, 2,500, 3,000, and 4,000 sq.ft. house

Cost to wire a 750, 1,000, 1,250, 1,500, 1,750, 2,000, 2,250, 2,500, 3,000, and 4,000 sq.ft. house

House SizeAverage Cost (Installed)
750 sq.ft.$3,000 - $5,250
1,000 sq.ft.$4,000 - $7,000
1,250 sq.ft.$5,000 - $8,750
1,500 sq.ft.$6,000 - $10,500
1,750 sq.ft.$7,000 - $12,250
2,000 sq.ft.$8,000 - $14,000
2,250 sq.ft.$9,000 - $15,750
2,500 sq.ft.$10,000 - $17,500
3,000 sq.ft.$12,000 - $21,000
4,000 sq.ft.$16,000 - $28,000

Electric Wire Price by Material

More than 20 cable types are used in residential buildings, but not all are common or something used in every home. Wires are made of copper or aluminum and may be insulated or sheathed in various materials, such as PVC. Each wire may be hot, grounded, or neutral, depending on its purpose. In most cases, the wiring cost is included in the overall project cost. Look at the table below to learn about the cost of replacing electrical wiring or installing new wiring in your home.

Electric wiring cost per sq.ft.: coaxial, multi-conductor, shielded twisted pair, direct buried, ribbon…

Electric wiring cost per sq.ft.: coaxial, multi-conductor, shielded twisted pair, direct buried, ribbon…

TypeCost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)
Coaxial$0.10 - $0.60
Multi-Conductor$0.20 - $0.35
Shielded Twisted Pair$0.20 - $0.35
Direct Buried$0.55 - $1.55
Non-Metallic Sheathed$0.60 - $3.30
Underground Feeder$0.70 - $1.20
Ribbon$0.75 - $1.15
Metallic Sheathed (BX/AC)$0.80 - $1.30

Coaxial Cable Cost

Coaxial cables range from $0.10 to $0.60 a linear foot. This is a double-insulated cable with an inner tube and outer insulator. Coaxial cables are used for TVs and video equipment. This is the cable you install for most paid TV programming and some internet types. These are becoming less common as smart homes and different viewing systems emerge, so coaxial cable installation cost is an affordable part of a home rewire. You are more likely to find this cable in pre-existing homes rather than new construction due to the emergence of wireless communication systems. However, homeowners interested in the best quality video recording from their security system may choose a wired system that uses coaxial rather than wireless.

Multi-Conductor Cable

Multi-conductor cable costs between $0.20 and $0.35 a linear foot. This cable is very common in some parts of the home, often where home appliances or electronic devices are installed. It features more than one conductor, but each is separately insulated. This is the cable for a security system as part of your home’s wiring. This cable could be used for video recorders and other audiovisual work. In some cases, it could be used as part of a home’s entertainment setup.

Cost of Shielded Twisted Pair Cable

The cost of a shielded twisted pair cable is $0.20 to $0.35 a linear foot. This material is used for video equipment. It is a pair of twisted wires, fairly inexpensive, and can be used for telephones, security cameras, and gaming equipment. With fewer homes having landlines and more security cameras becoming wireless, this cable is becoming less common. It is more commonly found in older homes.

Cost of Direct Buried Electrical Cable

Direct buried cable averages $0.55 to $1.55 a linear foot. This is a special uninsulated coaxial cable meant to be buried underground. It is good for high-speed transmissions. If you have cable or internet brought into your home, this is likely what is used. By being buried underground, it makes the cables less prone to issues with storms and interruptions. You likely cannot see this cable inside your home.

Non-Metallic Sheathed Cable

Non-metallic sheathed cable costs between $0.60 and $3.30 a linear foot. These are flexible plastic-jacketed cables that contain 2 to 4 wires and a ground wire. They were made to replace the older metallic sheathed cables. They can be used nearly anywhere inside the house and take on many jobs. Many electricians prefer to work with these, but a few prefer the cheaper and older metallic sheathed cable. Both can update older wiring.

Cost for Underground Feeder Electrical Cable

Underground feeder cables range from $0.70 to $1.20 a linear foot. These are waterproof cables made of many wires grouped and embedded in plastic. They are typically used for applications like outdoor lighting. They are designed to run from your circuit breaker out of the house. By running underground, they are not seen and do not interfere with landscaping. They are also protected underground so that they can last longer with fewer complications.

