Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,290 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We own a rental home in FL that needs a complete rewire due to insurance requirements. Built by my dad in 1957, concrete block walls throughout - no drywall. I assume he ran the wire thru block openings or chiseled out channels to run the original cloth wire, but that's not an option now, so the surface mounted conduit is the way we'll have to go.

Two electricians out to give estimates, first (the one property managers usually use) is $7100, second wouldn't give estimates unless he knew we would use them - just said it would be 'expensive'.

We live 8 hrs away so property managers will be overseeing, but I may take time to drive down for a few days. I'd like to be reasonable informed about this before we get started, so anyone having experience with this....

1100 sq ft concrete block house, 3 bedroom 1 bath, no basement or crawlspace, no attic access, using the surface mounted electrical conduit - does $7100 sound even remotely reasonable? Cause it sounds like highway robbery to me, but I just don't know.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jan in CO

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,657 Posts
Unfortunately while I don't like the term reasonable, I do like 'realistic'. We wired our homestead two years ago. Hooking into the grid was something like 2700 dollars with basic wiring added we figure we are looking at something like roughly 8 to 10 grand for the project to date with more wiring to be done. We have done the work ourselves to save money.

If you have an estimate in hand maybe you could use it as a bargaining point. Tell whoever comes to give you an estimate that you would really like to get it under what the first estimate was and sho it to them. Might spur somebody on to a lower bid for you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,905 Posts
Having to surface mount conduit on everything ( which is gonna look sorta industrial ), no, $7100 isn't out of bounds. Pretty fair amount of work ( I'd assume the main service and all is going to be changed out ), and if you haven't priced materials lately, be sitting down when you do.

Rewiring a house that isn't stripped down to the studs is ALWAYS a lot more work that new construction.

The guy that wouldn't give an 'estimate' unless you "were going to use it sounds like someone that either doesn't want to do it, or doesn't understand an 'estimate'.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,905 Posts
If you have an estimate in hand maybe you could use it as a bargaining point. Tell whoever comes to give you an estimate that you would really like to get it under what the first estimate was and sho it to them. Might spur somebody on to a lower bid for you.
Which is EXACTLY why contractors are reluctant to give estimates. Nobody pays them for the couple hours/gas/etc it takes to look the job over, figure it, and give it. Would homeowners mind paying a reasonable hourly rate to provide an estimate ?

Had a lady call me, bugging me to give her one on a job I already told her I wasn't interested in doing. As the conversation went along, turns out she had already gotten something like a dozen estimates. Right before I hung up, I asked "Are you looking for the one that is 50 cents cheaper than all the rest ? "
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,848 Posts
sell it as is.

You will not recoup the money for the upgrade.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alice In TX/MO

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,031 Posts
It has been my experience the last 5 or 6 years that anything done to a house is going to cost *around* 10K, unless you do it yourself.

Mon
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,290 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys. This was my parent's house, the house I grew up in, so not for sale for the foreseeable future. It's outside an AFB and stays rented with good tenants so actually brings us income as well.

The insurance company has non-renewed most of their houses in this county to lessen their exposure to hurricane losses, fact of life with FL insurance. We are insured till mid Jan with them, but when we contacted the agent we found that no one would insure a house this old without a 4 point inspection (roof, plumbing, electric, and something else I'm forgetting).....we remodeled in 1999 when my dad died so we're good on everything except the cloth wire. No insurance company would accept that.

Thanks again for all the info, I think when you get an estimate like that you have to go thru those 5 stages of grief....anger, denial, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I think I'm still at the bargaining stage, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
7-8 grand is a good ball park for a rewire. However, if it is possible, your sparky may be able to fish new wire in while pulling the old wire out (depends on a few things).

I've been an estimator at the same general contractors for about a decade, and we do free estimates ie square footage comparisons to recent projects and its over the phone.
"Bids" I charge a base fee of $250 plus 1.5% of the bid amount. The first payment goes against the start-up fee of the contract.

This keeps estimates free for paying clients while tire kickers get to pay for professional consultations.

There really aren't any such thing as free estimates, it's just a question of who bears the cost: the client who hired you, or the client who didn't.
 
U

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
I know you said no attic access , is there an attic a person could move around in if it had an access door/hole or is there no attic space ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,388 Posts
The insurance company has non-renewed most of their houses in this county to lessen their exposure to hurricane losses, fact of life with FL insurance. We are insured till mid Jan with them, but when we contacted the agent we found that no one would insure a house this old without a 4 point inspection (roof, plumbing, electric, and something else I'm forgetting).....we remodeled in 1999 when my dad died so we're good on everything except the cloth wire. No insurance company would accept that.
Have you looked into other insurance companies? From above it sounds like you are going on the word of one insurance agent. We were told something similar when we moved from our house and rented it, because it was a rental property yada, yada, yada. But easily found an insurance company that covers rentals. 1959 isn't a very old house. In 20 years of living in different houses and states (one being Florida years ago!) we have never had an insurance company look at our house. I know that's getting more common though from reading threads on here!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,290 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I know you said no attic access , is there an attic a person could move around in if it had an access door/hole or is there no attic space ?
No, it's a very low roofline, only about 3 feet above the ceiling. That's one of the reasons the second electrician wouldn't give an estimate. He said the entire ceiling would have to come down for a rewire and he wasn't going to all the trouble of an estimate without knowing he'd be doing the job. I get that.....just makes my life harder.

Thanks for the info everyone, I really appreciate it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,569 Posts
Might be able to bring it down some by using MC cable instead of conduit if it's allowed by code, but that's twice as ugly. I kind of like the industrial look of EMT, especially on block walls. Your estimate sounds very reasonable to me. I had a small cottage rewired a couple years ago for just under $10k and that was with a crawlspace and uninsulated stud walls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,830 Posts
Might be able to bring it down some by using MC cable instead of conduit if it's allowed by code, but that's twice as ugly. I kind of like the industrial look of EMT, especially on block walls. Your estimate sounds very reasonable to me. I had a small cottage rewired a couple years ago for just under $10k and that was with a crawlspace and uninsulated stud walls.
Well for one that an't cloth wire :sing: Me I would go with pvc pipe and do it my self . Or stud and insulate the walls :hammer:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,223 Posts
Does the estimate include upgrading everything from the service panel to the additional outlets and GFCI's now required by code in most places? If so, it probably is "reasonable" if this is a job you can't do yourselves or is required to be performed by a licensed contractor by the ins or elec co.

About 5 years ago we paid over $200 for our panel, Breakers of course were extra. Recently installed a code approved outdoor outlet, over $30. Bought several GFCI's for over $5 each on deep discount clearance when Sears Hardware closed. They were 75% off. And the price of wire has really jumped in the past couple years.

Another thought, you don't want to inconvenience your tenants too much. Good jobs done fast aren't cheap.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top