Buying a house that needs rewiring

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Buying A House Which Needs Rewiring

If you are looking to buy a house, it is very important that you check that the electrical wiring is up to date. If it is not and if you fail to assess this before buying the property, the responsibility of maintaining the electrical installations and rewiring, if necessary, will fall on your shoulders.

With millions of residential sales in the UK every year, a huge chunk of home buyers fail to get the electrics checked before the purchase. Most of them believe that the checks were included in the home survey report, while others are simply unaware that checks were even needed.

This results in many home buyers discovering electrical issues that they were unaware of before purchasing, which is something that they could easily have avoided by hiring a registered electrician to inspect the electrics and issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

Read on to find out why it is important to have an EICR done, the signs that indicate your house needs to be rewired, what is included in the rewiring process, how much it costs, and much more:


Yes, you can buy a house that needs rewiring, and chances are that you may even get a good deal on it due to the condition of the property’s electrics.

But keep in mind that you may have to spend much more on getting the electrics fixed after you buy it, or have it rewired if the need arises, compared to the money you saved on the purchase.

Imagine buying a new house and moving in with your family only to find that the consumer unit is sparking or there are constant power surges frying up your appliances.

Calling an electrician and getting the electrics inspected and rewired may cost you thousands of pounds depending on the size of the house and the condition of the house’s electrical system.

Not only can this cost you money but is also a safety hazard that can put you and all those on the property at risk. Faulty electrics can very easily turn into electrical fires that can both damage property and endanger lives.

Other than being a safety hazard, faulty wiring and electrical installations can be extremely inefficient. For instance, constant power surges can damage expensive equipment and even result in higher-than-normal electrical bills.

Therefore, to make sure the home you buy and move into is safe and efficient when it comes to wiring and electrical installations, make sure you have an EICR done before sealing the deal.

It is recommended under the wiring regulations BS 7671 that a domestic property must be regularly inspected and tested if the property is being sold.

Although homeowners aren’t bound by the law to have the inspection done prior to selling their house, it is recommended to avoid any delays in the conveyancing process.

You, the buyer, may also ask for an electrical installation certificate (EIC) as proof of the electrical inspection. An EIC is a compliance document that is completed by a certified electrician at the end of an inspection.


If you are looking to buy a house, you need to know in advance if there are any expensive or potentially dangerous electrical issues that need to be taken care of.

The best way to do so is by conducting an electrical safety check which involves a thorough inspection of the electrical system on the property.

It includes checking the fuses, wiring, sockets, and switches, and although you don’t need to get it done, buyers usually opt for it to flag any potential electrical issues before the contracts are signed.

The benefits of getting an electrical safety check when buying a house include:

  • Saving money down the line on costly repairs and rewiring.
  • Negotiating the house price if the inspection reveals something serious.
  • Meeting certain insurance requirements.
  • Getting peace of mind knowing that you have everything sorted before you move in.
  • Having a better sense of what you’re investing in.

During the check, an electrician or trained professional will make sure all the electrics are in optimal condition and working safely.

At the end of the survey, an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is generated which summarises everything related to the property’s electrics. It will indicate whether everything is working as it should or if any maintenance work, such as rewiring, is needed.

During an electrical inspection, the electrician may check:

  • The wiring to see if it’s old, damaged, or exposed, and needs to be replaced,
  • Any damages to the sockets,
  • The fuse box and circuit breaker,
  • The condition of the light fittings,
  • Any installed electrical devices and appliances.

An electrical safety check simply ensures that the electrical system is safe and in good condition. Not only is it important for safety, but can also help you save a lot of money since rewiring may be a costly job depending on the condition of the property’s electrics.


As a general rule, if your house is around 25 to 30 years old and the electrics haven’t been replaced or upgraded during the time, chances are that it may need rewiring.

This is because the older your house is, the weaker the electrical installations become. Wires age over time and become a victim of general wear and tear.

Other than that, there are a few tell-tale signs that indicate your house electrics are not safe and may need to be replaced. They include:

  • Discoloured sockets and switches – if you notice any type of discolouration on or near the sockets or light switches, it could be a sign of a loose connection or faulty wiring causing sparks to discolour the outlet.
  • Flickering lights – a single flickering light may be the result of an improperly screwed lightbulb, but if it happens to more than one light, it could be a sign of faulty wiring. If the issue persists even after changing said lightbulbs, we recommend you have a professional electrician take a look.
  • An unidentifiable burning smell – if you notice a persistent burning smell and are unable to identify the source, there is a possibility that it could be due to faulty wiring. If that is the case, turn off all power immediately and contact an electrician right away.
  • Circuit breaker tripping repeatedly – circuit breakers trip when there is a surge in power and the incoming electricity could be harmful to the home’s electrics and attached appliances. The issue arises when they start tripping repeatedly, which could be a sign that your house needs rewiring.

