Why You May Want to Rewire Your Home Yourself

Rewiring a home can be an expensive project, with professional electricians charging hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the size and scope of the job. As a homeowner, I may want to consider doing it myself to save money.

There are a few reasons I may need or want to rewire:

While daunting, a rewiring project is entirely possible for a dedicated DIYer willing to take the time to learn.

Evaluating Your Ability to Do the Work

Before deciding to rewire my home, I need to honestly assess my skills and knowledge. Key considerations include:

If I lack confidence in any of these areas, hiring a professional electrician may be the wiser and safer choice. DIY electrical work can be rewarding but is best tackled by those with at least basic electrical knowledge. Attempting a full rewire without experience could put myself and my home at risk.

How to Learn Electrical Skills

If evaluating my abilities makes me think I can self-teach the skills needed, there are resources available:

With diligent self-education using these resources, the typical DIYer can gain enough knowledge to rewire a home safely. But it's vital not to skip steps when self-teaching a complex technical skill like electrical wiring. Rushing into a rewiring project without thorough preparation puts my safety in jeopardy.

Creating a Rewiring Plan

Before touching my home's wiring, it's essential to map out a detailed plan including:

Circuit Mapping

New Wire Routing

Safety Gear and Precautions

Following a detailed plan prevents surprises mid-project and helps ensure every system functions properly when the rewiring is complete. Consulting local building codes is wise when devising the plan.

Acquiring the Right Tools and Materials

Rewiring a house requires an array of specialty electrical tools and materials. Key items I'll need are:

Along with tools, I'll need to purchase sufficient supplies of correctly sized wire, boxes, receptacles, breakers, and conduit. Underestimating materials leads to unnecessary mid-project trips to the hardware store.

Step-by-Step Rewiring Process

With preparations complete, I'm ready to get hands-on with the rewiring. The basic process is:

1. Turn Off Power and Install New Breaker Box

Shutting down power is a crucial first step for safety. Once electricity is confirmed dead, I can install the new breaker box if I've opted to upgrade the service capacity.

2. Remove Old Wires and Devices

Now outdated wires can be taken out. It's messy pulling wires from walls and removing devices, so drop cloths and dust masks are recommended.

3. Route New Wires and Cables

Correctly sized new wires are run between the breaker box and all outlets, switches and fixtures. Carefully routing wires is important for safety and function.

4. Install Outlets, Switches and Other Devices

New electrical boxes are mounted at all planned locations. Then wires are connected to outlets, switches, fixtures and appliances with wire nuts and tape.

5. Connect Wires to Circuit Breakers

Each cable's hot wire gets attached to the appropriate circuit breaker, taking care to balance load across phases. White neutral wires connect to the neutral bus bar.

6. Close Up and Finish

With everything connected, I can insulate and close up the walls. Then I install cover plates, fixtures, lights and test that everything works properly.

Taking it slow and double-checking all work is critical for successfully wiring a home DIY-style. Rushing leads to dangerous mistakes.

Passing Inspection and Staying Legal

Local building codes require that DIY electrical work pass inspection to be approved and legal. To pass:

Completing major electrical projects without permits and inspections is illegal and could risk insurance problems down the road. Doing meticulous, code-compliant work ensures I pass.

With the right planning and effort, I can successfully rewire my home DIY-style, saving money while staying legal and safe. But it's vital not to underestimate the complexity of such a major electrical project. Rewiring an entire house requires extensive self-education and diligent adherence to electrical codes. Attempting shortcuts risks electrical fires, shock hazards and legal trouble if inspections are failed. By using the guidance above and taking it slow and steady though, with patience and care, I can rewire my home legally and safely without the high cost of an electrician.