Summary: How much does it cost to rewire a house, average rewiring costs and electrician prices.
If you buy an old house, you need to check when the house was wired. If you pay for a full structural survey before purchase this should indicate how old the electrics are. If you have any concerns at all, the best way to proceed is to call in a qualified electrician to check all the electrics. Rewiring a house is a substantial job and an important one because electrical safety is paramount when it comes to peace of mind at home.
Roughly speaking, to rewire an average two bedroomed house might cost around £2,250. The cost of rewiring a five bedroomed home would be around £9,500. Costs can vary according to how many fittings are required and ease of access to various points in the home.
|2 Bedroom house||£1200 – £2500 (House)||2019||n/a|
|2 Bedroom house||£2200 – £3000 (House)||2019||n/a|
|2 Bedroom house||£3000 – £5000 (House)||2019||n/a|
Factors to consider
Rewiring a house is a major job. Furniture will have to be moved out of all rooms and floor covering taken up. If your home has floorboards these will have to be lifted to give the electrician access to the voids in the floor. Some of your walls will need to be chased out to run wires down to sockets. There will inevitably be some dust and mess.
You will need to make sure there is access to the loft so that the electrician can gain access to every switch drop and lighting point. Ideally the work should be done before you move in to a house. Alternatively, if you are already living there, you might prefer the work to be done in phases. This is not as disruptive as having everything done at once but it can take much longer of course. If you chose the phased option, the work will inevitably be more expensive.
On completion of a rewiring job an electrician will issue a Certificate of Building Regulations Compliance. This is vital not only for your own peace of mind but also for any future occupant of the house, should you decide to move.
Checking your electrics
If you want to do a quick check on the electrics yourself there are several things to look out for. Modern cabling is either white or grey and is insulated with PVC. Old cables were black and insulated with rubber. The old cables tended to decay and perish with age. You can be fairly certain that if the cabling is black it is up to 40 years old. What you may think is a simple blown fuse may actually be the result of the old conductors being worn and short circuiting. Much older systems used round pin plugs as well as metal conduits. If you find these in your home then the electrical system almost certainly needs replacing. The only answer is to rewire.
Other signs to look out for are fuse boxes with replaceable fuse wire or sockets with scorch marks. These are sure signs that an electrical wiring system is old. If fuses blow regularly or if you have lights which are wired with twisted flex or switches with wooden back plates then you need to get your system looked at. Remember too that many older cables did not have an earth wire as they do today.
There is more demand placed upon a modern electrical system than in days gone by. Today we have many more appliances than, say, 40 years ago. We have freezers, hi-fi systems, DVD players, computers, home cinemas and more. Although each item does not in itself cost much to run, it all adds up and puts pressure on the system.
It is madness to overlook electrical safety. Household electrics should be inspected roughly every five to ten years although a recent survey showed that some houses still contained electrical wiring that was over 30 years old and had never been looked at.
Landlords as well as householders need to make sure that all electrical installation work is undertaken to the satisfaction of what is known as Part P electrics. If they do not do this then they are committing an offence which is punishable in law. Local authorities can force landlords and home owners to adhere to building regulations.
An amateur should never attempt electrical jobs in the home. The government has put in place the IEE Wiring Regulations which prevent unqualified persons undertaking electrical work. You are, however, allowed to add sockets, lighting points and fused spurs as long as they are not in a bathroom, kitchen or anywhere else where there may be water.
Every week a person dies because of inadequate electrical safety and a further eight people suffer electric shocks. It is never worth taking any chances with electrics. This is one area of the home where a few pounds spent can quite literally mean the difference between life or death.