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Common Renovating Costs: Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC

Common Renovating Costs: Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC

Common Renovating Costs: Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC


Many of us haven’t the slightest idea of how much it really costs to undergo a basic home renovation, let alone a complete overhaul.

In our Renovating Costs series, we outline how much you can expect to spend for just about any project you plan to take on.

Many of our first homes are the older types. This means old electrical wiring, which in turn means a call for replacement. Or, if you are simply renovating a newer home and wish to change your lighting, here’s an idea of costs.

  • Replacing Knob and Tube for a 1500-square-foot home, for example, will cost approximate $5000 to $7000.
  • Further broken down, this means $120 to $150 allocated to each fixture (such as pot lights, flush mounts, sconces, etc.).
  • Installing Recessed Downlights (i.e. pot lights) typically costs $150 to retro fit (supply and install), and $180 if there’s no insulation in ceiling and a metal box would need to be installed for regulated protection.  This requires unique pot lights called IC’s (insulated ceiling).
  • Moving and/or adding receptacles are generally $100 (each) for supply and install, and $120 (each) for GFI’s (Ground Fault Interpreter), necessary for kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Hanging Light Fixtures will cost $40 in labor, but an additional $100 if an electrical box needs to be moved.

Installing new plumbing or replacing existing can vary from one extreme to another, depending on the selected fixtures.

  • Toilet installation will cost you $300 if you hire a plumber to come to your house solely for that reason.
  • Otherwise, if already on site, expect to pay an hourly rate of approximately $75. This is not including rough-in or toilet fixture.
  • To rough-in a sink, toilet or shower will cost $1000 per basic fixture (thermostatic valves, for example, will rank higher in price), plus installation rate.
  • Replacing fixtures, such as a sink and faucet will cost $400 to $500 each. Again, if your plumber is journeying to your home specifically for that reason only. 
  • People in trades charge a minimum three hours work, so better to gather your needs and get them done all at once!

HVAC is your heating, venting, and air-cooling system, often big ticket items.

  • A new furnace and re-routing ducts will cost approximately $8000. However if no re-routing (i.e. new layout results in re-routing) is required expect to pay $4000 to $5000.
  • A new air conditioning unit is roughly $1200.
  • A direct vent, gas fireplace will cost around $400 for the gas line to be installed, $2000 for the gas unit, and $800 to create a direct vent (plus mantle purchase).
  • Install and vent-out a range hood fan will cost approximately $800 (including power, hanging, and venting out the wall).
  • You need at least one return-air grill and typically you have a register below every window, as that is where most heat is lost. The cost of registers is $13 to $20.

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