Rewiring a house

Rewiring your home is messy work. Walls come down, carpets come up and there is dust everywhere. It is one of the most disruptive home improvement projects you can undergo. So before you decide to go ahead with it, it’s best to do your homework.

In this guide, we cover:

  1. How to know if your house needs rewiring, including the telltale signs
  2. What rewiring a house involves
  3. How to prepare for a house rewire
  4. And your frequently asked questions

Does my house need rewiring?

The best way to determine if your house needs rewiring is to get an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). An EICR assesses the state of your current electrical system, checking for any damage, defects or dangerous conditions – i.e. signs that your installation needs updating. Our Electrical Installation Condition Report guide tells you everything you need to know.

Signs that your house needs rewiring

The next best way to figure out if your house needs rewiring is to look out for the telltale signs.

  • The cabling is covered in rubber, fabric or lead
  • Your consumer unit trips out regularly
  • You can hear a crackling/buzzing noise
  • Your fuses and/or bulbs keep blowing out
  • Your lights are flickering a lot
  • Your consumer unit is deteriorating on or around the components and is discoloured
  • Your consumer unit is out of date (the date of a consumer unit is on the inside of the unit’s door, printed on the information label)

At the very least, these signs suggest that your electrics need checking.

Calling out an electrician will allow you to figure out what, if anything, is wrong and if it needs rewiring.


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What does rewiring a house involve?

Rewiring a house has two stages: the ‘first fix’ and the ‘second fix’.

In the first fix, your existing ‘skeleton’ of wires is removed and replaced with an up-to-date, safety-approved version. This involves installing the new wires and cables and fitting new back boxes.

The first fix is the messy bit.

In the second fix stage, your new installation is made ‘live’.

The new electrics are connected by fitting the sockets, switches, lights and, most importantly, the new consumer unit.

A consumer unit is simply the newer version of a fuse box. The key difference is that a fuse box uses fuses instead of circuit breakers. When a fault occurs, the fuse wire melts to break the circuit and prevent harm. This process takes longer than a circuit breaker (which consumer units have) and requires the melted fuse to be replaced before the power can be restored. Most fuse boxes are no longer compliant with safety standards or suitable for modern life.

Once the work is done, your electrician is legally required to do a circuit test to inspect your new installation and issue a certificate to prove it meets the necessary regulations.

Below is a step-by-step guide to the process.

  1. Access is created to existing installation through necessary means (floors, walls, ceilings, etc).
  2. The existing installation is disconnected and removed.
  3. New wiring, cabling and back boxes are installed.
  4. The new consumer unit is installed.
  5. Sockets, switches, fixtures and bespoke features are fitted.
  6. The electric meter is replaced (if necessary).
  7. Any agreed decorative work is undertaken.
  8. A circuit test is carried out to inspect the new installation.
  9. A final installation certificate is issued to prove the work meets current regulations.

an electrician rewiring a house

Can I live at home while my house is being rewired?

Yes, you can live at home when your house is being rewired.

Many websites and forums will encourage you to live elsewhere during the job. This is easier said than done and you should take it as ‘ideal scenario’ advice.

The reason you are advised to go elsewhere is twofold.

Firstly, it makes the job a lot easier. An unoccupied house means an electrician does not have to family proof the house at the end of every workday. That is, remove tools, replace floorboards, reinstate power and tidy up. (Only to have to prepare the space again in the morning). This speeds up the work which, in turn, lowers the cost because the amount of labour and time required is less.

Secondly, the house will be noisy, messy and dusty. In other words, not very nice to be in – especially if you have young children.

But moving out isn’t always an option.

If you do live at home during a rewiring, talk to your electrician about how to make the process as stress-free as possible. The key is to have open communication. How can you help make their job easier and how can they help make your life easier?

This could look like having a designated room to camp out in. Or it could be a mutually beneficial agreement on temporary power arrangements. Whatever it is, you can make the arrangement work for you. Will it be hard? Yes. But it will be worth it.

How to prepare for a house rewire

There’s a lot to think about in a house rewire so we’ve set out the key points to give you a helping hand.

  1. Map out your needs: Before you get quotes, go room by room and design it. In other words, decide if you are happy with the location and number of outlets. If not, where would you like them to be and how many more do you need? Then consider what fixtures or fittings you’d like the room to have, as well as any bespoke features you’d like – either now or one day in the future. Fleshing out your ideas will enable you to get a more accurate quote. In addition to this, changing your mind or adding features once the work is underway is a costly process so it will save you unnecessary cost if you have everything decided beforehand.
  2. Check the map again: Once you’ve drawn up your design, wait a few days before going through the house again. A fresh pair of eyes will make sure you haven’t missed or forgotten about anything.
  3. Think long term: A full rewire doesn’t just have to satisfy your immediate needs. It can also be designed to anticipate how your electrical usage might change in the future. As the world becomes more and more technology driven, it is worth making the most out of the work by anticipating future needs and installing a system to reflect this.
  4. Relocate or protect your furniture: An electrician will require unhindered access to the walls, ceilings and floors of the house. Consequently, any furniture blocking access points will need to be moved – either to another area of the room, the house or into storage. Relocating your furniture will also protect it from any potential damage.
  5. Box up or relocate fragile items: The disruptive nature of the work means it is best to take precautions and protect any fragile or precious items.
  6. Temporarily rehome any pets: A house during a rewiring is not a very nice place for a person, let alone a pet. The noise, mess and general commotion are likely to cause your furry child a considerable amount of distress. So try to rehome any pets for the duration of the job.

