Updating electrical service

Any small electrical job, like changing a light fixture or changing the cover on a wall outlet, has the potential of becoming a major project requiring a complete overhaul.

This is more often the case with older homes, as wires and the insulation surrounding them have a tendency to become brittle over time.

Because electrical magic happens behind walls, forecasting the extent and cost can be a big challenge and a big question if you’re budgeting for a renovation or for a new home purchase.

Read on for nitty gritty budget basics of electrical work and potential costs!

However, the hourly rate alone is not as important as the electrician's experience and capabilities.

You can call your local building code office to see what's allowed in your community.

In some municipalities, even running a wire to a new electrical outlet requires an inspection, an electrical permit and the work must be done by a licensed electrician.

Contractors will first look at the electrical panel (or “box”) in order to determine circuit load capacity — in other words, what can the existing framework currently handle?

Experienced contractors who do this routinely can generally tell by looking at the circuits what can and cannot be done (whether you need to add more load on the existing framework or whether you need to upgrade to a larger panel because switches are full).

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Updating the electrical wiring in a house is not the way most homeowners want to spend their remodeling budget.

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