In my area, there's not an electrician that would touch a project with the
H/O supplying the material.
A permit cost is $150, heck to pull a meter and remount (for siding), the
permit is $75. In this area, I've heard to replace the service, the cost
You would be doing yourself a favor and not mention you want to supply
materials. As a former contractor, I wouldn't waste valuable time trying to
chase down a penny pinching lead.
Well I never said anything about penny pinching, I am fully prepared to pay
2500 bucks for the work, and I was going to get (that is I haven't actually
bought) a Cutler-Hammer box based on the positive reviews it got from a
couple of my friends.
I do see what you mean about guarenteeing someone else's equipment, but they
have to buy the box anyway so I might as well get one that I prefer as
opposed to them bringing an el-cheapo model. Can I ask them/request them to
use a particular model or quality?
I meant, in your original post, you stated you wanted to supply material.
If you're telling electricians this, you come off as a penny pincher. You
don't have to say "I'm a penny pincher". I fully understand you may want to
use certain brands, you should state that, without mentioning you want to
Contractors love to be asked questions. If they don't agree with you, they
will let it be known, and why. Most every contractor with an ounce of
dignity, wants to use quality materials on R&R work.
I paid just over $200 (I think it was $220) for a new service, breaker box,
breakers, 3 way switch added to a basement light, and a new outside light
and switch, an additional receptacle right on the panel. .
I just had some work done by an electrician friend of mine at my cabin. He
put in eight exterior four plug receptacles, four switches with runs to
exterior lights, mounted the conduit and boxes for two motion halogen
lights, and put a light and switch in the under the stairs closet.
I had to buy the Romex. He brought all the conduit and boxes and
weatherproof covers and various stuff from his work for all the rest. I had
to buy the two $50 halogen motion lights. I had to buy him two cases of
beer, and let him stay in the cabin for three days.
Do you think I got taken?
Oh, I also bought him a Remington 870 synthetic stock 12 ga. shotgun.
I've been doing repair and install work for several years. Both for my
own company, and working for someone else. It's OK to say you prefer
some brand or other of parts, but it's not OK to supply your own
People who supply their own parts tend to be:
1) overcontrolling. This is the guy who will watch every thing you do,
ask too many questions, and tell you how to do your work. This is a
total PIA that contractors hate.
2) Buying the wrong parts. Most of the time, customers by the cheapest
parts they can find, which end up not fitting, or need a lot of extra
time to make them work. It's hard to get them to understand that the
cheap part is far more labor than the good part that I woulda
3) Trying to keep the price down, by cutting out the contractor's
normal and expected markup on the parts. This is the guy who buys the
cheap part on Ebay, or at the local home center, and expects the
contractor to enjoy installing cheap junk for discounted labor rates.
My suggestion is to skip the "if I supply the parts" and just call em
out for estimates.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
I had this done on 1/2 of a duplex about five years ago. 200A service, $800.
Recently, the other half of the duplex needed the same treatment. The same
company was now charging $1100.
I bought the panel/breakers/etc at HD and did the work myself, with my son
helping. We started at 10:00am and were finished around 5:00. Out-of-pocket
cost: ~$280.00. Then we had a beer.
In my jurisdiction (Houston) no permit is required nor is there a fee for
removing/resetting the meter. (Houston also has no zoning laws - eat your
So flush with the thrill of a job well done, we repeated the process a
couple of weeks later at his house.
I wrote up the project for this newsgroup. Check the archives.
Are you hiring them as employees? Do you plan on covering their
workmen's comp, and employer side SSI contribution? These are
retorical questions, I'm trying to explain you are paying for a job,
not for new employees so do your job as a consumer and get specs and
Now for the price, I have to say that is 'ball park' for a differcult
job. Depending on permit requirements, inspections, licensing
requirements, materials and the distance from weather head to the
panel, $2500 could be very fair.
So get three estimates, proof of insurance (GL and if there are
employees, workman's comp), follow up with insurance phone call to see
if policy is current, get detailed specs, and get some patience. You
are getting something installed that if done right, should outlast
your home. :)
Now back to your post, what is a 'failing circuit breaker box'?
Disclaimer: Not your electrician, most likely not licensed in your
area, so this isn't a how-to, but a friendly suggestion on how as a
home owner I would proceed.
It is obvious from the tone of your inquiry that you believe you are
entitled to have an electrical contractor do the job at his/her labor
cost alone. That means he/she is supposed to absorb all of the overhead
cost of supplying the labor to do your job. Any business that accedes
to such demands will fail. Are you aware that people invest in a
business in the expectation that they will make a profit?
No qualified person is going to want to work with parts he/she did not
If the difference between the price "to the trade" and the retail price
is part of the contractors margin and you get them to forgo it he/she
has to make it up somewhere else. If it is not part of that particular
firms margin you will be raising the cost of your job.
Far more importantly neither I or any other electrician I've ever heard
of will be willing to warranty parts for which I/we do not hold the
purchase receipt. I would not be willing to warranty parts that may
have come from a salvage dealer or a retailer that is going out of
business even if the parts are in sealed boxes. I know the supply
houses I deal with will take back defective parts no questions asked. I
know they will not sell me used parts the installation of which is a
code violation in some jurisdictions.
That having been said the cost of a service equipment upgrade for a
single family residence varies from $1000 in rural West Virginia up to
$3000 for an underground service in Washington, DC. Quit trying to pick
apart the contractors price and get three estimates. Check the
histories and references of the contractors and select the bid in which
you then have the most confidence.
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
> It is obvious from the tone of your inquiry that you believe you are
Yeah, there's a lot of overhead -- taxes, FICA, Social Security, Workman's
Comp, medical/retirement benefits for employees, truck or van cost (plus
gas), tools, materials (including the fuse box itself), training,
advertising, permits, might be a small office staff to pay
Two years ago I had a Chevrolet dealership repair the AC in my pickup. *I*
provided the parts, THEY provided the labor. I saved about $400 on the price
of the compressor alone.
Of course at an auto dealership, the service department profit bucket is not
connected to the parts department profit bucket. Evidently, there is only
one bucket at an electrical contractor - but that is not true of all
And, oh, yeah. Two hot seasons on, everything continues to work swell.
Qualified person is a "term of art" in the regulated building trades.
It means a person that is actually qualified to perform the work in
accordance with the applicable codes and standards. An automotive
mechanics work is not state or local government regulated for quality of
work in most places.
Well we aren\'t no thin blue heroes and yet we aren\'t no blackguards to.
I had a new metal roof put on my cabin this summer. It was $5500. The only
other guy that showed up wanted $10,500. I figured he didn't need or want
the work, and bid it so that if he had to do it, he would make out like a
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