How to Get Your Home's Wiring Up To Code Without Breaking The Bank

Having your home's electrical wiring meet current safety codes is extremely important, but bringing an outdated electrical system up to code can be a daunting and expensive task. Follow this guide to learn how to get your wiring up to code affordably.

Assess Your Home's Current Wiring Situation

The first step is to understand what kind of shape your home's electrical system is currently in. Here are some key things to check:

Documenting the current state of your home's electrical system helps you understand what kinds of upgrades will be necessary.

Learn Your Local Electrical Code Requirements

Electrical codes can vary by state and municipality, so it's important to learn the specific requirements for your area. Some key elements that wiring must have per code:

Consult with your local building department to find out your area's exact code requirements before planning upgrades.

Consider a Service Panel Upgrade

If your home's electrical service panel is outdated or insufficient, upgrading it provides a major improvement. Some signs you may need a new panel:

Upgrading to a 200 amp panel is recommended for most homes. Get quotes from electricians to help decide if this major upgrade is warranted. The costs can range from $1,500 to $5,000 depending on the specifics.

Prioritize Essential Safety Upgrades

While a full rewiring is ideal, it isn't always financially feasible. Focus first on essential upgrades to address immediate safety hazards:

These targeted fixes can significantly improve safety at a lower cost. You can budget for more extensive upgrades over time.

Consider DIY Options for Non-Essential Circuits

For upgrades beyond immediate safety fixes, doing the work yourself can yield major cost savings. However, electrical projects require skill and safety know-how. Consider DIY for:

Consult local codes and get necessary permits. Have an electrician inspect your work before completing the circuit. Leaving major electrical service upgrades to the professionals is strongly advised.

Explore Rebates and Incentives in Your Area

Many utility companies and municipalities offer rebates or incentives to homeowners upgrading electrical systems for safety or energy efficiency. For example:

Check with utility providers in your area to learn about available rebates, credits and special offers that can help offset the costs of electrical upgrades.

Updating old wiring in a home can certainly be a challenge. But focusing on essential safety fixes first, doing some DIY, and leveraging local incentives allows you to get your home's wiring up to code without breaking the bank. With careful planning and budgeting, it's an achievable process for many homeowners.