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Electrical work: How much should this cost me?


NewCliche21

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When my fiancee bought her house, she forgot to think about the lack of light that would be coming in (it's a townhouse in the middle, so no side windows), and she didn't have the builders install a box in the ceiling in our family room. While this is great for watching movies, the darkness has become an annoyance.

We're looking for someone to come out and install the aforementioned electrical box (not sure what it's actually called). There is a box about ten feet down from where we want the new one and a couple of outlets very close by, so the wiring is there.

I'm wondering how much that this should all run me. As far as I know, they can just fish the wire over, but since I've never had a project like this done before, I don't want to be ripped off.

Anyone with experience in this area?

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Much too hard to say based on the information without seeing it (I hold a Master Electricians license).

A box 10 feet away is a quite a distance if you have to cross joists. It is a townhome which means there are probably shear walls on both sides of the unit depending on local codes - not an easy fish without access through the top plate and over the ceiling to your new location.

Out here, typical is $125 an hour plus material. You may be looking at sheetrock repair if there is a plywood shear to deal with.

If you want to do it on the cheap you could use wiremold which surface mounts to the ceiling and you run it to the new location.

My recommendation would be to run track lighting from the existing box. You could do this pretty easily yourself - it really is not hard at all.

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If you want to save money all you have to do is spread the word or when out and about just ask an electrician if he does "side work." You will save a ton that way.

Not as cheap or versatile as track lighting though. Main cost of track is the heads - not the track. So you can select your budget - plus you can do your own labor as well as add more lighting if you want.

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Much too hard to say based on the information without seeing it (I hold a Master Electricians license).

A box 10 feet away is a quite a distance if you have to cross joists. It is a townhome which means there are probably shear walls on both sides of the unit depending on local codes - not an easy fish without access through the top plate and over the ceiling to your new location.

Out here, typical is $125 an hour plus material. You may be looking at sheetrock repair if there is a plywood shear to deal with.

If you want to do it on the cheap you could use wiremold which surface mounts to the ceiling and you run it to the new location.

My recommendation would be to run track lighting from the existing box. You could do this pretty easily yourself - it really is not hard at all.

Damn, that sounds bad. I'd do track lighting, but the lady has her heart set on a ceiling fan. Plus, I am completely incapable of doing Legos let alone wiring.

If you want to save money all you have to do is spread the word or when out and about just ask an electrician if he does "side work." You will save a ton that way.

Yeah, I've been trying that, but I was thinking that I could find out what a good estimate is. I just watched one of those contractor horror story shows and it inspired me. :/

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Not as cheap or versatile as track lighting though. Main cost of track is the heads - not the track. So you can select your budget - plus you can do your own labor as well as add more lighting if you want.

I hear ya. But, knowing someone in electrical or plumbing trades has saved me ALOT of money. A year and a half ago a plumber installed a new submersible sump pump for me for $40.00 on the side. It truly is a case of "who you know."

BTW. I'm not as big fan of track lighting anymore. Too many shadows.

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I hear ya. But, knowing someone in electrical or plumbing trades has saved me ALOT of money. A year and a half ago a plumber installed a new submersible sump pump for me for $40.00 on the side. It truly is a case of "who you know."

You wouldn't happen to know anyone near Wilmington, DE, would ya? ;)

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Damn, that sounds bad. I'd do track lighting, but the lady has her heart set on a ceiling fan. Plus, I am completely incapable of doing Legos let alone wiring. :/

Ceiling Fan? You did not say that originally. It requires a special box capable of holding the weight and everything would have to be cut in. Plus you would have to make sure you got a fan that would be remote controlled because it is pretty doubtful that the original wiring was wired for a fan plus lighting.

They do make cut-in fan boxes but they are not cheap.

I do not know what the labor rates are out there but even if followed KG's suggestion to reduce labor, you have to figure that even if it is a pretty straight shot with nothing in the way it is at least a four hour job.

