Most people have no idea what the cost of rewiring a house is. It’s one of those jobs that, until you need it, has probably never crossed your mind.
However, since faulty electrics are a common cause of house fires, it is a sound investment, not just in terms of the value of your home and your insurance, but also your peace of mind.
There are many reasons why you might need your house rewiring and, unlike some other forms of home improvements, this work requires a professional.
It should go without saying that a rewire requires a fully-qualified electrician but, in some cases, you should be hiring a specialist with extensive experience of rewiring, particularly for a period or otherwise unusual property. At Loftera, we offer rewiring services, carried out by our fully-registered electricians, either as part of your loft conversion or as a standalone job.
In this blog, we’ll outline some of the different types of rewires and the costs associated with each.
Why Do You Need a Rewire?
The reason for your rewire, and the nature of the property, can greatly affect the cost.
The main reasons for rewiring a house are as follows:
- Replacing out-of-date or faulty wiring
- Installing a new electrical system
- Adding to an existing electrical system
- Moving switches or outlets to different locations
- Electrical safety testing
Electrical Inspection Report
The first thing you should do is have a registered electrician perform an electrical inspection, to ensure all your cabling is up to code and is sufficient to support your daily needs and electrical outputs.
This is a good time to ‘future proof’ your house. Think carefully about how many sockets and light installations you are likely to need over the next ten years, not just in the present day. For example, if you are likely to upgrade your technology on a fairly regular basis, you need to ensure your electrical system can cope with the predicted output.
Changing the plan and asking for sockets to be moved or added once work has begun, or at a later date, will cost you more, so make sure you have a clear plan and stick to it.
An electrical inspection report is estimated at between £150 and £300 for a three-bedroom semi-detached house, plus VAT, but the cost will depend on the size and perhaps the age of the property, as well as where you live, with London rates typically being higher.
Once the inspection is complete, you should have a much better idea of what needs to be fixed or updated and can start looking at costs.
The below are guide prices for different-sized houses for labour and materials (before VAT)
- Two-bedroom terrace house – £2,400 – £3,500
- Three-bedroom semi-detached house – £3,000 – £4,500
- Four-bedroom detached house – £3,750-£5,500
A flat or bungalow will be calculated on its size, (and the other considerations outlined) so being on one level isn’t really a factor here.
Not everyone needs a full rewiring. If the existing cabling passes inspection, you may just need to upgrade your consumer unit, for around £350-£400.
Or you may simply need extra sockets, which can be installed for around £70-£100 for a single socket and £90-£150 for a double socket.
A full rewire is done in two parts – installing the wiring itself, then installing the system, connecting everything and making it live. If you only need the second part, your bill will be significantly reduced.
Smaller rewiring jobs, such as replacing a light fitting or installing a dimmer switch typically cost around £35- £65 depending on the complexity of the job – usually due to either the style of light or the nature of your property.
If you want to update your lighting, such as replacing old strip lights in a kitchen with LED downlighters, you are looking at around 5-8 hours of work, which will cost you around £275-£440, before VAT.
Installing a light in a loft where none exists, such as part of a loft conversion, will cost you between £75 and £150, whilst installing an external security light which is movement-sensitive, is charged at £85-£140.
Kitchens are responsible for a large part of the costs of a rewire, since they are often the room in the house with the most sockets and wiring. If it is only your kitchen which needs rewiring, you need to budget between £1,000 and £1,500 plus VAT.
If you wish for your electrician to dispose of old appliances or cable for you, there may be an extra charge applied.
You also need to factor in repair costs once the rewiring is complete – such as plastering, painting, and decorating to restore your walls to their former glory.
Rewiring has a reputation for being messy and, unfortunately, there are unavoidable disruptions and damage which occurs when a property undergoes a rewire.
Every single socket and cable will need to be accessed and tested and in practical terms this means:
- Your carpets/lino will need to be removed or lifted
- Floorboards may need to be lifted to run electrical cables or to move or reroute existing cables
- Cutting channels into plaster walls or skirting boards to run the cables through (known as ‘chasing’)
It is the ‘chasing’ that makes people anxious, coupled with the fact that all power will need to be off for the duration of the job. In some cases, there are ways around this, but your electrician will be able to advise how to minimise the mess and damage.
If you are planning the rewire for a property you are moving into, it’s advisable to delay your moving in date until after the rewiring is complete.
Now that you have a better idea of the rough costs you are looking at for a rewire, you can collect a few quotes from trusted contractors. At Loftera, we create tailored quotes based on your particular circumstances. Just fill in our handy online form with the kind job you need, the size of your property and a few other details and we’ll provide you with a detailed cost breakdown.
To make things easier for you, we’ve answered a few of your most frequently asked questions, below.
How Much does it Cost to Rewire a Three-Bed House in the UK?
Depending on the size, location, and age of the property and its wiring, rewiring a three-bed house in the UK is charged at approximately £3,200 for labour and materials (before VAT) and takes around seven to ten days to complete. However, if you require more outlets or the house is a period property this figure could be increased.
How Much Does it Cost to Rewire a 1,500-square foot house?
To rewire the average 1,500-square-foot house you are looking at approximately £3,000, plus VAT, depending on the number of sockets and installations you require. Don’t forget to factor in the potential redecorating costs, as well as the costs of your physical light fittings etc when planning your budget.
How Often Should You Rewire a House?
Think of an electrical inspection as a bit like an MOT for your house’s electrical system – a registered electrician should perform an inspection every ten years or so, for a property you own and live in, or five years for a rented property. Our fully-qualified electricians can perform this check for you, get in touch for a personalised quote.
A full rewiring can last anywhere between 20 to 50 years, so this isn’t something are likely to have to contemplate more than once per property you live in/own. However, as mentioned above, there are different reasons you might want to undergo a full house or partial rewire.
How Do I Know if My House Needs Rewiring?
If your home is 25-years-old or more, it is likely to have outdated electrical rewiring, which could cause issues such as tripping the breakers and blowing fuses, or you may notice flickering lights. If either of these things keeps happening, you probably need a rewire.
Others sign to look out for are discoloured or stained electrical outlets, which occur from power surges which can be a fire risk, and needing to use lots of extension cords, as this means your current system is not sufficient or does not have enough outlets for your requirements.
Have a registered electrician check whether a property you are thinking of buying needs a rewire, particularly if it a period property, so that you can calculate the cost and factor it into your offer.
Can You Rewire a House Without Removing Drywall?
In some cases, your electrician may be able to perform a rewire without removing drywall, by going through the loft/attic, but only if your cabling is already run in a safe conduit, and you don’t require any additional sockets/light installations. Fire regulations state that wiring must not cross any access or exit routes which means surface mounted ‘trunking’ is limited. In most cases, some damage is unavoidable, however, your electrician should be an expert in rewires and will try to minimise the damage.
We hope you now have a better idea of the costs involved in rewiring your home. If you would like a personalised quote, please fill in our easy-to-use form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as you we can.
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