How Often Should You Rewire a House in the UK?

If you want to know about how often should you rewire a house, this is the ultimate guide in house rewires in the UK.

Every year, more than 8000 house fires occur in the United Kingdom due to old wiring or faulty electrical work. Today’s homeowner puts much more demands on the house’s electrical systems than was expected when they were set up. Your house’s safety may be at risk if you are using large appliances, gaming systems, computer systems, as well as the ‘smart home’ components on an electrical system that is intended for much less. Knowing when to rewire a house as a house owner is essential to lower fire risks in your home.

how often should you rewire a house
Outdated Wiring & Fuse Board

What Does Rewiring Your House Entail?

Your house’s electrical cables through the walls and under the flooring, so rewiring will need walls to be drilled into and flooring to be lifted, making it a daunting process. If you are refurbishing a house, rewiring should be done at the same time as any plumbing or before cosmetic or plastering work is completed. During a full rewiring, your rewiring personnel will:

• Install new cabling

• Install new back boxes on switches and sockets

• Rewire lighting and power circuits

• Add or relocate sockets, switches, and light fixtures if needed

• Install modern electrical technology if need be. For instance, you can install an automated speaker and lighting cabling.

A rewiring is generally completed in two steps:

First Step – wiring, cabling, back boxes and circuits are all replaced.

Second Step – installation of faceplates and lighting fittings on switches and sockets is done.

Why is Rewiring Important?

Although safety is the main reason to rewire your house, there are also various pros of upgrading your house’s electrical cables as well. Here are the advantages of rewiring your house:

• Lowers the risk of an electrical fire

• It boosts your house’s value

• It ascertains that your electrics are compliant with the set regulations

• It gives you peace of mind

• It gives you the chance to select where to attach new switches and sockets

• You can install the ‘smart’ technology

• It ensures that your home is much more energy efficient

• You can choose all the modern fittings and fixtures

How Often Should You Rewire A House?

Most of you are probably wondering ‘how often should you rewire a house?’ Well, there is no decisive time frame for rewiring an apartment, but it may need full rewiring or upgrade if the wiring is more than twenty-five years to bring it up to the modern safety standards.

If you own a house, electrical inspections should be done after every ten years. On the other hand, landlords should carry out electrical checks every five years to ascertain that everything is still safe and working in order.

When Does Your House Require Rewiring?

Aside from the scenarios when the electrical systems become obsolete, other situations may demand you to get your house rewired. Some of these instances include:

• When the electrics become insecure – if at any case your electrics become dangerous or stop meeting the set standards, it is advisable to get them fixed immediately to prevent injury or fire.

• If you make significant additions or alterations to your wiring – all new installation will need to conform to the building regulations set by the authority. Regarding the existing wiring, it needs to be improved to ensure that it comes with the additional load of the extra installation being installed.

Signs Your House Needs Rewiring

Here are some signals to watch for that tells it is time to redo your house’s electrical wiring:

• Your home is 25 or more years old – any house built before 1994 could be having outdated or old electrical wiring. Having the home inspected by authorized electrical personnel will enable you to know whether it is time for a replacement or not.

• You are tripping the breakers – if you are blowing fuses or tripping the breakers often, this is a signal that your house’s demand is more than the electrical system can offer. An expert can assist you in making the right change to ensure that your home sustains the load demanded by the appliances.

• The Lights flicker or dim when you turn on an appliance – it means that the old electrical system isn’t up to the task to efficiently power the gadgets inside your apartment.

• You often require extension cords – if you are using extension cords to plug in your electrical appliances, it means that you do not have sufficient outlets. You may need an upgrade if your room has just one or two outlets.

• The outlets are stained – discolouring or staining of the electrical outlets means that your house is experiencing power surges. This should be addressed as it poses fire risks.

If you are experiencing and noticing any of these issues, you need to upgrade your house’s electrical wiring with the assistance of a competent electrical contractor.

Can you do The Rewiring Work Yourself?

If you are a beginner, home rewire is not your ordinary job. For your safety and that of your family, it is essential to hire a qualified electrician. Poorly installed electrics can lead to more problems that were not there at first. Not only could this put you and your family at risk, but the insurance agency may not cover for damages in the event of a fire. It may also lack a potential buyer when you decide to sell.

DIY electrical work is regulated by law in ‘Part P’ under Building Regulations. This section of law categorizes building work into two: notifiable and non-notifiable. Generally, it differentiates between work in high risk or major areas like bathrooms and kitchen and minor works like installing sockets and switches to the existing circuits. All major works should be reported to the local authority’s building control department.

For the major electrical work, including rewiring, DIY-individuals must submit a building notice to the relevant local authority before embarking on the job and should belong to one of the government’s authorized ‘competent person’ schemes. Afterwards, you will pay a fee to the local authority inspectors to check whether the work has been performed according to the Building Regulations.

Who Should Perform the Rewiring?

Rewiring is a tremendous job. We believe that the rewiring job should be done by a specialized and competent electrician who has experience of rewires. Besides, the electrician should be registered under professional bodies like NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting), and be ‘Part P’ qualified.

Who is not eligible to do a Rewire?