That’s it – you now know what is involved in a house rewire and how best to prepare.

If you haven’t already, we recommend that you read our guide on the cost to rewire a house. It breaks down the cost of the job to help you form a clear idea of how much to budget.

Or post a job now to request quotes from electricians near you.

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Frequently asked questions

Below we cover some of  the frequently asked questions about having your house rewired.

What are the benefits of rewiring?

The most obvious benefit of rewiring your home is increased safety. A full, or even partial, rewire greatly reduces the risk of electrical issues or failure, meaning you and your family can rest easy knowing you aren’t in harm’s way. If you need more convincing, however, there are other perks to rewiring your home.

  1. It increases the value of your home: A full rewire can increase the overall value of your house. Buyers are increasingly asking for evidence of electrical safety and maintenance, making a recently rewired house a very enticing purchase.
  2. It’s a hit with insurance companies: An insurance company is likely to charge more or even refuse to insure your home if it has an old installation.
  3. Improve the overall capacity of your home: A new electrical installation is better equipped to handle the electrical demands of modern-day society.
  4. Redesign fixtures and fittings: You can redesign the location, number and appearance of your fixtures and fittings to better suit your taste and needs.

How often should you rewire your house?

The consensus is every 20 – 25 years. That’s normally how long an installation lasts before wear and tear gets the better of it. In reality, it comes down to how well the installation is monitored and maintained.

Conducting regular visual checks, as well as organising an Electrician Installation Condition Report every five years (or when something seems amiss) is a good habit to get into.

When should you rewire your house?

It is advised that you rewire your house if;

  • It has not been rewired in the last 25 – 30 years
  • If you are planning any major remodelling work that is deemed a ‘material alteration’ under the Building Regulations
  • If you are planning an extension or converting your loft/garage. This is defined as ‘new work’ under Building Regulations, which must meet specified standards. Namely, all new wiring must be Part-P compliant and all existing wiring must be earthed to current requirements, have satisfactory cross bonding and be able to efficiently carry the additional load

How can I tell if my house has been rewired?

The best way to tell if your house has been rewired is by checking the consumer unit and wiring. An old-fashioned fuse box or consumer unit without circuit breakers or RCDs (residual circuit devices) is an indicator the system is outdated.

Similarly, rubber, lead or fabric wiring shows the system hasn’t been touched for many years.

That said, the most reliable method would be to call in an electrician to conduct an Electrical Installation Condition Report. This will tell you the overall condition and age of your installation and whether you need to consider a rewire.

Can I rewire my house myself?

Yes, you can rewire your house yourself; but it is widely (and strongly) recommended that you don’t. Rewiring a house is a highly technical and dangerous job and is best left to a qualified, experienced electrician.

If you’re set on doing it yourself, consider having an electrician inspect your existing installation to make sure there are no faults that would be too hazardous for DIY.

Following this, you’ll need to notify your local council of the work, as well as arrange for a registered electrician or the council to inspect your installation once the work is complete.

Rewiring a house is subject to Part P of the Building Regulations which means it must comply with certain standards and requirements.

Overall – rewiring a property is not a DIY job, you should hire an electrician.

Are there any regulations I need to be aware of?

Since 2005, all homeowners and landlords undertaking electrical work are subject to Part-P Building Regulations.

In other words, all work on fixed electrical installations in a house or flat is legally required to comply with the relevant standards. The relevant standard is IET 18th Edition: BS 7671, which covers requirements for the design, installation, inspection, testing, verification and certification of electrical installations.

In addition to this, a rewire is classed as ‘notifiable work’ – that is, work that is subject to Building Regulations notification and approval.

Finally, you’ll need to obtain an Electrical Installation Certificate and Building Regulations Compliance Certificate once the work is complete as evidence that it complies with the law and industry standards.

Hiring a Part-P registered electrician is the best and easiest way to meet the regulations.

Are there any alternatives to rewiring my house?

If you are unable to commit to a full rewire, you may be able to opt for a partial rewire instead.

This involves replacing only the specific areas that are causing you issues. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it is less time-consuming and disruptive. It is fairly common for homeowners and landlords to have different parts of their wiring replaced at different times.

A partial rewire is also handy if you’re simply looking to add new circuits to an already functioning system.

Do I need planning permission to rewire my house?

No, rewiring can be carried out without planning permission. However, if you live in a listed property and/or a conservation area, you will need to apply for planning consent with your local planning department before you have the work done.

