Top 5 Cost Factors for Outdoor Electrical Outlets
There’s no getting around it; exterior outlets aren’t pretty. Local ordinances demand that exterior electrical outlets be designed to be weatherproof and tamper-proof for safety reasons, and their protective watertight casings can be bulbous, bulky, and downright ugly.
Local building ordinances also require all screen porches to have a minimum of one outlet. Not only are outlets necessary if you want to design a porch that complies with building standards, exterior outlets can also be useful if you want to use a TV, stereo system, or lamp on your screened porch.
Whether you’re building a brand new screened porch or seeking to update an existing one, the process of installing an electrical outlet can be relatively simple and will typically cost around $150 - $200 per outlet. However, certain factors can complicate the set up and installation procedure, resulting in price fluctuations.
Factors that could affect the complexity and price of installing an electric outlet on your screened porch include:
- Availability of an interior outlet. If there is an interior outlet on a wall that is adjacent to your screened porch, your contractor can easily drill a hole through the wall and run a cable through to install an exterior outlet back-to-back with the interior one. However, this simple installation option is not possible if an interior outlet is not available or if the interior outlet’s circuit is overloaded.
- Power source location. The farther away from your power source a screened porch is, the more difficult it becomes to install an outlet. For instance, if you have to bring power from a source that’s 200 feet away, the process gets a little trickier and pricier.
- Location of the outlet. Installing an outlet on the wall of your screen room that is adjacent to your house is generally the simplest option. However, if you want to have your outlet installed on a column, it becomes trickier, since the process involves additional steps, including drilling holes and routing electricity into the column from an outside source.
- Drywall repair. Sometimes in the process of installing an electrical outlet, it becomes necessary to cut through interior walls, and the process of repairing drywall can increase the complexity and price of the project.
- Age of the house. Older houses don’t always have a multitude of existing interior outlets or suitable power sources readily available for new outlets. For this reason, the process of installing outlets for screened porches on older houses can be a bit more challenging.
Talk to Your Contractor for an Accurate Estimate and Design Consultation
A screened porch contractor will be able to provide you with a more accurate estimate of the cost of installing an electrical outlet for your screened porch based on these and other factors. Talk to your certified screened porch contractor in Maryland or screen room contractor in Virginia if this topic is relevant to you.
In addition, your screened room contractor will be able to advise you on the optimal number of and best locations for electrical outlets on your screened-in porch based on your home and your family’s needs.
Other Useful Tips
Minimize your number of outlets. Usually, it’s a good idea to limit the number of outlets you are installing to one or two. Honestly, they can be unnecessary unless you know for certain you will need to power multiple devices simultaneously on your porch. After all, most electrical items, such as cellphones and laptops, are mobile and can be charged elsewhere.
Choose an unobtrusive location. A good rule of thumb is to install your outlet where you know it will be obscured by furniture. You can easily block unseemly electrical outlets with couches, tables, and TV stands.