We recently updated our price guide for replacing a fuse box (see that price guide here) so we thought it would be a good time to take another look at house rewiring costs.
House rewiring is one of those tasks that many homeowners fear and dread.
Without a doubt, this is a major and disruptive undertaking.
Are you thinking about having your house rewired? Explore our prices on this page to discover how much electricians are charging for this type of work. There are many factors that affect the overall price, so dig into our research and let us explain what options you have.
We updated this page in March 2017 but expect the prices to be relevant for a good few years to come as the cost of materials and labour isn’t expected to increase above inflation.
We asked two electricians what they thought about rewiring a house with the occupants still living in the property:
Dave, an electrician from Crawley told us:
I have done full house rewires with the occupants remaining in the house, it’s not ideal and adds extra time and cost to the project. The work is very disruptive and it’s not an enjoyable experience for the family.
Mark from Farnham added:
I used to undertake rewires with the residents remaining in situ but stopped about 10 years ago, Now I only do this work if they are prepared to move out, at least for the bulk of the work. I would consider it only if one person lives in the property but if it’s an entire family; then forget it – I always ask them to relocate.
Why is House Rewiring so Disruptive?
The contents of the house should ideally be removed and placed into storage to protect it from the dust and make it easier for your electrician to complete the work. Large items can be left in the centre of the room and covered in sheets.
The floorboards upstairs will need to be lifted so there is a trip hazard.
Walls will need to be cut and this will create a lot of dust, even with modern tools equipped with dust extraction, plenty of dust will escape and it gets everywhere.
While it is possible to stay in the house during the work, your electrician can set up a temporary power supply, it’s not ideal if you have a family with you.
Plan For The Future
The house won’t need rewiring for another 30 to 40 years, so ask yourself how many appliances were in use during the 1970’s compared to today? And how many extra devices will be in place in 30 years time? Also, what type of devices will they be?
You will probably want to double the number of power sockets you think you’ll need and also consider data cables, how many and where they should go.
In the future, there will be many more devices connected to the internet (known as “the internet of things”) so if you plan to stay in your house for at least ten years, you should consider data cables to both the front room and bedrooms.
What a Rewire Entails
Below is a list of everything you can expect from a house rewire, we assume the work is done to a three bedroom house.
Think of this as a works schedule, although your property may have slightly different requirements, we feel this is a good guide:
- removal of existing sockets, switches, cables, light fittings and fusebox
- new consumer unit
- install new lighting rings to the ground floor and first floor
- two or three ring circuits for sockets, for ground and first floor
- dedicated circuit for cooker
- dedicated circuit for power shower
- 2-way switching for lights in hallway/landing and master bedroom
- outdoor lighting to the rear garden and movement sensor with two lights to front garden/porch
- outdoor socket in the garden
- power and lighting to a garage
- High-speed data cable to the front room and master bedroom or study room/office
- earthing and bonding
How Long Does it Take?
Using the above list as an example for a three bedroom house, you can expect the installation to take around 7 full days and extra time for replastering of the walls on the final day of the project.
We would suggest a timescale of 7-8 days, assuming the house is empty of course.
How long it actually takes will also depend on much wall cutting has to be done, every house is different so it’s difficult to predict a timescale beyond a ballpark figure.
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House Rewire Cost
So what is the actual cost of a typical rewire?
Obviously, the cost will vary and depends on where you live. That’s because this type of work is labour intensive and the bulk of your money is spent on labour, not on materials.
For a three bedroom house in the south of the UK, expect the house rewire cost to be in the region of £3500.00 including VAT.
Below is a breakdown of the costs you can expect to pay when rewiring your house.
We assume a typical three bedroom property in the south of the UK.
What Isn’t Included in Our Price?
While we have included the cost to repair the walls with plaster (not every electrician will though), we haven’t included the cost of re-skimming the entire wall with plaster, nor are any repairs to wooden flooring or carpets included.
Also, building control notification fees are worth mentioning; if your electrician is part of a “competent person” scheme, he/she will pay a yearly subscription fee of around £400 and then a nominal submission fee for every rewire project that is completed.
If your installer isn’t part of a scheme, your local council will charge a notification fee. This varies from council to council but to give you an example; Surrey Heath County Council charges £365
How the Quality of the Finish Affects the Cost
The prices we have suggested on this page are for white plastic finishes on all the fittings.
If you choose brushed steel or chrome then expect the cost to increase.
To give you an example; a high quality premium brushed steel socket typically cost up to five times as much as a cheap basic white plastic socket.
How Many Sockets Are Required?
How many are required and how many are recommended are separate things.
Below is our recommendation, compiled by Mark, our friendly electrician from Farnham.
The list below should “future proof” your property.
- downstairs corridor/hallway – 1 x double socket for a small area, 2 x double sockets for a larger hallway
- lounge – 2 x double sockets in each corner with extra double socket near entertainment centre/tv
- kitchen – 4 x double sockets under worktop and 3 or 4 x double sockets above worktop
- utility room – 3 double sockets
- home office – 6 x double sockets to allow for computer, monitor and printing equipment
- landing at top of stairs – 1 x double socket
- master bedroom – 1 x double socket either side of bed and 2 x double sockets at each opposite corner of room
- 2nd and 3rd bedrooms – 3 x double sockets
Get a Rewiring Price Today
As with all our prices on this site, we have done our best to explain all the costs involved with this type of work, we drew on our own experience and asked for advice from friends who work in the trade.
That aside, our guides are just that; price guides that are based on a set of circumstances.
To get a more accurate figure, we suggest sourcing your own quote based on the specifications of your property.
We have partnered with Rated People because we like their closed rating system that’s isn’t open to the abuse that some similar sites experience.
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The guide price on this page includes VAT at the current rate of 20%.
You could make a saving by choosing an electrician that is operating below the VAT registration threshold. although the saving would apply to the labour cost, not the materials.