How much of a nightmare is it to have your house rewired?

(14 Posts)
AlexanderS Thu 04-Oct-12 18:34:15

???

lalalonglegs Thu 04-Oct-12 18:56:08

It's pretty baffling - floorboards up, solid walls chased out. The good news is that it should only take a few days provided you are not having anything else done.

lalalonglegs Thu 04-Oct-12 18:56:40

Bad not baffling.

bureni Thu 04-Oct-12 19:00:59

Biggest problem area is generally the kitchen where cuboards, tiles and floor units may need to be removed to allow for tracking and installation of power points etc.

HeffalumpsAndGoldenWoozles Thu 04-Oct-12 19:33:43

It depends on the size & layout of your house, time since last retiring, number of fittings/sockets etc, whether it will be occupied or vacant during the work.

We live in an old 3 story town house that used to belong to my grandad, he rewired it about 30 to 40 years ago and it was at the point where our insurance was invalid due to the age of the wiring so we bit the bullet and got the electricians in. Quote was for estimated 3 weeks work assuming two of those weeks were vacant (we were on holiday). In the end it took just over 5 weeks, poor guy probably made a massive loss after encountering problem after problem. He said some of the setups we had were so old he'd only ever seen them in pictures before!

Anyway for us it was a massive deal, even though our guy was fantastic & tried to keep mess to a minimum the dust was everywhere in thick layers and the whole house will now need redecorating (probably not as bad if it were a newer house but we can't just replaster the holes unfortunately).

Glad it's done now but it was stressful and will take us a long while to get the house back to normal again.

PigletJohn Thu 04-Oct-12 19:34:58

very dirty, very dusty. The electrician should not use a grit and dust generating machine wall chasing machine except in an empty house. Make sure he agrees this in advance. You will have to move a lot of furniture and carpets. The dust will get into everything. Buy a canister vac from a DIY supplier, with a spare cartidge filter and some accessory bags, and hide or dismantle your domestic hoover as the fine dust will clog or damage it. The dust will also damage PCs, TVs and other electronic devices unless they are sealed up until the work is finished and the house has been fully cleaned. It will get into clothes in drawers and wardrobes too.

You can expect to need to redecorate throughout.

Get used to the idea that some of your floors will have to come up, even if they have been newly tiled or laminated.

Go round the house with the electrician and a felt-tip pen and mark on the walls where you want all the switches and sockets to go before he starts work. It will be much easier and cheaper to do the plan before the work, rather than the other way round. Have more sockets than you think you could possibly need, especially in the kitchen. Ask what the price difference will be if you have RCBOs (they are worth having if money is not too tight) especially on the freezer circuit.

Be aware that there is no reason to suppose that a good electrician will also be a good plasterer, and make other arrangements.

MrAlbertoFrog Thu 04-Oct-12 21:51:22

Really dirty, dust that settles as quickly as you clean, every room needing furniture out and potentially floors up. Kitchen units off walls, kitchen tiles off walls. Did I mention the dust. Dust. More dust. And ours took weeks. And then more weeks cleaning up the dust.

Devora Thu 04-Oct-12 22:37:25

shock Christ, I had no idea. [Mentally demotes rewiring back down the 'to do' list]

DameKewcumber Thu 04-Oct-12 22:39:32

oh god yes what piglet said - don;t let an electrician do the replastering - they should be expected to rough plaster but get a proper plasterer in to skim it all.

PigletJohn Thu 04-Oct-12 22:49:11

Devora, the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can clean up.

You'll be even less keen when you've had another ten years of new floors, decoration and kitchen fittings.

Buy a few dozen of those plastic storage crates, wrap your stuff, and put it in the crates with the lids taped shut. That'll keep the dust out, and you can hoover and sponge the crates before opening so no dust falls in off the lids.

MrsApplepants Thu 04-Oct-12 22:51:43

Dusty, dirty and seems to take forever. On the plus side, after plasterer has skimmed walls they will be lovely and smooth.

PigletJohn Thu 04-Oct-12 22:59:09

I haven't been a housebasher for a very long time, but it is all so much easier in an empty house. You can chase the walls, take up the floors, no furniture or carpets to move, no need to leave any of the old circuits live, nobody whining about lack of lights or heating... then just clean up once at the end.

It is going to cost the customer more time, money and inconvenience if the house is lived in.

BTW Electricians (and plumbers) hate laminated floors.

AlexanderS Fri 05-Oct-12 07:44:29

Thank you everybody. I don't know anybody who's had their house rewired, you see. If the electrician had to remove kitchen cupboards, take up laminate flooring etc. what are the chance he'll put all back the way it was? I'm hearing what you're saying about the plastering and electricians not being qualified plasterers and can't help thinking they're also not qualified kitchen fitters or floorers etc...It was very interesting what you said about your insurance not being valid anymore Heffalumps as I guess we will face the same issue - the wiring we're looking to replace is 42 years old! (It's in a house we've offered to buy, not our own house, by the way).

TirednessKills Fri 05-Oct-12 10:17:58

I agree it is dusty, but our re-wire wasn't that horrific.

We'd already had the kitchen extension re-wired, but for the rest of the house it really wasn't that bad. Our electrician ran cables in the loft, through the airing cupboard and then under the floorboards upstairs, cables then went downstairs through an alcove cupboard to go under the floors in most rooms but we have some channeled walls where this wasn't possible. I was very impressed with how little evidence there is of cabling.

Our electrician was very tidy, have had previous ones who aren't, he used his own cylinder vac so we just had to go over it all again with our Miele. Upstairs we just had to leave 3 edges of each room clear for access under the floorboards. Downstairs he moved stuff as he went.

Me and ds went away for a week so electrician got in 2 others to get the job done while we were gone, dp stayed behind and camped out in dining room. It was fine, and, despite us having no money to re-plaster, it is great having safe wiring grin

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