Ribbon Cable Cost

Ribbon cable ranges from $0.75 to $1.15 a linear foot. These are flat and very low-voltage cables made of parallel wires. The wires are not used for connecting your home to your power supply but are more often for personal use. They are most commonly used for computer equipment. They may connect computers, printers, and other office equipment.

Metallic Sheathed Cable

Metallic sheathed cable costs between $0.80 and $1.30 a linear foot. These are sometimes known as BX or AC cables. They can be used in high-stress areas and use three plain stranded copper wires with PVC bedding and sheathing. These cables are not used as frequently as newer non-metallic sheathed cables. However, they can be used in interior and exterior applications like branch circuits for outlets and lighting. They can also be installed and used in a wide range of areas and are easy to work with for the electrician.

Cost to Rewire a House per Square Foot

Rewiring a home averages $6 to $12 per sq.ft. These costs include removing all existing wiring and installing the new wiring. Depending on how accessible the wiring is, sometimes the walls can remain closed and only access holes need to be cut. Other times, the walls must be opened partially, and you have additional costs for the labor and repair. For example, the cost to fully rewire a 2,000 sq. ft. house starts at $12,000 with easily accessible wires. However, the cost can increase to $24,000 when extensive drilling and cutting must occur. The cost to rewire a 1,000 sq.ft. house costs from $6,000 to $12,000 when the electrician must remove the drywall or drill through the wood in the home. Lack of crawl space access in the floor or an attic at the ceiling increases the cost to rewire a 1,250 sq. ft. house from $7,500 to $15,000.

The cost to upgrade electrical wiring in home rewiring projects may also increase substantially with high-grade fixtures and components. Home rewiring does not always require that fixtures and outlets are upgraded, but it is common when updating very old homes with knob and tube wiring. Many home rewiring projects also include upgrading the panel. These cost estimates include a panel upgrade. Look at the common house sizes below and each size’s cost to update electrical wiring in home remodeling plans.

Cost to rewire a 750, 1,000, 1,250, 1,500, 1,750, 2,000, 2,250, 2,500, 3,000, and 4,000 sq.ft. house

Cost to rewire a 750, 1,000, 1,250, 1,500, 1,750, 2,000, 2,250, 2,500, 3,000, and 4,000 sq.ft. house

House SizeAverage Cost (Installed)
750 sq.ft.$4,500 - $9,000
1,000 sq.ft.$6,000 - $12,000
1,250 sq.ft.$7,500 - $15,000
1,500 sq.ft.$9,000 - $18,000
1,750 sq.ft.$10,500 - $21,000
2,000 sq.ft.$12,000 - $24,000
2,250 sq.ft.$13,500 - $27,000
2,500 sq.ft.$15,000 - $30,000
3,000 sq.ft.$18,000 - $36,000
4,000 sq. ft.$24,000 - $48,000

Average Cost to Rewire a House by Number of Bedrooms

The number of bedrooms in a home impacts the cost of rewiring the residence since the average size of the home naturally increases with more bedrooms. Homeowners may pay as little as $4,800 to rewire a one-bedroom cottage or as much as $30,000 to rewire a large four-bedroom home. On average, one-bedroom homes are 800 to 1,000 sq.ft., while two-bedroom homes are 1,000 to 1,200 square feet. Three-bedroom homes are 1,500 to 2,000 sq. ft., and four-bedroom homes are generally 2,000 to 2,500 sq.ft. These are just averages, and sizes vary. The table below shows the cost to rewire a house by the number of bedrooms.

Cost to rewire a one, two, three, and four-bedroom house

Cost to rewire a one, two, three, and four-bedroom house

Number of BedroomsCost
1 Bedroom$4,800 - $12,000
2 Bedrooms$6,000 - $14,400
3 Bedrooms$9,000 - $24,000
4 Bedrooms$12,000 - $30,000

Cost to Rewire a House by Location

Rewiring a full home is a common part of modern remodeling projects, but it is also common for homeowners to select a few important rooms for rewiring. For example, it is very common to rewire a kitchen during a kitchen remodel to add outlets, upgrade circuits, and update the design to accommodate modern electrical codes, which often require certain spacing and placement for outlets. Rewiring a kitchen is very common. However, homeowners who live in homes built before 1950 may want to remodel just a single room, like the bedroom or living room, to get additional outlets and a modern lighting design with recessed lights or picture lights. Similarly, a bathroom remodel may include rewiring, particularly when the bathroom is old or you change the layout of the room.

