Rewiring a house is an exhausting, long, and messy affair. Are you sure you’re ready for an electrifying, invasive experience?
When you need a rewiring job done, remember that it’s NOT something you can DIY unless you’re a licensed electrician. While you’re confident about your knowledge of electricity, there are plenty of codes and rules to follow that, if not understood, can cause an electrical problem, or worse, burn your whole house down.
What’s the Scope of the Rewire?
It’s hard to find a professional contractor you can trust. Instead of rewiring an entire house, you may only need a breaker box replaced or just a room or two rewired. Up-selling their service is a way for contractors to keep working and the checks rolling, so make sure not to fall for it.
Do you still have the old “knob and tube” wiring in your home? Then you may need complete rewiring. Get at least three quotes from different electricians and a list of what wiring needs replacing or updating. If all three say you need a complete wiring job done, then you probably do.
Even hiring an electrician isn’t that simple. You’ll still count the days he and his crew arrive in your house to handle the electrical wiring so you can move on with your life. It’s a trying time, but if you’re hellbent on replacing your old wiring, here are some five tips to make your life a bit easier.
1. Brace Yourself for the Cost Involved
You may have a family member or a close friend tell you that it only cost them no more than four thousand dollars to rewire a house. That may be true if the rewire occurred in the 1990s. However, right now, if you need all your electrical systems in your old house replaced, expect to spend more, and it can still go up.
If you need a clear, comprehensive estimate, you may find this helpful: how much is the cost to rewire a house Canada? Do plenty of research before you commit so that you can budget accordingly.
2. Pick a Qualified Electrician
First off, not all electricians can rewire an entire house. It’s a complex undertaking that not everyone is willing to confront. This is why it’s important to get a referral from at least two previous customers.
Once you’ve decided who’ll handle your electrical wiring, don’t forget to ask who will work with him. Most likely, your electrician will have a helper (not necessarily skilled) to assist in cleaning, pulling the wire, etc. Ask for a background check for anyone working on your rewire. Some contractors find labourers from sketchy resources that can pose a risk.
3. Demand a Detailed Contract
When you rewire a house, make sure that the contract contains everything that your electrician will do. Dealing with old wiring can be messy, and it may include putting a hole through walls. Does the price of rewiring include repairs and cleaning?
Always ask if there’s anything you need to supply or pay extra for. Some electricians forget to inform house owners of electrical needs that are not included in the cost. This may come as an unfortunate surprise and add a few hundred dollars to your bill.
4. Prepare for the Chaos
If your home is new, chances are, you may get spared from the drilling and pounding of holes into your walls. But if you have an older home, your interior will look like a block of Swiss cheese, which is why you should know who’ll patch those holes after the wires are inserted, and the electrical part is finished.
Remove everything off the walls and in the room that can hinder your electrician during the wiring process. There will be lots of drilling and pounding, so save your important items and put them somewhere safe during the project. If you’re doing an entire house rewiring, consider living someplace else in the meantime to protect your family from the chaos.
5. Check and Test Everything
Make sure to check every single outlet and device before you dismiss your electrician. Electric wiring is a tedious job, making it easy to miss a wire or commit a mistake. In addition, most outlets are wired in series, which means they’re chained together. So if one of the outlets doesn’t work, the rest downstream may not work either.
Try plugging any of your appliances like a nightlight into every socket to make sure they work. Avoid the headache of calling back your electrician by checking everything before he leaves the house.
Make Your Home Safer
Eventually, all the work will be over, and you’ll get your life back to normal. Now that you’ve made your home safer, you don’t have to worry about tripping circuit breakers.
Despite the cost involved, if a wire is the suspect, it’s well worth your investment. If you don’t immediately address a faulty wire, it can create shock and fires due to fluctuations in power. Bad wiring can also render appliances unsafe to operate and cause smoke detectors to fail. Don’t sacrifice safety just because of the cost and have new wiring installed if you must.