How Much it Costs to Rewire a House in London
Rewiring a house can prove lengthy and expensive – especially if the property is old and the entire house needs a modern wiring upgrade.
If you’re lucky though it may be that only part of the house needs rewired. Or, it could be that you’ve just had an extension, basement or new conservatory built and you need electrical rewiring.
Read on to find out what’s involved when you rewire a house and how much you can expect to pay, especially if you live in London and its surrounds.
Average Costs for Rewiring a House in London
Property rewiring costs vary depending on the size of the property in question, with the proviso that the bigger the house, the longer the job will take. There will probably also be more electrical points to upgrade or install in a larger property. The electrical system in some houses, such as older properties, may also be more complicated to rewire than others.
In the UK you can expect to pay roughly £4000 for the rewiring costs of a one-bedroom flat, £5,000 for a two-bedroom apartment and just over £6000 for a three-bedroom house. Rewire a house with five bedrooms and you could find yourself with an invoice for £10,000.
Possible Additional Costs
In addition to the cost of the electrician, you’ll probably also have to pay for a carpet fitter and a general labourer. This can all affect the total cost of the rewiring drastically.
The cost to replace a light fitting comes in at around £65 per item.
The majority of tradesmen involved in as big a project as rewiring a house or home extension will likely charge date rates. Either that or a price for their part of the job.
Hourly rates for rewiring a house are difficult to find and anyhow, would prove prohibitively expensive compared to a fixed price for the job or even a day rate. Another reason why hourly rates are complicated is because it’s difficult to budget for how many hours would be involved.
When it comes to working out how much your electrical rewiring project is going to cost then you have to take into account tradesmen’s labour, the cost of your materials, the price of putting furniture into storage and even how much you may find yourself forking out for a BnB.
You’ll spend more on labour costs than any other part of your house rewiring project. That’s because you’ll probably need several different tradesmen to complete the job.
The average daily rate of an electrician is £320, while a carpet fitter charges roughly £240 a day and a general labourer, £175 per day.
An electrician could be on the scene for anything from two days up to 10 days, depending on the size and scope of the project.
You’ll need several different types of fittings and fixtures when having your house rewired. These include plug sockets, lighting fixtures
Plug sockets vary in price from around £3 to £15 each, depending on how upmarket you want to go. This may seem inexpensive but it does ratchet up the price when you consider a typical two-bed house requires around 13 sockets.
Light switches too come in a variety of styles, from basic – at an average cost of around £2 – to £10 for designer switches. There are double switches and even triple switches. Each room in the house will need at least one light switch.
Wire costs vary depending on the thickness of the wire used for the project. This can either be 1.5mm or 2.5mm in diameter. The former (thinner) wire is for the lighting, while the thicker wire is for the distribution of power throughout the property.
Most homes use around 50m of each wire size, with the thinner wire starting at around £25 and the thicker, at £35.
Wire clips keep the wire tidily in place. A bag of 100 comes in at around £4. Alternatively, it’s possible to use conduits (similar to pipes) which can be stored behind walls and under floors. A 2m length comes in at around £2, while for 25m you can expect to pay an average of £25.
Electrical rewiring in a home can prove quite the upheaval. You’ll have to move furniture, for instance, as well as lift carpets and clean out the storage area. For this reason, you may need to store the furniture for a while, which will add to the cost of your overall rewiring bill.
Because of the state of their home during a rewiring project, some people prefer to move out into temporary accommodation while the job is being carried out. After all, a home with no electricity means no cooking or lighting for a time. This too will prove costly unless you can move in with a relative during the work.
Factors That Affect Costs
There are quite a number of factors that can affect the cost of electrical rewiring in a property.
These include whether you need to take up and then refit carpets throughout your home. If there’s a lot of waste, the cost of hiring a skip and getting a road licence for it. We’ve listed below some of the main factors:
House Size & Type
The number of rooms your home has will have a large bearing on the price. Smaller properties are quicker to rewire and require fewer materials.
Number of Electrical Points
How many sockets and light fittings you’d like will affect the price. Plastic fittings cost much less than chrome or brushed steel, for example. The former comes in at around £800 for a typical two-bedroom home and up to £1500 for the latter.
Type of Walls
A home with concrete walls will take longer to rewire than one with plasterboard (which is easy to cut through).
The Rewiring Process
Rewiring an entire house is a major piece of work – one that can take anything from a week to 10 days. That’s because cables are laid within walls and under floorboards, as well as across ceilings. As a result, it’s best if the house is empty, there’s no – or very little furniture – around and the occupants have moved out for a week or so.
Electrical rewiring is carried out in two parts.
- The initial part is the preparation stage and is where the flooring or ceiling is opened up and the drywalls are taken down. The old wiring is removed, electrical sockets taken out and new holes made so that new cables and wires can be installed within the property.
- The second part is when the electrical system goes live. It’s at this point that the cables are attached to sockets, and switches and the light fittings are put into place. Appliances will also be connected up and all electrics connected to the consumer unit. It’s at this point that an electrical inspection is carried out.
In between the two parts, there will be a lot of filling in holes, plastering work and no doubt, redecorating to get done.
Removing existing Wiring and Fittings
Before you go ahead and remove the old wiring and fittings it may be worth getting an electrical survey carried out. This costs around £150 and will be able to let you know how old the wiring is and, if reasonably new, whether or not it still has a few years of life left in it yet.
