How Much Does an Electrician Cost to Hire?

An electrician can help homeowners safely fix minor or major electrical issues, but how much does an electrician cost? Homeowners can hire an electrician for about $162 to $535, or about $346 on average.

By Timothy Dale | Published Jul 20, 2023 12:45 PM

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How Much Does an Electrician Cost

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Highlights

  • The typical cost to hire an electrician is between $162 and $535, with homeowners paying an average of $346.
  • The exact cost of hiring an electrician will depend on the type of project, the experience level of the electrician, and the geographic location of the home.
  • A homeowner may need to hire an electrician if they notice flickering lights, inconsistent power, or unusual smells or sparks; if the home’s wiring is outdated or it has too few outlets; if the breaker trips frequently; or if residents have experienced electric shocks.
  • While a homeowner may want to save money by DIYing their electrical projects, it’s not recommended, since it can be dangerous work. For that reason, it’s best to hire an electrician for any electrical work in the home.
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Electrical systems provide power to the entire home for heating, cooling, lighting, cooking, storing food, and taking care of numerous other tasks, but when there is a problem with the electrical service, the homeowner will typically need to hire a professional electrician with the appropriate experience level and skill level to troubleshoot and address the issue.

Minor problems, like ceiling fan or light fixture installation, don’t require as much time or material to complete, leading to a lower labor cost and base cost for the work. However, the level of difficulty can affect the average cost of the project, so for more involved jobs, like an electrical service panel upgrade or generator installation, homeowners should anticipate higher typical costs. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, hiring an electrician will cost about $162 to $535, with an average cost of about $346. Homeowners can use this guide to get a better idea of the factors that can impact the average prices for electrical work and find the answer to the question “How much does an electrician cost?”

Factors in Calculating Electrician Cost

How Much Does an Electrician Cost

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It’s a good idea for a homeowner to ask how much an electrician costs before agreeing to an inspection, repair, or installation appointment. There are many factors that can affect the cost of an electrical repair or upgrade, so before hiring a local electrician, homeowners are advised to learn more about these cost factors. This knowledge can help consumers put together a project budget and make them more aware of potential hidden costs, such as service call fees and emergency rates.

Project Type

A primary cost factor for homeowners to consider is the type of project that the electrician will be working on. Simple projects, like house fan installation and lighting installation, will typically cost less than more complicated jobs, like electrical panel installation and repairs to a bad circuit breaker switch. Additionally, the longer a job takes, the higher the cost based on the installation labor rates.

Given that average electrician costs range from about $162 to $535, homeowners with more complex electrical issues will want to be prepared for a bill that falls on the higher end of the price range. Depending on the project type, the cost may greatly exceed $535, such as if the entire home needs to be rewired or all the light fixtures in the house need to be replaced.

Project TypeAverage Cost
Breaker box installation or repairs$500 to $1,800
Ceiling fan installation or repairs$140 to $350
Home inspection$280 to $400
Light fixture installation or repairs$150 to $6,000
Light switch installation or repairs$85 to $200
Outlet installation or repairs$200 to $300
Smart-fixture installation or repairs$200 to $300
Transfer switch installation or repairs$200 to $400
Whole-house rewiring$1,500 to $10,000


Electrician Experience Level

Professional tradespeople, including electricians, have a range of experience depending on the length of time they have been in the position, the variety of systems they have worked on, and the skills they have acquired over the years. As an electrician becomes more experienced, they can fulfill specific tasks to increase their official experience level from apprentice to journeyperson to master electrician. Their experience can determine their rate, as shown in the following table.

Experience LevelAverage First-Hour RateAverage Hourly Rate
Apprentice$65+$40
Journeyperson$65+$55
Master$150+$100


  • Apprentice electricians are the least experienced. As such, the cost per hour for an apprentice electrician is lower than what a homeowner would pay for a journeyperson or master electrician. Apprentice electricians typically need to spend about 4 years working under a master electrician before they are eligible to take the test for journeyperson certification.
  • Journeyperson electricians are the most common workers to encounter. These individuals can work without supervision and come at a slightly higher hourly rate than apprentice electricians. Journeyperson electricians must complete an additional 4,000 hours or work experience over about 2 years, then pass the master electrician exam to move to the final experience tier.
  • Master electricians have put in the time and effort to become true masters of the craft. These professionals charge the most for their service but come with over 6 years of hands-on training and knowledge, so homeowners can feel confident knowing the electrical system is being repaired, updated, or otherwise maintained by a highly experienced individual.

