Rewiring your home may seem like a daunting task, but with some preparation and the right tools, I was able to complete a full rewire of my 1,500 square foot house in a single weekend. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the entire process step-by-step, from gathering supplies to installing new wiring and fixtures.

Gather the Necessary Supplies

Before getting started, I made sure to have all the necessary supplies on hand. Here is what I needed:

Purchasing all the materials ahead of time ensured I wouldn't face any delays or have to make extra trips to the hardware store during the rewiring process. I budgeted approximately $500-$800 for all the necessary supplies.

Turn Off Power and Remove Old Wiring

The first step was shutting off all the power to the house at the main circuit breaker. I then went around and unscrewed all the light switches, outlets, and fixtures so I could access and remove the existing wiring.

Important safety tip: Always double check with a voltage tester that the power is off before working with any electrical wiring.

Removing the old wires was the most time-consuming part of the job, as I had to carefully pull them out from the walls and ceilings. I was able to recycle the copper wiring at a local metal recycling facility.

Map Out New Wiring Circuits

With the old wires removed, I could map out the new wiring circuits. I decided to upgrade from a 60 amp to 100 amp service to accommodate running more high-wattage appliances simultaneously.

I drew up the following circuits:

Planning the circuits ensured the electrical load would be distributed evenly and prevent circuit overload.

Run New Wires through Walls and Ceilings

With my circuits mapped out, it was time to install the new wiring. I started by drilling holes through the wall studs and joists to run the NM cables from the main panel to each room. I used cable staples to securely attach the wires.

Helpful tip: Leave some extra slack in the wiring so it doesn't pull tight when securing the electrical boxes.

I ran the cables to each planned fixture and outlet location, labeling each wire with masking tape to keep everything organized. For any wires that needed to pass through masonry walls, I used electrical conduit to protect and route them safely.

Install New Switches, Outlets, and Fixtures

Once all the new wires were run, I was ready to install the electrical boxes, switches, outlets, and light fixtures in each room. I carefully connected the wires using wire nuts and secured the receptacles and switches into the boxes.

For the light fixtures, I first installed mounting brackets and then connected the fixture wires to the house wiring using twist-on wire connectors. I made sure to follow the manufacturers instructions for each specific light.

Finally, I attached all the switch and outlet covers and light fixtures. I used GFCI outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room for added protection.

Connect the Main Service Panel

With all the new branch circuit wiring complete, I moved on to replacing the outdated 60 amp main service panel with a new 100 amp panel equipped with plenty of circuit breaker slots.

I first verified all the new wiring was correctly connected and that there were no loose wire strands or shortcuts. Then I terminated each wire into the appropriate circuit breaker, labeling each circuit clearly in the panel. This was the most technical part of the rewiring process and where attention to detail was critical.

Restore Power and Test Circuits

It was an exciting moment when I was ready to turn the main power back on! I flipped each circuit breaker one at a time while checking for functionality of the connected lights and outlets.

Thankfully everything powered on successfully. I used my voltage tester to verify proper polarity and grounding. For the final safety verification, I had the new electrical service inspected by the local building department before covering up any of the finished wiring work.

Key Takeaways from My Rewiring Experience

While rewiring an entire home in a weekend was no small feat, it was a very rewarding DIY project that saved me thousands of dollars in electrician fees. Here are some key lessons I learned:

With the right preparation and diligence, rewiring a house is totally feasible over the course of a weekend. Just make sure you set aside two full days with no distractions. You'll be illuminating your home with brand new lighting circuits before you know it!