The new American Dream: 100K(+ 20) | Starter Home


Division 16 – Electrical

Click here for electrical cost values: Electrical Cost Worksheet

Lighting can range from very cheap to very expensive. Installation costs for standard electical features are listed within the Electrical Cost Worksheet, as well as price ranges for items like switches, fans and switches. Since everybody has their own personal tastes we have compiled a few websites that offer a wide range of products. (A recommendation is to look at all of what they have to offer since there may be fixtures that are considered “commercial” that may work well in our residential applications.) Standard pricing for big box options range anywhere from $50-200. (At Home Depot or Menards and IKEA you can find some nice looking (cheap/minimalist, depends how you look at it) fixtures for around 50 dollars and you can find some decent stuff for around 200.)

Below we have listed infomation from friends and family in the field. They have provided some very good rules of thumb as well as advice on designing to code.

Advice and Information from Chicagoland Electrician, Joe Stevens

  • For unionized labor, a contractor will ask for approximately $120/hr for an electrician to walk on the job. (The electrician’s bottom line is $60/hr of this fee, including benefits, insurance, etc.)
  • For each receptacle (fan, switch, ceiling light, etc) the cost is approximately $50.
  • If you are not building in Chicago, where conduit is required by code, Romex provides a cheaper wiring solution.
  • To upgrade a home that has a 60 amp panel to a 100 or 200 amp, the standard price is $2500.
  • A best-case scenario for length of time for completing the electrical work for a 1500 square foot home would be 6 days, with 2-3 electricians.
  • Things to keep in mind when following Chicago code, each kitchen requires a 20 amp receptacle for equipment such as a refrigerator, dishwasher and garbage disposal as well as two 15 amp convenience outlets.  A dryer requires a 30 amp receptacle and bathrooms, basements and garages require 20 amp receptacles. A 2008 code change requires all living spaces to have arc-fault breaker receptacles. There must be an outlet every 12 ft of wall space.

 Advice and Information from Chicagoland Contractor, Dave Carter

  • An estimate for a 1500 sq. ft. home would be approximately $10-13K including materials and labor.
  • The final price is a function of the number of openings, a few examples are $45/switch – light, $90/can and $35-40/dimmer.

Advice and Information from Chicagoland Electrician, John Ruffolo

  • Rule of thumb, electrical will cost about 10% of the structure cost
  • $200 per opening is cheap
  • One outlet every 2 feet above counter, gfic within 6 feet of tubs, sinks etc.
  • Peninsula counters need an outlet.
  • 1 outlet per wall, 2 outlets if wall is over 12′ (plug in appliances such as a lamp, tv, fan etc. should be no more than 6′ from an outlet)
  • One outlet in garage, one on ceiling for door, consider exterior lights and a switch.
  • At least 1 switch per per room for ceiling lights or for switched outlets
  • gfic for laundry rooms
  • Microwave, dishwasher, oven, exhaust, lights over sink, refrigerator, furnace, sump pump, require separate circuits
  • A 2 ton, 240 volt unit for central air is estimated
  • Ceiling can lights count as one opening each… you can install a really cheap fixture to pass code then let owner change it later
  • Receptacles for various appliances: 50 amp for oven, 30 amp for dryer, 30-40 for AC
  • 200 amp panel recommended, price difference is in materials
  • Consider one outlet near window on own circuit for window AC
  • Underground service more expensive than overhead, at least double (trenching and other landscape costs)

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