cost of panel upgrade?

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  #1  
Old 02-27-06, 03:37 PM
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cost of panel upgrade?

Does this seem right?

Remove existing 60A panel (outside of house)
Install new 125A panel (inside of house – garage)

Run 30 ft of conduit to attic with 11 homeruns – terminate in J-boxes in attic

No other rewiring.

$4800, and this is a side job. Is there something I’m missing here? Is it that expensive to move the location of the panel?

I was under the impression the cost of such work is ~2K…?

I’m in CA, in the SF bay area. Thanks.

EDIT: Breakdown is $1941.00 in material and $2880.00 in labor,labor is already discounted $600.00 based on this is a friend of a friend..
 

Last edited by fuente; 02-27-06 at 06:59 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-27-06, 07:00 PM
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You didn't say how much is labor. The unusual part in all those new runs to the attic.
That boosts the cost considerably.


It still seems odd to me that you would spend all that money and not end up with a 200A service.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 07:45 PM
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The labor is $2880, after a $600 discount. The runs to the attic represent the eletrician pulling new circuits. Why would that be unusual? I'll have the existing circuits (8) which will be connected to the new breakers, then 11 new circuits pulled thru conduit up into the attic, where I will complete the install.

What I'm finding it hard to swallow is the labor. From what I understand, this is a one day job for two guys, 2 days max. No way labor is going to be $3K. I don't know what that breakdown is, but if it's accurate..I"m in the wrong business !!

And why would the cost increase significantly? I could actually pull the wire myself thru the conduit..it's not hard and should take a pro more then a few minutes. Longer to bend the pipe and fasten it, but not much after that.

I'm trying to learn here. Any more info would be greatly appreciated. Of course, I'll be getting another quote.

Thanks.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 08:05 PM
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Pricing for services is NEVER broken down into time and material. At least not in any electrician's world I know. If you asked me to break down a job like this inot T&M I would politley decline. Maybe the extra part for the conduit runs but not the service.

While this does seem high, from feedback I have seen you happen to be in one of the most expensive areas in the country.
All I can say is get other prices. This is a very "supply and demand" dependent situation.

Also, I hope he is planning a few conduit runs. 11 circuits in one conduit is crazy!
 
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Old 02-27-06, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
Pricing for services is NEVER broken down into time and material. At least not in any electrician's world I know. If you asked me to break down a job like this inot T&M I would politley decline. Maybe the extra part for the conduit runs but not the service.

While this does seem high, from feedback I have seen you happen to be in one of the most expensive areas in the country.
All I can say is get other prices. This is a very "supply and demand" dependent situation.

Also, I hope he is planning a few conduit runs. 11 circuits in one conduit is crazy!
Well, I know the cost of the material, retail, and what he is asking is WAY over that. Not even close. The conduit runs, maybe I'll ask him to quote without those. That's easy. And yes, I should have said 'runs'. It won't be all one run.

This is one of the reasons why I am very leary of contractors, even when they are saying they are giving you a 'deal'. In my line of work, hourly rates are very comparable, and it's a tangeble number.

Outside of the connection of the panel, the rest of the work I can do. So let me ask you, if you were to quote just running conduit for 11 circuits from the panel to the attic (probably 40 feet, inside a garage with plenty of supports), what would you quote?
 
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Old 02-27-06, 08:28 PM
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MY Lawyer gets $150/hr, and it gets broken down into 10 mi. increments. Including phone calls (30 sec or 10 mns) and no "free" estimates.
I did not go to Law school. But he makes it look easy, perhaps I'll try it myself.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 08:34 PM
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Well, for two guys, 8 hrs day, it's $180/hr AFTER the discount, $217/hr without the discount.

And this is a side job, so no tax.

Damn, if I could make $217/hr post-tax for 8 hours of work on the weekends, I'd only work on Saturday !!


Man, I'm in the wrong business !!
 
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Old 02-27-06, 08:37 PM
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I couldn't begin to estimate that without seeing it.

