Updating house wiring

If there is an old-fashioned-style fuse box, with big white ceramic-style fuses, then the chances are that the property needs completely rewiring.

With two or more sets of circuits, it can be very difficult to know if all of them have been disconnected when undertaking work and this is unsafe.

Electrical circuits must be up to the job — and you need to plan ahead.

Do you want ethernet cable to every room to ensure uninterrupted Wi-Fi (or perhaps just living spaces and bedrooms)?

If you can’t move out, then dust-cover furniture and expensive items, preferably moving electrical equipment into a separate room, as this is not your electrician’s responsibility.

Get your electrician to install the new consumer unit and prep your habitable room with a temporary supply of sockets.

It may be that the system can be improved for less money by upgrading earthing and cross bonding.

If you proceed with the project, then before exchanging contracts you can arrange to get a qualified electrician to do a survey and find out exactly what work is required. It happens in two stages: first fix, when cables and wiring are installed, and second fix when everything is joined up or made ‘live’, when the front faces of sockets, switches and lights are fitted.

As well as thinking about task, mood and feature lighting, remember smoke and heat alarms, garden RCD safety sockets and external security lights.

(MORE: Complete Guide to Renovating a House) Find an Electrician (MORE: Building Regulations Guide) You should be able to tell if a house has been rewired recently by inspecting exposed parts of the wiring and by the electricity meter and fuse box (now known as the consumer unit).

You can ask to do this when being shown around a property you are thinking of buying, or by inspecting your home.

The cost of rewiring, including first and second fix with standard sockets and switches and excluding light fittings, should be around £1,000-£1,500 for a kitchen extension.

The UK average cost for rewiring a three-bed semi is £3,500; the price will vary depending on where you live.

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