In some cases, rewiring a room is your only project. The cost for the rewire may end up being higher than if you were fully remodeling the space because the electrician would still need to open the walls to gain access to the existing wires. The average square footage of the room can impact the cost of the project. For example, rewiring a basement or garage will often cost more than a bedroom or a shed, simply due to the need for more wire and other materials. Take a look at the different locations below and their average costs to get an idea of the cost of replacing old electrical wiring in different rooms of your home.

Cost to rewire a house by location: laundry room, living rom, garage, basement, mobile home, bedroom…

Cost to rewire a house by location: laundry room, living rom, garage, basement, mobile home, bedroom…

LocationAverage Costs (Installed)
Bathroom$240 - $3,710
Shed$300 - $1,440
Laundry Room$325 - $1,200
Kitchen$620 - $2,855
Bedroom$790 - $3,705
Living Room$990 - $3,600
Garage$1,440 - $9,600
Basement$3,000 - $18,000
Mobile Home$5,540 - $11,090
Whole-House$9,000 - $30,000

Cost to Wire a Bathroom

Wiring a bathroom costs $240 and $3,710, depending on the size of the room and the amount of work required. The average bathroom size starts at 40 sq.ft. and reaches 310 sq.ft. If the rewiring occurs at the same time as a full remodel of the bathroom, costs may actually decrease. The electrician can work inside the walls while they are open without conducting exploratory work and extensive drilling to place new outlets and lighting fixtures. Upgrades like electric radiant floor heating and heated towel racks may push costs to the higher end. The NEC code requires GFCI outlets throughout the bathroom. In a full bathroom remodel, your electrician will usually conduct their work after the plumber because it is easier to route wiring around plumbing than for the plumber to route their pipes around the wires.

Cost to Wire a Shed

The average cost to rewire a shed is $300 to $1,440, assuming the shed is between 48 and 120 sq.ft. It is important to consider that wiring a shed larger than 120 sq.ft. often requires permits and adherence to local codes. A small shed that just needs a light installed or an outlet for charging electric power tools should not require a permit and cost on the low end of the scale. However, a large shed with features like an air conditioner or heater, multiple outlets, and a fan could cost much more. A popular project is creating a “she shed” or a “man cave.” These projects often have nice features, a finished look, and a higher price tag.

Cost to Wire a Laundry Room

The cost to wire a laundry room is $325 to $1200, with an average range for the laundry room of 55 to 100 sq.ft. One of the biggest costs in wiring a laundry room is the dedicated circuits required for the washer and dryer. Laundry rooms with a gas dryer can use one dedicated circuit for the washer. However, an electric dryer requires a dedicated circuit, meaning the laundry room must have two dedicated circuits. Two dedicated circuits mean a more expensive project cost than a laundry room with one dedicated circuit. Most laundry rooms will also have a few recessed lights added into the cost.

Kitchen Rewire Cost

The average cost to rewire a kitchen ranges from $620 to $2,855. Small kitchens in homes of less than 1,500 sq.ft. average 100 sq.ft. Large kitchens in homes of 2,500 sq.ft. or more reach an average of 240 sq.ft. Rewiring a kitchen is not more difficult than other areas of the home. However, the National Electric Code (NEC) and local/state codes impact the materials, spacing, and placement of common kitchen features like outlets. For example, the NEC requires at least seven to nine new circuits in the kitchen, as well as GFCI outlets, which are more expensive than standard outlets.

Cost to Rewire a Bedroom

Rewiring a bedroom costs about $790 to $3,705. The average bedroom in the United States is approximately 130 sq.ft. The average master bedroom is larger at an average of 310 sq.ft. Costs increase with larger bedrooms. It is important to remember that en-suite bathrooms are not included in these prices. The cost may also increase when the electrician must drill into the walls to remove and replace wires versus commencing work in a room where the walls have been previously opened during a comprehensive or multi-trade remodel. It is common for owners of old homes with old wiring to increase the number of outlets in the bedroom. NEC guidelines provide guidance on spacing and placement.