Geographic Location

Electricians, like most professions, tend to make more when there is a higher demand for their services. This means that an electrician living in a sparsely populated rural location will typically charge a lower hourly rate than an electrician who is living in a densely populated urban area. This is because there is likely to be a higher demand for electrical repairs and upgrades in an area with more people per square mile.

However, homeowners will want to note that rural electricians may charge a travel fee if they need to drive a significant distance outside of the company’s service area. So, even if the hourly rate is lower, the homeowner in the rural community could still end up paying more than the homeowner in the urban community. To ensure homeowners get the best price for the job, it’s recommended that they research and obtain quotes from at least three reputable companies in the area.

Additional Costs and Considerations

Beyond the project type, contractor experience level, and geographic location, there are several additional cost factors that homeowners will want to consider before hiring an electrician. These include the cost of permits, inspection fees, minimum service fees, emergency response fees, and the potential difference in electrician costs between residential and commercial properties.

Permits and Inspections

Most minor electrical repairs or upgrades won’t require a permit and won’t need to be inspected after the completion of the project. However, more complex electrical projects need to meet specific standards for safety, which means that the electrician may need to get a permit for the work and that a safety inspection may also be required to ensure that the job was completed to code.

The cost of a building permit varies depending on the geographic location and the specific work, but on average it will cost about $75 to $150 per permit. Safety inspections are relatively inexpensive, ranging from just $100 to $125. If the entire home is getting rewired, then permits may cost as much as $200 to $900. Homeowners will want to speak to their electrician to determine if they need to pay for the permits up front or if the fee for the permits will be added to the total cost of the work.

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Callout and Minimum Fees

In many cases, the homeowner isn’t exactly sure what needs to be done to install a new electrical component or resolve an issue with the existing electrical system. In these situations, an electrician will head out to the home for a diagnostic service call, which typically costs between $50 and $100 per hour, though the first hour may cost as much as $150. Additionally, the electrician may charge between $25 and $75 for parts and callout fees.

Homeowners will want to keep in mind that an electrician will charge for the full first hour, even if the job takes only 15 or 30 minutes to complete. This is considered the minimum rate for an electrician to drive to the site, diagnose the problem, and resolve the issue. The more repeat visits, the higher the overall cost, so it’s best for homeowners to plan on working on as many electrical jobs as possible in one visit.

Emergency Repairs

If the power to the air conditioner fails in the middle of a heat wave or the furnace stops working in the dead of winter, the homeowner will need to contact an electrician to troubleshoot the problem and make the necessary repairs. Unfortunately, emergency repairs will typically come with an increased hourly rate and may also have an emergency fee tacked on to the final cost.

Most electricians will charge about $40 to $100 per hour, depending on the level of experience. However, this rate is often doubled when the electrician is responding to an emergency. The electrician may also charge an additional $100 to $200 emergency fee if an important component fails and needs to be fixed in a short period of time.

Residential vs. Commercial

Another factor for homeowners to keep in mind when identifying any additional costs is whether the work will be completed at a residential property or a commercial property.

  • Residential properties typically have smaller electrical systems with less wiring as well as fewer fixtures and outlets. However, some homes may have more appliances than a commercial property, depending on the type of business conducted at the commercial location.
  • Commercial properties may have a higher number of 240-volt connections and a larger electrical box that is better suited to a property with a high electrical demand. When it comes to cost, electricians will typically charge about 25 percent more when dealing with a commercial property because these repairs and upgrades tend to take more time and the components may cost more than those used in residential homes.
How Much Does an Electrician Cost

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Electrician Cost by Type of Project

There are many electrical components in the average residential home that need proper wiring and connections to ensure the ongoing safety and functionality of the electrical system. With this in mind, it will come as no surprise to homeowners that the price ranges can vary depending on the type of project. For instance, costs for 2-slot outlet receptacles may be less than ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet costs. Similarly, average ceiling fan repairs are significantly more affordable than circuit breaker box repairs or breaker box installation. The average cost for the most common electrical projects are as follows.