Installing New Wiring
New wiring can be installed by chasing out the old cables or taking out the old wiring and replacing it in the existing spaces.
Installing New Sockets and Switches
If you’re using the same spaces for the plug sockets, switches and light fittings then it’s simply a case of replacing the old ones. If new fittings are being installed then the work gets a bit trickier with holes having to be cut in walls, flooring or ceilings to accommodate the new wires and plug sockets.
New Consumer Unit Installation
The consumer unit is the box from which the home’s electrics are distributed. It has two black wires attached, which connect to the main electricity supply for the area. This is also known as a fuse box.
A new consumer unit is usually necessary when the whole property is being rewired. A typical consumer unit can cost anything from £50 for a smaller property to an average cost of £100 for a larger and more complicated electrical system.
Once the house has been rewired you’ll need to have the electrics tested. This is usually carried out by the same electrician who has carried out the rewiring in the first place.
The testing is a requirement of the local Building Regulations department and you’ll receive a certificate if the system passes. It’s best to get the test done at the time of the rewiring because failing to do so means you’ll have to get an individual test done if you ever come to put your house on the market – and that can come with a hefty £500 price tag.
Issuing an Installation Certificate
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) should be carried out every decade to ensure your house is still safe. Private landlords must have done every five years in tenanted properties. The test itself can only be carried out by a qualified electrician. It involves inspecting the fuse box (or consumer unit), a handful of switches and sockets, and other light fixtures or appliances in the home.
The cost of an installation condition report rises with the size of the property. For instance, a one-bed flat may derive a charge of £150, while a two-bed flat may be £175. A three-bed house can be £225 and a five-bed house up to £375.
Reasons a Rewire Would Be Needed
There are a handful of reasons why you may need to have your property rewired. It could be, for instance, that your consumer unit regularly trips and you’re plunged into darkness.
Then again, a buzzing noise near electrical components should also start ringing alarm bells for you. That’s because, in the case of the latter, it indicates faulty wiring somewhere in the electrical system.
A poor electrical wiring system will also result in fuses being blown more than normal, or flickering lights.
Even just looking at your fittings will indicate whether or not your electrical system is healthy. Signs of burning and general damage are definitely a concern. So too is discolouration.
You can also tell the property needs rewiring if the consumer box or wires are dated. Old-fashioned wiring has a woven fabric covering, or the wires are covered in rubber. More modern wiring has a PVC cover. You can tell if the consumer box is past it is best by checking the date on the label inside the door.
Most properties built 30 to 50 years ago and which haven’t been rewired, could probably do with a new system. This could be done at the same time as your adding on a new extension to your home or having a loft conversion (as both will require rewiring anyhow).
It’s worth noting that contemporary kitchens these days have a lot more appliances than ever before. A dishwasher, coffee machine, liquidiser, air fryer – these all need to be plugged in, meaning there are more sockets than ever before. Having your home rewired gives you peace of mind that there are no electrical hazards lurking within your walls, such as faulty wiring.
If you’re buying an older property always check the building survey to see whether electrical rewiring is recommended and, if so, make it a priority.
DIY Vs Hiring a Professional
When you look at the cost of rewiring an entire house then it can be tempting to save a bit of money and attempt to do the whole job yourself.
For some aspects of home renovation, such as tiling, plastering or decorating this can often make sense (provided you have the time). However, rewriting a property is a whole different ball game. Get it wrong and you put yourself and your family in harm’s way.
For this reason, you should always have the rewiring completed by a professional electrician. Certainly, an electrical test to ensure the wiring conforms to safety standards can only be carried out by a professional in the trade. And you’ll pay highly for this – up to £1000 for a large rewiring project.
Finding an Electrician
It’s always a good idea to ring around (or email) to get at least three quotes for hiring an electrician. That gives you an idea of the average price you should be paying and what you can expect for the money.
Before asking them to quote though, check that the individual or company you are considering has qualifications, such as Level 3 NVQs in Electrotechnical Services, a Diploma in Electrical Installations or a qualification for Installing Electrotechnical Systems & Equipment. Most electricians will have carried out an apprenticeship while studying and should be registered with a government competent person scheme. This could be Certsure, NAPIT or BESCA.
For reassurance, you will also want your electrician to have insurance, especially third-party liability. They should also have a guarantee that work will be completed and any damage to your property rectified. And, on the subject of guarantees, is the work covered for a particular length of time ie two or five years?
It’s also a good idea to look at previous rewiring work your chosen tradesman has completed. If possible contact a previous client to ask how their job went and if they would recommend the electrician’s working practices.
Contact us here at The Page with the specifics of the work you need done, and we will quickly send you a curated list of expert tradesmen in your locale.
All of these professionals will have been personally vetted by ourselves, and their work and qualifications checked. Where applicable they will also be members of a professional trade body, providing further protection for your project.
Online directories can provide a list of electricians or other tradespeople in your locale. Simply type in your postcode and whether you are looking for an electrician, plumber, decorator etc within a certain number of miles. You’ll then be presented with those who best match your search criteria. The only downside is you can’t verify whether or not online reviews or testimonials are genuine.
Word of mouth is a great way when it comes to hiring an electrician who comes highly recommended. Simply ask local friends, neighbours, colleagues and family if they’ve had rewiring completed recently and whether they would recommend who they used. You can expect an honest answer so be prepared to be warned off a particular company or individual too.