Upgrade electric service to 200A

I'm adding a deck and need to bury my elecrical service...here's the latest quote:
3' deep trench about 90' w/conduit (POCO will push wire) New 200A can with new panel with old 100A panel run as a subbox. Add a ground rod.
price: $2900
I'm getting other quotes but this guy wanted to put the new 200A panel *outside* under the new can. Is this normal? Is it better to transfer all circuits to the new panel rather than run the old as a subbox?
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Outside?
I wouldn't be caught dead with my main panel outside. You really want to go flip a breaker on a rainy night? For that matter, having them accesable to any slob in a smelly tshirt wandering the streets?
I don't think so...... I know there are people who have their breaker boxes outside.... I'm just sayin I wouldn't even begin to consider it.
Other than that the price seems right. Keeping in mind I don't do this kind of work - but replacing a panel is no small task. Adding in the cost of the trench, and materials...... to me it actually sounds a bit of a low bid.
Matt
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Rich wrote:

Outdoor installations are required by some building codes. One possible reason that that contractor wants to install outside is that there is not the working space inside for a new panel. The working space required is thirty inches wide, three feet deep and six and one half feet high. The thirty inches must cover the entire front of the panels cabinet. He cannot obtain inspection with any other utilities, such as plumbing, directly above or below the panel. With two panels the working space has to be enough for both and would have to cover from outside edge to outside edge of the two adjacent panels.
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Tom Horne


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As I'm understanding this, you're upgrading from 100A to 200A, right? Contact your electric company. They'll often absorb a lot of the cost of an upgrade in service. Here, the electrician only installs the main panel. Dominion Electric (or their contractor) does the trenching (actually, they don't trench. They run a pneumatic bullet underground after digging an entrance and exit hole) and runs the cable to the main panel. They connect it after the panel passes inspection. I paid them a few hundred, and they took care of the rest. That may not work in your area, but worth a try.
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Doug Boulter

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