August 23, 2023

If you’re building a new home, you’re going to spend a lot of time thinking about various costs. You get a loan approved, and it’s important to fit the entire home into that fixed budget, so it’s normal to look for lots of ways to save money.

The infrastructure inside the home is a common target for cost savings, and some common questions arise. Can you save money on electrical installation? If so, how much?

When it comes to electrical boxes, there is a chance to save money. The boxes themselves are a minor cost compared to the whole home, but picking the right hardware can save time and labor on the total construction, and it’s worth seeing how these numbers translate.


How Many Boxes Are in the Home?


The easiest way to understand why boxes don’t directly impact home construction costs by very much is to compare the number of boxes in the home to their cost.

The average U.S. home has 75 outlets. Each outlet needs a box. In addition to that, light fixtures require a box. Certain outlet installation points might need boxes. Junctions need boxes, and of course, the electrical panel needs appropriate boxing as well.

Put it all together, and you’re looking at 100 to 150 boxes for the average house. Even a larger, high-tech home probably won’t get above 200 boxes.


How Much Do Boxes Cost?


Now, if electrical boxes were very expensive per unit, then this would be a big deal, but those outlet boxes, including accessories, usually cost well below $10 per unit. Some electrical components, like those that install the breaker panel, cost a bit more, but overall, you’re looking at spending hundreds of dollars on these enclosures.

Compared to the construction cost of the entire home, it’s a pretty small price tag.

Of course, any opportunity to save money matters. If you can save a few hundred dollars on electrical enclosures, and a few hundred dollars on a different construction item, and keep that going, it actually can add up to something significant.


What About Labor?


But, the real construction cost associated with electrical boxes is peripheral.

The easiest thing to understand is labor. You probably have a hundred or more boxes in the home. If one box takes an hour to install and another takes 15 minutes, that’s a big time saving across the construction of the house.

Normally, each box can be installed in a few minutes, but there are major caveats to this. It’s not uncommon for work to have to be redone, especially in the face of inspections, supply shortages, and minor redesigns. This happens with new home construction, and it’s even more likely with a custom home.

In these cases, having electrical boxes that are adaptable and easy to install, uninstall, or change can translate into a major difference in labor and peripheral costs.

At the end of the day, picking the right boxes could save you more than a thousand dollars on the final price tag of your home. The cost savings will vary, but that’s the potential.