Electrical codes ensure that a home is safe for the residents. You may find out that your home needs to be brought up to code either through an inspection or while the experts at Black-Haak are evaluating electrical issues. In most cases, new construction and existing homes are required to be up to code before a sale, but this may not always happen. Bringing a home up to electrical code may seem like an overwhelming project, but it is actually quite affordable, especially when you consider what is at stake. Statistics show that electrical issues account for approximately 51,000 fires each year, and nearly 500 people lose their lives as a result of these incidents. Additionally, electrical fires result in more than $1,000,000,000 in damages each year.
Benefits of Electrical Codes
Homes are required to meet local, state, and federal electrical codes, and most of these are based on the National Electrical Code (NEC), which outlines requirements for both commercial and residential structures. Because the codes are updated every three years, it’s important that you work with a contractor who remains current on the regulations.
Cost of an Electrical Inspection
Before you hire Black-Haak to perform repairs and upgrades to bring your home up to code, it is important to schedule an electrical inspection. Most inspectors charge for the entire job rather than by the hour, and the cost is around $200 on average. An inspection ensures that every issue with your electrical system is documented.
How Much Does It Cost to Bring a Home Up to Electrical Code?
Unlike electrical inspections, bringing your home up to electrical code is typically charged according to the total square footage of the job. Expect to pay between $1.50 and $4.00 per square foot. For a typical home, the total cost is $1,500 to $9,000 on average. Several factors affect the cost of bringing a home up to electrical code, so we recommend that you schedule an appointment with the experts at Black-Haak. We review the findings of your electrical inspection and provide a quote for the work.
What If Only Part of Your Home Needs to Be Brought Up to Electrical Code?
There are some instances where only a part of a home needs to be brought up to electrical code. While this can be a more affordable project than working on the entire house, the quality of the contractor still matters. Making changes to parts of your electrical system can affect the other parts of the system. You don’t want to have the work done only to find that additional repairs are needed in the future. Here’s a breakdown of the typical cost of bringing certain rooms of your house up to electrical code.
Kitchens typically carry the greatest electrical load in your house. In addition to the standard outlets and lighting, the electrical system in this part of your house needs to safely operate large appliances. Additionally, water is a concern in the kitchen. The average kitchen is 160 to 175 square feet. It may cost between $240 and $700 to bring your kitchen up to electrical code. This includes:
- Circuits for large and small appliances
- Standard outlets that are at least 6 feet from any source of water, such as the kitchen faucet
- Lighting on a separate circuit
Bedrooms, Dining Room, and Living Room
Bedrooms average between 165 square feet and 224 square feet, so it may cost between $245 to $900 to bring your bedroom up to electrical code. Averaging 200 square feet, a dining room may cost between $300 to $80, and the average living room may cost $450 to $1,300 for a 320 square-foot space. Bringing these rooms up to electrical code includes:
- Wall switches next to the door to enter the room, which may also include additional switches for outlets and ceiling fans in the room
- Standard wall outlets that are a maximum of 12 feet apart
- Separate 20-amp outlet in dining room for small appliances
Like kitchens, bathroom electrical systems require special steps due to the presence of water. This is to reduce the risk of electrocution as you use blow dryers and other small appliances, as well s while getting in and out of the bathtub and shower. For an average bathroom that is 35 to 40 square feet, it may cost $50 to $160 to bring it up to electrical code. This includes:
- Dedicated circuits for vent fans with heaters
- At least one outlet that is at least three feet from the edge of the sink
- Lighting that is rated for damp conditions
Stairways and Hallways
Stairways and hallways are often overlooked by homeowners who need to bring their Fox Valley homes up to electrical code. These are not common living spaces, yet stairways and hallways do have some electrical requirements. Most stairways take up about 30 square feet, and hallways can be up to 50 square feet. It may cost between $45 and $200 to bring these areas up to electrical code. This includes:
- Wall switches at the start and end of the stairway or hallway
- Outlets for hallways that are more than 10 feet in length
- Light switches for adjoining rooms
The cost of bringing your Fox Valley laundry room up to code depends largely on whether you have gas or electric laundry appliances. The average laundry room is 110 to 150 square feet, so you may pay $165 to $600 to bring the space up to electrical code. This includes:
- Minimum of one 20-amp outlet for the washer
- At least one 30-amp outlet for the dryer
- GFCI-protected outlets
Walk-in closets range from 25 to 70 square feet in the average home, but these spaces can be as large as you desire. Bringing a walk-in closet up to electrical code may cost between $35 and $280, and this includes:
- Incandescent lighting covered with globes and installed at least 12 inches from areas where clothes are stored
- LED lights at least one foot from clothes storage areas
- CFL lights at least six inches from clothes storage areas
A single-car garage is between 240 and 385 square feet, and a two-car garage is between 440 and 625 square feet. This equates to an average cost of $360 to $1,550 to bring your single-car garage up to electrical code and between $660 and $2,500 for a two-car garage. In 2017, the NEC was updated to include new requirements for garages, and the space must have at least one 120-volt, 20-amp isolated circuit for the space. Additionally, the garage needs to have:
- At least one outlet for each car space
- All outlets must be GFCI-protected
- Minimum of one wall switch for lighting
Other NEC Requirements to Bring a Home Up to Electrical Code
The NEC outlines many details of electrical systems for homes in Fox Valley, and the experts at Black-Haak ensure that your home has safe and reliable electricity. For new construction, all outlets must be AFCI-protected. This is not a requirement for existing homes. Additionally, outlets should be tamper-resistant. This feature prevents small objects from being inserted into the outlets.
Experts to Bring Your Home Up to Electrical Code
Black-Haak specializes in residential heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical services. If you need to bring your home up to electrical code, give us a call. We will schedule a time for one of our experts to come by and provide a quote.