Question regarding fees and ethics for electrical

Thank you all for the info I have found so far on this forum, it’s brought hope to a frustrating situation. My family does volunteer work for home owners that don’t have the resources to repair etc on their homes…generally elderly people. This current person purchased a home in serious need of a lot of work including the utilities being ran to the house such as electric from the power lines…the previous owners I’m assuming started putting new plumbing and wiring in the house and my dad being a contractor for 40+ years as well as the building inspector agreed that it was ok…100amp box for a very small house 700sq ft max and all we need now is to have an electrician wire the main power to the house which I expected. However, I can not find an electrician that will even give me a bid or even call me back. My co-worker found a few finally to stop and give a “bid” etc and I was totally blown away with this man. He informed us that the 100 amp box was way too small, he recommended minimum 200 amp, which I have never seen in a small residential home less then 2000sq feet and that the standard 110 romexwiring and 220 were too small to wire in regular plugs and lights or an electric stove on a 220…I have no idea what he is talking about these being too small for an elderly woman to run a small electric stove and max 4 outlets on a circuit breaker and lighting on a seperate circuit breaker. On top of this info, he said that regardless of what he did, he would charge full price of $15,000+ to run power to the house. The other electrician quoted $8000 but said he doesn’t do remodels…I have all respect for this line of work and yes, they deserve to be paid well but so do the rest of us ( licensed contractors, inspectors, plumbers, etc…it’s hard work) but we volunteer our knowledge and elbow grease as well as some materials we can acquire from recycle centers and refurbish from other jobs because I …we…believe that the safety of everyone is important. When I hear of a single mother losing her 5 year old daughter in a fire because an electrician “fixed” the bad wiring and actually did nothing but her ignorance was the weighing factor, she was taken advantage of and lost her only child to a fire. That is why we do what we do. Referral to honest individuals that would never take that risk.

I guess my question is, are these electricians seriously in the price range of what we are needing done, the info they gave on amp size was not as I’ve read on these forums and too my personal knowledge of my own work…and, if so, are there any resources available to this woman to help her with this expense that anyone would know of…I rely a lot on our local building inspector because his line of work, safety is the top priority as you all know :slight_smile: I hope I’m not far off on avenues for information, but as inspectors have the most knowledge on these types of professions…

Any information is greatly appreciated. I don’t want to give up on this project. Our area is rural and barely any funding for housing assistance for people like her and she has no other options left.

Thank you

This kind of falls under the same reasons why a Home Inspector doesn’t turn on utilities that are turned off… Liability from the unknown! You are asking an Electrician to blindly connect electricity to a home that he knows nothing about, with likely unpermitted work by non-licensed unknown persons. Professional insurance isn’t cheap, and IMO, the Sparky that refuses to work on remodels/rehabs has the best policy… just say NO!

Well I at first told myself I would not reply to this thread (being a Master Electrician myself) and then like a magnet I am drawn back to provide some comments.

  1. While your efforts are noble and worthy of praise, the electrical contractor is not under any obligation to be so noble and worthy. They are in business to make money and so you are never bound to accept estimates you believe are far out there.

  2. This is a Home Inspector Forum. These folks are not remotely connected to the everyday prices of doing electrical work. Some may be electricians but if they are also home inspectors there is a good chance they have been OUT of the profession for quite some time and prices change over time. Even in myself with over 30+ years could not price a job today without getting back into the costs.

  3. Please do not expect an “electrician” to help you out of the goodness of their own heart. While you may do it as a volunteer I would not expect others to be so generous with their professional time.

  4. With a 700 sq ft dwelling I would think a 100A service would be plenty and with an electric range and all the receptacles and luminaries you would like. However, if the dwelling needs to be remodeled, new cables installed (we do not know the age in question here), it will always be cheaper to wire new that to mess with old. Fishing up walls, crawling through old crawl spaces, dealing with old wiring and so on automatically increased my costs (back in the day) by 25% just to deal with it… which is why I liked new construction.

So you need to get estimates and choose one and live with it. Clearly most of the electricians in your area do not want to mess with it and if you came to me as the electrician saying " it only needs this and that" then I would increase the cost slightly just to be involved in someones micro management life style.

Bottom line is…this is not the forum to ask that and at the end of the day no one in this forum or any forum is going to wire your dwelling so I would stay local and get more estimates.

Ok…thanks guys…I appreciate your knowledge and certainly do respect your profession. I, in no way what so ever, intended to insult anyone or down play the importance of all professions that have to do with construction and safety. Please understand my desperation as I am the one who has to tell this woman the bad news. My family are professional, licensed contractors and no, it does not come cheap and we certainly do screen our projects extremely well. The reason I asked this forum is because of the diverseness in knowledge in the field of residential code. This has helped a lot even if I may have, unintentionally, insulted anyone. However, I’m still learning. I’m more structurally knowledgeable and can manage the books to the tiniest write off…charitable work is also a huge write off of income btw :slight_smile: and excellent for business networking. My family has never had to advertise for this reason…rarely out of work…that pays lol…

Wish there were more opportunities to network with other professionals. It’d be a huge outlet for resources and referral work for everyone and at a cost of $0…