Outdated electrical wiring can be dangerous and is a common cause of domestic fire, so find out about the cost of rewiring a house safely here.

Why rewire a house?

Electrical safety is one of the most important things in your home so it’s important to find out whether your electrics need rewiring. Properties built over 50 years ago have far less sockets to accommodate all of the electric gadgets and equipment we use in our homes today. This can lead to overloading sockets with extension leads, which can damage sensitive electrical devices and could lead to a house fire.

Old wiring can also become damaged as it deteriorates naturally over time, especially if it’s made from old fashioned electrical materials. In the end, not rewiring your electrics could end up being much more expensive than having them done if they end up causing a fire, which can also seriously jeopardise the safety of you and your family.

How do I know if rewiring is necessary?

It’s not usually hard to find out whether your house needs electrical rewiring.

First of all, if fuses blow regularly, sockets overheat or do not work at all or other irregularities appear when you use electric devices, there is probably something wrong with the electrical wiring.

If the wiring has not been replaced for 50 years or if the cables look worn, it is not advisable to wait until something goes wrong – electrical rewiring should be carried out as soon as possible by a qualified electrician.

Furthermore, if the fuse box and the electrical wires are in good condition but you have only one or two sockets per room, it may also be a good idea to have an electrician install some additional sockets to avoid overloading the existing ones.

How to estimate the cost of wiring a house

Whether you simply need extra sockets in your home, old wires and fittings in the workplace to be repaired or replaced, or more extensive re-wiring of large items of machinery, the type of electrical installation you will require will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The power demand on the main circuit; what you will be using the electricity for and how often.
  • The type of occupancy and size of the building that needs repairs or rewiring.
  • Whereabouts in the country your property is situated and how it is affected by local and national regulations regarding new electrical installation.
  • The use of the property in terms of domestic, commercial or industrial production and how that affects the immediate environment of where the wiring and electricity must operate.

You should therefore take the time to think carefully about each of these concerns before calculating a clear budget and figure out: an estimate for the number of wires and cables that might be required; whether or not you are seeking a complete or partial refit on the property; the average temperature and humidity of the local environment where the wires will be fitted and if Government requirements or Local Authority rules will restrict or hinder any of the work or installation you need.

Cost of electrical rewiring – Average cost of rewiring

The average cost of rewiring a house will depend on the size of the property and on the condition of its existing wiring. If the wiring is very old and damaged then a lot of preparation work is needed to have proper wiring installed.

Two bed terraced house

The average cost for rewiring a two bed terraced house usually comes to £2,500, which accounts for 5-8 days of work required toaverage cost of rewiring a 2 bed terraced house complete the job. The price typically includes the following work:

  • The renewal of all the wiring in the house, including the installation of a new electricity meter and a new consumer unit.
  • Typical white finish electrical accessories such as socket outlets and switches.
  • Testing and installation of circuits.
  • Issue of final installation certification.

The rewiring costs do not include any plastering or remodelling work that needs to be done in the property. However, the contractors will be able to provide you with a quote for these services too, to help you understand the total cost in advance. The electrical contractor or company will also make sure that the installation meets current standards.

Three-bed semi detached house

Based on quotes we have received from previous rewiring jobs for 3-bed semi detached houses, the average cost of rewiring a 3-bed semi detached house is £3,200  but the price may increase depending on where you live in the UK.

The cost includes removing old wiring and fittings in a empty house and then running new cables, installing new fittings and minor plastering work for any holes in the wall. Any painting and remodelling work that might be necessary after the job is completed, is a responsibility of the homeowner.

Four-bed detached house

For 4 bed detached house it takes around 10-15 for an electrician to complete the work, so the cost will be higher as expected. The average rewiring cost for a complete rewire of a 4 bed property in the UK is around £4,000 The contractor or electrical company will rewire up to 10 rooms including replacing all the fixtures and installing new wiring. Once the job is completed the electrical contractor(s) will also issue a test certificate.

Bellow you can see more estimates for rewiring projects.