Type of ProjectAverage Cost
Attic fan installation$400 to $900
Bathroom fan installation$250 to $500
Ceiling fan installation$250 to $600
Ceiling light installation$90 to $230 per fixture
Circuit breaker box replacement$1,150
Electrical breaker replacement$100 to $160
Electrical panel upgrading$550 to $2,000
Electric vehicle charging station installation$1,000 to $2,500
Generator repairs$250
Generator services$1,400 to $8,100
Home inspection$280 to $400
Light switch replacement$85 to $200
Outdoor light installation$2,000 to $6,000
Outlet installation$200 per outlet
Recessed light installation$150 to $230 per fixture
Rough-in electrical installation$180 per hour for two pros
Smart-home appliance installation$200 to $1,700
Specialized light fixture installation$150 to $900 per fixture
Track light installation$100 to $250
Transfer switch installation$200 to $400
Whole-house rewiring$1,500 to $10,000


Attic Fan Installation

Attic fans are used to reduce the buildup of heat in the home by forcing hot air out of the home and replacing it with cool air from outside. The average attic fan installation will cost about $400 to $900. However, it’s important for homeowners to note that this cost includes the actual price of the fan, which will generally range from about $80 to $400. If the homeowner opts for a premium product, the installation may exceed this price range.

Bathroom Fan Installation

As with attic fan installation, electricians can also install bathroom fans to provide adequate airflow and ventilation to enclosed bathrooms. The type of fan, style of the product, fan size, and installation method can vary, leading to a wide cost range for this project. Homeowners can expect to spend about $250 to $500 on the cost to install a bathroom fan. They’ll want to keep in mind that replacing a bathroom fan will typically cost less than installing a new bathroom fan because the contractor won’t need to run new ventilation ducts.

Ceiling Fan Installation

One of the more common electrical upgrade projects is ceiling fan installation. A ceiling fan can be installed in the living room, kitchen, dining room, or even the bedroom to help facilitate improved airflow through the home. An electrician will be able to run the wiring, install the ceiling fan fixture, and verify that the switch is connected properly to ensure that the ceiling fan installation was a success. However, ceiling fan installation costs about $250 on average, with complex installation sometimes exceeding $600.

Circuit Breaker Box Replacement

The circuit breaker box is the primary source of electricity for the entire home. The municipal service connects directly to the breaker box, where the incoming power is then divided into individual circuits, which each serve different appliances or areas of the home.

Most of the circuits are intended for 120-volt appliances or components, though homes will typically also have at least one or two 240-volt circuits to operate heavy-duty appliances, like clothes dryers, air conditioners, and ovens. If the circuit breaker box needs replacement, it will cost about $1,150 on average, depending on the type of box, the overall amperage, and the complexity of the project.

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Electrical Breaker Replacement

An electrical breaker is essentially a switch that is designed to detect the flow of electricity and automatically turn off in the case of a short or an electrical overload. After determining the cause of the problem, like having too many high-voltage devices plugged into the same outlet, the homeowner can flip the circuit breaker switch to restore power to the electrical circuits. Replacing circuit breakers will typically cost about $100 to $160, including about $30 to $60 per breaker.

Electrical Panel Upgrading

When it comes time to upgrade the electrical panel or circuit breaker panel for the home, an electrician may charge as much as $4,000 depending on the extent of the upgrade and the wiring required to complete the job. However, in most cases, an electrical panel upgrade costs between $550 and $2,000. This is still a significant cost, so if the electrical panel in the home is more than 25 years old, then homeowners are advised to start saving for this upgrade.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installation

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular as the power and efficiency of these vehicles continues to improve. With this in mind, many people are showing significant interest in making the switch from gas or diesel vehicles to electrical vehicles. However, one factor that can prevent an individual from investing in an electrical vehicle is the cost of a home charger installation. Depending on the type of charger, electricians will typically charge about $1,000 to $2,500 for an EV charging station installation.

Generator Services

Whole-home power generators are great additions to any house, though they are especially important for homes located in areas that are prone to power outages. The generator can connect directly to the home electrical service, providing backup power when the system detects that there is no electricity coming from the municipal electrical system.

For those who already have a home generator, the average cost to repair these systems is about $250. However, if the home does not have an existing generator, installing a whole-house generator costs between $1,400 and $8,100.

