Service for new house/cost

Old 10-12-03, 04:48 AM
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Service for new house/cost

We are building a new house on the Chesapeake Bay. It will be a vacation home, mostly used three seasons. I'm thinking it makes sense to put in 200 amp service, but I wondered if anyone has any thoughts. I thought I read somewhere that the price diffference was minimal? I wouldn't even ask but several years ago we were upgrading the service on a different home (also a vacation home) and the electrician said it was a waste to go to 200 amps, said just go to 100 (it was 35 amp at the time).

Also, any guess of the cost to wire a three bedroom home, nothing extravagant. (I realize there are a ton of variables). Just want to get an idea of what range we're in?

Thanks for any help.
Old 10-12-03, 05:29 PM
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service for new house

Depends what kinda applainces you will be using during the three seasons.. If one of those seasons is summer youll be running a some heavy duty units like central AC.
Might be good to have at least a 150 amp service..
Old 10-12-03, 07:46 PM
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Definitely go with the 200 amp service, and a main panel with space for 40 circuits. Even if you don't need it now, the capacity will give you headroom for future needs.

As for the cost to wire a 3br house, a rough estimate is $3-4 per square foot to meet Code minima and if light fixtures of average cost are used. This is for urban N. Calif, but might be applicable to your area. A good electrician will not base a bid on SF cost, but I use it as a check for a bid based on the specifics of the plan.

Best of luck on the new place!

Cliff Popejoy
Apex Electrical Contracting
Sacramento, California.

p.s. If you'd like some advice on the electrical design, contact me via e-mail at Usually the architect misses a number of opportunities to make the electical wiring/lighting more convenient and efficient; and if you have the job bid on by a few contractors, none will want to suggest enhancements for fear of losing the job on the basis of cost. Cliff
Old 10-12-03, 10:44 PM
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Arrow New Code?

I don’t know there, but here in TX, and according to the guys in Low’s and Home Depot, new
code is asking for 200A.
Old 10-13-03, 08:57 AM
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Wow, guys in Blowes and HomeDespot!

Real experts!

Actually the NEC set 100 amps as the minimum for a residential service. And actually, some (a few) people at the big boxes do know what they're talking about.

Local or state codes may differ, and power company requirementsfactor in as well.

I'd be real suprised if any code or utility requirement mandated 200 amps. That's a lot of energy at 240V, and a lot of houses just don't need that much. Remember that electrical codes are intended to ensure that the installations are safe, not necessarily adequate or efficient.
Old 10-13-03, 09:42 AM
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Amp man is right
the last people you want to talk to is the guys at blowes and home cheapo!!!!!!!

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