Electricians and handy people can install light switches and electrical outlets, replace existing ones, or move the switch or outlet to another location. Switches and outlets can be installed indoors, outdoors and in rooms with or without access to water (bathroom or bedroom, for example). Service calls may be for just one or many switches or outlets in private homes, apartments, businesses, multiunit buildings or commercial spaces. Professionals can provide the material components, or clients can buy them prior to installation. Several factors affect the cost of switch and outlet installation.
The cost for switches and outlets ranges anywhere from $1 to $100, depending on their function, amp and voltage capacity, and design. Regardless of whether the professional or the client provides the materials, the type of switch and outlet used affects total cost of the project. If wiring is faulty or larger issues need to be dealt with, material costs will increase—especially as more parts need to be replaced.
Minimum service fee
Many electricians and handy people charge a minimum fee to perform work at a job site. This minimum service fee covers their travel time going to and from the job site, their labor, and transportation expenses. For standard switch and outlet installations, this service fee often will cover the entire the job. Many professionals include a set amount of labor in that service fee. For example, Ingram Construction LLC in Washington, D.C., charges a $75 minimum service fee, which includes up to one hour of labor. For jobs requiring more extensive work, the company provides an estimate and the service fee is rolled into the overall cost.
Moving switches and outlets
Many clients want to add a new outlet in a room or switch the location of an existing switch or outlet. Costs for this task include how far the switch or outlet will be moved, whether any walls needs to be cut to move wiring, whether the client would like the electrical pro to help with drywall repair and paint, whether any electrical wiring needs to be replaced and whether the insulation on the wiring is old. Here are a couple pricing examples from Ingram Construction LLC:
Moving one light switch to a new location: $125
Relocating two outlets and adding a third, all on the same wall: $180
This wall was exposed and in the basement with no drywall and didn’t require any demolition or wall repair.
To solely move the two outlets would have cost $150, adding the third outlet increased the price by $30.
Sometimes home or business owners need to increase their electrical capacity by replacing the electrical (breaker) panel with a higher amperage power system—also known as a "heavy up." An upgrade can be needed because new appliances are added to a home, the building is using more energy or for other reasons. This massive overhaul includes replacing the breaker, replacing all the electrical lines from the service entrance cable, where the street power attaches to the house, to the meter can and from there into the new breaker panel. This work should only be done by an electrician. Ingram Construction LLC charges $3,500 for a heavy up, and this price includes labor, materials, permits, licenses and other expenses.
Geographic location can affect the cost of switch and outlet installation services. Handymen and electricians living in larger cities and regions with a higher cost of living often charge higher rates than those living in more rural areas or locations with less industry competition.