Rewiring a home can be an intimidating task, but with proper planning and precautions, it is possible for a homeowner to DIY. In this article, I will walk through the step-by-step process of rewiring a home safely and effectively. However, there are risks involved, so I'll also examine whether a DIY rewiring project is advisable or if you're better off hiring a professional electrician.

Assessing If a Rewiring Project Is Needed

Before deciding to rewire your home, the first step is determining if it's truly necessary. Here are some signs that a rewiring may be needed:

If you're experiencing any of these issues, bringing in an electrician to inspect and test your home's electrical system is wise. They can verify if rewiring some or all of the home is required.

DIY Rewiring Steps

If you decide to take on a rewiring project yourself, here is an overview of the key steps involved:

Materials Needed

Safety Gear Recommended

Turn Off Power and Remove Old Wiring

First and most critically, turn off power to the home at the main circuit breaker. Test wires with a voltage tester before working to ensure they are dead. Remove any old knob and tube or damaged wiring.

Map Out New Circuits

Decide where you want new outlets, switches, and lights placed. Map out new circuits accounting for amp and voltage needs of appliances and devices on each circuit.

Run New Wires

Run fresh wiring from the main panel box to the new circuits planned. Staple wires every 4-6 inches for support. Ensure wiring meets local building code requirements.

Install New Electrical Boxes

Mount new plastic or metal electrical boxes where outlets, switches, and fixtures will go. Feed wires into boxes and secure them.

Connect Wires

Use wire nuts to connect hot, neutral, and ground wires properly at boxes and main panel. Wrap connections with electrical tape. Follow wiring diagrams.

Attach Devices and Covers

With wires connected securely inside boxes, attach outlets, switches, and cover plates. Screw light fixtures into ceiling electrical boxes.

Connect Breakers and Fuses

Hook up circuit breakers or fuses for each new circuit at main panel. Ensure amp rating matches circuit wire gauge.

Test and Turn Power Back On

Thoroughly test each new circuit before turning main power back on. Verify outlets are wired correctly and fixtures function.

Dangers of DIY Electrical Work

While rewiring a home as a DIY project can certainly be done, there are risks involved that must be considered:

While with research and caution DIY electrical work can be done safely, the risks involved make hiring a professional the much safer choice for most homeowners.

Cost of Hiring an Electrician vs. DIY

The other major factor in deciding whether to hire an electrician is the cost difference compared to doing it yourself. Here's an overview:

In most cases, while hiring an electrician costs more up front, when factoring in experience, safety, proper documentation, future liability, and resale value, it provides greater overall value for homeowners.


Rewiring a home without a professional electrician is certainly possible for many motivated DIYers willing to take the proper precautions. However, the dangers of working with electrical wiring combined with the benefits of hiring a skilled electrician usually make paying for a licensed contractor the much safer and wiser choice for homeowners in the long-run. If you're experiencing any signs of outdated wiring, contact a local electrician to discuss your options.