How to Rewire Your Entire Home Yourself on a Tiny Budget


Rewiring a home can seem like a daunting task, but with some planning, the right materials, and a bit of know-how, it is possible to rewire your entire house yourself on a tight budget. As a homeowner on a limited income, I found myself needing to upgrade the outdated and potentially unsafe electrical system in my 1950s rambler. With some clever cost-cutting measures and a lot of elbow grease, I was able to completely rewire my 1,500 square foot home for under $2,000. Here is how I did it.

Assessing the Existing Electrical System

Before beginning a large rewiring project, it is important to thoroughly assess the existing electrical system. Here are some key things I looked at:

Type of Wiring

Electrical Load

Safety Issues

Code Violations

By thoroughly understanding my electrical needs and deficiencies, I knew that a full rewire was the right course of action to take, despite the cost.

Calculating Your Electrical Needs

Once I decided to rewire, I needed to calculate precisely the size of electrical service and the number of circuits I would need. Here are some key factors I looked at:

With those factors in mind, I determined that upgrading to 200 amp service and installing 20 circuits would be ideal for my present and future needs. Doing the calculations upfront ensured I ordered the right electrical panel and supplies.

Picking the Right Materials on a Budget

The bulk of the project cost was in the wiring itself, the electrical panel, and various hardware. Here is how I got quality supplies at low prices:

With smart shopping and resourcefulness, I procured all the necessary upgrade materials for about $1500, keeping the project on a tight budget.

Safely Running New Wiring Yourself

The most labor intensive part of the project was running all new wiring through the house. Here are some tips on how I did this safely as an amateur:

Safety Gear

Circuit Mapping

Attic and Basement Access

Wall Fishing

Surface Mounting

Junction Boxes

By methodically planning each run and allowing plenty of time, I was able to complete the major wiring phase successfully in about 5 weekends.

A Licensed Electrician Handles the Tricky Stuff

While a dedicated DIYer can handle much of a rewire solo, it's wise to hire a professional electrician to deal with elements that require experience and special equipment. Here is what I outsourced:

Paying an electrician for about 20 hours of work to handle these critical tasks was money well spent. It gave me peace of mind and avoided potentially hazardous mistakes.

Conclusion: Big Satisfaction on a Small Budget

While rewiring an entire home is a monumental effort, it can be achieved for $2,000 or less with grit and resourcefulness. By thoroughly planning the project, buying materials wisely, doing as much labor as I was qualified for, and outsourcing aspects requiring an expert, I was able to upgrade my home's electrical system with fantastic results on a tiny budget. The effort was well worth it! With updated 200 amp service and modern wiring throughout, my home is now far safer and fully primed for current and future electrical needs.