If rewiring your house sounds like a big job, that's because it is. From your TV to the fridge and everything in between, your home's electrics essentially keep it running. But what happens if you need to rewire parts or all of your house? And more importantly, how much does it cost?
In this guide, we explore the costs of rewiring a house, examine factors that influence these expenses and offer insights to help you make informed decisions about this essential home improvement.
What is an electrical rewire?
An electrical rewire is a comprehensive process that involves replacing and modernising a building's existing electrical wiring, outlets and switches. This procedure ensures the electrical system operates safely and efficiently, adhering to current regulations and standards.
The need for a rewire arises when an electrical system becomes outdated or hazardous, unable to meet the demands of modern appliances and technology. A professionally conducted rewire will enhance safety while improving energy efficiency and adaptability for future upgrades.
Why might I need one?
You may require an electrical rewire due to several reasons, including:
- Ageing infrastructure. Wiring in older properties might not meet current safety standards, posing a risk of electrical fires or shocks.
- Overloaded circuits. As modern households increasingly rely on numerous electrical devices, an outdated system may struggle to handle the additional load, leading to frequent tripping or overheating.
- Non-compliance. If your electrical system doesn't comply with current regulations, a rewire is essential to ensure safety and avoid potential legal issues.
- Renovations or extensions. When making significant changes to your property, updating the electrical system is crucial for seamless integration and optimal performance.
- Persistent issues. If you face recurring problems like flickering lights, burning smells, or damaged outlets, it's a strong indicator that your electrical system requires a rewire.
- Future-proofing. A rewire helps prepare your home for the demands of emerging technologies, ensuring compatibility with smart home systems and energy-efficient appliances.
An electrical rewire is a worthwhile investment in your property's safety and functionality. Not only does addressing these primary issues protect the home from hazards, but it also enhances energy efficiency, compatibility with modern technology and overall value.
How much does it cost to rewire a house?
The cost of rewiring a house can vary considerably based on factors such as property size, the complexity of the electrical system and even regional pricing differences. On average, you can expect to pay between £4,000 and £10,000 for a complete rewire.
- Four-bedroom plus property. For a four-bedroom house, the rewiring cost typically falls within the range of £5,000 to £8,000.
- Three-bedroom property. The cost of rewiring a three-bedroom house falls between £3,500 and £6,500.
- Two-bedroom property. For a two-bedroom house, rewiring costs usually range from £2,800 to £4,500.
- One-bedroom property. Rewiring a one-bedroom house costs between £2,000 and £3,000.
For the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information, it's good to get instant quotes from qualified electricians in your area who can assess your property's specific requirements and provide a tailored quote.
What about the individual cost of rewiring each room?
- Living room. The cost of rewiring a living room depends on the number of sockets, switches and light fixtures needed. Prices can range from £300 to £800.
- Bedroom. Rewiring a bedroom ranges from £200 to £600 per room. Likewise, the cost varies based on the number of power outlets, lighting fixtures, and regional pricing differences.
- Kitchen. Rewiring a kitchen costs between £500 and £1,200, considering the higher demand for power outlets and appliances.
- Bathroom. Bathroom rewiring costs can fall between £300 and £700, considering the additional safety requirements, such as special outlets and water-resistant materials, to comply with electrical regulations.
What are the labour costs for rewiring a house?
Labour costs are a primary contributing factor to the overall cost of rewiring a house. On average, labour costs for an electrician are around £320 per day, which is around £40 per hour for a full day's work.
If further work is required, such as taking up carpets or general labour, you can expect to pay between £140 and £240 per day. Ideally, you should aim to remove as much furniture and items as possible, making it less work for those carrying out the job. This is a smart way to keep costs down. Of course, only remove items like furniture, and leave any electrical tasks to the electrician.
How long does it take to rewire a house?
How long it takes to rewire a house depends on several factors, including the property's size, age, and the electrical system's complexity. For an average-sized home, the rewiring process can take anywhere from one to two weeks or longer. But larger, more complex homes may require more time for an extensive and safe rewiring job.
You'll also need to consider factors such as the electrician's workload, accessibility to the property and any unforeseen issues that may also influence the project's timeline. If you're planning on rewiring your home, expect it to be a fairly big job that needs to be adequately done and takes time.
What does rewiring a house involve?
Rewiring a house starts with a thorough inspection of the property to assess the condition of the wiring, outlets and switches, followed by planning the new electrical layout.
The actual rewiring process includes:
- Removing old wires
- Installing new cables
- Updating sockets and switches
- Integrating modern safety devices such as circuit breakers and residual current devices (RCDs).
What impacts the cost of rewiring?
- Property size. Larger homes typically require more wiring, outlets and switches, increasing the overall cost.
- Property age. Older properties may have more complex or outdated wiring systems, demanding additional time and effort to rewire.
- Electrical system complexity. More complex electrical systems, such as those incorporating smart home technology, can raise the rewiring cost.
- Materials and fixtures. Higher-quality or specialised materials and fixtures can increase the overall expense.
- Regional pricing differences. The cost of rewiring can vary based on local labour and material rates.
- Accessibility. Difficult-to-access areas, like crawl spaces or tight spots, may require extra time and effort, impacting the cost.
- Unforeseen issues. Any unexpected complications, such as damaged wiring or code violations, can increase the scope of work and the overall cost.
Do I need to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) report afterwards?
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is only necessary if you plan to rent it out to tenants. It documents the electricity in the property and is valid for five years. Even if you don't rewire the property but still rent it out, you will need an EICR.
If you live in the home and it’s your primary residence, then you don’t need an EICR. However, after the rewiring is completed, a certified electrician tests the new system to ensure proper functionality and adherence to safety regulations.
Does my house need rewiring?
There are several signs that may indicate your house needs rewiring:
- Age of the property. If your house is over 25-30 years old and hasn't been rewired, it's recommended to have an electrician inspect the system to assess its condition.
- Frequent blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. This can indicate that your electrical system is struggling to handle the load or has faulty wiring.
- Flickering or dimming lights. This may indicate a poor connection or an overloaded circuit.
- Discoloured, warm, or sparking outlets and switches. These are warning signs of potentially dangerous issues with your electrical system.
- Outdated wiring. If your house has aluminium wiring, knob-and-tube wiring or cloth-insulated wires, it's time to consider an upgrade for safety reasons.
- Insufficient power outlets. A lack of outlets, leading to excessive use of extension cords and power strips, can strain your electrical system and create potential hazards.
- Persistent burning smell. An unexplained burning odour can signal overheated wires or electrical components, posing a risk of fire.
- Electrical shocks. If you experience mild shocks when touching outlets, switches or appliances, it's a sign of a problem with your electrical system.
If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about your home's electrical system, it’s time to consult a qualified electrician for a thorough inspection. They can determine if a full or partial rewiring is necessary to ensure the safety and functionality of your property.
Summary: It’s electric
Rewiring a house is a crucial investment that safeguards your home from potential electrical hazards and ensures compatibility with modern appliances and technologies. The costs involved can vary significantly based on numerous factors, so it's vital to consult a qualified electrician to obtain an accurate estimate tailored to your property's unique requirements.
Not sure where to begin? Simply tell us a bit about your electrical rewiring project, and we'll send up to five quotes your way so you can choose the one that's best for you. Get your house safely and efficiently rewired in no time!