How Long Does it Take to Wire a House?

I will walk you through roughly how long it takes to wire a house in this article.

Whether you’ve constructed a new house and are ready to wire it, or you’ve decided to rewire an existing one because it is very old, badly wired, or damaged, you will need to estimate how long it will take. As you can imagine, the size of your house will be one main factor, but there are also others and some important things to consider.

A common time estimate electricians give is one hour of work for every 100 square feet of wiring. Besides the house size, the actual time will depend on the house’s layout, electrical load, whether you need to remove the existing wiring, and the type of wiring to remove and be done. Also, they typically charge by the hour.

Besides looking into how long it takes to wire a house, and the factors involved, I will briefly tell you your options and the general procedure and give an idea of how much it might cost if you hire someone.

How Long Does House Wiring Take

Job TypeTime Estimate (days)
New Wiring3-11
Rewiring (old wiring removed)longer than 3-11

It is commonly touted that it takes an electrician roughly an hour to do the wiring for every 100 square feet of home space.

Based on this general estimate and the typical size of an American house, you can expect an electrician to wire a new house between 3 and 11 days. But if it’s a rewiring job in which the old wiring must be removed first, you can expect it to take longer. Also, ask the electrician, who will do the job, and how long it will take.

It depends on whether it will take just a few days, a week, or more.

Factors that Determine How Long House Wiring Takes

The house size is the first factor to determine how long house wiring will take. We will then consider other important factors as well.

The other key factors are the house layout, electrical load, number of outlets, whether you need to remove the existing wiring, the type of wiring to remove and be done, the tools used, and the electrician’s expertise and previous experience.

Size and Complexity of the House

The size of the house or the area in which the wiring must be done is a major factor because it will affect how long it takes to wire a house.

As you can expect, the larger the house, the longer it will take, and the smaller the house, the quicker it can be done. It will also likely take longer if the house is old, has multiple stories, or has a complex layout. Conversely, smaller and simpler-designed homes will take less time.

Electrical Load and Number of Outlets

The electrical load is another major factor in how long it will take to wire a house.

This includes how many large or powerful appliances you need to wire dedicated circuits for and how many electrical outlets you want to be installed. The more dedicated circuits and outlets you have, the longer it will take to do the wiring. If you don’t have many of these to install, the wiring can be done much more quickly.

Other Key Factors

I mentioned other key factors already. All the things listed below should also be taken into account:

  • The type of wiring you choose makes a difference; each has advantages and disadvantages. We’ll look into this in more detail separately.
  • Proper tools can help to get tasks done quicker, and it can take longer without them.
  • An expert and experienced electrician can get the job done quicker, but a beginner or non-electrician will likely take longer.
  • The procedure or how the wiring is done could make a difference in how long it takes and how much it will cost. Professional electricians follow standard procedures and codes, but differences may still affect time and cost due to material differences and the complexity of the wiring.

Types of Wiring

Different types of wiring cause specific issues and affect how long wiring takes.

Knowing your wiring options and the advantages and disadvantages of each type is also necessary to identify potential areas of concern and hazards. The different types were common at different times.

You must add the removal time if you have an old house and want to rewire. Knowing what type of wiring you have already will also help you decide whether it should be replaced.

Knobs and Tubes

knob and tube wiring

Kob and tube wiring was common in homes built from the 1880s to 1940s.

They used ceramic tubes. Although long-lasting, they are still susceptible to strain and natural wear, and they deteriorate over time, and rodents can gnaw at the wiring. Since there is no grounding in this type of wiring, there is a risk of electric shock, and the wiring is vulnerable to lightning strikes. One way households have gotten around this is by installing lightning rods on the top of their houses, which are then connected to a grounding rod by aluminum wiring.

Since 2008, this type of wiring has been officially prohibited in the United States under the NEC (National Electric Code). It is recommended to replace this wiring system completely if you notice any damage or disruption, and it is not permitted to modify or extend this system. If you have it, you will also find it difficult to obtain fire insurance for your home.

If you have this type of wiring, you should rewire your house.

Cloth Sheath Wiring

cloth sheath wiring

Cloth sheath wiring was common in homes constructed before 1970.

The type of insulation (cloth sheaths) used in this system is vulnerable to deterioration over time and contains asbestos. When it eventually frays, it becomes brittle and falls apart, creating the risk of arcing and electric shocks. If not, these wires can heat up easily, and in some houses, the paper was placed under the cloth sheathing, so it is a fire hazard.

If you have this type of wiring, you should rewire your house for greater safety.

PVC Pipes

plastic electrical conduit connected to a distribution box

Wiring concealed inside PVC piping is now common, but it is not without safety issues.

Usually, several wires are concealed together in small spaces. Overheating in any one of them poses a risk to all of them. The PVC sheathing can also burn; if it does, the gases released are hazardous. Also, PVC is non-recyclable, so there is an environmental issue.

If you have this type of wiring, you don’t have to rewire the house, but you might like to have it inspected occasionally.

Romex Wiring

Romex wiring is non-metallic sheathing with a non-conducting, moisture-resistant, and flame-resistant coating.

The thick insulation protects them from disintegration and enables them to survive up to 70 years. They have to be protected further by clamping and junction boxes, but they are not recommended in residential constructions higher than three stories.

However, the wiring is still vulnerable to overheating and rodents. Any damage to the wiring may require at least partial rewiring. Also, they are not allowed in some areas.

Armored Wiring

armored cable parts

Armored wiring is covered by an aluminum or steel spiral under an outer sheathing.

This type of wiring is flexible, durable, and long-lasting but expensive to install. However, it has the same three-story limit as Romex wiring and requires the same additional protection measures.

You might not need to worry about rewiring the house if you have this type of main wiring.

How Much Will it Cost?

The cost to wire a house will differ by area, but generally, it will probably cost you between $1 and $4 per square foot.

Based on this estimate, wiring, for example, a 1,000 sqft house may cost up to $4,000, and a 2,000 sqft house may cost up to $8,000.

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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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