How much does switch and outlet installation cost?
On average nationwide, most homeowners will pay $175-$260, or an average of $200 to install a new light switch or outlet. These prices include the the price of a new outlet or switch. The total cost you'll pay will depend on the number and type of electrical outlets or switches you need.
Electrical switch and outlet installation cost:
|National average cost||$200|
|Average cost range||$175-$260|
Adding new electrical outlets and light switches or replacing old ones are common home upgrades. Outlets and switches wear out, and most homes never have enough outlets to run all the appliances and devices that power our lives in the digital age. However, switch and outlet installation is not a job you want to DIY because it involves electrical work. Be safe and smart and hire an electrician.
Before you hire a professional electrician to help, get an estimate on how much switch and outlet installation will cost you.
What's in this cost guide?
The average cost to hire an electrician is $50-$100 per hour, nationwide, on top of a flat fee of $75-$100 for showing up. The flat fee usually is applied toward labor and materials.
Given this, you could pay as much as $200 to install a single outlet. Ouch. To lower the cost of labor per outlet or switch, bundle the installation of several of them into one visit. Figure out every place in your home where you need a new switch or outlet or any other electrical work done, and have the electrician do all of it while he or she is there.
Some electricians offer package deals where they'll install a set number of switches or outlets for a flat fee. For example, a Thumbtack pro and experienced electrician in Atlanta, GA will install two to four outlets or switches for $395, including materials.
The total cost of installing a new outlet or switch will depend on the type and number of outlets or switches, what kind of wiring already exists, and if you want to add on any childproofing features.
Number of switches and outlets
Of course, the number of electrical outlets and light switches you need will impact how much you pay. Here's an estimated cost of much you can expect to pay:
|Number of switches or outlets||Estimated total cost|
Type of light switches
Light switches come in six basic types and range in price from $5-$45 each for materials and $100-$200 in labor to install. The price depends on the type of switch or outlet.
Below are the average cost of different types of light switches, not including installation:
|Type of light switch||Description||Cost for one switch|
|Single pole||The most common light switch in the home and the simplest and easiest to install. It controls one fixture.||$1-$15|
|Double pole||This is the second most common light switch and controls two circuits.||$10-$20|
|Three-way||These switches make it possible to control a single fixture from two different locations and has a more involved installation process.||$3-$15|
|Four-way||This switch operates one fixture from three locations.||$10-$25|
|Dimmer||Dimmers make it possible to adjust the brightness of a light fixture and come in single, three-way, and smart styles.||$10-$25|
|Smart||Smart switches allows you to control the switch with a smart-home device, like Google Home.||$45-$150|
Type of electrical outlet
Electrical outlets come in six basic types. Outlet costs range from $3-$50 each for materials and $100-$200 in labor to install. The price you pay depends on the type of outlet and the complexity of the job. For example, outlets like GFCI-protected or 220-volt units will cost more in both materials and labor to install than a standard 120-volt unit.
Below are the average cost of different types of electrical outlets, not including installation:
|Type||Description||Cost for one outlet|
|Standard outlets||These handle 100-120 volts of electricity. They're the most common residential outlet and the easiest to install. They come in two- or three-prong models. However, two-prong outlets are outdated and not as safe as three-pronged outlets, which have a ground wire to prevent electrical shocks.||$3-$15|
|Grounded||Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are the safest choice for areas near water, like a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room. They have a surge protector built into them that cuts off power to the outlet if they detect an electrical spike or moisture. If you drop your curling iron in a sink full of water, a GFCI lowers the chances you'll get electrocuted.||$7-$25|
|USB||These outlets have USB ports along with standard outlet receptacles so you can power tablets and smart phones and other mobile devices. This upgrade is a must for modern homes.||$13-$22|
|Smart||These look like regular outlets but can be controlled by smart devices, so you can turn them on or off from anywhere. They need to be hardwired into a smart home hub like Amazon Echo or Google Home.||$25-$50|
|Heavy duty||Large and in-charge, these handle 220 to 250 volts of electricity to meet the power needs of heavy appliances like electrical dryers, ranges, and washing machines.||$10-$20|
|Floor||These are mounted in the floor, just as the name says. Since they can be stepped on or have water spilled in them, they have safety features including a gasket seal and a moisture-proof cover that make them more complex and thus more expensive.||$30-$50|
Location of the switch or outlet
If you're putting an outlet or switch in a place where there wasn't one already, labor costs go up. You'll pay an electrician $6-$8 a foot to run wire to the outlet.
If you need to open up walls to run new wires, you could also be looking at thousands of dollars for the demo work and the repair when the wiring's done. The average cost for drywall repair is $260-$450. If you're just updating an old outlet with a new one and all wiring and circuits are set up and the electrical box is accessible, labor costs go way down.
Updating existing wiring
Depending on the type of outlet, you may need to upgrade your electrical panel to support it, which costs a national average of $1,000.
If your existing wiring cannot accommodate your new outlet or switch–like if you update a standard outlet to a heavy duty one–you may need to install a new circuit that can deliver additional amps. This means more materials, more time, more labor, and—you guessed it—more money.
Tamper-resistant outlets have spring-loaded covers for the receptacles that can keep a small child from sticking foreign objects into the outlet. They cost about $0.50 more per outlet than traditional ones. Tamper-resistant outlets are required on new construction, and they're a popular, and affordable, update in homes with small children.
A veteran electrician can upgrade a two-prong outlet to a three-prong in half an hour if you have a grounded fuse box. For a more complex installation where the electrician has to open a wall to rewire your electrical system or update electrical panels, the project could take a day or more.
How do I hire an electrician to install a new light switch or outlet?
Before you hire a contractor to install switches and outlets in your home, follow these tips to make sure you get the right pro for the job.
Hire an electrician. Don't hire a handyman, and don't DIY it. Electrical work is complex and amateur electrical work can turn your home into a fire hazard. Home electrical fires kill more than 500 people annually and cause $1.3 billion in property damage. Don't risk it. Hire a licensed and experienced electrician.
Make sure the pro has experience installing switches and outlets and read reviews to check the quality of their work.
Get a written, itemized quote and ask what's covered in the project. Will they need to run new wiring or install a new juncture box to upgrade that standard outlet to a heavy duty one? Is the price of the switches or outlets included? Do they charge an hourly rate or a flat fee? Do they offer package deals where you can get a slew of electrical work done for a flat rate?
Get multiple free estimates. Ask for estimates from several different electricians so you get an idea of the range of costs in your area. Make sure the estimates are specific and detail specific project costs. To get started, download the Thumbtack Android or iPhone app and submit a cost estimate request.
If you're ready to add more outlets in your home so you can stop fighting with your kids over places to charge your phones, don't mess with the electrical wiring yourself. Instead, find an experienced outlet and switch installer in your zip code on Thumbtack.