How to Save Money on Your Next Home Electrical Project
Investing in home electrical upgrades can be expensive, but there are ways to save money without sacrificing quality. With some planning and smart decisions, you can complete your next electrical project on a budget.
Shop Around for Materials
Electrical materials like wire, outlets, switches, and breakers make up a significant portion of project costs. Comparison shopping at home improvement stores and online retailers can yield major savings on these items.
Make a detailed list of all the materials you'll need before going shopping. This prevents unnecessary purchases and allows you to spot the best deals. I once saved over $100 on a wiring job just by comparing prices between three stores on the exact items I needed.
Take Advantage of Sales and Coupons
Timing your electrical project to coincide with sales events can slash materials costs. Home improvement stores regularly discount electrical supplies during holiday weekends and inventory clearance sales.
Sign up for store coupon mailing lists and monitor circulars for upcoming promotions. At Lowe's, I recently used a 10% off coupon on a $300 order of breakers and wire, saving $30.
Many electrical component manufacturers also offer rebates. Spending a few minutes submitting rebate forms can result in checks for $5 to $20. Those small savings add up over the course of a large project.
Consider Buying Some Items Used
For certain electrical materials, you can save substantially by purchasing used instead of new. Light fixtures, switches, outlets, and cover plates are prime candidates for used buying.
Searching classified ads and auction sites often turns up quality used electrical supplies in good working order at half the retail price or less. Just be sure to test anything you buy used before installing it.
Learn to DIY Installation
Hiring an electrician is often the biggest single expense of an electrical project. You can dramatically reduce labor costs by learning to safely handle some installation tasks yourself.
For many homeowners, installing new switches, outlets, and light fixtures is totally manageable with a basic knowledge of electrical systems. Youtube tutorials can teach you the fundamentals. An experienced friend can assist with your first DIY electrical project.
However, always call in a licensed pro for large jobs like new circuits, panels, and hardwired appliances. Paying for expertise is worthwhile to ensure safety and proper functioning.
Take Your Time
There's no need to rush through an electrical project start-to-finish in a weekend. Spreading the work over several weeks or months lets you purchase supplies incrementally as budget allows.
Working slower also saves money by avoiding mistakes that require rework. I once damaged several outlet boxes trying to complete a job too quickly, ultimately spending more to replace them than I saved by rushing.
Careful planning and phasing in an electrical upgrade over time ensures the job gets done right the first time. The project may take longer, but your wallet will thank you.
With creative cost savings measures, you can have the improved electrical system you want without blowing your budget. Prioritize value over speed, and don't be afraid to sweat the small stuff - Finding those little savings on materials and labor is the key to affordably completing major electrical upgrades.