After my first question helped to determine that I had an electrical problem for which I would need to hire an electrician, I asked a second question about how much a service should cost. Is this second question within the scope of DIY?

3 Answers 3


General pricing would be in scope but I would say trying to get the best price for a specific job would be out of scope. We wouldn't want this site to become a place where people post work that needs to be done and then contractors bid on it. But if you are trying to figure out if something is going to cost you $100 or $1000, then I think it is within scope. I felt your second question was in scope because it covered the general "about how much is this going to cost me" which in my mind is more of a question on "how could a professional solve this problem the easiest... and therefore the cheapest".

  • 1
    Definitely OK to get "ball park" figures - they'll tell you how big a job is.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 19:04

Even if it were within scope (which I'm not sure on), it would be too localized. I would assume that an electrician in an area with a higher cost of living would charge more to cover his expenses than one in other places. Competition and other factors might further influence pricing.

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    Specific costs are definitely too localised - both in time and space.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Aug 16, 2010 at 19:05
  • Comments like "trivial", "a few minutes", "several hours work for a qualified electrician" are more likely to be globally applicable. (Not perfectly, but at least in the ballpark.)
    – poolie
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 1:35

It could be in scope - it certainly can be useful to know if something (roughly) should be costing a few hundred or a few thousand.

On the other hand, you'll get better results just by getting more than one quote, which is something you should do anyways.

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