Basement renovation: replace wall panels with drywall and probably redoing the electrical work

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Posted by: from Toronto
3/12/2017 at 7:55:02 AM

We want to remove the old wall panels in the basement and replace them with drywall. We also know that every single outlet in the basement is wired wrong (we checked with a circuit tester). We do use these outlets for computers, even a dehumidifier and we never had a problem. Twenty years ago we had an electrician checking out and there was no immediate danger if I remember correctly.

I have three questions:

1) Is there a downside in replacing the panels with drywall?

2) Should we redo the electrical work as well?

3) Just very roughly, what would be the cost for removing panels/ceiling (there was a water leak), redo the electrical work and install drywall? The area is 700 sq feet.

Thank you very much.

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Date/Time3/12/2017 at 11:13:17 AM

No downside, most certainly replace electrical. Would ballpark around 15k is imagine.

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Date/Time3/12/2017 at 11:18:52 AM


There is no downside when removing panels and replacing with drywall. When removing these panels you can then see what's behind these walls and redo what needs to be done properly.

As for electrical, if it's it's aluminum wiring replace it and sometimes in older homes you will find that there was no ground wire. If there isn't replace it but if there is a ground wire and if it's copper wiring you can leave it as long as it's wired properly and to code.

The cost could be anywhere from 25.00 to 40.00 per square foot to redo everything.


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Dave from Crown Choice in Nanaimo
Date/Time3/12/2017 at 12:40:21 PM

I don't believe there is much if any down-side with regard to what your looking to do. As for the electrical you mentioned they were all wired wrong. If it is just one circuit the is the first one in the circuit is wrong they will all be wrong if they were done right. But I would replace any aluminum wiring and make sure that it is properly connected to any existing wiring.

As for costs a lot depends on how many rooms what trim you use is there a bathroom involved doors etc. cost could be as little as $18.00 per sqft if it is just one big open room and run to $40.00 per sqft if a bathroom and many partitions are involved. Your choices in finishing also have a bearing in over-all costs.

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Date/Time3/12/2017 at 12:43:35 PM

The costs is hard to give as a visual sight of the job would be needed.


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Robert from ElecTriLight Ltd. in Oakville
Date/Time3/12/2017 at 12:56:04 PM

At minimum, when opening the walls to replace anything inside as long as you have outlets on every wall it would have met code years ago, outlets must be installed now every ten feet and the wiring should be at least looked over by a licensed electrical contractor to ensure it was installed safely and properly that will not cover any hidden issues that can come back to cause havoc later. Do not ask a handyman or DIY person for repair or inspection of these items. code rules change frequently and think of it this way, you wouldn't ask your dentist to check over your foot.

You could always call the ESA for a small inspection of the areas and remember that a safe electrical installation will prevent any electrical fires from starting.

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Date/Time3/12/2017 at 3:49:38 PM

Drywall s a good replacement, as indicated above. The electrical would depend on what the issues are. It may be as simple as wires not connected properly or much more. Difficult to say until the panels are off and wiring is visible. $15000 is a ballpark figure.

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Kami from Reno Plus in Ottawa
Date/Time3/12/2017 at 10:22:10 PM

There is no downside to doing drywall as long as the right access panels are installed to the shut off valves and such.

At this point I do recommend you redo the wires correctly as the wall panel removal will expose all the wires thus leaving you with easy access. Once the drywall is up it would be more difficult to rewire. The price range is roughly around $14,000.00 -$17,000.00 price range including the electrical work and materials.

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Stella in Toronto
Date/Time3/13/2017 at 9:04:10 AM

Thank you very much for the advice. We will definitely have electricians check/redo the work. We also appreciate the rough estimates and we do understand that there are many variables. At least we don't waste contractors' time by having them come over and provide estimates that we cannot afford.

All the best,


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Date/Time3/14/2017 at 11:46:43 PM

No downside of removing the panels. You have to tear out everything and start over from scratch.

For such size of basement, that will cost you around $25K.

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