How Disruptive Is Rewiring A House?
Although there are no definitive guidelines as to when a property should be rewired, as a general rule, if your property is older than 25 years, it’s probably time to check the electrical wiring – so while safety is paramount, you may also wonder: how disruptive is rewiring a house?
Other warning signs your house may require rewiring include outdated hardware such as old wooden consumer units, switches or sockets, plugs that heat up when in use, electrical shocks (even minor ones) or fittings made from rubber, fabric, aluminium or lead.
In other situations, such as after a flood or before a renovation or remodel, rewiring may also be a consideration – but in any case rewiring is first and foremost a safety concern: ensiring your wiring is up to standard can help safeguard your home and health from electricity-related accidents.
How Do I Prepare For Rewiring?
Before the process begins, you will need to plan out the rewiring in two parts:
- Packing up valuables/breakable items away safely: While a good specialist will usually clean up after themselves, rewiring a house can be an an unavoidably messy business, resulting in brickdust and debris – so make sure your home is clean and clear before work commences.
- Planning out what you would like to be moved or changed in terms of fixtures or fittings is an important first step, giving both you and your trained electrician a clear idea of how you would like appliances and other electricals to function in your home.
How Long Does It Take?
The length of time it takes depends on various factors such as the size of the property – but an average estimate is between five and ten days depending on the scale and scope of the project and the number of contractors involved.
How Much Does It Cost?
Again, the cost to require a house varies depending on the size and scope of both project and property – although as a general rule an initial report to assess the work required typically costs between £100-150 with a verbal and £250-350 with a written report -while the rewiring itself (for a 3 bed house) costs on average between £2,500-£3000.
What Can I Expect During The Process?
Although you are not required to evacuate the premises, it is generally advised that customers find an alternative abode to stay at while work is completed.
Re-wiring can cause mess, stress and noise – and more to the point you will not be able to use electrical power for the duration of the process – so it may be best to find alternative accommodation until the job is completed.
What Happens If I Can’t Move Out?
For some people, temporarily re-locating isn’t an option. In this case, you can take some measures to make life easier:
- Determine a schedule of work with your contractors ahead of time
- Pack up and cover valuables and/or furniture and put into storage to protect them (dust sheets are a wise investment)
- Try to find somewhere to temporarily re-home pets as the smell, noise and disruption can be stressful (stress-relieving treatments can be useful in circumstances such as these).
Can I Partially Re-Wire My House?
It is an option to re-wire your house partially – however it is best ensure that the extent of the rewire has been both clearly defined and documented in order to ensure it is up to safety standards. In many cases however, the wiring in a house has degraded as a whole, requiring a full rewiring.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Make The Process Easier?
In addition to finding alternative accommodation, there are a number of additional steps you can take to make the rewiring process run smoothly and to minimise damage and disruption in your home.
- Hire a professional contractor through the Competent Person Electrical Register – this allows consumers to search for a registered, insured and qualified electrician. On completion of work, contractors should also be able to supply you with a certificate showing that the building now meets Part P of Building Regulations.
- Plan well ahead of time – ideally a couple of weeks prior to your moving date if you’re about to relocate to a new property.
- Similarly if you are about to embark on a remodel or renovation such as a loft conversion, check whether you need to rewire in advance.
- An additional and important step in the plan is to identify where you would ideally like fixtures, fittings and sockets to be placed. The whole process is about making your life easier, after all!
- Be aware that the rewiring process may affect the decor, so have extra wallpaper or paint available if you have been living there a while and would like to maintain the original decor.
A house rewire can be a dusty, messy and disruptive business – but it’s worth it: ensuring your home is safe and secure is essential – and with a professional house rewire comes the added bonus of convenience, especially if you would like additional power points or specific features such as dimmer switches. A good electrician will usually endeavour to make the process as easy as possible – and with a little planning and preparation, so can you.