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How can I estimate plumbing and electrical costs?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ October 21, 2013 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

I'm considering purchasing an old Queenslander house and having it relocated on some land. I'm just wondering roughly what plumbing and electrical would cost.

-Tammie

Jeffrey Anderson

Tammie, the very first thing I recommend is that you hire a qualified private home inspector to do a thorough inspection of the house. It's almost impossible to guesshow much interior plumbing and electrical work the house might need until this is done. It may be that only some minor updating is required on the two systems or you could have to completely replace all the pipes and wiring in the old house.

My guess is that it will probably be somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, but the only way to know for sure is to have the house inspected.

It might also be worthwhile to put in a call to the building department of the jurisdiction where the house will be located to find out how inspections will be handled. I would think you'd need to get an occupancy inspection, and more than likely you'll need inspections on the plumbing and electrical systems when they are hooked up. This will help you answer important questions, such as are they going to grandfather in plumbing and wiring that might not meet modern building codes or will they require that the systems be totally updated? Most of the time an old house only has to meet current building code in sections being renovated or when an addition is being done, but I'm not sure how they might address issues in one that's being moved.

At the very least you'll need to have an electrician set up the new service and probably pay a connection fee to the local power company. If you can use the existing panel box and outside service, the electrician's fee shouldn't be too much. The power company's fee normally depends on whether the service will be overhead or underground and the distance from their primary lines.

You'll also want to consider what you'll be doing for water and sewage for the home. When you say that the home will be located on some land, it sounds like it could be in a rural area. That means you'll probably need to have a well drilled and a septic tank and field installed. The cost of drilling a well depends on how far down they have to go to hit water. If the land is serviced by a municipal utility company, you'll be required to pay a water and sewer connection fee and they can be fairly high depending on the jurisdiction.

As you can see, there are a lot of questions that must be answered before the potential costs involved in relocating the house can be calculated. Get a home inspector's report on the house and then have a few local electrical and plumbing contractors in the area where the house will be located provide estimates for the work. They should also have a pretty good idea of how much putting in a well, installing a septic system, and running power to the home could cost.

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