Rewiring a home can seem like an intimidating task, but with proper planning and precautions, it is possible for a homeowner to do it safely without hiring an electrician. There are significant cost savings, as well as the satisfaction of completing a major DIY project. However, safety must be the number one priority, as improper wiring can lead to fires or electrocution. This guide will walk through the complete process of rewiring a home, from planning to switching the power back on, with tips to do it safely and legally.

Reasons to Rewire Without an Electrician

There are several good reasons a homeowner may want to take on rewiring their house themselves:

Save on Cost

Hiring an electrician is expensive, with labor costs often reaching thousands of dollars for a whole house rewire. Doing it yourself saves significantly on labor costs. You only have to pay for the wire and supplies, which can be a few hundred dollars.

Upgrade Old or Insufficient Wiring

Rewiring allows you to bring your home's electrical up to modern safety standards. Old wiring that's degraded, aluminum, or insufficient for today's power loads poses a fire and shock risk. New wiring keeps your family safe.

Do It Your Way

You can customize the rewire to your needs, like adding more outlets, moving fixture locations, or installing smart home tech. With an electrician, you get a one-size-fits-all wire replacement.

Learn Useful Skills

Rewiring builds your electrical DIY skills. Understanding home wiring helps you take on future electrical projects or repairs yourself. The experience is empowering.

Prevent Fires

Old degraded wiring is a major cause of home electrical fires. Replacing old wires before they become hazardous prevents fire risks. This protects your home and family.

Dangers and Warnings

While DIY rewiring can be done safely, undertaking the project is not without serious risks:

Proceeding with a DIY rewire has serious risks. Carefully consider your skill level and research local codes. Safety should come first.

Preparing for a DIY Rewire Project

Careful planning and preparation will ensure a successful DIY rewiring project. Rushing in without the right skills, materials, or plan can lead to electrical hazard. Here are some tips before getting started:

Research Local Electrical Code

All electrical work must follow local electrical code requirements on issues like wiring gauge required, GFCI placement, junction box size, etc. Research thoroughly so your work passes inspections.

Create a Wiring Plan

Map out your new circuit map ahead of time showing all outlet, fixture, and junction box locations. Planning runs efficiently and codes-compliant.

Purchase Supplies and Tools

Gather all needed supplies before starting. This includes new wire, boxes, receptacles, breakers, wire stripper, voltage tester, etc. Assemble the right tools too.

Learn Electrical Skills

Practice basic home wiring skills on simpler projects first. Read DIY electrical books. Watch wiring tutorials. Understand safety procedures thoroughly before attempting a full rewire.

Be Realistic on Scope

A whole house rewire is an enormous project, even for experienced electricians. Tackle smaller sections at a time if needed. Rewiring one room or circuit is more realistic for a first-timer.

With careful planning and understanding of electrical codes and safety, a DIY rewire is feasible. But never compromise safety - consult an electrician if you have any doubts.

Step-by-Step Process for Rewiring

Once you've made the necessary preparations, you're ready to get started on the rewiring project. Follow these steps in order:

Turn Off Power

Turn off power at the main breaker panel before touching any wiring. Verify it's off with a voltage tester. Electric shock risk is highest at the start.

Remove Old Wiring

Carefully remove existing wires. Pull them out of boxes and conduit or cutthem back to the nearest junction points to remove from walls/ceilings. Wear PPE to avoid touching exposed wires.

Install New Outlet and Junction Boxes

Cut into walls and ceilings to install any new electrical boxes you'll need for extra outlets or junction points. Follow box size and placement codes.

Run New Wiring

Measure and cut your new wiring runs between boxes. Carefully pull or fish wires through framing cavities. Leave extra length for connections. Don't run wires live.

Connect Wiring and Devices

Using wire nuts or crimp connectors, connect outlet and fixture wiring. Follow diagrams to connect hot and neutral wires correctly. Ground all boxes/fixtures.

Update Breaker Panel

Install any new breakers needed. Connect wiring runs to appropriate breakers, matching wire gauge ratings. Follow all grounding and GFCI requirements.

Inspect and Test Circuits

Inspect all connections and boxes for mistakes. Check spacing and attachment. Then turn power back on and methodically test each outlet to verify proper wiring. Fix any issues.

Close Up Walls

Once wiring is confirmed safe and working, you can insulate and patch walls/ceilings. Conceal all work for a nice finished look. Avoid covering junction boxes.

Schedule Inspection

Most municipalities require an electrical inspection before covering wiring. Schedule an inspector to verify work meets NEC. Make any corrections needed to pass.

Following proper process from power shutoff to final inspection ensures the DIY rewire goes smoothly and safely. Take it slow and double check your work.

FAQs on Rewiring Home Electricity

Some common questions on home rewiring electrical projects include:

Is it Legal to Rewire a House Yourself?

In most areas, it is legal as long as you pull permits and pass inspections. Many municipalities don't allow DIY electrical work though, so check locally. Performing work illegally risks fines.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover DIY Electrical Fires?

Most insurers will not cover fires or damages caused by DIY electrical work. It violates policy requirements for a licensed electrician. You rewire at your own financial risk.

Can I Rewire Just Part of My House?

Absolutely. Safest approach for first-timers is rewiring a room or circuit at a time. This lets you gain experience before a whole house rewire.

How Do I Learn Enough to Rewire Safely?

Read home wiring books, take electrician courses, and watch online tutorials to develop the needed skills. Practice on simpler projects first. Understand electrical codes.

What Size Wire Do I Use to Rewire my House?

12 AWG copper wire is recommended for 15 amp household circuits. Follow code minimums for wire gauge - #14 for 15A, #12 for 20A. Don't use wire smaller than the circuit breaker.

How Much Does it Cost to Rewire an Average House?

In materials only, around $1000-2500 for a full rewire, depending on house size. With electrician labor, $8000-$25,000+. Rewiring yourself saves significantly on labor.


Rewiring a home without an electrician is an ambitious but rewarding project. It allows you to upgrade old wiring, add new features, and save on electrician labor costs. However, safety risks are real. Success requires research, planning, electrical skills, and vigilant adherence to wiring codes. For many homeowners, the DIY savings and sense of accomplishment make it well worth the effort. Follow the steps outlined, make safety the top priority, and take it slowly to ensure you complete the rewiring safely and legally.