I had meant to ask about the "$600.00 discount". Is that for being such a nice person?
I am also leary of folks telling me I'm getting a "discount".
Like furniture ever sells for retail? They tell us we're getting 50% off when that is the nromal selling price.

Like I said, I would get two other quotes. If your area is saturated with such high $$ work you're sure to get some greedy contracotrs coming out of the woodwork.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 08:48 PM
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INSURANCE? LIABILITY? KNOWLEDGE? Vehicle, Ins. on vehicle, fuel for vehicle, Time getting materials, permits, inspection time, Trained pros? 32 man hrs. 8hrs/man x 2men x 2 days.....
Labor quote, $2888.00/ 32= $90.25/hr/man ... Not a bad hourly rate, all things considerd
 
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Old 02-27-06, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by lectriclee
INSURANCE? LIABILITY? KNOWLEDGE? Vehicle, Ins. on vehicle, fuel for vehicle, Time getting materials, permits, inspection time, Trained pros? 32 man hrs. 8hrs/man x 2men x 2 days.....
Labor quote, $2888.00/ 32= $90.25/hr/man ... Not a bad hourly rate, all things considerd
Well, it was quoted at a 1 day job for two people. This also does not include permits.

He can pull the materials directly from his shop, so no time going to the big box store.

It's a moot point anyway. I'll be getting two more quotes, at least.

I'm just curious to see what you all think.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey
I couldn't begin to estimate that without seeing it.

I had meant to ask about the "$600.00 discount". Is that for being such a nice person?
I am also leary of folks telling me I'm getting a "discount".
Like furniture ever sells for retail? They tell us we're getting 50% off when that is the nromal selling price.

Like I said, I would get two other quotes. If your area is saturated with such high $$ work you're sure to get some greedy contracotrs coming out of the woodwork.
The guy is a friend of a friend, that's where the discount comes from. I know furniture is marked up, but when I can go buy a panel for $200 at HD and I'm being charged $500, well....

That's one of the reasons why I love this site. When I first became a home owner, I had no idea how to do anything. After a while I learned, and realized that doing it yourself is a whole lot cheaper, and it also depends on your area. Here's an example:

I drywalled my family room, mudded, taped and sanded. I wanted it textured, and planned to do it myself. But I wanted to see how much a 'pro' would charge. So I called a company and asked.

Mind you, that where I live in the Bay Area is VERY expensive (on the penninsula). East Bay is less expensive, but still outrageous. So I told this guy that I lived in a city on the penninsula (my city) and his quote, for a 280 sq ft room, orange peel on ceiling and walls, was, get this...$1,000. He said its' a two man job, all day.

Then I called the same guy back later, gave him a city in the East Bay..cost dropped to $600. One day, one man.

Now, I actually did the work, borrowed the hopper and compressor, and sprayed the entire room in probably 1 hr, with most of the time being used to thin the mud. And if it's a two man job, what is the second guy doing anyway??

Now, my flooring contractor, on the other hand, told me up front the cost per hour, and material to level the floor. I supplied my own material, and he used that and charged me $50/hr to do the leveling. And he came back twice more to check the level on my floors in other rooms, knowing that if he found it out of level, it meant $$ for him. Both times I watched him, and both times he was honest and said they were fine, which they were. That's my kind of contractor.

For this variable alone I cannot stand dealing with contractors in this field. No offense, but not being able to quote out a job T&M is unacceptable, at least in my world. Supply and demand should of course have something to do with the price, but not everything.

But thanks to a lot of reading, asking questions, etc. I am able to do just about anything. And I suspect that I"ll also be learning how to run conduit from the panel to the attic very soon !!
 
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Old 02-27-06, 09:24 PM
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I'm curious as to whether conduit is even needed here. You haven't described the job in much detail, but in many areas Romex can just be run through floor joists and studs. If this were the case, it's even more likely that you could run all the wires and pay someone to hook up your service.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 09:26 PM
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That is a possiblity. I think in in my area I can run romex above 8 feet, without using conduit. But even if I need conduit, that's only a matter of buying a couple of sweeps and couplings, and cutting the runs to length. I'll check with the inspector. Thanks.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 09:28 PM
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Get more estimates.