Electrician prices in the UK (sample quotes)
Detailed Description of WorkPrice/CostLocation
Full rewire of the property.  4 sockets in each room with tv point heat alarm in kitchen and 2 smoke alarms£2,560Torquay
Full rewire for the 3 bed property in Coventry£2,600Coventry
All inclusive package + NICEIC Electrical Installation Certificate after testing and Inspection the whole house.£3,850London West
3 bedroom house full rewire based in London£2,200London
8 rooms detached house. Lighting to cupboard under the stairs. Light and power to the pantry. Hall and landing lighting.  Power sockets installation in garage. Outdoor lights fitting. Power supply and loft lights installation. 37 fire rate LED down lights installed throughout. 4 hard wired smoke detectors. Company provided Inc Cert and a pass from building control.£3,400Leeds
Remodel all old basic sockets and switches in the kitchen and replace them with new ones£3,800South London
Install 12 Double Sockets in  3 bed house + electrical inspection£1200Nottingham
 4 bed semi detached house full rewire. Includes 3 doubles sockets for each room +smoke alarm, hard wired cable for tv£4,800London

As the rewiring prices charged by the electrician may differ, it is a good idea to get at least three different quotes before you decide to assign the job, but bear in mind that the cheapest offer will not always be the best one. Electrical rewiring is an extensive project; therefore you should make sure that you hire an experienced electrician to carry out the work.

What is involved in rewiring a house?

Rewiring your property will include running new cables throughout the house, installing new (possibly additional) sockets and replacing the old fuse boxes. Electrical rewiring is a fairly extensive project that will require an electrician to work in every single room of the house, which isn’t cheap. Still, rewiring you electrics is well worth the cost in terms of safety.

If possible, it’s best to do the rewiring before you move into a new house or while you are refurbishing it, as the work may damage the existing decoration and may take more than one day. Electrical rewiring costs may also be lower if combined with other remodelling work.

Methods of rewiring a house

There are few different types of house wiring, the most common one uses copper wire to connect wall outlets and fixtures to junction boxes,which are in turn connected to the main electrical panel and circuit breaker box by copper wire. The type of wire can be changed to aluminium or silver and an alteration to the previous method means the outlet/fixture can be connected straight to the circuit breaker.

Wiring materials

rewiring-materialsThe type of electrical wiring you use along with the method used will affect the overall performance of the new electrical system. Aluminium wire is lightweight and therefore is better to run over a long length than copper wire, which is a far heavier type of wire. Copper is a better conductor of electricity than aluminium; however it is also more expensive. Silver wire can also be chosen but is even more expensive than copper, so should only be used when extremely high levels of conductivity is needed.

  • Using junction boxes allows you to connect multiple fixtures into a single circuit which will save money as it reduces the number of circuit breakers and the amount of wire needed, however the performance will be compromised.
  • If fixtures and wall outlets are wired into their own circuit it means that there is less risk of overloading and tripping the circuit – this will cost more though, as it requires more wire.
  • If you plan to wire outlets and fixtures directly into a circuit, the length and quantity of wire may need to be carefully considered.
  • If it is over a long distance, you might prefer to use aluminium as it less susceptible to corona(discharge of electricity) but with this comes compromised conductivity – just 60% when compared to copper electric wiring.

Advantages of rewiring a house

There are different methods of rewiring a house that each have different benefits. You should decide which method to use based on what your house specifically requires. Wall outlets that are very important to the house and have things such as the boiler plugged into should be wired into its own circuit. This means that’s there is little risk of overloading and tripping the circuit.

Less important wall outlets can be wired through junction boxes and then connected to the breaker box. This method would have the most advantages as it keeps the very important appliances of your house free of potential tripping, but still remains cost effective.

How do you get started / hire a contractor?

Before you think about hiring a contractor, you should undertake an informal inspection of your home to figure out a clear plan for where you would like your chosen outlets to be fitted. Think about the style of lighting you want and how it will complement the overall décor of your home too.

Once you have a general idea, get in touch with at least three electricians; look over references, compare quotes and get personal recommendations if you can – in big cities such as London  or Liverpool your should be able to come across more than enough potential contractors. Also be sure to check the terms and conditions of the guarantee and make sure your contractor has an electrical NICEIC certification (or something similar); this is a professional stamp of quality and competence.

Useful Resources

Acceptable methods for house rewiring – http://ask-the-electrician.com/house-electrical-rewiring-methods-and-practices/

Rewiring explainedhttps://www.homebuilding.co.uk/rewiring-explained/

Tips for rewiring and old house – https://www.oldhouseonline.com/articles/10-tips-for-rewiring-an-old-house

Rewiring rooms – https://www.ratedpeople.com/budgets/costs-repairs/costs-repairs-electrics/rewiring-rooms