According to the current wiring regulations, BS7671, it is recommended that a qualified electrician check the electrics every 10 years, or 5 years in case of rented properties. This also applies when you are renovating or extending your property, or are planning to sell it.

If you notice any issues, such as the ones mentioned above, in between inspections, you can always seek professional help and get them rectified immediately.


Dealing with electrical faults can be tricky, and if you find out that the house you just bought needs rewiring, you need to know what to expect and what the job entails.

A complete rewire is a major job which is technical and requires expertise in the field. It involves two stages: first fix and second fix.

First fix is carried out by a qualified and registered electrician as it involves all the “behind the scenes” work. Wiring, cables, and circuits are all laid out, which may include hidden cabling behind the walls or beneath the flooring.

Since most of the electrical wires run through walls and under the flooring, first fix rewiring can be a little disruptive and messy, requiring the walls to be drilled into and the floorboards lifted.

Second fix is when the electrical installations and consumer unit are all connected to the sockets and switches and the light fittings are added. The boiler and central heating controls are also connected and any old switches and sockets are removed.

If you’re worried about having to temporarily move out while your house is being rewired, you don’t have to! While rewiring may sound like a nightmare, if you hire the right people to do the job, it can be done with minimal disruption and without you having to move out.

Keeping in mind that rewiring is a major task, there will be dust and noise. To make it easier for professionals to do their job quickly and efficiently, you can roll the carpets back, move any furniture, keep your precious and expensive items safely in one area, and cover your furniture and other belongings with dust sheets.

Rewiring an empty house can be much quicker and easier to complete, but since that is not always possible, professional electricians and contractors are trained to rewire homes which are lived-in throughout the process.


The total time it takes to rewire a house is dependent on several factors such as the age, size, and condition of the property. Ease of access and any additions part-way through the rewiring process will also affect the time of completion.

To give you a general idea, a one-bedroom house would take on average around 2 to 4 days for a complete rewire, whereas a three-bedroom house would take around 5 to 8 days. The bigger your house is, the longer it may take to complete the rewire.


Now that you know all about rewiring and what to expect when getting your house rewired, let’s talk about the cost.

In addition to the timescale for completing a rewiring job, the size and complexity of the job will have an impact on the total cost. Also, making additions once the work has begun can extend timescales as well as the overall expense.

On average, the cost to rewire a 2-bed flat may range from £2,000 to £3,900. The cost to rewire a 2-bed terraced house, including a kitchen and bathroom, may range from £3,000 to £4,800.

The bigger the house, the longer it will take the electrician to carry out the rewiring job and the more you’d be expected to pay.


While it is possible to rewire your house on your one, there are several reasons it is not recommended. Rewiring is a complicated task that requires expert knowledge and skill. Hiring a professional electrician will ensure that all the work undertaken is safe and meets the required safety standards.

Electrical installations and any rewiring work fall under Part P of Building Regulations, which states that only qualified electricians registered with the “Competent Persons Schemes” can sign it off and issue the relevant certification.

If you decide to do a DIY, you must apply for an inspection for building control at each installation stage as well as on completion, which increases both the duration and cost of the project, in addition to being a serious hassle.

Having your house electrics and wiring installed and regularly inspected by a professional, certified electrician can help bring your home up to date and add value to your property.

To ensure everything meets the current safety regulations, you must choose a reliable and registered electrician who has the relevant experience and is trained to carry out the job.

A trained and certified professional residential electrician will:

  • Have the necessary training and expertise, along with lots of experience working in the field.
  • Offer peace of mind that everything will be done while keeping everyone’s safety in mind,
  • Quickly troubleshoot issues thanks to their deep understanding of the system that helps you save both time and money,
  • Offer fully insured work, which means that you won’t have to worry about any damages or accidents during the rewiring process.


If you are looking for a registered electrician for the installation, maintenance, inspection, and rewiring of your property’s electrical system, look no further.

We offer a wide range of services to meet the demands of our clients. All our work is fully insured and we work to meet the standards set to us by the NICEIC to make sure all your electrical installations meet the current regulations and all the notifiable work is signed off by the local authorities.

We have been undertaking electrical work since 1976 and are specialists in the field. If you have unplanned issues within your home or business, we can provide a call-out service to rectify and solve any problems.

Anything from circuits tripping, loss of power, broken items that need repairing, or checking if you feel something is unsafe or a potential hazard.

Our team can generate a Visual Inspection Report (VIR) to identify anything visual that does not comply with the standards or looks unsafe, as well as a full Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) where we will identify and test each circuit to make sure they are not deteriorating and are safe for use within the current standards and regulations set by the BS 7671.

We can also provide PAT testing of appliances to make sure that any items such as kettles, computers, and microwaves are safe for use in the home and workplace.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 for more information on rewiring and electrical safety when buying a house!

Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash