How to Wire a 200 Amp Panel on a Budget

Installing or upgrading to a 200 amp electrical service panel is a big project, but it doesn't have to break the bank if I budget wisely and I'm willing to put in some sweat equity. With careful planning and shopping around for deals on materials, I can likely wire a 200 amp panel for $500-800 in total costs. Here's how I can install a 200 amp panel on a budget.

Choosing a 200 Amp Panel

The most expensive part of the project will be the actual 200 amp panel itself. This will form the backbone of my upgraded electrical service.

I have a few options to consider:

For a straightforward DIY on a budget, a main lug panel is my best bet. It has everything I need and I can get one for well under $200. Some top brands to look at are Square D, Eaton, Siemens, and GE.

I'll want to size the panel based on the calculated load I need. A 40 space, 200 amp main lug panel should give me room to grow.

Cost of Other Materials

In addition to the main panel, I'll need various wiring, conduit, breakers, and connectors to complete the job:

By shopping sales and getting contractor discounts at home supply stores, I can get most of these materials without breaking the bank.

Reducing Costs on Labor

While materials are expensive, professional electrician labor is often the biggest line item. Fortunately, I can dramatically cut costs by doing much of the installation myself.

Key aspects I, the homeowner, can handle safely:

  • Running / securing conduit
  • Pulling wires
  • Attaching lugs and wires to the panel
  • Installing and connecting the grounding

I should leave hazardous work like connecting the main feeds and handling the main lugs to a licensed electrician. This will ensure it gets done safely and legally.

By doing the prep work and easier aspects myself, I can save hundreds in labor costs.

Additional Savings Tips

Here are a few other tips to stay on budget with my panel upgrade:


Upgrading home electrical service to 200 amps is a major project, but by choosing an affordable panel, sourcing deals on materials, minimizing electrician labor, and more, I can definitely wire everything on a budget under $1000. With some research and sweat equity, I can get the electrical capacity I need to power my home for years to come without overloading my own budget.