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A guide to rewires from ADH Electrical servicesIf a property has not been rewired within the last 25 years, it is highly likely that it will need upgrading at least in part to bring it up to current standards.

You should be able to tell if a house has had recent rewiring work by having a look at exposed parts of the wiring and consumer unit (also known as the fuse box). Ask to have a look at these areas when touring a property you are thinking of buying or renting.

Before exchanging contracts on a property, you can arrange to get ADH Electrical Services to do a survey and find out exactly what work is required from as little as £115.

    Impartial Tip: Electricians will typically charge £110 - £180 for a survey with a verbal report. A full electrical survey with a written report     is likely to cost £270 - £380.

What to look for

Unless the wiring is a modern type, then a rewire is likely to be necessary. If you see any old rubber insulated cables, fabric insulated cabling, or even lead insulated cabling then it needs updating as these types of insulation can rot and/or break down, leading to a fire hazard and potential electrocution.

    Tip: If there is an old fashioned- style fuse box, with large ceramic- style fuses the chances are that the property needs completely         rewiring.

If you find a mix of different socket and switch styles, this could indicate that a partial rewire has taken place in the past also if there is evidence of surface-mounted wiring (running along skirting boards and walls). We recommend you have these better placed at the next renovation or decoration.

    Tip: If you see Red and Black coloured cables, these are no longer used on new installations but doesn’t necessarily indicate a rewire     is required however it is advisable to have a comprehensive fixed wire test to ensure these cables are earthed and compliant.

What does a full rewire project cost?

A full rewire will cost approximately £2-2,500 for a small property and can considerably change for larger properties, it is important to note that this estimate will not include the cost of making good the plastering or decoration. Very often, a full rewire can be avoided, however; providing the existing cabling is in good condition and able to carry additional loads. Sometimes it is possible to upgrade by adding a modern consumer unit, adequate earthing etc.

When is the best time to have a full rewire?

If rewiring work is required, it should be undertaken at first fix stage (before plastering), at the same time as any central heating and plumbing work. All of this work will cause major disruption and so it is best not to try and live around the work if possible. As new cabling cannot be surface mounted meaning the installation will involve lifting the floor coverings and floorboards and possibly the skirting boards too, routing out channels in the walls and possibly in some ceilings that are inaccessible from above. ADH Electrical Services offer clients with comprehensive advice and additional services to make rewire project run as smoothly as possible. For further information about what a full rewire entails please see the 'Rewire: Customer advice’.

Extensions and conversions

If you are extending your home such as converting a garage or attic this will be considered as ‘new work’ and therefore all of the new wiring will have to conform to current standards. Where necessary, existing wiring will have to be improved to ensure that it is able to carry the additional loads safely, it is earthed to current requirements. It is not a mandatory requirement to upgrade all existing wiring in the property during such work but may be required in part in other areas, such as upgrading of central heating controls to comply with the energy efficiency requirements of the Building Regulations.

Major property changes

If you plan major works that constitutes a material alteration as defined by the Building Regulations, it is likely that you will need to rewire part, if not all, of the property, including upgrading the consumer unit (fuse box). We advise that you obtain a full quote prior to any such project in order to budget effectively.

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