Wiring a Living Room Price

Rewiring a living room costs $990 to $3,600, assuming an average room size of 165 to 300 sq.ft. Living rooms are much like bedrooms. They do not require GFCI outlets unless the room has a water source, like a tap for a minibar. Costs increase in the living room when the homeowner wants a complex or artistic lighting scheme to highlight art or provide a welcoming area for guests. Living rooms commonly have fans installed. Some homeowners also want dramatic lighting like chandeliers, especially when they have a vaulted ceiling. As with other rooms, costs increase when the electrician must drill into walls or remove drywall, paneling, or ceiling to replace old wires and insert new features like outlets, wall sconces, and fans.

Cost to Rewire a Garage

Rewiring a garage costs $1,440 to $9,600. This range assumes a garage for one to four cars, or 240 sq.ft. to 800 sq.ft. Unfinished garages, where the homeowner simply needs a rewire and a few extra plugs for items like power tools, often cost less than jobs that include finish work and an updated lighting scheme. The price for a middle-of-the-road job includes replacing all wires and switches with NEC-mandated GFCI outlets. If you have fixtures or appliances in the garage that need replacing, the wiring is included in the cost. However, upgrades like electric vehicle chargers and their various types of connections, wires, and conduits increase the price.

Cost to Rewire a Basement

Rewiring a basement costs between $3,000 and $18,000 and depends heavily on the size of the basement and the amount of finish work and updates required. Basements vary in size from 500 to 1,500 sq.ft. and may be as large as the entire footprint of the home or just a portion. Like sheds, basements can be given varying degrees of finish work. The NEC does not have minimum height requirements to install outlets in a basement; however, it is required that all those are GFCI outlets. You may only need light fixtures or to have large appliances installed. If you plan on finishing the basement, your costs are the same as in new home construction - everything is roughed, the walls are finished, and the finish work begins. So, your costs are the same as any new construction space if you add outlets, lights, and other features. If you already have rudimentary wiring, your costs could be lower.

Average Cost to Rewire a Mobile Home

Rewiring a mobile home costs $5,540 to $11,090, depending on the home size. Mobile homes in the United States average 925 to 1,440 sq.ft. Like traditional homes, mobile homes that need rewiring also require new outlets, switches, and a circuit panel. Like stick-built houses, the more difficult the wires are to reach, the higher the costs. Smaller mobile homes with easy-to-access wires are much less expensive to rewire than larger mobile homes with difficult-to-access wires. It is worth mentioning that the National Electrical Code provides guidance and rules for mobile home wiring, so electricians must follow those rules for mobile home rewiring projects.

Average Cost to Wire a House

Rewiring an entire house varies quite extensively, based on the size of the home and the number of different rooms inside. Homeowners can expect to pay between $9,000 and $30,000 to fully rewire their home, assuming the house is between 1,500 and 2,500 sq.ft. and requires total replacement of all the wires and replacement fixtures and outlets. Obviously, some circumstances impact these prices. A homeowner undertaking a complete renovation might see a lower cost to rewire because the electrician will not have the duty of opening all the walls to run wires. However, a full rewire completed without any other remodeling work can become quite expensive with all the drilling and drywall work, especially if there is no crawl space or attic to run wires.

Talk to local pros to get quotes for your electrical wiring installation

Labor Cost for Electrical Work

Labor is the biggest part of a home wiring project. This is true whether you have a circuit panel upgraded or rewire your entire home. In either case, wiring for a project usually begins with mapping it out or determining what is needed and where. The electrician will determine the placement of the lights, where the switches and outlets will be installed, and whether the work requires a panel upgrade. Some electricians make recommendations on light fixtures. The wiring can be installed in new construction right away, roughing in your outlets, switches, and lights at once.

When rewiring, your walls may need holes cut to remove the wires. Some of the wires can be reached from the attic, crawl spaces, or other areas that are easily accessed. If not, some of the walls may need to be opened entirely to remove the wires. If this is the case, you may have additional costs to refinish the walls. In most cases, the circuit panel may be installed or upgraded at the same time and connected to the system. This work is carried out by an electrician. A permit is required ahead of time, which includes the job’s plans and diagram. This is followed by an inspection to ensure all electrical safety codes have been met.

