What is the cost of upgrading the electrical panel and wiring?

Hello Everyone,

My home in West San Jose is about 50 years old and I am in the process of upgrading my kitchen. All appliances and cupboards from the kitchen are removed and one of the inside walls is also torn down. Suddenly now they found that my main electric panel needs to be upgraded and the wiring is not up to code. They gave me a quote of $3000 for a new panel alone. But for rewiring it to the kitchen, they are saying that they need to cut through the sheet rock. What would be a ballpark number for brand new wiring to the kitchen from the panel (about 30 ft distance) as well as to the garage (new charging outlet for electric car)? The current quote I have is:

$3000 for the new panel
$2000 for cutting through sheet rock and fixing it up nicely later
$4000 for the wiring itself (probably including the heat resistant insulation in garage wall)

It seems excessive to me. Please let me know your thoughts. By the way, everything needs to be done with permits and up to the latest building code. Thanks so much.

I do not know how much it costs for panel upgrade as this requires electrician work (with city permit). They charge normally $110/hr - $150/hr nowadays.

I got one Electrician to make 220 V line for EV (just a line-conduit…etc), he spent 3 hours charged me $400.

Each EV needs 40 AMPs capacity line and if your home has 100A main panel, it needs to be upgraded. In my new home, I see 100 Amps only that definitely needs to upgrade to 200 Amps panel and line.

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I just did this - upgraded a 60amp panel to 150amps.
Aside from the $75 fee that you have to pay PGE, the electrician’s work cost me $3500. This included the new panel, wiring the new panel to the rest of the circuits in the house, and cutting open the sheetrock inside the house and pulling big diameter conduit two floors up from the garage (where the panel is) to the top floor (in the wall) to exit out the front facade of the building to connect to the pole.

For what its worth - I am patching and repairing the sheetrock myself.


Good for you! About the only handyman work I’m capable of doing on my own are replacing toilet seat covers and shower heads. But I already saved good money every time a tenant called in with these problems! :laughing:


Does Home Depot still have free classes on home repairs? You could learn even more without spending money to learn it.

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Seriously… maybe I should just tag along my handyman for a couple of weeks out on the field… :laughing:


If you are doing this full time, it’s betterr to know everything.

I got a new 200 amp panel with wiring and city permit for 4000$. That also included grounding work that I needed for other reasons. PG&E charged me 75$. Same as aalj. And the electrician patched the holes with sheetrock and compound. I got the walls redone later properly.


Nah… I’m fired. I’m only doing this for fun. My full time job is to enjoy life as is. :slight_smile:

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I have got exact quote like this + additional charges for EV lines.

But I guess you didn’t have to replace the existing wiring and outlets in the kitchen (including wiring for 9 recess lights). Granted kitchen is completely bare with all the cupboards, counter tops and appliances removed.

Fwiw, I paid about $130 per outlet for rewiring and $150 per new kitchen and laundry line to code while upgrading the electrical panel 5 years ago. I believe Romex was used, although I have read that BX wiring might be worthwhile to provide electrical field shielding (?) The wall patching was included separately with kitchen remodel.

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I had a house in 2010 … about 2500 sqft, with 2 kitchens, 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, 2 furnaces, 2 w/h etc… on a 60A panel! No kidding! On top of that, it had been used as a grow-house. Not sure how they did that with 60A.

This house did not have a smart meter yet. We upgraded to a larger panel, without telling PG&E. My guy disconnected the drop (cable that comes from the PG&E pole) at the roof, replaced the new panel, reconnected the drop and we were good. IIRC, it took him about 4 hours… labor and material came to less than $500. Possibly as little as $300.

You cannot do that with a smart meter in place. The moment that you disconnect it, PG&E knows it.


I’m doing that a LOT. Like you posted above, my skills are limited to changing toilet seats, smoke detectors and possibly a light switch (I gotta be in a pinch for that), but I like to watch the contractors to get a feel for what they are actually doing.

Once I understood more about the real scope of work, I understood their pricing better too.

As I mentioned in another thread, I was defendant in a construction defect lawsuit recently. One of the allegations was that the roofer had installed the pattern of the reddish-brown roof not according to the manufacturer’s spec. They claimed that there was an area in the composition roof that had too much red and not enough brown. I was sort of believing it.

A year later, I personally installed a very small composition roof. I had never had this roof material in my hands before. It comes in stripes that are 12" high and 4’ wide. Each stripe has a random pattern of colors.
I realized on that day that the lawsuit claim was completely bogus. It’s not like the roofer picks shingles from a red box and mixes them with shingles from a brown box.


Thanks so much for all your responses. It’s baffling that the prices quoted are so far off from each other.

I’m a developer. It astonishes me that people want to save every penny when it comes to construction work. I somehow feel compassionate about all the hardworking people. These are some of the most hardworking people and rather than doing charity and paying money to church/religious Organization we should pay the rightful share.

I should give you all a class in building. I built my first fort at 4. Been building for 60 years. There is no greater joy than doing the job yourself with your own hands.

Pillow fort? :slight_smile:

Hands is good, but scale is hard to reach with that, no?

You have to understand that ptiemann and cloud are heavy hitters - so they have scale economics working for them and can get lower costs out of their crew. Also some of their numbers are from 2010(?) when tradesmen would fall over each other to have your business.


I built a bunch of houses with subs.Since I am a skilled carpenter and engineer they could never bullshit me.my first fort was built from drift wood gathered on the Berkeley mudflats. By 8 I was building tree forts.

Today I painted the whole lower floor, kitchen, great room. bath and two bedrooms, of a 4/2 1700sf house. I had hired two millienals . Went to pick them up at 8am. Couldn’t get them out of bed.
Did the whole job myself in six hours. Except wife helped cutting in the trim. Did a $2k paint job at 64 years old. There is big money to made in the trades today.