Installing a new basement electrical outlet can cost as little as $80.
Most homeowners pay $130–$300 for this process.
Most electricians charge $40–$100 an hour for labor.
Most unfinished basements require slightly more expensive ground fault circuit interrupter outlets.
The type and location of the outlet and the need for additional electrical work impact the total cost.
The cost to install an outlet in an unfinished basement is hardly shocking, though you'll likely have to splurge on a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacle. Luckily, it doesn’t usually cost much more than a standard outlet. The average cost to install an electrical outlet is $210, though it can cost more than $2,200 if you need extensive electrical work. Here’s a cost breakdown.
How Much Does It Cost to Install an Outlet in an Unfinished Basement per Outlet?
It usually costs $130 to $300 to install an outlet in an unfinished basement, and most of that has to do with labor. Outlets are generally inexpensive—even the kind you need to meet code in an unfinished basement—but the average electrician charges $40 to $100 per hour.
How Much Does It Cost to Install an Outlet in an Unfinished Basement by Outlet Type?
Most unfinished basements require GFCI receptacles, but sometimes, you’ll find a high-voltage outlet for a clothes dryer. Each type of electrical outlet has a specific cost.
Ground fault circuit interrupter receptacles are the standard in unfinished basements. GFCI outlets are designed to prevent electrocution by cutting power when there’s an abnormal or excess flow of energy. Each GFCI receptacle costs about $7 to $25, not including the installation cost, which is just a little bit more expensive than a standard outlet.
If you plan to run a standard electric dryer in your unfinished basement, you’ll likely need a high-voltage outlet. The outlet should be at least 220 volts, but most electricians will install a 250-voltage outlet. Each high-voltage outlet costs $10 to $20, not including the installation cost.
Hardwired smart outlets generally cost $25 to $50, but they don’t have GFCI protection. Instead, if you want to use your smartphone to control the electrical system in your unfinished basement, you’ll need a smart plug for your GFCI outlet. These typically cost $15 to $40 on top of the outlet installation. Once you get the outlet installed, you can plug the smart plug in yourself.
Standard 120V Outlets
A standard two-prong or three-prong outlet costs $3 to $5, excluding the installation cost. Though this type of outlet is commonly installed during the basement finishing process, it’s not common in an unfinished basement. Standard outlets often go against the National Electrical Code® (NEC), a benchmark for electrical safety set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which sets the codes and standards for fire safety in the U.S.
Factors That Influence the Cost to Install an Electrical Outlet
The cost to install an outlet in an unfinished basement is usually less expensive than elsewhere in your home. Though the physical outlet might be more expensive, your electrician won’t have to cut open the wall, patch it up after the installation, and repaint it. This can save more than $500 on the cost of drywall repair and refinishing. Nonetheless, other factors could drive up your total cost.
If you’re installing a floor outlet in your unfinished basement, you’ll need a floor box to protect the outlet from moisture. A box kit, including the moisture-proof outlet cover, will cost you an additional $30 to $50.
Not all outlets are equal. Standard outlets are inexpensive, but you’ll pay $10 to $17 more to get an outlet with USB ports. A smart plug can be controlled through a smart home control hub and will cost $15 to $40 on top of the outlet installation.
Additional Electric Work
Sometimes, your electrician will need to fix or install electrical wiring in your home before they can install an outlet in your unfinished basement. If you have an older home, you may want to install grounded outlets or a GFCI circuit breaker. You may also need to upgrade your electrical panels so they can handle heavy-duty appliances. This can add significant costs to your project. Some additional electrical expenses might include:
The cost of adding a new electrical subpanel: $600–$2,200
The cost of installing a GFCI circuit breaker box: $500–$1,810
The cost to repair a fuse box: $100–$200
The cost of upgrading to a 200-amp electrical panel: $150–$350
The cost of a 100-amp electrical panel: $50–$100
The cost of adding a ground wire: $130–170 per connection
The cost to rewire part of your basement: $2–$4 per square foot
GFCI outlets cost $4 to $20, more than a standard outlet. Even if you plan to have a finished basement one day, most outlets in unfinished basements require GFCI protection per the National Electrical Code. The only exception is if:
The outlet isn’t readily accessible
The outlet is only used with a single appliance that can’t easily be moved (like a washing machine or refrigerator)
The outlet only provides power to a single-fire or security alarm
If you plan to finish your basement, you may want to childproof your outlets. Tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles cost $0.50 more than traditional receptacles.
Installing an Electrical Outlet Cost Breakdown
Like other renovation projects, the cost to install an electrical outlet can be broken into parts and labor. Labor is usually the largest cost factor.
The outlet, which can cost anywhere from $3–$50
The wire, which costs $6 to $8 per linear foot
Additional material, like screws, a floor box, and more
On average, the cost to hire an electrician is $40 to $100 per hour. The more extensive the electrical work, the more you’ll need to pay. Since this varies, it’s best to get a cost estimate from your contractor.
How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electrical Outlet Yourself?
The cost to install an outlet yourself amounts to little more than the direct cost of the outlet and basic tools like a wire cutter. You can get most of these items from a hardware store, but that doesn’t mean you should attempt a DIY.
Electrical work is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. According to the NFPA, faulty electrical work leads to the deadliest type of home fire. Instead of messing with your home’s electrical wiring, hire a local electrician who’s licensed and insured. In this case, you’re better safe than sorry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes, the installation is so simple that an electrician will charge a minimum fee. This is particularly true if you’re installing a replacement outlet. In this case, you can save money by installing multiple outlets at the same time.
Yes. The National Electrical Code® (NEC) requires that home builders install at least one GFCI outlet in unfinished basements. These types of outlets are generally required wherever water may enter your home and basements are notorious for flooding. Your local building codes may include additional requirements, so speak to a pro before getting started on any basement plans.
If you’re replacing an outlet in an unfinished basement, it can take 30 minutes. If you’re installing a brand-new outlet in a brand-new location and need a new circuit, it can take several hours.
If you have an older home, you may want to upgrade the amperage to handle modern appliances. You can also install a dedicated circuit if your breaker trips more frequently. If you haven’t already, you may also want to install GFCI outlets in other areas of your home where it’s required, like your bathroom or kitchen countertops.
A GFCI receptacle protects the single outlet. A GFCI circuit breaker protects everything connected to the circuit. If you need to create a new branch of circuits for your unfinished basement, a GFCI breaker is a great option. However, it may not work correctly with old wiring, so a GFCI outlet might be your best bet. Ask your electrician to advise on your specific project.
The NEC® requires that any outlets in basements be GFCI outlets to reduce the risk of electrocution if your outlets come in contact with water. Your electrician and general contractor will also know of any specific local codes that may impact your outlet installation, which is why hiring a pro for this work is such a smart move.