Rewiring a home can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don't have electrical experience. However, with proper planning, safety precautions, and the right tools, I was able to rewire my entire home without hiring an electrician. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the whole process step-by-step, from getting the proper permits to installing new wiring and fixtures.

Gather Tools and Materials

Before starting any electrical project, it's important to have the right tools and materials on hand. Here is a list of the basic items I purchased before rewiring my home:

Having all of these tools and supplies on hand will make the rewiring process go much smoother. I recommend purchasing extra wire and junction boxes than you think you'll need, as it's easy to underestimate required quantities.

Acquiring Permits

Before any rewiring, it's essential to acquire the proper permits from your local building department. Rewiring a home involves sensitive electrical work, so permits help ensure the work meets all safety codes.

To get permits, I had to provide my local building department with:

The permit application cost around $200. With permits in hand, I was ready to start the rewiring project safely and legally.

Turn Off Power and Remove Old Wiring

The next step was to turn off all power to the home at the main circuit breaker. Rewiring a home is dangerous with the power still on. With the power off, I began removing all old wiring, starting with the receptacles and switches. A cable ripper tool helped quickly pull out the old cables stapled inside the walls.

For sections of cable inside walls that were inaccessible, I left them in place if they didn't interfere with the new wiring. Any unused or exposed sections were safely capped off with wire nuts.

Map Out New Wiring Plan

With the old wiring gutted, it was time to map out the new circuit routes. I recommend drawing out a plan for where all new wiring will run and marking locations for components like junction boxes, receptacles, switches and fixtures.

My new wiring plan included:

Creating a detailed plan is crucial for staying organized during the rewiring process.

Running and Securing New Wires

With the new circuit map as my guide, I began running the new 12/2 and 14/2 NM cables through the house walls. I used fish tape to easily pull the wiring through conduits and drilled small holes to route wires between rooms.

When running wires:

Proper wire routing and protection prevents overheating and electrical arcing.

Splicing Wires and Making Connections

When new wiring runs met at receptacle, switch and fixture boxes, I spliced and connected the wires. The basic process for making connections was:

  1. Strip 1/2" insulation from wire ends
  2. Attach grounds together with wire nut
  3. Join neutrals with wire nut
  4. Join hots with wire nut
  5. Secure with electrical tape
  6. Test connection with voltage tester

All junction boxes were clearly labeled according to my wiring diagram. This helps identify circuits during future electrical work.

Installing New Devices and Fixtures

With all wiring runs complete, I began mounting the new receptacles, switches, breakers, GFCIs and fixtures. The steps for installation were:

  1. Secure device to junction box
  2. Attach hot wires to brass terminals
  3. Attach neutral wires to silver terminals
  4. Ground wires to green grounding screw
  5. Organize wires neatly in box
  6. Secure faceplate cover

I made sure to distribute receptacles evenly around each room and added tamper-resistant outlets in areas accessible to children.

Inspecting and Testing Rewiring

Before turning the power back on, I thoroughly inspected all wiring connections and tested for any shorts using a multimeter. I also had the local building inspector review the rewiring and check for compliance with National Electrical Code.

Once everything was signed off, I turned the main power back on and tested all lighting switches and outlets. The new wiring powered up successfully with no issues.


In the end, I successfully rewired my entire home while saving thousands of dollars in electrician fees. By following crucial safety steps and adhering to electrical codes, even novices can tackle major rewiring projects. The most important aspects are acquiring permits, using extreme caution when handling wires, and having an organized plan. With ample research and diligence, rewiring a home doesn't require prior experience or hiring an electrician.