Home Inspection

Due to the potential risks involved with repairing, upgrading, or otherwise working on electrical systems, many upgrades require permits and inspections to verify that the work was completed to code. Unfortunately, home inspections come with a cost, so homeowners will want to set aside an additional $280 to $400 for a home inspection, depending on the geographic location and the size of the home.

Light Fixture Installation

Light fixtures are a requirement for most homes, because without light, the homeowner and residents cannot see what they are doing after the sun goes down. The cost to install light fixtures depends on the specific type of lights that will be installed.

  • Ceiling light installation: $90 to $230 per fixture
  • Outdoor light installation: $2,000 to $6,000
  • Recessed light installation: $150 to $230 per fixture
  • Specialized light fixture installation: $150 to $900
  • Track light installation: $100 to $250

Light Switch Replacement

One of the more inexpensive electrical system repairs or upgrades is light switch replacement. Hiring an electrician to replace a single standard light switch with an identical or similar standard light switch costs just $85 to $200. Homeowners will want to plan on spending a little more if they are installing double switches, dimmer switches, timer switches, or smart switches. If the goal is to install new 3-way light switches, homeowners can expect to pay about $200 to $450, on average.

Outlet Installation

Similar to light switch replacement, outlet installation is a common task that can generally be completed without permits or a safety installation. However, installing an outlet tends to cost more than replacing light switches, so homeowners will want to set aside a budget for about $200 per outlet. If the plan is to install outdoor outlets for the yard or 240-volt outlets for heavy-duty home appliances, it’s recommended that homeowners increase their budget to about $300 per outlet.

Rough-In Electrical Installation

New homes and other structures will require a rough-in electrical installation to run the circuit wiring, put in wall boxes, set up the wall outlets, install 240-volt receptacles, connect the service panel, and inspect the system to ensure that it is working properly. While electricians may complete this work during a heavy renovation project, rough-in electrical installations are typically limited to new construction. This work will generally cost about $180 per hour for two electricians, although the cost can vary depending on the house size and the specific plans.

Smart-Home Appliance Installation

Basic smart-home appliances, such as smart speakers, can be set up by the homeowner with no real need to contact an electrician. These devices typically come with a set of easy-to-follow instructions for installation and connection. However, more complex smart-home appliances may require the aid of a qualified electrician.

For instance, if a homeowner plans to install in-wall switches and outlets, smart light fixtures, or a smart thermostat, it’s recommended that they speak to a licensed electrician. Installing smart-home appliances can range in cost from about $200 to $1,700, depending on the type of appliance.

Transfer Switch Installation

A transfer switch is a device that is used to detect and redirect the flow of power for the household. Typically, a transfer switch is used with a home generator. When the transfer switch detects an interruption in the flow of electricity from the municipal service during a power outage, it automatically switches to the home generator, allowing the home to remain powered while the rest of the neighborhood sits in the dark. Hiring an electrician to install a transfer switch will generally cost about $200 to $400.

Whole-House Rewiring

A home will have about 1 foot of wiring per square foot of space, so a 2,000-square-foot home will typically have about 2,000 feet of wiring running throughout the walls, floors, and ceilings to connect the various appliances and provide lighting for the home. If the wiring is too old or the homeowner notices unusual burning smells, shorts, or even sparks, then the entire home may need to be rewired.

This is a costly and time-consuming project that will usually take a crew of two electricians about 3 to 10 days to complete, depending on the size of the home and the complexity of the work. The cost to rewire a house typically falls between $1,500 and $10,000.

Do I need to hire an electrician?

Electricians are trained to troubleshoot, repair, and upgrade new and existing electrical systems. If the homeowner suspects that there is an ongoing or intermittent problem with the electrical system, or if the electrical wiring or components are outdated, then it’s a good idea for the homeowner to hire an electrician to resolve the issue. Homeowners can consider the following possible symptoms of a poor or outdated electrical system to help determine if they need to hire a professional.

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Flickering Lights or Inconsistent Power

There are many signs that could indicate an issue with the electrical system, but one of the most obvious is flickering lights or inconsistent power. When the lights are turned on, they may flicker a few times before settling. The flickering can also come and go over a longer period due to intermittent fluctuations in the flow of electricity through the home.

