Chandeliers add beauty and drama to your home. Installing a chandelier is a great way to define your foyer, glamorize your dining room or add a sophisticated touch to the master bedroom. Replacing an old light fixture with a chandelier is a quick and inexpensive way to update your home.
If you’re replacing an old chandelier with a new one, you might be able to handle the job yourself. However, you’ll need to call in an electrician if you’re adding a chandelier where one has not existed before. You’ll also have to hire an electrician if any of the wiring running to the chandelier is old and needs updating.
The price of a chandelier installation depends on the size and weight of the chandelier, the difficulty of installation, the condition of the wiring, whether you’re replacing an old chandelier or installing a new one, ceiling height, whether a support system is required to hold the weight of the chandelier and local labor rates.
Most electricians charge about $100 to $200 to install a new chandelier in place of an old one (not including the cost of the chandelier). Installing a new chandelier where one is not already in place costs anywhere from $300 to $2,000 or more (again, not including the chandelier). Budget on the low end of that price range for a small chandelier with normal-size ceilings, and budget on the high end for a large chandelier with high ceilings that require a lift to reach.
If you’re replacing an old light fixture with a small chandelier and you are handy, installing a chandelier can be a DIY project. Budget about 2 to 4 hours. However, keep in mind that the standard electrical box can hold a maximum 50 pounds, and most standard-size chandeliers weigh more than that. Chandeliers weighing more than 50 pounds require installation of an additional support system.
Plan to hire an electrician if:
- You’re installing a chandelier in an area with no existing light fixture or chandelier.
- The wiring in your home is old and requires updating.
- The chandelier is too heavy or large to handle safely.
- The chandelier requires additional support and you’re not sure how to install it.
- You’re generally not experienced with DIY projects.
Electrical work should always be left to a licensed electrician, but if you simply need to have a new chandelier installed in place of an old one, you can save money by hiring a handyman to do the job. Handymen can usually handle installing additional support systems, too. Just be careful about who you choose - make sure the handyman is licensed, insured and reputable.
Chances are, there are dozens of electricians in your area. So how do you go about finding the best one for the job? Here are some tips:
- Get quotes from several local electricians to compare prices. Throw out any bids that come in unusually high or low.
- Make sure the electrician is licensed. Ask to see a copy of his or her current license, or ask for the licensing number and check with your state’s labor department or licensing board to make sure the license is active.
- Do considerable background research on any electrician you’re considering. Ask for references and check them all. Check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau and, if you’re a member, Angie’s List.
- Make sure the electrician obtains the necessary permits.
- Make sure the electrician carries liability insurance to protect your home (and bank account) in the event of an accident.
- Always choose an electrician with extensive experience installing chandeliers. Chandeliers tend to be delicate, and they are more difficult to install than traditional light fixtures. You want to hire an electrician who knows how to properly handle and install a chandelier.
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