I hear fairly frequently from people who want to know how much it will cost to wire a shed, garage, or other outbuilding. Whether it was built after the house and an electrical system was not installed, or if you are looking to construct one yourself, the cost to wire an outbuilding can vary wildly. However, there are a few things that you can do to get a rough estimate of the work that will need to be done. Examining distance, obstacles, existing infrastructure, and more can all be key components of what running new line can cost. So do a little research, figure out your existing configuration, and then we can figure out how much work will need to be done. Then, you will need to adjust prices for local factors, such as labor in your area.
The first thing that will need to be looked at is if the building is detached from the house. Some garages or other additions are built so that they are against the existing structure. This makes wiring a lot easier, and will typically mean that you will pay less. If the building is detached, you will have to run a conduit underground, and this can be a lot of work, depending on local building code. The conduit will have to be buried deep and well insulated, which will certainly cost. Additionally, there may not be an easy path. I worked for a client once who wanted to run a conduit to the other side of his driveway, and it was necessary to cut out large sections of the pavement and reinstall them afterwards, labor intensive work requiring expensive machinery. For this client, the cost was no concern, but not all of us have that luxury.
Another important consideration is the electrical needs of the outbuilding. If you are looking to install a few small lights, there will be much less work done than if you are looking to install a full, well supplied array of electrical fixtures. With that said, if you are putting in the wiring, it is much better to put in too much vs too little. If you end up needing to upgrade in the future and didn’t lay the groundwork for a more extensive system, you may end up paying for a lot of the same work twice. So if you think that your electrical needs might increase over time, go ahead and pay for a system that will be up-gradable. If you want to know how much it will cost to run some wiring, look at these factors, and go get a few quotes.