For much better rewires, this process should only be carried out by experienced and proficient electricians. It means that the following groups of users are not eligible to perform a rewire:

• A DIY fanatic – rewiring is a considerable task; there are numerous drawbacks for the beginners.

• An electrician who isn’t qualified to ‘test and inspect’ the rewire after the completion of the job. If you have no documented ‘test and inspection report,’ you may undergo a hard time when it comes to selling your apartment.

• An electrician who is not a member of an authorized professional body like NICEIC. You should ask yourself why the electrician has not registered with the professional body.

• A qualified electrician with no experience of carrying out rewires. Most electricians may be well-equipped when it comes to the theory part but fail miserably on the practical part. Thus, consider asking for references and previous rewires.

What Duration is needed to rewire a House?

The duration needed to rewire your house is based on the scope and size of the project. Usually, rewiring a home should take between two and ten days based on the extent of the wiring, the number of rooms being rewired, number of alterations or additions being made, and whether the property will be occupied.

According to experienced electricians, a standard three-bedroom semi-detached house would take a team roughly three days to finish. It is based on your circumstances, whether furnished, occupied and finally the number of points being installed. A rewire that has fifty sockets would need twice as long as one with twenty-five according to the experts.

Can One Live in the House during the Rewiring Process?

Yes, you can stay in the house while it is being rewired but should be prepared for some disruption and mess if you choose to do so. If you have another place to stay while your apartment is being rewired, the better; however, the rewiring works can still continue while you are in the house. The team doing the rewiring generally tries to make you and your family as comfortable as possible all through the process.

There is a likelihood of a lot of dust in the air while the work is being performed as well as for a few days after the job has been finished. After the completion of the job, some redecoration will be needed too. Since electric wires run under flooring and through the walls, sections of the wall and sometimes the ceiling may need re-plastering and wallpapering or painting.

What is the Cost of Rewiring Your House?

A full rewire can cost several thousand pounds for a small house and considerably much more for a bigger house. Nevertheless, a total rewire can regularly be avoided if the present cable is capable of sustaining extra loads. The older installations can be upgraded by adding a modern consumer unit. With about £350- £450, you can have the new consumer units fitted, tested and certified. When you replace the old fuse box with a modern consumer unit, it is often necessary to update the installation’s earth bonding as well.

new consumer unit rewire
New 18th Edition Duel RCD Consumer Unit

The electricians regularly work on a fixed rate based on the time they expect complete the task and are generally possible to agree on the prices for every extra power point, light or switch fitting. The fluctuations in material costs will also affect the final cost of the project. Presently, a typical three-bedroom semi house, with a standard amount of accessories will cost you around £3,000.

The Common Drawbacks Linked to Rewiring

Some common drawbacks include:

• Opting for the cheapest quote – you should find out why one quote is way less expensive than the other. Going for the most affordable option may turn out to be costly in the long run, as the person may be inexperienced in the services offered.

• Failure to ascertain whether the chosen electrician is a member of a professional body or not – this aspect can cause problems when one is selling the house. Can you purchase an apartment with wiring performed by an individual who could not prove their papers or credentials? • Disposing of the copy of the ‘test and inspection document’ – you may need this document when you decide to sell the house.

• Changing the plan of the job after it has begun. For instance, increasing the number of switches and wall sockets. It is always advisable to have a plan before the job starts as it guarantees that the electrician completes the job on stipulated budget and time.

The Importance of Future Proofing Your House

If you have plans of rewiring your house, then you should be sure to future-proof the project by thinking keenly about how your demands may change over the next decade or so. As your dependence on technology increases, so do your electrical requirements. Think about the number of sockets you used in your house a few years ago and how many you use now. It is essential to incorporate extra sockets than you think you are going to require for future demands.

Think about any electrical additions or alterations that you may need in the future, like a home entertainment system, smart technology, as well as a CCTV system. Talk to your electrician about these demands so that they can have an idea on what to do when installing a new electrical system to cater for future demands.

In an ever-growing world, remember to consider network cabling for quicker internet access when rewiring your house. Many users depend on wireless internet, but a wired connection is typically much more reliable and faster.

The demand for energy-efficient and convenient ‘smart’ technology is growing, and it is the right time to get it installed if you are rewiring your house. Smart technology is the future, from ‘smart’ heating and lighting controls to energy-efficient appliances.

how often should you rewire a house
House Rewire

Final Words

You typically fulfil a couple of crucial needs by having your ageing house rewired. First, it lowers the risk of experiencing a house fire. The present materials and methods are typically superior to those used ten years ago.

Second, rewiring any building entails a close evaluation of possible problem areas that should be addressed. For instance, an electrician may recognise chew spots on the wires in your attic. It means you will have to look for a proficient pest control individual to protect your building from further pest-related damage. Third, rewiring a house makes it effortless to use modern electronics and appliances. With extra outlets and reliable system in place, you will record lesser tripped circuit breakers. Usually, your house will be free from any dangers, and you can add additional appliances without affecting the power load.

I hope this information on how often should you rewire a house helps you. If you live in the Derby area and need more information about a partial or full house rewire, please contact me here for a free quotation.

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