Faulty or outdated wiring can pose a major health hazard, causing electrocution, frequent tripping and even house fires (over half of all accidental house fires are caused by electricity). If your home is over 25 years old and still has the original wiring installed, a rewiring is likely well overdue. If you’re wondering, “how much to rewire a house?”, the answer varies depending on factors such as the size of your property. It’s important to remember that it’s not so much an option as a necessity – especially if your home has old or faulty wiring in need of replacing. So: how much does it cost to rewire a house? Find out here with this guide detailing everything you need to know – so that you can make your home safe to live in.
Electrical Rewiring: What’s Involved
Every residential property has a wiring system powering all fittings, fixtures and appliances. Over time, this system experiences wear and tear – and especially if your home is an older property – it may not be able to keep up with the demand of an average modern home. To ensure your electrical system and wiring is working at optimum efficiency and safety, it must be compliant with the latest regulations. In order to do this, it requires a replacement of the wiring and an upgrade of the consumer unit (traditionally known as the “fuse box”).
How Can I Tell If My Home Needs Rewiring?
If your home is older than 25 years and has not had any rewiring done during this period, it’s time to get an inspection so that it conforms with Part P of Building Regulations. After this, it is recommended that the property is inspected for safety every 5-10 years. Other clear signs that the electrical system in your home needs rewiring include:
- The presence of outdated old wooden consumer unit (fuse box), switches or sockets.
- Fittings made from rubber, fabric, aluminium or lead.
- Receiving electric shocks (however minor) when using appliances.
- Plugs that heat up when in use.
- Discoloured wiring or fittings (frequently due to overheating and burning).
- Crackling or buzzing sounds.
- Electricity “tripping out” regularly.
What Does the Process Involve?
Rewiring a house is a two-part process: In the first half of the rewiring process, all old fittings and rewiring are taken out. In the second half, a metal-clad fuse box is installed in compliance with fire safety measures (if one does not already exist).
Then, new cabling is added under the floor and in the wall cavities. Any sockets and switches are then updated and replaced. Special restrictions apply in wet areas such as bathrooms e.g. water and gas pipes should always be earth bonded during the rewiring process.
Do I Need Planning Permission?
You would need planning permission if you don’t use a registered electrician. But approved contractors are approved to sign off to building control.
Can I Stay In The Property While Work Is Being Carried Out?
While you don’t necessarily have to vacate the premises while work is being done, it’s important to acknowledge that a rewire is a fairly disruptive process: it can be noisy, there will be workers coming and going – and for a short period, you will be without electricity – so it’s generally advisable to find alternative accommodation while the work is being carried out.
How long this will take again depends on how large the property is, but on average the time it takes to rewire a property is around 5-10 days. If the house is occupied while the rewiring takes place, this can also affect the duration of time it takes to complete the work, which may then affect the overall costs.
How Much Should I Budget For When Figuring Out How Much To Rewire A House?
So: how much does it cost to rewire a house? The answer is that it depends on a number of factors, including:
- The size of the property: larger properties are likely to have more wiring, power points and plug sockets, etc. You will also need to factor in things such as the number of bedrooms.
- The age of the property: an exception to this is where the property is older and therefore might have less electrical power points than a modern house (meaning an installation might also require “modernisation”, i.e. additional power points.
- The layout of the property: if your home has multiple floors (as opposed to a bungalow) this can be more complex in terms of the work needed to be carried out, as the wiring has to run for longer distances requiring increased labour costs.
- Where it is situated (as electrician fees may vary depending on which region you live in – the North of England tends to be less expensive than the South) – but as a general rule, a rewiring on a three bedroom house costs an average of about between £3600-£5000.
- Number of fittings required: if you are planning on having lots of new fittings installed, this will extend the time it takes to complete work and potentially also increase the costs
- Bespoke units: price also depends not only on the quantity, but quality of your units (which is not to say you should opt for low quality units, in case these may be hazardous). In general, the more high end the units installed are, the more they will add to your budget.
- Access to the fuse box: if the unit is in a difficult-to-reach-place, the overall cost of the job may be higher.
- Waste disposal: while your electrician can take any refuse resulting from the job to the tip for recycling, you may need to factor in skip hire, depending on the scale of work carried out.
- The EICR Certificate: the cost of this can range from £150 for a 1-bed flat, up to £375 for a 5-bed house.
You can find out more about how much it would cost to rewire your home using our calculator, which can give you a quick costing.
What Kind of Costs are Involved
The question of how much to rewire a house should also include the cost of inspection and rewiring in addition to any home maintenance costs you may have to cover such as plastering and redecorating walls afterwards in addition to any fittings and components you might wish to have installed.
- Inspection Costs: The initial part of the rewiring process involves an initial report to assess work required. This typically costs £250-350 for a written report.
- Renewal of the wiring from electricity metre (if applicable) to the fuse box.
- Installation of a new fuse box (if required).
- Standard white finish electrical accessories, or bespoke units (such as brass fittings) if these have been requested.
- Circuit testing and final electrical installation certificate.
- Plastering and redecorating (your electrician may be able to offer a quote of this type of work – alternatively you may need to source a decorator at additional cost). AGW House Rewire does not offer plastering.
How Can I Save On the Cost Of Rewiring My Home?
While it’s a worthwhile investment in the long run, the cost of a rewiring can add up. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can help to keep costs down:
- Carefully planning out the additional sockets and fittings so that you don’t end up with more than you actually require.
- Letting your electrician know well ahead of time as to whether you want to change the position of switches, fittings and sockets (while a fixed fee is usually charged depending on the size of the property), your electrician will likely create additional charges if work requests are added at short notice).
- Choosing your own light fittings will help you stay within your budget.
Finding an Electrician
To rewire your home safely you need a trained and registered electrician (the Competent Person Electrical Register is a good resource for this). Other factors you need to look for in an electrician include:
- Registration and certification with bodies such as or NICEIC.
- Qualifications: key qualifications include a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Electrotechnical Technology and a Level 2 & 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations.
- Insurance, such as Public Liability Insurance to cover your home and yourself in the event of an accident or any damage to your property.
- Suitable experience: ideally a minimum of five years in undertaking electrical-required work (while it’s important to support upcoming businesses, in this case experience is paramount).
- Positive, unbiased reviews and recommendations from customers who have received similar work.
- Guarantees: companies offering guarantees can provide peace of mind, as this demonstrates confidence in their ability to carry out high quality work.
Ensure 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 registered qualified electricians with proper insurance and warranties.