How to Rewire Your Home Without Making Costly Mistakes


Rewiring a home can seem like a daunting task, but with proper planning and precautions it can be done safely without breaking the bank. As a homeowner, I have learned a lot about home rewiring through my own experience and research. In this guide, I will walk you through the entire process step-by-step to help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.

Know When It's Time to Rewire

The first step is recognizing when it's time to rewire your home. Here are some signs that indicate your home's electrical system needs an upgrade:

Create a Rewiring Plan

Once I decided to rewire, I took time to map out a detailed plan. Here are key steps I followed:

Apply for Electrical Permits

Check with your local building department to see if you need an electrical permit for the scope of work you plan to take on. Permits ensure your rewiring will meet local codes. Expect to pay $50 to $500 depending on where you live. Failing to get a required permit could cause issues when selling the home.

Buy the Right Materials and Tools

For a DIY rewiring project, you'll need:

Having the right tools and materials made my rewiring much smoother. Don't skimp on supplies to save money.

Safely Shut Off Power

Before touching any wiring, use your voltmeter to verify power is shut off to the circuits you'll be working on. Turn off the main breaker if necessary. Removing fuses or turning off individual breakers may not deactivate wires in your walls. I learned this lesson the scary way when I got a mild shock working on a supposedly deactivated circuit!

Rewire Room by Room

I recommend rewiring your home one room at a time to make the process more manageable. Here are the key steps I followed for each room:

1. Remove old wiring

Carefully remove any old switches, outlets, conduit and cables no longer needed. Wear protective gear in case you stir up hazardous dust or insulation.

2. Install new electrical boxes

Secure new plastic electrical boxes where you want your outlets and switches located. Make sure they are positioned correctly in the walls.

3. Run new wiring

Run your new wiring through the conduit between outlets and switches. Staple the cables securely along the way for safety. Leave extra wiring in the boxes to work with.

4. Connect wires

Connect the hot, neutral and ground wires correctly to the outlets and switches. Use wire nuts to secure the connections.

5. Install devices

Attach the outlets, switches and cover plates. Check for stability and functionality as you go.

6. Update breakers

Finally, connect the new wiring to updated breakers in your panel, labeled clearly.

Take your time with each room and check it thoroughly before moving on. Rushing leads to frustrating mistakes that are tough to undo.

Don't Forget the Finishing Touches

After all major rewiring is complete, now is the time to install any new lighting fixtures, additional outlets, switch plates, and other final touches. I also had my completed rewiring inspected by the city before closing up the walls just to be 100% sure I did everything correctly. Don't skip this final step if it's required.

Be Prepared for Problems

Despite the most careful planning, unexpected issues can still pop up during a rewire. Here are a few I ran into and how I solved them:

Stay calm and troubleshoot problems slowly and thoroughly as they come up. Don't be afraid to call a professional if you're unsure about resolving an issue safely.


While rewiring a home is a major undertaking, it's certainly a DIY project you can accomplish yourself with proper planning and diligence. The key is taking it step-by-step, room-by-room, and following safety precautions. Be ready to problem solve along the way. Investing the time and care into the rewiring now will pay off for years to come through enhanced safety, functionality and value in your home. You've got this!