How much will it cost to replace knob and tube wiring?

knob and tube wiring

Replacing Knob and Tube Wiring

There are too many variables to answer specifically. Kuhlman Electrical Services can provide a range based on the jobs our team deals with on a regular basis. Over the past number of years, we have completed knob and tube replacement jobs ranging from $1,800 all the way up to $50,000. Most homes fall somewhere in the middle and largely depend on the size of the home and how much knob and tube wiring is left. In the case of the $50,000 job, that particular home was 5,000+ square feet, and almost the entire home needed to be rewired.

Pricing can vary; here are some options presented by KES, Inc. 

Option 1: Time and Material (Hourly)

The electrician provides you an hourly price for two electricians and sells you on working time and material. This means you will pay for the time they spend on the job doing the work. The electrician will hopefully give you a sense of how many days or weeks it may take and a rough material cost. This is a perfectly reasonable way to do things. The downside is you may be constantly wondering if the electricians are purposely working slowly to prolong the job, taking longer breaks on your dime, etc. If you have used the electrician before and you trust them, going this route may not be a bad option.

Option 2: Hourly Fixed Price

In this case, the electrician figures out how many days they believe they will be on site and calculates the price based on his hourly rate plus materials. Many electricians go this route. It does involve some guesswork — they may say; “We will be in the master bedroom for about one day, the guest bedroom for half a day, and so on”. The advantage for a homeowner in this case is that you know the price up front, and won’t need to worry about how quickly the electricians are working. If they work slowly, that’s on the company. One of the disadvantages of this method is change orders — the electrician will need to calculate any changes or additional work that comes out while they are on the job. The Electrician will price out the changes based on his time assessment, or he may charge you hourly for all changes.


Option 3: Price Per Point (Fixed Price)

This method of estimating is probably the most common as it is straightforward. Every light, outlet, switch, and circuit gets a value. Let’s say each outlet is worth $250. Out of that $250, $235 may be labor, and $15 material (wire, box, outlet, plate, wire nuts). The electrician in this case has a general rate of $200 per hour and is thinking each outlet will take a little over 1 hour to wire. All of the points (outlets, switches, circuits, and lights) are added up and multiplied by the price per point to come up with a total estimate. Hopefully the electrician shares the price per point with you so you can calculate changes yourself quite easily. If there are recessed lights, arc-fault circuits, bathroom fans, or other tricky items involved, these will have a higher price per point value as the material cost of a bathroom fan is much more than a simple switch or outlet.

The price per point can vary from home to home. Things that will affect the price per point include:

– How many total points are there? The more points, the lower the cost per point.

– Is there an unfinished basement or attic? Unfinished spaces make the job easier, lowering the cost per point.

– Does the home have large crown moldings? These can be difficult to fish around.

– Does the home have any tin ceilings? Tin ceilings can’t be patched, meaning much more care needs to be taken to fish the wiring in a way to avoid holes.

– Are there a lot of switches in the stairways? Stairway switches are the most time consuming to wire.

– Is there wallpaper? More care/time needs to be taken with wallpaper.