The Cost to Install a TV Aerial

All you need to know about the costs associated with having a TV aerial installed including materials, labour and time frames.

TV Aerial Cost

What the job entails

The price you will pay for a newly installed aerial will depend on your location, length of pole required, if new cables are needed within the house, whether a splitter and amplifier is needed, plus whether your installer is a highly skilled professional or a cowboy charging peanuts for substandard work! The TV aerial industry has a well-earned poor reputation for miss-selling entirely new aerial systems where a minor repair to a cable may be all that is needed! Stick to reputable and professional aerial installers!

If you already have an aerial and internal cable fitted with a TV point, then the job is much easier, however if you do not have a TV point or require it to be moved, then you may need to add some redecorating costs on to the total cost. The TV aerial point is usually sunk into the wall plaster, so will need to be filled and repainted/wallpapered when finished.

The most common reason for householders to contact aerial engineers is if they have a poor signal/poor TV reception. If you experience poor reception and your neighbours do not, the first thing you should do is check the aerial on your neighbour’s homes to see if the poles are any longer or higher, and also check the alignment, if your TV aerial is pointing in a completely different direction this could be a clue as to the reasons behind the poor reception!

If all of the surrounding houses have the same length poles at the same height as you, then chances are the problem lies elsewhere, so don't be talked into getting a longer more expensive pole by a dodgy installer! If you are ever told you need the entire system replacing including the pole, cabling and the aerial itself, then question this and ask for a full explanation, plus get a second and third quote from reputable installers.

If you have a very high roof and/or access to the roof is difficult, then expect to pay more for an aerial installation. If you live within the M25 then you can also expect to pay a lot more than someone who lives in the north. In theory fitting a TV aerial does not sound like a difficult task, but it almost always involves working safely at height and the trickier installs may require access to special equipment and knowledge. If you have doubts about your ability to complete the job safely, then it’s always better to call for professional help rather than risk a dangerous fall from a roof.

Cost to Install a TV Aerial

The average cost to install an all-new TV aerial system is typically around £200. This price assumes a standard size new aerial plus pole, plus a new cable to a replacement TV socket. A simple replacement aerial using the existing pole, cables and socket will be much cheaper, typically around £80 to £100.

An aerial specialist will often charge around £100-£150 for a full days work but a replacement aerial should only take a few hours. Tradesmen will likely work on their own to fit a tv aerial as it's rarely a two man job.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a tradesman to fit a new TV aerial:

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
Install Entirely New TV Aerial System £200 4-6 hours
Replace like-for-like TV Aerial £100 2-3 hours
Install Extra TV Aerial Socket £100 2-3 hours


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs of hiring tradesmen to install an entirely new TV aerial system - Total Cost: £200

25%

Materials
£50

75%

Tradesmen
£150

0%

Waste Removal
£0

FAQ's

If we assume a standard size new aerial plus pole, plus a new cable to a replacement TV socket, then a typical cost will be around £200. This cost will not include new splitters, amplifiers/boosters or additional TV sockets. Obviously a simple replacement aerial using the existing pole, cables and socket will be much cheaper, expect to pay between £80 to £100.
If you want to add an extra TV aerial socket in another room, the easiest way to do this is to use a splitter on the main aerial, though some signal loss will inevitably occur so you may need to add an amplifier/booster too. A new coaxial cable will need to be installed from the new splitter or amplifier to the new outlet, which can be run externally or internally. This new cable is then connected to a surface mounted or a flush television aerial outlet. The cost to have a second socket fitted by a professional aerial installer is normally less than £100 as long as there is no access problems, so you may decide to leave this to the professionals!
Loft aerials are less obtrusive and easier to fit as access to the roof is not required. However, loft aerials are not recommended if the alignment is such that the aerial is looking through a gable wall as this will have a considerable effect on the signal strength. You also need to place the aerial well away from any metalwork/wiring, which means metal roofs are out of the question.

Roof mounted aerials are slightly more expensive to fit requiring roof access, but they usually offer the best chances of giving satisfactory performance. If the aerials are mounted on a gable wall or a chimney stack adjacent to a wall then they are pretty easy to install, but mounting on a central chimney in the middle of a steep roof can be more of a challenge.

You also ned to pay attention to the wind loading as big aerials can exert a significant force in a strong wind that can pull them out of the fixings and even snap poles that are too long or thin. Small set-top aerials can be an option in areas of particularly good TV reception, but they vary from poor to absolutely useless in most areas. In strong signal locations however they are great with minimal cost, no installation required, and easy portability.
There are a number of methods to improve the signal in poor reception areas, all of which will however increase the cost of the installation! The first thing to try is a tall mast, raising the height of an aerial can make a huge difference to reception by avoiding all line of sight obstacles.

However, these taller masts will need serious fixing to the roof/wall due to the extra wind loading and leverage. If a taller mast is not possible, the next best option is to use multiple aerials in an array to provide greater output. However, this option requires expert knowledge of aerials plus specialist test equipment. If trying this DIY the simplest form is just two aerials ensuring that the cable feed from each aerial to the combiner unit are exactly equal in length.

A low noise aerial amplifier is always worth trying for all poor reception areas. This works best when the amplifier is placed as close to the aerial on the mast as possible. This is a more expensive option however as these amplifiers typically need a separate power.