Rewiring a home can seem like a daunting task, but with the right preparation and safety measures, even an amateur can rewire their house safely. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk through all the steps needed to fully rewire a home without professional help.

Reasons to Rewire Your Home

There are several good reasons why you may want to rewire your house:

Dangers of Home Electrical Work

Before deciding to take on a rewiring project yourself, it's crucial that you understand the dangers involved:

Working with Local Permitting Office

Before you get started on a rewiring project, it is essential to check in with your local permitting office. There you can:

Following all permitting rules prevents issues when it comes time to sell the home.

Buying the Right Materials

Once you are clear on the permits, you can start sourcing the right materials for the rewiring project:

Safety Gear Needed

Safety should be your top concern on a rewiring project. Always wear the following gear when working on wiring:

Step-by-Step Process to Rewire a Home

With proper materials, safety gear, and permits in place, you can now start the step-by-step process of rewiring:

1. Turn Off Power and Install New Panel

The first step is to turn off power at the main breaker and install a new upgraded electrical panel if needed, and remove all old breakers. Hire an electrician if your local code requires a licensed electrician to do this.

2. Remove Old Wiring

Now you can start detaching all the old wiring from outlets, switches and light fixtures in the house. As you remove wires, carefully label each one indicating where it is coming from and going to. This will help during reinstallation. Coil up the old wires and leave accessible in case you need to reference them later.

3. Run New Wires

Start routing the new wires through walls and ceilings between the electrical panel and all planned outlet, switch and junction box locations. Follow local building codes on correct wire gauge for each circuit and any distance limitations. Use conduit where wiring will be exposed.

4. Install the Components

With the wires run, you can start installing all the outlets, switches, junction boxes, lighting fixtures and their accompanying wires. Make tight and secure connections. Extend wires 6 inches past outlets and switches into boxes.

5. Connect the Panel

The final stage is connecting all the new wiring to the appropriate circuit breaker in the new electrical panel you installed. Follow diagrams so each wire goes to the correct breaker.

6. Close Up and Turn Power On

As a final step double check your work, then close up all the walls. Have initial inspection done by the permitting office, then turn the main power back on and do functionality tests of all lighting/outlets.

Tips for Staying Safe from Shock

Here are key tips to follow during the rewiring process to ensure you never get shocked while the walls are open and wires exposed:

When to Call In an Electrician

While a homeowner can perform their own full rewire, it is smart to call in a licensed electrician for certain hazardous tasks:

Paying an electrician for a few tricky parts you are unsure of is worth avoiding potential disasters.


Rewiring your home is a project any competent DIYer can take on provided they take the proper safety steps. Be sure to get all needed permits, use commercial grade materials, wear protective gear, and focus your efforts only on the circuits you understand. While a slow process, you can save substantially on electrician labor costs and end up with a super safe, modern electrical system.