How Much Does Knob and Tube Wiring Replacement Cost?
Knob and Tube wiring, commonly known as K&T, is an older form of electrical distribution which was used in homes up until the 1930’s. If your home still uses the knob and tube electrical system, you may find to difficult to find an insurance company that is willing to insure you home. The reason for this is that these older systems could very easily have won out wires that have shorts in them, causing electrical problems such as shorting out, starting fires, and even causing small explosions. Although these things are a rare occurrence, the chances are higher with an older system such as K & T. If you own an older home that still has this, you should replace the outdated knob and tube wiring systems in your house with an updated electrical system that is safer and more efficient.
How much does it cost?
- The cost for K&T replacement varies depending on the size of the house, how much wiring needs to be replaced, and what parts and components need to be replaced. If you own a big house, chances are electricians will charge quite a bit higher than they would for a smaller house.
- The average cost for K&T replacement can be around $500 or more per room. It can go higher up until thousands of dollars, depending on the amount of work, especially if you own a two or three-story house.
- An article on QualitySmith.com about Knob and Tube Wiring Replacement revealed that a specific job which required removing ten areas of knob and tube wiring costs $650. The said amount was for a six-hour job done by an electrician with his assistant.
- In an article entitled “Here Are Five Disasters Only A Home Inspection Can Catch” on Businessinsider.com, the researcher stated that the average cost of upgrading knob-and-tube wiring is $1,000 to $1,500 per room.
- On average, if you want to rewire a whole new room, plan on spending $1,000 to $2,000 for a typical 12′ x 12′ room. If you want to have an electrician work on older wires, plan on spending upwards of $100 per hour to have them perform the work and maintenance.
What is going to be included?
- According to the site SpearesElectric.com, there are two ways to replace K&T. The first method involves running the wires in the fastest and shortest route by destroying the walls and ceiling of the house. This is known to save you money on electrical costs since you look for the fastest possible route. The second method involves looking for ways to fish the wiring through the walls and ceilings.
- The price of the electrician will include not only the labor and time, but also the parts needed to complete the job. If an electrician gives you a quote that is much less than all the other quotes you have gotten, make sure you ask if it involves the cost of parts.
What are the extra costs?
- Insulation. Depending on which part of the house has the K&T wiring replaced, you may need to put up insulation in preparation for any work you want to do with your walls or ceiling.
- Rebuilding of walls and ceiling. If you prefer the first method of knob and tube replacement, you need have to set aside some of your budget for rebuilding walls and ceilings in order to get back the beauty of your house.
Tips to know:
- Depending on the complexity of the electrical job, you may need to tear down walls and ceilings just to get to higher floors of the house and install a more modern electrical system.
- If your house has K&T wiring and a distribution panel that has never been updated, the house may also have other problems associated with older homes. These problems include untreated asbestos insulation and burst or frozen lead water pipes. There might be other things that require immediate attention other than the electrical wires.
- If you are replacing K&T with aluminum wiring, you must bear in mind that aluminum wiring can cause problems when it is installed with the wrong light switches or electrical outlets.
- Weigh your option regarding what type of replacement you want. While the initial replacement that involves tearing down walls may be cheaper at first, the charge of replacing damaged walls cause the project to become even more expensive. Ask the electrician how much damage he thinks the walls will incur, and then decide which would be best for your situation.
How can I save money?
- If you are planning to replace a K&T wiring system in your house, you must ask for at least three quotes from different electricians. Go for the one that suits your budget and is known to offer quality work.
- If you are redoing an older home, try to use the same contractor for all of the replacement work. If the contractor is hired for multiple jobs, he will most likely give you a small break on each one.