Last updated 11th Sep 2022

Rewiring a House - Is It Messy, Dusty And Disruptive?

There are potential reasons you may want to rewire your house, and these range from constant outages, old rubber encasings, faulty wiring, or the lights that have stopped working. If you face such conditions in your property, they could lead to hazards such as electric shocks and fires.

Important: Please note, this is a general how to guide that provides an overview of the rewiring stages and process. We recommend that any work to your electrics be carried out by a qualified engineer. Still unconvinced?  Check your multi property landlord insurance policy for a clause that invalidates cover if repairs are not carried out by a suitably qualified engineer.

On completion, you will need a qualified engineer to provide an electrical safety certification, showing the work meets with all UK house electric safety regulations. House unlike gutter cleaning is a major task that is best outsourced to a professional electrician. 

What to expect when Rewiring a House

Sorry to say that a house rewiring project can cause a hell of disruption and comes with high costs. A great deal of time goes into rewiring your house, with some projects lasting 8-10 days minimum for completion. Within the rewiring period, you will need to be patient and bear with being in a blackout or your power getting disconnected from time to time. It gets messy sometimes. A typical house rewiring project goes through three phases: the preparation phase, the main project, and the clean-up phase.

The main rewiring project involves the below steps:

  • Locating and opening drywalls
  • Getting rid of old wires
  • Running through new wires
  • Closing the walls

You should expect a team of 2-3 electricians in your home, depending on the magnitude of the electrical problem that needs fixing. Open and transparent communication is vital to make the process seamless and easy for everyone involved. Understanding the project's requirements also has to be clear from the onset to avoid wastage of time and resources. After your electrical contractor finishes the job, packs, and leaves, you should notice some effects of the rewiring for about 2-3 days before it all gets back to normalcy.

Can you Rewire a House in Stages?

An entire house rewiring process involves two main stages: the 'first fix' followed by stage two, the 'second fix.' The first fix consists in installing the actual wiring, together with the back boxes for sockets and switches in your house. Stage one execution usually precedes any wall plastering. Here, any old wiring is replaced. Modern twin-earthed wiring is coated with Upvc; thus, you need to check whether the old wiring lacks twin earthing to replace it in the first fix. The first fix is essential for addressing potential problems such as short-circuiting that results from the rot of old wires. Stage two of house rewiring links the electrics by fitting the switches, lights, and the fuse box. Typically, what an electrician does at stage two is update the consumer unit. A consumer unit is crucial for tripping the circuit, which helps to protect people from electrical accidents. For the record, consumer units fall under Part P of the 2005 Building Regulations.

Cost of Rewiring a House

Rewiring your house comes with costs that need your preparation in advance before calling in an electrician. When preparing a budget for rewiring your home, some factors you should have in mind include:

  • The size of the home /overall size of your property
  • Age of your house/property
  • Whether the property is occupied or vacant
  • The number of power sockets and outlets that need fixing
  • The number of rooms
  • The magnitude of the rewiring project
  • The part of the UK you live (regional variances in contractor costs)
  • The electrical contractor you hire

The table below gives you the price quotations for different sized properties:

House Size Price
One-bedroom £1900 - £3000
Two bedrooms
£2200 - £3500
Three bedrooms
£2800 - £4000
Four bedrooms £4000 -£6000
Fiver bedrooms
£4400 - £6500

Different electrical firms or contractors offer various price quotations. You want to compare the price quotations for two or more contractors before making a final decision.

According to the Building Regulation, your electrical installation needs to be tested every ten years. Suppose you own a home or live in rented accommodation; testing is done after every five years. The inspection must be carried by a qualified electrician who

  • Inspects the consumer unit
  • Inspect switches, sockets samples, and other light fittings
  • Checks the polarity of the installation
  • Test protective devices to ensure they work fine to protect your family from electric shocks.

The table below highlights the average costs you need to pay an electrician for conducting an electrical installation condition report (EICR) for different houses.

House/Flat Size Price Expectation
One bedroom flat £120
Two bedrooms flat
£120 - £150
Three bedrooms flat
£180 - £210
1-2 bedroom house £150 - £180
3-4 bedroom house £200 - £250
Five bedroom or a larger house £300 +

Quotes for Small Electrical Jobs

As a homeowner, there are times you don't need your entire flat to be fixed or rewired. You could still get an electrician to give you a quotation for a small job such as renewing the consumer unit or installing security lights around your home. Here is a guide on pricing for other small electric jobs that an electrician could help you with.