If he says side job, tell him no thanks. Side job means no insurance, no warranty, no nothing. You don't want someone working in your house without insurance.
 
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Old 02-27-06, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft
Get more estimates.

If he says side job, tell him no thanks. Side job means no insurance, no warranty, no nothing. You don't want someone working in your house without insurance.
well, the work will be inspected. And talking to the inspector, they only look at the work performed, which would be, it's looking like, just the install of the panel and connection of the existing circuits. The power will be off during the install.

No other work will take place. I figure if the inspector signed off on the job, then, well, it's acceptable, to code, and installed correctly. I mean, really, this is a pretty easy and basic install for a pro.

But you're right..these prices seem like it's NOT a side job.
 
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Old 02-28-06, 08:09 PM
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Got another quote. Total job, same scope, $1500-$2000 for the total job. I'll pull the permit as well, so an extra $55.

Estimated cost of material was $500-$800. The rest is labor. It will take two guys 1 full day to complete.

That's more like it. These are family friends who are electricians who I've known for 20 years. I guess I should have gone to them first...!

I think the other quote was 1) done as a favor to me by my friend or 2) represented an overbid because he really didn't want to do the work in the first place.

I"m not really sure, but 2K seems to be a more accurate figure.
 
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Old 03-02-06, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Timinindy
I'm curious as to whether conduit is even needed here. You haven't described the job in much detail, but in many areas Romex can just be run through floor joists and studs. If this were the case, it's even more likely that you could run all the wires and pay someone to hook up your service.
I totally agree. Why can't you run it yourself. its not very hard. and do you have walls up in the garage? if not, why not just run it up the studs to the ceiling joist? running it yourself even if you do choose to go with the conduit would be way cheaper for you even if you rent or by a pipe bender plus wire and supplies. I also agree with why wouldnt you just go for a 200 amp service allowing for more upgrades later if you choose to. prepare for the future because you dont know today what you might want tomorrow. It's not very hard doing these things yourself. I'm a girl and I did it. lol. and at the HD store they have many books about wiring and home improvement I totally invested in them and with the knowledge my dad left me I can do much. I believe in you Fuente and I know you can do it ! ! ! !
 
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Old 03-02-06, 09:17 AM
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I totally agree also. I'll be doing everything I can to cut the cost down, and learning along the way also. I've done a lot of wiring so I'm not concerned about that, read some books and got a lot of great info from this site. I'm definately leaving the panel to the pros, though.

My load calcs give me a max load of 75A. Every electrician I talked to said that 125A was plenty, even for expansion. There are different opinions here, so I'll just leave that topic alone.

Thanks for the encouragement !
 
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Old 03-02-06, 01:43 PM
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My 2 cents

I am about to call for inspection on my panel/meter upgrade. I am rewiring my house because I have great attic access, some sheetrock is out right now, and I have AL wiring I want to change to copper. I went from 100 to 200A even though my load calc was about 80. The reason for the jump to 200 was that it was the same, except for minor costs, to go to 200 instead of 125 or stay at 100.

I agree with Praisinbear. The way I see it, you won't be doing another panel upgrade in your house's lifetime, why not spend the extra few bucks? I imagine you paid a pretty penny for your house due to your location so why not spend even a few hundred extra (not that it will be that much) for one of the most used systems of your home? I have had over 100K in appreciation of my property in less than two years so going larger was almost a must in light of resale value.

Another huge reason to consider 200 is that usually you will get a larger panel. I am all for more space, especially since I will doing the wiring. I'm not as experienced as a pro and like the idea of having room to manuever. I reason that I can always leave the empty space in the panel, but can't create the empty space if I buy small. Check out Rex Cauldwell's book "Wiring a House" and what he has to say, it's one of the best books on the subject in my opinion.
 
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