You’ve decided it’s time to replace the old fuse panel in your home, and are wondering how much will a New Electrical Panel cost? All the shows on HGTV and the Life Network advise getting three quotations. You get the quotations and prices have a range of a $2,000 difference. Here’s some helpful information to help you read between the lines:
The Written Estimate
An estimate for a new electrical panel written on the back of a business card, cigarette box, or a note pad from the Holiday Inn probably will be the lowest price, the least detailed and the most valueless. Discard it immediately. The only thing worse than one of these is a “verbal estimate” given either in person or over the phone. These usually come in around $900 to $1200 with a great deal to be had by paying cash and avoiding HST.
Base Repair Quote
A quotation, even on a proper form, that discusses only the replacement of the new electrical panel is ripe for “bait and switch up” charges. Common to these quotations is the description of the project as “Replace 100 amp fuse panel with 100 amp breaker panel. Includes all labour, material and permit to complete.” Seems fairly straightforward and would come in priced at around $1500 plus HST.
What is not mentioned in the quote, but will be brought up as “unforeseen” once the job commences such as “The wires from the meter base to the panel weren’t long enough so we had to replace them. Took an extra hour plus materials” or, “when the Inspector was here he made us upgrade the gas and water bonds or he wouldn’t pass the job and reconnect so we have to spend a couple of hours on that.” Now the price has jumped to $2500 plus HST.
Proper Quote for New Electrical Panel Replacement
A proper quotation for a new electrical panel replacement will
- name the manufacturer of the breaker panel (there IS a difference in the quality and guarantee)
- include any upgrades to the grounding and bonding systems
- include clear and accurate labelling in ink of what the breakers control
- include any relocation costs
- guarantee to provide an ESA Certificate of Inspection
- should include a description of the workmanship guarantees
The fee for this should be in the $2500 to $3000 range for up to 125 amp upgrade – $3500 to $4500 range for up to 200 amp upgrade.
Anything less is suspect – anything more requires detailed explanation.
Upgrades for an New Electrical Panel Replacement
A proper quotation will detail any optional upgrades you may want to do. An example would be most underground fed 100 amp services can be upgraded to 200 amps for only a few hundred dollars more.
Another important upgrade to your New Electrical Panel replacement should be a home surge protector. Whole home surge protection is no longer considered a frivolous, overprotective measure. It is now a must-have piece of equipment in a well-maintained home. Make sure your quote includes this important device.