Getting Quotes on Rewiring - Advice

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Old 09-30-18, 07:49 PM
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Getting Quotes on Rewiring - Advice

In a 1968 ranch style, single story home on a slab in north Louisiana, we wanted to replace the entire electrical breaker panel, meter base & wiring in this home. So, I called a company & had them to come out & give me a quote. We discussed & looked at what I wanted.
After a bit of discussions, he said I just need to measure the square footage of the house & I'll send you a quote.

Huh??? What???

I told him I wanted some extra outlets put in etc....??? That's fine he said. We can do that without extra charge. I asked how is getting the sq ft of the home going to tell you how much its going to cost? He said they will replace & install everything to code... by code. "X" amount outlets & switches in kitchen, "X" amount of breakers per kitchen, etc, etc for the whole house as per code. One outlet every 12 ft per code, etc, etc. I do not have an issue with that. I actually insist it be done by code.

The home is about 1400 sq ft. He sent me a quote for $15,020.
That includes outlets & switches to code, replace the 100 amp breaker panel with a 200 amp, 20 space panel. Replace the meter base from a 100 amp to a 200 amp. All new wiring & all new outlets & switches because 90% of the one's here now are the old two wire system without grounds, etc. Replace all the 2 wire romex with 3 wire romex.
(2 wire = hot & neutral... no ground)
(3 wire = hot, neutral, ground)

Currently there are only 12 breakers & spaces total in the breaker panel. This puts too much on some breakers. one breaker is a double (220) & one is for things outside the home (well pump, etc).

While I understand that the most labor intensive part of this project will be rewiring.... and I KNOW that it wont be cheap.... I think he is nuts. My issue is that he got the quote simply by measuring the sq ft of the house.... only... period.

Am I nuts or is he?
 
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Old 10-01-18, 09:45 AM
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Bidding a rewiring job by square footing the house typically yields a high price, but the $15,020 price actually sounds cheap to me. Why is he increasing the service to 200 amps? Has substantial new load been added since the house was built? I believe I would insist on more than a 20 circuit panel. I think I'd get at least one more quote and I wouldn't necessarily accept the low bidder.
 
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Old 10-01-18, 10:16 AM
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His reason for upgrading to a 200 amp panel was "most houses now are going to 200 amp panels". He also said something about Entergy is leaning that way as well. I'm just saying what he said. We also discussed any possible future additions.

I agree that at this point, we probably dont need a 200, but I was relying on his expertise. The only 220 we have is the clothes dryer. The water heater is gas as is the stove/oven. We have a 2 year old central heat & air system (heat is gas), & one 6000 BTU window AC that rarely runs.
The only other thing that pulls any significant amps is our 115v well pump.
Currently (the previous owner) added a breaker that goes out to the shop. However, at some point, I'm going to remove that & have Entergy to set a pole & run service directly to the shop with its own breaker panel. However, for now, the breaker panel in the house will still supply 115 v to the shop for lights & equipment when needed individually.

My initial concern here is, he is quoting this job entirely on square footage. I know in certain situations, new construction is quoted by square footage but, a total rewire, I've never heard of that.
Of course, any advise on his price is welcome.
 
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Old 10-01-18, 02:48 PM
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No it's not crazy, but it's just the technique that particular contractor uses for bidding. The per square foot model is based more on an average cost and doesn't take much into consideration about your specific job either to the good side or the bad side. Other companies will have different estimation methods, so get some other estimates. Don't always go with the lowest, but don't necessarily throw out the low and high either. Make sure to consider how comfortable you are with the contractor and check their references.

It sounds like there is not justification for upsizing the service to 200A, however in a job that size where the panel is being replaced anyway the additional cost for the 200A service over the 100A service is maybe $200 so not that big of a deal.
 
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Old 10-01-18, 07:17 PM
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Only thing I would add is get a 200 amp 40 space, 30 or 40 circuit panel instead of a 20 space panel. 20 spaces will go fast even with a 1400 square foot house.

I also think 15K sounds reasonable for a complete rewire. AFCI breakers? tamper resistant devices? Do you know what version of the NEC your state is on?
 
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Old 10-01-18, 08:16 PM
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ibpooks:
I appreciate your input. If I go up to a 200 amp breaker panel, then I'll need to upgrade the meter base too. So that will be another additional cost. So the extra $200 for the panel is only one part of it. I have no clue what the expense will be to upgrade the meter base. However it is something I had planned to do but if everyone is in agreement, that this will be fine, I agree that I may be ok with 100 amp.
I think with the biggest appliances running, I still may be fine:
Clothes dryer
Clothes washer
microwave
toaster oven
refrigerator
freezer
Central AC
If all of these are running at one time, will there be an issue? The only issue I have ever had is with the microwave & toaster oven, it throws the one breaker, if both are on at the same time. Otherwise I've never had an issue with the 100 amp main breaker. So, since I've never had an issue, I dont see that there will be an issue but, I am asking for y'alls opinion & advice.... I guess just for confirmation.

Tolyn:
I'll be honest, I am not familiar with AFCI, so I dont know.
As for tamper resistant devices, we dont have children at the house very often. Our grandchildren are 13, 12, 11 & 7. The only people in our house are Kaye & I.... and occasional adult friends/visitors. So, I dont really see the point in us buying tamper resistant outlets etc.
I do not know what version of the NEC code Louisiana is on.
 
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Old 10-02-18, 07:35 AM
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I was figuring about $200 total for the increase to 200A given that when you do a main panel you usually end up having to do some new conduit and wiring anyway. Installing larger wires is generally not that much increase once the job is already going. Either way I don't think it's necessary. In a 1400 sq ft house with gas heating and cooking should be OK with 100A. I completely agree with Tolyn on the number of spaces in the panel - go with a 30 space for 100A or 40 space for 200A just to have room for all the breakers.

AFCI is a type of specialty breaker that can trip due to frayed wires or other types of fire hazard instead of just overload like standard breakers. They are required in most residential rooms in the latest version of the code, but states/counties/cities don't always run on the latest code. The cost impact is about $40 AFCI breaker vs. $4 standard breaker so that can make a big impact on a bid.

Same story for tamper resistant outlets. Latest code version requires them in most residential rooms, but might not necessarily be required per your local code.
 
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Old 10-02-18, 08:47 AM
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OK great.. Thanks ibpooks.

And Tolyn....
 
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Old 10-02-18, 06:02 PM
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LA is on the 2014 version of the NEC (See here: https://www.nfpa.org/NEC/NEC-adoptio...-adoption-maps) This would require AFCI protection on all rooms except for bathrooms and tamper resistant receptacles in all rooms.
 
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Old 10-02-18, 06:15 PM
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Thank you Tolyn!.........................
 
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