Another option would be to cut the fan in near the existing light in the same bay (the space in-between the joists) and then run track from the existing box to wherever. A guy should be able to do that in a couple of hours (depending on how elaborate of a track setup you had).

Again, without seeing it, it is really hard to give you an 'estimate'. I am only trying to think of some options.

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I don't know whether to laugh or just feel plain happy for the woman! :pfft:

Ha ha. Touche.

BTW. Go with a ceiling fan in the upstairs bedroom. With the mercury continuously rising you'll/she'll be glad that you did and so will I when you're at work.

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I hear ya. But, knowing someone in electrical or plumbing trades has saved me ALOT of money. A year and a half ago a plumber installed a new submersible sump pump for me for $40.00 on the side. It truly is a case of "who you know."

BTW. I'm not as big fan of track lighting anymore. Too many shadows.

Shadows - depends on the heads you use and how you use them. If you use all downlighting (example pendant) heads there are no shadows. Just an example.

As far as a fan of track lighting, and I truly mean no disrespect, it is not your house. I have wired things in peoples homes that were plain ugly - to me - but I was not living there

Big difference between a submersible pump and cutting into a wall where there is a chance of cutting into your neighbors house.

If you cut the fan in near the original box and run the track any competent electrician can do that, including your side jobber. But if you are really specific and have some exact ideas in mind that is going to require a lot of fishing through shear walls and/or joists better leave that to a specialist. At the very least call one out to get an onsite estimate.

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Ceiling Fan? You did not say that originally. It requires a special box capable of holding the weight and everything would have to be cut in. Plus you would have to make sure you got a fan that would be remote controlled because it is pretty doubtful that the original wiring was wired for a fan plus lighting.

They do make cut-in fan boxes but they are not cheap.

I do not know what the labor rates are out there but even if followed KG's suggestion to reduce labor, you have to figure that even if it is a pretty straight shot with nothing in the way it is at least a four hour job.

Another option would be to cut the fan in near the existing light in the same bay (the space in-between the joists) and then run track from the existing box to wherever. A guy should be able to do that in a couple of hours (depending on how elaborate of a track setup you had).

Again, without seeing it, it is really hard to give you an 'estimate'. I am only trying to think of some options.

Ugh, it doesn't sound like I can afford that. We have a fan downstairs in the sunroom and then two upstairs, so I'm hoping that the wiring is there? We do have a celing lamp in that existing box; could I just put a fan with a light in there or do I need an electrician to do something for it?

Ha ha. Touche.

BTW. Go with a ceiling fan in the upstairs bedroom. With the mercury continuously rising you'll/she'll be glad that you did and so will I when you're at work.

The fan's already there. She says that you need to remember to shower before you come over today.

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If you cut the fan in near the original box and run the track any competent electrician can do that, including your side jobber. But if you are really specific and have some exact ideas in mind that is going to require a lot of fishing through shear walls and/or joists better leave that to a specialist. At the very least call one out to get an onsite estimate.

How much do those on-site estimates cost?

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How much do those on-site estimates cost?

A good company will not charge you for the estimate.

Some others might charge you for the 'house call' and then deduct it from the bill if you go with them. The house call is typically one hour of labor or less.

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A good company will not charge you for the estimate.

Some others might charge you for the 'house call' and then deduct it from the bill if you go with them. The house call is typically one hour of labor or less.

Okay, excellent. Thanks for all of your help in this thread. I know that it can be frustrating to talk to someone about your area of expertise when he has no idea what he's talking about. :)

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The frustrating part is being 3000+ miles away, not being really familiar with the local building standards and not being able to really help you any better.

You can try the BBB in your area. Not necessarily to pick a good one but a good place to find ones to steer clear of.

Hail!

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The frustrating part is being 3000+ miles away, not being really familiar with the local building standards and not being able to really help you any better.

You can try the BBB in your area. Not necessarily to pick a good one but a good place to find ones to steer clear of.

Hail!

THAT is a great idea!

And your expertise and estimated hourly wage/time per job is really a big help.

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