6 Tips in Rewiring Your Entire House
Having your old house totally rewired is a lengthy and tedious process. And it’s important to remember that this home improvement project is absolutely not something you DIY.
While you have a little bit of background on an electrical system, there are certain codes and rules to follow. If not clearly understood, you can cause more damage than good to your home.
Are you hellbent on having all of your old wiring system replaced? It’s crucial to plan ahead so that the cost to rewire an entire house after renovations don’t come as a shock to you. Below, you’ll also find some tips for rewiring to help make the project less painful to you and your budget.
1. Find out to what extent you really need to
Although not all, contractors’ trustworthiness should always be in question. Rather than entirely rewiring an old house, you might only need to replace a breaker box (distribution center), or rewire just a room or two.
Upselling is a method used by contractors to keep customers coming in, so don’t let yourself fall into this trap. How will you know then if you need a complete upgrade to your wiring system? If you still have the old “know and tube” electrical wiring, then the answer is a yes.
Also, note that while aluminum wiring used during the mid 20th century isn’t ideal as it increases the chances of an electrical fire, it isn’t a ticking time bomb. Educate yourself about aluminum wiring during your conversations with your electrician and get at least three quotes. If all three claims that you need a complete re-wiring, then you probably do.
2. Hire wisely
You should know that not all electricians do a whole house rewire as it isn’t a kind of work one is always willing to tackle. Like contractors, electricians run the ruse of great to terrible when taking up work.
To ensure you only hire a qualified electrician, consider the following;
● Check Better Business Bureau ratings, Google, and Yelp reviews. Also, insist on getting a referral from at least two previous clients.
● Ask who will work with or assist your hired electrician. Most likely, he will choose an unskilled helper so ask for a background check of anyone that will be working with him that isn’t part of the permanent crew. You might end up with an addict or criminal in your house.
● Ask for a license. There’s a good chance that local codes and laws will only allow a licensed electrician to rewire your house. Besides building codes that you need to follow, your city may also likely require a permit.
3. Prepare your budget
Family and friends may tell you that upgrading your entire electrical wiring will not cost more than $4,000. That probably is true when they rewired their house in, say, 1980s. But now, if you live in a 1,200 to 1,400 square foot home and all wires need to be replaced, expect to spend at least $8,000.
Do you think it’s excessive? It can still go up quickly from there. Do your own research to find out the current standard price for rewiring. However, don’t always count on what you gathered from research and budget accordingly.
Plan From Start to Finish
Know what you want before starting the project and ensure it’s in the contract. If you decided somewhere in the middle of work that you want a different light switch on a wall, or an outlet somewhere else, you are making changes to the plan. Changes aren’t free so expect to incur additional costs for every revision.
4. Get a detailed contract
Make sure that everything your hired electrician will work on is written on the contract. Messing with wires can be somewhat destructive as making holes are necessary and clutter unavoidable.
Does the price of rewiring include the damage repair to your walls and the clean up after? If your contract doesn’t say so, you may fall short on budget. Always ask if there’s anything you need to supply of pay extra for.
5. Clear the work area
If your home is new, you may be spared from some of the drilling and pounding of holes. But even if you live in an older house, what you need to know is that your houses’s interior will look like a block of cheese. Hence, you must remove everything off the walls to give your electrician a clear work area and keep things from falling off.
Expect that there’ll be hammering, tons of drilling, and pounding, with huge drill bits. Save your important items from damage and put them somewhere else during your rewire. Also, make sure you know who’s going to patch the holes after the electrical part is finished.
6. Check and test everything
Before you sign your contract as complete, make sure to check every outlet and device.
Most outlets in homes are wired in series, so if one doesn't work, the rest will not work either. Try plugging a nightlight into every socket to make sure they work.
You also need to check if all the outlets and light switches are installed right-side up. Rather than enduring another callback, check and test everything done by your electrician is right before you let him leave.
A Worthy Investment
After all the work is done, you’ll get your place cleaned up and your life back to normal. Your new electrical wiring makes your home safer that you no longer have to worry about tripping circuit breakers.
Despite the money you have to spend, if your wires is the suspect, it’s well worth the investment. If you don't address a faulty wire or wires, then you’re putting yourself and your family in danger. Always go for safety — be smart and get your wire system checked and replaced with new ones if needed.