Electricians charge between $40 and $120 per hour. Rewiring an entire home may take multiple weeks. Smaller jobs, such as wiring a single room or upgrading a panel, may take one or two days. Including the cost of all materials, it is common for electricians to price jobs per area with an all-inclusive price or per area with a cost divided between labor and materials. Labor is often a substantial portion of the cost and may account for anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent of the total job cost. Some electricians charge for an estimate before the project is started. Often, they credit that payment if the homeowner awards the contract to the electrician over another who also submitted a bid.

Cost to Rewire a House From Aluminum to Copper

If your home was built or last wired before 1960, you likely have aluminum wiring. Aluminum is lighter and less expensive than copper, so it had a brief period of being the preferred wiring material. Unfortunately, aluminum can expand and melt nearby surface materials when hot. It also corrodes over time and is not nearly as strong as copper. This makes it unsafe and more likely to catch fire, particularly if you attempt to upgrade to the additional amps needed to handle today’s heavier power loads. In fact, CPSC research states that homes with aluminum wiring are 55 times more likely to suffer from fire damage and catch fire than copper wiring.

The cost of replacing aluminum wire with copper wire is between $6 and $12 a sq.ft., including materials and labor. This includes a new circuit breaker, outlets, switches, and other necessary wiring, as well as the disposal of the old material. Your costs vary depending on how accessible the wire is and how easily the new wire can be installed.

House Wiring Cost Breakdown

The wires are only one part of the system that provides electricity and powers your lights and appliances. You also have other components to consider. In most instances, your home wiring includes everything, from the circuit panel to the outlets, switches, lights, and wiring for appliances. In most cases, the cost to wire a home includes most of these parts. Some of them may be installed by your electrical company, others are pieces of the wiring installation and serve no use to your electricity. Some have separate costs, such as if you have a new outlet installed in an existing home with current wiring. Others are only used as part of the initial wiring installation.

Common features of your home wiring plan or rewiring plan include conduits, outlets, switches, lights, and various jacks. You may see these features in an itemized price list for your rewire, but it is more common for proposals or billing to include an overall amount for everything required for the project, as well as the labor cost to install it. However, the following price guide can help you decide whether you want to purchase some components on your own, such as the light fixtures, or if it is easier to have the electrician handle the purchasing. Keep in mind that you may encounter other parts and procedures that are required in the wiring process, like the electrical tail, which is part of the meter and handled by the power company, and main earth, which is a connection to the ground installed during a panel upgrade. These costs are either included as part of a panel upgrade or a procedure handled by the power company. The table below shows details on common electrical system components.

House wiring cost breakdown by part: conduits, telephone jack, ethernet jack, cable jack, switches, lights…

House wiring cost breakdown by part: conduits, telephone jack, ethernet jack, cable jack, switches, lights…

PartCost (Installed)
Conduits$50 - $200
Telephone Jack$50 - $240
Ethernet Jack$75 - $275
Cable Jack$75 - $275
Switches$75 - $275
Electrical Outlets$85 - $275
Lights$100 - $300
Circuit Panel$2,500 - $10,000

Electrical Inspection Cost

Electrical inspections should be carried out whenever a home is sold, particularly if it is older. Inspections are also a good idea before making any significant upgrades or alterations to the home, independent of the official inspection your municipality requires before issuing a permit. If you have any concerns about the wiring in an older home, an inspection is a good idea. There are several things inspectors look for in an inspection, like the number of circuits, GFCI and AFCI circuit protection, electrical boxes, or proper cable anchoring, among other things.

They tell you what wiring was used and how much the current panel can handle. This inspection costs between $125 and $250, depending on where you live, your home’s size, and how easy or difficult it is for the inspector to reach the wires. A licensed electrical contractor or C10 contractor should perform the inspection. You may also need to arrange for a government inspection from your local building department after work is complete, so the city can close out the permit and consider the job safe and complete.