The flickering lights and inconsistent level of power are typically a sign of faulty wiring, an overloaded circuit, a faulty outlet, or a malfunctioning circuit breaker. If a homeowner notices that the lights seem to flicker or that an outlet has inconsistent power, it’s recommended that they contact a licensed electrician to troubleshoot and repair the problem.

Unusual Smells and Sparks

Another sign that it’s necessary to hire an electrician is an unfamiliar smell of burning when a specific light fixture, outlet, or appliance is in use. This isn’t the leftover burning smell from a poorly prepared meal or the lingering smell from a long-dead fire. Electrical burning has a chemical scent due to the insulation on the wires. If a homeowner notices the smell of burning plastic or rubber, they’ll want to turn off the circuit breaker switch to the affected area and call an electrician.

Similarly, the homeowner or another resident may notice sparks when they plug in or disconnect an appliance or device. This could indicate a major electrical issue, and it points to an increased risk of fire, so it’s necessary to contact an electrician to troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

Old Electrical Wiring

Wiring runs through the walls, floors, and ceilings of a home to provide power to an assortment of appliances, lights, outlets, and devices. Depending on the type of wiring, it may pose a fire hazard. For instance, some homes were built with aluminum wiring, which has since been shown to be more volatile than copper electrical wiring.

Even if the home has copper wiring, the wires can become corroded and degraded over time, leading to shorts in the electrical system. If the wiring is over 25 years old, it’s recommended that homeowners start saving up for a whole-home rewiring project. Wiring older than 40 years needs to be replaced as soon as possible to reduce the risk of fire to the home.

Insufficient Outlets

An often overlooked reason to hire an electrician is that there simply aren’t enough outlets for the number of people, appliances, and devices. Homeowners will want to consider the number of extension cords and power strips that are in use throughout the home. Extension cords and power strips are intended to share the limited power from a single outlet with several smaller devices, but if residents use too many around the home, the system can overload.

For those homeowners who notice a concerning number of extension cords and power strips in use around the home, it’s recommended that they contact an electrician to discuss installing additional power outlets and potentially upgrading the electrical box.

Frequently Tripping Breaker

The circuit box contains several circuit breakers that are intended to protect the home electrical system from damage due to overloads or shorts. So, if one or more outlets, switches, or appliances frequently trip the breaker when in use, then there is likely a wiring issue or a circuit overload that needs to be addressed.

An electrician will be able to properly investigate the issue, provide knowledgeable feedback, and suggest next steps to rectify the problem. If the situation seems to be caused by a wiring issue, then an electrician can repair the wiring, though if the problem is due to an overloaded circuit, then they may need to install additional outlets or even expand the electrical box.

Electric Shocks

Home electrical systems are designed for convenience and safety. If the homeowner or any resident receives an electric shock when using an outlet, light, appliance, or device, this is an indication that there is a significant problem with the electrical system. It’s recommended that they immediately contact a reputable electrician for an emergency repair.

Even if the affected electrical component is only vibrating or warm to the touch, it’s a good idea to hire an electrician to troubleshoot and repair the problem. Otherwise, the issue could get worse, leading to accidental electrocution when the outlet, light, appliance, or device is in use.

How Much Does an Electrician Cost

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Electrical Work: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

There are a wide variety of DIY tasks that can be tackled with minimal risk to the DIYer and the home, including building a fence, replacing a faucet, or updating the floors. While these projects may be difficult for beginners, the DIYer can take their time and make mistakes without any significant impact to the function of the home. The same cannot be said when it comes to electrical repair or upgrade projects.

Electrical systems pose a threat to untrained individuals with limited understanding of how the system operates. Connecting the wrong wire or forgetting to turn off a circuit breaker could lead to an overloaded system, electrical shorts, accidental electrocution, or even fire. It’s strongly recommended that DIYers not conduct electrical work without prior experience and knowledge. Even with experience, DIYers are strongly advised not to pursue any electrical projects that are more complex than changing a light fixture or replacing an outlet.

Instead, homeowners will want to leave this work up to a trained, knowledgeable professional with years of hands-on experience. This will ensure that the repair or upgrade is completed safely and up to code, while also giving the homeowner peace of mind.

