Adding an addition to your home or remodeling it often means that you'll be
adding electrical lines for new outlets, fixtures, and switches. Your current
electrical panel may not be able to handle the additional lines and may have to
be upgraded. You'll need to get a new electrical panel that can handle more
breakers and, possibly, supply lines (from the power company). The old
electrical lines will also need to be transferred to the new panel.
Upgrading Your Electrical Panel
An electrical panel upgrade isn't a simple task, and
someone who has expertise in electrical work should be the one taking on the
project. In fact, many municipalities require that you hire a licensed
electrician to handle such projects. Additionally, your home insurance will
likely not cover damages resulting from electrical work not done by a licensed
- You or your electrician will need to choose a new panel and the appropriate
circuit breakers. The new panel and breakers will need to be able to handle your
load requirements, or the amount of power your circuit consumes.
- Old breakers may be able to be reused in the new panel, but replacing them
with new ones is ideal.
- New wiring for your addition or remodel will have to be added and connected
to the new panel.
- Old wiring may need to be upgraded depending on the condition of
It should only take an electrician a day or two to install
a new electrical panel for you, depending on your particular project. The cost
of labor varies greatly throughout the country (anywhere from $30 to $140 per
hour), but $65 dollars per hour is about average. A rough estimate for the cost
of materials would be approximately $500. So, if your job takes eight hours of
work, the total cost could fall anywhere from $800 to $1650. This excludes the
costs of adding or replacing wires or any other work that might go along with
your electrical panel upgrade.
While the cost of upgrading your
electrical panel might seem a little steep, sometimes it's necessary to ensure
that the electricity in your home is running safely.