Electrician rewiring an attic in a family home

Cost of Replacing Electrical Wiring in an Old House

Replacing electrical wiring in an old house is a very common project. Many materials used in older homes pose a fire risk, particularly with today’s appliances and electrical needs. Because of the extra amps needed, many old electrical systems can overload. Aluminum and cloth-wrapped wires can also pose a fire risk. In most cases, the cost to replace knob-and-tube wiring is no different from replacing aluminum wiring with copper. Rather, rewiring costs are impacted more significantly by the level of difficulty of the project, as well as the current cost of replacement materials and the amount of materials needed for the upgrade.

The cost of replacing the wiring in an old house is between $6 and $12 a sq.ft. Many electricians charge between $100 and $200 to inspect the home and write a proposal or bid for the project. However, homeowners can pay for the inspection without the expectation they will hire an electrician for work. Some electricians will credit that payment toward the cost of the project should the homeowner select that electrician for the work. The proposal includes the cost of replacing all the switches and lights, upgrading to a circuit panel, and removing all the old material. It also means most of the light fixtures need new wiring. While the wiring is part of the total cost, the fixtures are not. Homeowners may purchase their own fixtures, and the electrician will install them during the final phase of the rewire. The decision to upgrade fixtures is usually made before the rewire begins, so the electrician can provide an estimate for the project that includes the materials and labor for all rewiring activities and installation minus the cost of the new fixtures.

Safety Codes

The National Electric Code (NEC) exists to ensure all wiring jobs conform to a national standard for safety. Whether you are bringing an older home up to code or wiring a completely new house, some codes dictate which wires, cables, outlets, and ground faults are necessary in each room or area. Every wiring job must have a permit filed and an inspection after wiring to ensure these codes have been followed. A full listing of safety codes can be found at the NFPA. Below are some ways these codes could impact your wiring job.

The NEC requires GFCI outlets in the bathroom, kitchen, and anywhere water is present. Kitchen countertops must have at least two outlets. One outlet in the bathroom must be within three feet of the sink. All rooms in the home must have a switch within reach of the entrance. Walls wider than two feet must have an outlet. Stairs require a separate lighting source on the landing, and three-way switches are required at the top and bottom of the stairs. Hallways also need three-way switches at each end of the hallway. Hallways longer than ten feet also need an outlet. Fixtures in closets must be at least six inches from the storage space, but some fixtures require a greater distance.

All outlets within the laundry room must be GFCI. There are strict requirements for the circuits associated with laundry machines. The garage must have at least one outlet for each car space, and the outlets there must be GFCI protected. In addition to these specific rules for various rooms, the NEC also guides general wiring. For example, all wiring must be grounded. Outlets must be placed within four feet of a doorway and every 12 feet after that point. It is worth noting that all jobs do not require adherence to modern codes. When the electrician performs a simple update or repair, that change does not require a permit. For example, replacing a single malfunctioning outlet with a new one doesn’t mean the outlet’s placement needs to change to accommodate the modern code.

Stranded vs Solid Wire Cost

Wiring comes in two types - stranded wiring, which is made up of multiple small copper strands, and solid wiring, which is made of one larger wire. Typically, solid wiring was once used for most applications in residential homes because the most common size - #12 - can bend and move at this gauge. However, stranded wiring is much more flexible and offers more placement opportunities, so it is a common part of new electrical wiring.

As homes require more wiring and connections, many electricians use more stranded wire. It bends and can be used in more areas than solid. This does not mean you need to remove all your old solid wire; however, your electrician may use stranded wires during the upgrade process if they suit the project better. Solid wire can actually be a better conductor, but sometimes it is too bulky at larger sizes to work well in meeting some modern residential home needs. Solid wire is less expensive, however, so if you have a choice, consider the costs.

Comparison of the cost per sq.ft. of solid and stranded wire

Comparison of the cost per sq.ft. of solid and stranded wire

WireCost per Foot (Materials Only)
Solid$0.19 - $0.82
Stranded$0.21 - $1.17

Find top-rated electricians near me

Enhancement and Improvement Costs


In many home remodels, wiring is not the only job an electrician undertakes. They may also set up appliances and alarm or security systems. Expect to pay between $200 and $400 for each set-up in addition to the cost of installing a new outlet for an appliance or wiring for a security system. Discussing potential appliance upgrades or changes with your electrician is important so your electrician updates your panel accordingly. For example, you might need a bigger panel if you switch from gas to electric appliances.

