By Gene and Katie Hamilton
OK, a doorbell isn't exactly the focal point of your home, but just wait until it stops working and you'll be surprised by how much you depend on it. Replacing one used to be a major challenge of pulling wires through the walls, but today's units are designed for easy replacement.
An electrician will charge $138 to replace a wired chimed doorbell; you can do the job for $40, the cost of the unit, and save 70 percent. You need to do some preliminary work to find out why the old one isn't working. It can be a faulty switch or transformer or broken wiring. You can replace an old doorbell with a new one if the problem is a faulty switch or transformer. The job involves testing the existing bell and replacing the unit. You'll need basic electrical skills and tools, including a screwdriver, multi-tester and slip-joint pliers. If the problem turns out to be bad wiring, hire an electrician, who can run new wires through the house a lot easier than you can.
If you want to take an easier route, look for a wireless doorbell and chime that operates on batteries or that plugs into an electrical outlet. You can remove the old unit and install the new one in its place.
wiseGEEK has advice about What is the Best Doorbell?
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to replace a doorbell with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you l
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.