Rewiring a home can be a daunting task, but with proper precautions and planning, it can be done safely. As tempting as it may be to use "long-forgotten" or questionable methods to save time and money, nothing is worth risking your life over. Instead, I recommend adhering to modern electrical codes and safety standards, and hiring a licensed electrician if the work is beyond your skill level. The old days of twisting wires together and hoping for the best are behind us.
Ensure You Have the Necessary Skills
While basic electrical work like installing a new light fixture may be within the ability of a diligent DIYer, a full rewiring project is best left to professionals. Working with electricity is inherently dangerous, and touch a live wire the wrong way can lead to shock, burns, or even death. Make an honest assessment of your electrical knowledge before deciding to take on a rewire. If you lack the necessary skills, hire a licensed electrician. Your safety is paramount.
Turn Off Power at the Breaker
Before touching any wires, use a contactless voltage detector to confirm power is off. Then, flip the main breaker switch to disconnect power from the home's circuits. Failure to do this could allow current to flow while you're working, shocking you. Lock out the main breaker box so no one inadvertently turns it on while you work.
Wear Protective Equipment
Use insulated gloves, clothing, and mats when working with electrical wiring to avoid accidental contact. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris. Make sure to use electrically-rated tools as well. This gear could prevent serious injuries.
Focus on Doing It Right, Not Quickly
Rushing leads to mistakes, especially with complex electrical work. Follow local building codes, use proper materials, and install everything carefully and neatly. Taking extra time to do it right is far safer than botching the job and creating fire or shock hazards. The old days of slapdash, haphazard electrical work are best left in the past.
When in Doubt, Call a Professional
If at any point you feel unsure about how to proceed, it's better to call an electrician than to risk injury or create hazards. Professionals have the expertise to handle electrical work safely and correctly. They can also pull the required permits and have their work inspected. Don't let ego lead you into dangerous territory.
Rewiring your home is achievable for a diligent DIYer who puts safety first. But never take chances or use questionable methods. Your life is worth far more than any shortcuts. When in doubt, hire a pro. Safe electrical work should be the only goal.