How do I find a good electrician?

Read our hiring advice for information on how to find and hire an electrician.

For information on how much it costs to rewire a house, read our house rewire cost guide.

To get quotes from electricians near you – post a job now.


We cover the whole of the UK, but here's a list of top areas for house rewires where we see the most demand.

  • House rewire in Ashford
  • House rewire in Aughton
  • House rewire in Aylesbury
  • House rewire in Barking
  • House rewire in Barking Tye
  • House rewire in Barnet
  • House rewire in Basildon
  • House rewire in Basingstoke
  • House rewire in Beckenham
  • House rewire in Bedford
  • House rewire in Billericay
  • House rewire in Birmingham
  • House rewire in Bolton
  • House rewire in Bournemouth
  • House rewire in Braintree
  • House rewire in Brent
  • House rewire in Brentwood
  • House rewire in Bridgnorth
  • House rewire in Bristol
  • House rewire in Bromley
  • House rewire in Bury
  • House rewire in Bury St Edmunds
  • House rewire in Byrness
  • House rewire in Camberley
  • House rewire in Cambridge
  • House rewire in Camden
  • House rewire in Chelmsford
  • House rewire in Chelsea
  • House rewire in Cheltenham
  • House rewire in Chester
  • House rewire in Chesterfield
  • House rewire in Chichester
  • House rewire in Chiswick
  • House rewire in Chorley
  • House rewire in Clacton On Sea
  • House rewire in Clapham
  • House rewire in Colchester
  • House rewire in Countesthorpe
  • House rewire in Coventry
  • House rewire in Croydon
  • House rewire in Dagenham
  • House rewire in Dartford
  • House rewire in Derby
  • House rewire in Derbyshire
  • House rewire in Dudley
  • House rewire in Dunstable
  • House rewire in Edinburgh
  • House rewire in Enfield
  • House rewire in Erdington
  • House rewire in Essex
  • House rewire in Exeter
  • House rewire in Falkirk
  • House rewire in Fleet
  • House rewire in Fulham
  • House rewire in Gainsborough
  • House rewire in Glasgow
  • House rewire in Great Barr
  • House rewire in Greenwich
  • House rewire in Hackney
  • House rewire in Halesowen
  • House rewire in Hammersmith
  • House rewire in Haringey
  • House rewire in Harlow
  • House rewire in Harrow
  • House rewire in Heacham
  • House rewire in Hemel Hempstead
  • House rewire in Hertford
  • House rewire in Hertfordshire
  • House rewire in High Wycombe
  • House rewire in Hinckley
  • House rewire in Hitchin
  • House rewire in Holmes Chapel
  • House rewire in Huntingdon
  • House rewire in Ilford
  • House rewire in Ipswich
  • House rewire in Islington
  • House rewire in Kensington
  • House rewire in Kent
  • House rewire in Kettering
  • House rewire in Kidderminster
  • House rewire in Lambeth
  • House rewire in Lancashire
  • House rewire in Leeds
  • House rewire in Leicester
  • House rewire in Leigh
  • House rewire in Letchworth Garden City
  • House rewire in Liskeard
  • House rewire in Liverpool
  • House rewire in London
  • House rewire in Long Eaton
  • House rewire in Loughborough
  • House rewire in Luton
  • House rewire in Maidstone
  • House rewire in Manchester
  • House rewire in Mansfield
  • House rewire in Merton
  • House rewire in Milton Keynes
  • House rewire in Newark On Trent
  • House rewire in Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • House rewire in Newham
  • House rewire in Northampton
  • House rewire in Norwich
  • House rewire in Nottingham
  • House rewire in Nuneaton
  • House rewire in Oldham
  • House rewire in Oxford
  • House rewire in Oxfordshire
  • House rewire in Peacehaven
  • House rewire in Peterborough
  • House rewire in Plymouth
  • House rewire in Preston
  • House rewire in Rayleigh
  • House rewire in Reading
  • House rewire in Romford
  • House rewire in Rugby
  • House rewire in Ruislip
  • House rewire in Scotland
  • House rewire in Sevenoaks
  • House rewire in Sheffield
  • House rewire in Slough
  • House rewire in Solihull
  • House rewire in Southend
  • House rewire in Southend On Sea
  • House rewire in Southwark
  • House rewire in St Albans
  • House rewire in St Neots
  • House rewire in Stevenage
  • House rewire in Stockport
  • House rewire in Swindon
  • House rewire in Telford
  • House rewire in Tiptree
  • House rewire in Tower Hamlets
  • House rewire in Waltham Forest
  • House rewire in Walthamstow
  • House rewire in Wandsworth
  • House rewire in Warrington
  • House rewire in Watford
  • House rewire in Wellingborough
  • House rewire in Welwyn Garden City
  • House rewire in Westminster
  • House rewire in Wickford
  • House rewire in Wigan
  • House rewire in Witham
  • House rewire in Wolverhampton
  • House rewire in Woolwich
  • House rewire in Worcester
  • House rewire in York

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