Domestic Rewiring

What Is A Rewire?

A rewire replaces some or all the electrical wiring of a house.

A ‘rewire’ is rarely just a rewire; householders often replace, or add, electrical items, for instance sockets, light switches and fuse boards.

Introduction To Planning A Rewire

  • Set a budget and stick to it – a guideline that applies to all purchases.
  • What not how. Householders should produce a plan to tell the electrician what to do, not how.
  • Plan for the next 25 years. A house rewire is only done about once every 25 years – the ‘timescale’ of a rewire is the next 25 years.
  • Write down what you require, the list will form the basis for discussion with the electrician.
  • Draw what you want – a picture paints a thousand words.
  • Get a personal recommendation or do research.
  • Get a contract that states what is and isn’t included in the rewire.

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Set A Budget

The same applies to a rewire as to any purchase – set a budget and stick to it.

A rewire can be expensive (about £2500 for a 3 bedroom house) and has the potential to increase as you add items to the list. Each electrical socket will be about £50 to supply and fit, light fittings about £10 – the cost soon builds up.

What Not How

Tell the electrician what you want and NOT how you want them to do the job.

A householder defines the requirements of a job, a basic principle of ‘requirements engineering’ is to never define the solution. The electrician is the expert; let him, or her, use there own experience to decide how to do the rewire.

Letting the electrician decide how to do the job is more efficient (cheaper).

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Plan For The Next 25 Years

A house needs a rewire about every 25 years; the timescale for the planning is the next 25 years.

Thinks how many electrical appliances were in the average household 25 years ago compared with the present. How many electrical appliances will be in your house in 5, 10 or 25 years?

A reasonable guess is to triple what you have now. Even if you do not have treble the number ofelectrical sockets it would be wise to have the wiring ready, the potential, to treble the number of electrical sockets.

What electrical regulations will there be in 25 years? There are many more electrical regulations now than 25 years ago.

What current guidelines will become law over the next 25 years? Many current regulations will become law, it would be wise to have the rewire done to comply with current ‘best practice’ to ensure future compliance with regulations.

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What You Require

Make a list of the appliances you expect to have (run) in each room, including garages and sheds. The list can form the basis of discussions with the electrician.

Take each room in turn and look what you have in the room now and think what you will want in the future. Some examples:

  • I want to use my PC and TV in the spare bedroom.
  • I want to have 2 bedside lights, a TV and 2 digital alarm clocks in the bedroom.
  • I want to connect 3 games consoles to the internet in the living room.
  • I want phone lines in the kitchen, one for the telephone and some for future ‘connected’electrical appliances.

You can then discuss, with the electrician, how to carry out the requirements.

Each room in a house will have more roles in the future. For instance the living room will become an ‘entertainment centre’, the bedroom will become a ’rest centre’.

Whatever the future role of each room in the house the role will be different and the demands on the electrical rewiring will be greater.

Think about ‘IT infrastructure’ for instance home PC networks, telephones and game boxes that connect to the internet. The future will see more home networking and more appliances that connect to the internet.

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Get A Personal Recommendation Or Do Research

There is nothing better than a personal recommendation when deciding who should do the rewire; ask family, friends and workmates.

Get a list of at least 3 electricians and ask for a quote from each.

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Electrical Quote Help & Tips

If no one you know has had a rewire done, look at consumer websites on the internet, many websites carry recommendations.
Many websites will have ‘stay clear of …’ warnings even if they do not recommend an electrician.

Do some research:

  • Look in the printed Yellow Pages and newspapers – who has a large advertisement? ‘Cowboy traders’ rarely spend much money on printed advertisements.
  • Does the electrician have a website? Does the website look professional or amateurish? A ‘professional’ website suggests a ‘professional’ electrician.
  • What local electricians are members of trade organisations, for instance NICEIC ? Membership of a trade organisation is a good sign.
  • What local electricians do work for local councils? Local councils check all contractors; if an electrician does work for the local council they will be reputable.

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Get A Contract

Have the electrician draw up a contract that states what is and what isn’t included in the rewire.

The householder and the electrician have to know what the rewire does and doesn’t include.

Does the contract include:

  • Parts, for instance light switches and electrical sockets?
  • Basic redecoration? A rewire will mean making holes in walls and ceilings.
  • A cleanup? A rewire is a messy job.
  • Moving furniture?
  • Lifting and replacing carpets?
  • Post rewire electrical test and inspection? A house will need an electrical test and inspection after the rewire.

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