Upgrading the Panel to a Higher Amperage

You may need to upgrade your panel to a higher amperage when rewiring your home. Panel upgrades range from $2,500 to $10,000, depending on the amperage. A standard 200-amp panel costs between $2,500 and $4,500. A 400-amp panel costs between $8,000 and $10,000 due to the cost of the components. When the panel on a home is old like the wiring, the panel’s capacity is often too low to support the new wiring and the new expected electricity usage. The panel may be upgraded independently from a rewire, but the panel upgrade should come before the rewire.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • DIY. Many aspects of home wiring can be done DIY, but this is not generally recommended. You must pull the permit, which means submitting a detailed and thorough diagram, completing the work safely, and then passing inspection. Unless you have some electrical knowledge already, it is best to leave this job to the pros.
  • Knob-and-tube wiring. If your home was built before 1960, you likely have knob-and-tube wiring, which must be removed before a new panel and wiring installation can be finished.
  • Safety hazards. If the electrician finds any safety hazards or faulty wiring in your home during the course of the work, these must be fixed at an additional cost before continuing with the rest of the job.
  • NECA. NECA can help make sure you always hire a licensed professional, and we recommend you to get a written estimate before hiring an electrician. It should include a breakdown of the various costs involved in the project, including labor and materials. Your electrician can offer you additional information on finishing costs and recommend the type of work needed.
  • Wire concealment. When installing wiring, many pros have to cut into wall surfaces to conceal the wires. This may require repairing or restoring some finishes and areas or replacing materials that were cut away. This can increase costs.
  • System. Electricians use two systems when rewiring or wiring a house: conduits and cabling. In conduits, a tube is installed through which several wires are pulled. In cabling, a set of wires is bound together using a protective and flexible sheathing. The electrician will employ the system that best suits the project at hand, whether that’s using a conduit to get multiple circuits to one location or cabling to get one circuit to a location.
  • Location. The cost of living in a homeowner’s state may influence wiring costs. For example, rewiring a house in Texas and Florida costs less than in California because California has a higher cost for most goods and services.
  • Lifespan. In ideal circumstances, copper wiring should last anywhere from 50 to 70 years before needing replacement. Modern wiring may last as long as 100 years in ideal conditions. However, damage, wear and tear, and remodeling activities may require the home to be rewired earlier to support new devices, appliances, or outlets.
  • Site cleaning. Electrical contractors and workers regularly clean up their construction waste after completing their work. In some cases, they may utilize an on-site dumpster during a remodel that requires many different tradespeople. Note that used electrical wire is valuable for recycling, so you may not even need to pay someone to clean up the valuable old wires since they will come to your site and remove the debris for free.
  • Permits. Permits are exceptionally important for major electrical work like rewires and panel upgrades. Some work cannot begin until a representative from the local municipality has authorized the project to start or approved the plan. Many electrical upgrades require final approval from the municipality after work is complete.


  • What type of electrical wiring is used in homes?

There are many types of electrical wiring used in homes, depending on the area and use. The most common type is multi-conductor cable.

  • Which wire is live, red or black?

Both red and black wires should be considered hot. Black leads to the switch, while red indicates the legs.

  • What is the average cost to rewire a house?

The average cost to rewire a home is $6 to $12 per sq.ft., making a 2,000 sq.ft. home around $12,000 to $24,000.

  • How do you know if you need to rewire your house?

Consider rewiring your home if you regularly trip breakers, have burned outlets, see flickering lights, or have knob and tube wiring (70+ years old) and want to increase the amps of your panel or increase the amount of electricity you use with more outlets or an electric car.

  • How long does it take an electrician to wire a house?

On average, it takes around a week for an electrician to wire a 2,000 square foot home.

  • How much does it cost to run electricity to a house?

If your home is 100 feet or less from the road, the cost to run the line to your home is free. This is done by your power company. If your line is more than 100 feet from the road, expect costs of $20 to $50 a foot for every additional foot.


Cost to wire a house varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

calendar icon last modified Updated:
Electrician Passing Electric Wiring to the Sockets
electricians near you
Get free estimates on from trusted electricians in your area

Was this guide helpful to you?
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources