Whether it’s a new property or one that you’ve lived in for some time, the question of whether or not to rewire usually raises further questions about how long it will take, how much disruption it might cause – and how much it costs – but according to statistics from the Home Office, the cost of not rewiring a property is worth serious consideration: between 2014 and 2019, electrical fires accounted for 53.4% of all accidental dwelling fires, causing – so the question “does my house need rewiring” is a serious one.
When should I check?
If your property is more than 25 years old, it’s wise to check the wiring. In addition to wear and tear, we now use many more electrical appliances than in the past – and old wiring systems may not be up to the task. Periodic safety inspections are required every 10 years for an owner-occupied home, and every 5 for tenancies. For buyers, checking is essential when viewing the property. Proper inspection should always be carried out by registered electricians who will check against official UK standards – but there are a few preliminary checks you can make yourself. If you are extending or remodelling your house, a total rewire may not be required – except where it needs to be upgraded in accordance with Building Regulations.
What should I look for?
Checks should always be carried out by first switching off the mains. There are a number of tell-tale signs, including but not limited to outdated wooden-backed consumer units, sockets and switches, old aluminium, lead, rubber or fabric insulation (even PVCu if it is not twin earthed), flickering, buzzing or persistent burning smells. Plugs that heat up in use and electrical shocks – even tiny ones – are clear safety hazards.
How Expensive is It?
The short answer is it depends. The cost of rewiring a house varies depending on a number of factors: whether the property is occupied or not, size including number of bedrooms, it’s location and the company itself – so compare prices to see what works best for your budget. As a general rule, rewiring a 3 bed house costs on average between £3000-£4500. An initial report to assess the work required typically costs between £100-150 with a verbal and £250-350 with a written report.
Who Should do the Work?
Endure you hire a fully qualified electrician to do the job: as with the Gas Safe Register for boiler engineers, the Competent Person Electrical Register allows consumers to search for electricians, ensuring that whoever you hire is registered and qualified and has the proper insurance and warranty in place.
What Does it Involve?
A rewiring is done in two parts: in the first fix, all old fittings and wiring are removed. In the second fix, a metal-clad consumer unit is installed to comply with increased fire safety measures. New cabling is then fitted beneath the floor and inside the walls, and any outdated sockets and switches are replaced. AGW, unlike many of our competitors not only carrying both of these stages simultaneously to save time and money, but we also provide new cabling designed to the latest specification. Switches in wet areas have special restrictions – for example only pull-cord switches to be used in bathrooms. Gas and water metal piping should always be earth-bonded during a rewiring.
What if I have an older house?
If your house is a period or listed building, you may require Listed Building Consent from your conservation officer. Older buildings are also often made with vernacular materials like oak, so ensure your electrician is aware of this and that they have worked with these materials before proceeding.
Can I Stay in my Home?
Depending on who you use as your electrician, the property can often need to be vacated during rewiring as workers will require access to all switches and sockets. With AGW, however, we work in a way that allows you to stay at home for the duration of the work.
How Long will it Take?
Again, it depends. Larger properties will require more time, but on average it could take 5-10 days, depending on the scope of the project and how many contractors are working on it. AGW, as mentioned earlier, work as a team and carry out both stages of the installation simultaneously – meaning the disruption will only last a week at the most.
What happens after?
Once work is complete, your electrician must give you a certificate from Building Control confirming that the house now meets Part P of Building Regulation, alongside a schedule of test results.
Rewiring your house isn’t just a crucial safety measure – you can also modernise your house through the installation of smart technology – and a great way to ensure your home is energy efficient. The cost of rewiring a house is an investment with numerous benefits, the most important of all being safety.
Are you in need of a house rewire? AGW Electrical Services North West are a team of trusted, approved and friendly electricians who have been helping homeowners for years to keep their homes safe by upgrading their wiring. Why not find out the true cost to rewire a house?