Rewiring your entire home may seem like a daunting task, but with some preparation and the right tools, it can absolutely be done in a single weekend without hiring an electrician. I recently took on this project in my own home and was able to rewire my entire place safely and efficiently in just two days.

In this guide, I will walk you through everything I learned in the process, from gathering the necessary materials to dealing with electrical panels, outlets, switches, and lighting fixtures. With the right planning and safety precautions, you can save thousands on electrician fees and gain the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

Gather the Right Rewiring Supplies

Before getting started, you'll need to ensure you have all of the necessary supplies on hand. At a minimum, you should have:

I would also recommend having work lamps, a headlamp, labeling tape, and a digital multimeter on hand. Safety gear like gloves, goggles, dust masks, and a fire extinguisher are also essential.

Shut Off Power at the Main Electrical Panel

Before touching any wires, the very first step is to turn off all power to the home at the main electrical service panel. This panel will have a large shutoff switch or main breaker that can be switched to the "OFF" position.

Use a non-contact voltage tester to validate that power is off to any wire before working with it. Check wires by inserting the probe near, but not actually touching them. The tester will indicate if any live voltage is detected.

With the main breaker shut off, you should be safe to work on any wiring in the home. However, I still recommend taping the ends of wires as you disconnect them to avoid any chance of contact.

Remove All Old Wiring from Walls and Fixtures

With the power off, I began removing all existing wiring from the walls, outlets, switches, and lighting fixtures throughout the house. In most cases, wires are stapled to wall studs or drilled through them.

Use a flat pry bar to gently remove staples and pull the wire free from each stud cavity. Carefully pull each wire end out of the outlet, switch, or light junction boxes as well.

Coil up the old wires neatly as you extract them. Label each coil with painter's tape indicating which room or fixture it came from. This will help identify where each wire needs to run when installing the new wiring.

Depending on how the existing wires are positioned, you may need to drill new holes through wall studs to free the wires completely. Just be sure to avoid drilling where existing plumbing or gas lines are present.

Map Out New Circuit Layouts

With the old wires cleared out, now is the ideal time to map out how you want the new circuit wiring to be arranged. Grab a notebook and sketch out each room and where you want switches, outlets, appliances and lighting fixtures located.

Pay attention to the amperage requirements of larger appliances like stoves, dryers, heaters, and air conditioners. These may need dedicated 20 amp circuits, while standard outlets and lighting can use 15 amp circuits.

Also think about adding GFCI outlets anywhere near water sources like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and exterior outlets. Consider incorporating smart switches and dimmers as well to add home automation control.

Run New Wires through Wall Studs

Now comes the fun part - running all the new wire through the house. Start by running the main cables from the electrical panel to each room, feeding them through holes drilled into the wall studs and ceiling joists.

Leave 10-12 inches of extra wire at each endpoint to allow room to make connections. Carefully staggermultiple wires running through the same stud cavity to avoid excessive bundle thickness.

With the main feeds in place, start branching individual 2-wire circuits to each outlet and switch box location. Leave 6-8 inches of slack and avoid making sharp 90 degree bends with the wire when possible.

Use electrical tape to label each wire end where it will be connected at the outlet or switch. Keep wiring neat and consistent for easier troubleshooting later.

Install New Outlets, Switches and Fixtures

As each new wire circuit is run, you can start installing the outlets, switches and light fixtures. Insert each wire into its junction box, fold over any excess length, and secure with cable clamps.

Match wire colors consistently across connections - white for neutral, black for hot/live, bare copper for ground. Join ends with appropriately sized wire nuts and ensure all connections are tight.

With all wires secured and isolated, attach the outlet, switch or light base into the junction box and secure it with mounting screws. Attach included faceplates and test device functionality once wiring is complete.

Be sure to use GFCI outlets in any kitchen, bath, laundry or exterior outlet locations. Follow manufacturer instructions carefully when wiring these outlets with line vs load terminals.

Connect Wiring to Main Electrical Panel

The final step is to connect all the new wire cable runs to the appropriate circuit breakers at the main electrical panel.

First, ensure the main breaker remains shut off. Then, open the panel cover and locate breakers with matched voltages and amps for each circuit you ran.

Consult any labeling you made previously to identify which room or purpose each wire will serve. Attach wire ends to the breaker terminals and secure tightly.

Finally, isolate any unused wires and close up the panel cover. With everything connected securely inside, you can switch the main breaker back on to restore power.

Testing and Troubleshooting Your New Wiring

With the main power back on, now comes the fun of testing each circuit one-by-one.

Start by plugging in lamps to outlets and hitting light switches. Verify each outlet and light is functioning as intended. Use your multimeter to test outlet voltages as well.

If you encounter any issues, turn power back off and carefully inspect each connection involved in that circuit. Look for loose wires or inconsistent coloring. Turn power back on and re-test once any issues are corrected.

It's also smart to flip circuit breakers on and off to ensure they trip as expected. If breakers won't reset or continuously trip, you may have a short somewhere in that circuit's wiring.

Patience is key, but with diligent testing you can troubleshoot any wiring bugs that arise. When everything checks out, you can rest assured your home's electrical system has been fully modernized!


Rewiring an entire home in a single weekend is definitely a big undertaking. But by securing the proper tools and materials, shutting off power properly, removing old wiring, planning new circuits, running new wire runs, installing fixtures, connecting wires to the panel, and carefully testing each connection, it can be accomplished safely without an electrician.

The work is labor intensive, but the payoff is worth it in improved electrical safety, lower electric bills, and added convenience. Just be sure to research thoroughly and follow all electrical codes applicable to your home. With adequate planning and preparation, you can execute a whole home rewiring on a DIY basis and come out energized by a job well done!