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How to Save Money on Electrician Cost

Electrical work will generally cost about $162 to $535, though it can exceed $5,000 depending on the type of project, so it’s important for homeowners to find ways to save money when hiring an electrician. Consider these methods for keeping more money in your wallet without sacrificing quality and peace of mind.

  • Troubleshoot the problem. DIYers with a general knowledge of electrical work may be able to find out what is causing the issue without requiring an initial inspection appointment, allowing the electrician to spend more time resolving the problem and cutting down on labor costs.
  • Research and get quotes from multiple electricians. The best way to save on electrician costs is to find the company or independent contractor with the best rates. Research at least three reputable companies and get quotes for the work before hiring an electrician to complete the job.
  • Ask for a fixed rate. Not all electricians will offer a flat rate for the work, but if it’s possible, it’s generally more cost-effective to get a fixed rate for the entire project instead of an hourly rate.
  • Plan electrical upgrades ahead of time. Calling for an emergency repair or booking an appointment in the evening or on the weekends will typically cost more than scheduling an appointment during regular business hours.

Questions to Ask About Electrical Work

Electrical systems are complex and may be difficult to understand without some prior experience. However, before homeowners hire an electrician to complete an electrical repair or upgrade project at the home, it’s a good idea to learn more about electrical systems, common repairs, electrician costs, and guarantees. Homeowners can use this list of questions as reference to find out any necessary information before, during, and after the completion of the electrical repair or upgrade project.

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • Will you be the only one working on the electrical project? Do you use subcontractors, and, if so, how long have you been working with them?
  • Are the other workers licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • What are your credentials?
  • Do you have any available references?
  • Can I see a portfolio of completed work?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How experienced are the electricians?
  • Who will perform the actual work?
  • Do I need a permit for this project?
  • What work will you perform?
  • Are there any additional service fees?
  • Will this electrical work require a safety inspection?
  • Do you offer any warranties or guarantees?
  • What projects are you most familiar with?
  • Does your insurance cover subcontractors or just hired employees?
  • What is the expected project timeline?
  • What time will work start and finish each day?
  • Will you work evenings or weekends if there is a delay?
  • Is there a fee or increased cost for emergency repairs?

FAQs

Knowledge is a key part of understanding the home electrical system and the factors that can affect the cost of hiring an electrician. To better familiarize themselves with the topic, homeowners can take a look at the answers below to some of the most frequently asked questions about electrical work and electrician costs.

Q. How much does it cost to replace a light switch and outlet?

Bundling electrical repairs and upgrades is a good way to save money when you need to hire an electrician. Typically, it costs about $200 to $300 to install an outlet, while a light switch replacement costs about $85 to $200. If the job gets done at the same time, the total cost should amount to about $285 to $500, though you may get a break on the labor rate.

Q. How long does it take to wire a house?

Rewiring an entire home is a complex job that is often considered one of the most expensive electrical upgrades. This process takes a significant amount of time, depending on the home’s size, age, and the number of components. Expect the electricians to take between 3 and 10 days to wire the home.

Q. What’s the labor cost to install a light switch?

Electricians will typically charge a minimum fee of about $65 to $150 for the first hour of work, regardless of whether the job takes 15 minutes or a full hour. They will then charge about $40 to $100 per hour for every subsequent hour of work. With this in mind, the expected labor cost to install a light switch will range from about $65 to $150.

Q. How much does it cost to wire a 3-way switch?

A 3-way switch allows the user to control a light from two different locations, which can make it more convenient to turn off a basement light from the basement or from upstairs. Replacing a standard switch with a 3-way switch will typically cost about $160 to $300, while installing a new 3-way switch will cost $200 to $450, on average.

Q. How much does a circuit breaker switch cost?

A circuit breaker switch is intended to detect the flow of electricity and automatically turn off the circuit if a short or an overload is detected. If a circuit breaker switch needs to be replaced, plan to spend about $100 to $200 for the parts and labor required to complete this repair or upgrade.

Q. How much wire do I need for a 2,000-square-foot house?

Generally, a home should have about 1 foot of wire per square foot of home. This means that for a 2,000-square-foot home, the homeowner will need about 2,000 feet of wire, not including the wiring required for any detached structures, like a garage or shed.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Fixr, HomeGuide, Finney Electrical

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