Electrical Job
Average Price Quote
Light fitting replacement -Lasts less than an hour. £30 -£50
Consumer unit replacement - Installing additional circuits & making other changes. It takes a day to complete£300 -£450
External security light installation (with PIR motion sensor) Takes 3 hours to complete
£80 - £120
Kitchen lighting upgrading from Fluorescent to LED downlights (Takes an average of 5-8 hours) Length of time depends on the kitchen size. £250 -£400

House Rewiring Cost Calculator

If numbers are not your thing or in a rush to budget, you could get the first quote for your house or property using a house rewiring cost calculator. You could get a cost calculator service online that could quickly help you with an instant estimate for your home rewire. Before enlisting the services of a cost calculator, you must have the following information at hand:

  • Some online cost calculator services will request your details.
  • Provide specific details about your property, i.e., whether it's empty, full, or partially furnished.
  • Rooms that require rewiring
  • Electrical requirements for each room mentioned
  • Is it an unoccupied property?

At best, a house rewiring cost calculator helps you know how much it costs to rewire a 3, 2, or one-bedroom house or houses with more rooms.

What's the Cheapest Way to Rewire a House?

Rewiring your house at lower prices demands an understanding of the cost-affecting factors that help you be in a better position to make a downward change in your house rewiring budget. Here are factors affecting rewiring costs and suggestions on doing it cheaply.

Factors affecting house rewire cost:

  • Your location. Suppose you can relocate to the North UK the better for you in terms of electricity costs. Homeowners living in other areas of the UK apart from the North UK are more likely to pay 45% more for a whole house rewire.
  • The price will also vary depending on your home type. For example, a person living in a 5-bedroom house will pay more for a home rewire than someone living in a flat.
  • Prices also vary depending on the time it takes to complete a project. An occupied house makes the rewiring process take more time to complete. Rewiring a home that you don't occupy reduces the labour cost.
  • Types of switches and sockets to use for the rewiring project. Steel sockets/switches cost more than the typical white sockets/switches
  • If an electrician opens up your wall, you will have to bear the additional cost of hiring plasterers and decorators to finish the job. Check whether your electrician has the option of working without drilling or opening up your wall. Alternatively, some electrical contractors could have that arrangement in their quotation and come with their plasterers and decorators, making it cheaper for you.

How to Rewire a House Diagram

Electricians use a drawn wiring diagram as a guide during wiring. The diagram typically connects between elements of the circuit and their relations to and from the power source. Homeowners and electricians need a house wiring diagram for the reasons listed below.

  • A wiring diagram gives you an exact value of the wiring amount needed.

Without a wiring diagram, an electrician can only estimate the wiring needed to set up an electrical system. A typical result of this is severe inefficiency. The two possible outcomes are using extra wiring, which leads to wastage because of the additional installation. On the other hand, less wiring will require you to spend time purchasing the wiring deficiency. With the exact value of the wiring amount needed, your budget will be used appropriately to help avoid wastage.

  • A wiring diagram affects the timescale of the wiring project.

An electrician working with estimates is likely to waste time purchasing more wiring required, which leads to the project taking longer than expected. This could be the case, especially if dealing with quite huge projects like rewiring an entire apartment building.

  • Safety purposes

Dealing with electrical systems requires extreme caution to prevent injuries that could occur anywhere for myriad reasons. However, having a house diagram helps to foresee where points of damage happen to be in the entire chain. That means that your electrician will avoid all open live wires and sharp places. If an electrician suffers any harm from the point of damage in an electrical circuit, that would halt the rewiring project and make you incur treatment costs.

Similarly, when rewiring your house, you are better off having a house diagram for the above reasons.

Principles of House Wiring Diagram

To rewire a house diagram successfully, you need to understand the principles behind a house wiring diagram. This section looks at some principles that govern the creation of a house wiring diagram.

  • You need to understand how the electricity flows, the battery's positive and negative terminals, and the circuit.
  • An understanding of the standard voltage (220v/50Hz)
  • CAD software is typically used to draw and design the diagram
  • Understanding the various electricity symbols, their meanings, and how to place them accurately in your diagram.
  • There is always a specification of the Length and wires your electrician should use.

Electricians need to have a house wiring diagram and a clear understanding to make rewiring a house diagram easy and quick while avoiding any potential injuries. 

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