Prepping house for rewire, what are the must-dos?

(32 Posts)
FooOOOOoooofffffff Sun 27-Oct-19 11:21:50

Just that really. We finally have a date in January booked and will be moving out for 2 weeks to give spark, plasterer and decorator time to do their thing. This is my list so far and a couple of questions at the end, am I missing anything?

1. Pack up or throw away anything that is not a major item of furniture and arrange storage.
2. Take down curtains and get them dry-cleaned. Remove wooden blinds and clean them.
3. Choose and buy new light fittings for bathroom, hall and lounge.
4 ?Should I completely remove the wallpaper/lining paper before they raggle the walls? Will the plasterer skim an entire wall or just do a patch?
5. ?We have carpeting upstairs and the wiring currently runs underneath it. Should we have this taken up and stored or leave it for the sparks to work around?

Any advice would be great. This is such an upheaval but I want to get the house right.

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HardAsSnails Sun 27-Oct-19 11:26:23

Our electrician came round beforehand and checked joist/floorboard direction and told us which areas of rooms we needed to leave clear.

Do not underestimate the amount of dust it will produce shock

PigletJohn Sun 27-Oct-19 11:54:46

don't clean anything until the work has been finished.

Dust will get into drawers, cupboards, carpets, bedding and lampshades, and through closed doors. After taking the bedding off, put a dustsheet over the mattress. Disposable plastic decorators roll will do, but dust will fall off it when you take them off.

But a generous quantity of those plastic storage crates with a tight-fitting lid. Buy a roll of recycling bags (they are like large bin-bags, but clear. If you put your possessions in rubbish bags, they will get thrown away, or, at the least, dirt and teabags will be thrown in them.

Electronic items such as PCs, tablets, hifi and TV will be ruined by dust getting in them. Put them in bags, then into a crate.

Dismantle your domestic vacuum cleaner and take it out of the house. Ask someone else to look after it until the builders have left.

Buy a builders canister wet-and-dry vac. It has a cartridge filter that can be brushed clean (outdoores) but but fleece bags to fit, or the dust will clog the cartridge too soon. As well as the bags, buy one spare cartridge. If you can't get replacement bags and cartridges to fit, don't buy the cleaner. 30litre is common. This one will be handy for DIY in future years They are quite cheap but have a good guarantee that lasts longer than your building work will.
"Wet" and dry means you can suck up water and wet material from overflowing baths, burst pipes and blocked drains. They are quite noisy.

If anyone in the house has athsma or other breathing problems, buy a box of dust masks with the plastic valve on the snout.

Have you drawn up your plan of sockets, in every place where you might ever want one? Including more than you consider necessary in the kitche, utility and garage?

RCBOs are worth the extra on your socket circuits (upstairs, downstairs, kitchen and utility room)

QuitMoaning Sun 27-Oct-19 11:56:31

You haven’t specified enough sockets.

Bottledate Sun 27-Oct-19 13:16:09

* Do not underestimate the amount of dust it will produce*

Yep. We foolishly thought piling up some furniture in 'safe' areas and covering them would be enough. How naive.

Our electricians moved carpets where necessary (only a couple upstairs). They weren't put back as well - but we've never put any effort into correcting this as they will ultimately be changed.

Yeahyeahyeahyeeeeah Sun 27-Oct-19 14:25:50

If you put your possessions in rubbish bags, they will get thrown away, or, at the least, dirt and teabags will be thrown in them

Yes my Dad helpfully binned a load of our stuff I black bags. Great tip!

FooOOOOoooofffffff Sun 27-Oct-19 22:49:01

Thanks for the responses. What about removing the current wallpaper, is that overkill?

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PigletJohn Mon 28-Oct-19 04:44:20

You can do that if you want. Sooner or later you will need to redecorate.

Electricians are generally not good plasterers, or good carpetlayers, or good carpenters. They will probably fill in the chases and round the boxes but it may not be to a high standard. Their remit is not to plaster the walls. Floorboards that have been cut and lifted and nailed down may squeak.

Yeahyeahyeahyeeeeah Mon 28-Oct-19 06:58:57

We removed the wallpaper and then had it skimmed after the rewire by a plasterer. The sparky didn’t do anything other than the rewire and half the walls came off in places - it’s pretty old though. We just painted the whole place white afterwards as we are having other work done.

Yeahyeahyeahyeeeeah Mon 28-Oct-19 07:00:02

We also found 2 ceilings had been boxed round the beams with asbestos so that needed removing.

hauntedvagina Mon 28-Oct-19 07:16:27

Your plasterer will only plaster what you pay him to. I personally would remove wallpaper otherwise it may end up partially plastered over.

FooOOOOoooofffffff Mon 28-Oct-19 11:14:00

Thanks Yeahyeah and haunted you've confirmed what I thought. Our electrician has a plasterer he works with so he will skim each room after they've finished rewiring it.

Thanks PigletJohn, we are definitely getting more sockets than we think we'll need and haven't quite drawn up the final plan but will have that ready for them. Our house is a teeny-tiny terrace so I'm opting for moving as much as possible into self-storage, this will include any appliance and electricals.

Should we take up the carpets ourselves before they start and put these in storage too? It sounds like the emptier it is the easier it is to get the work done and clean up from the mess.

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TiddleTaddleTat Tue 29-Oct-19 16:07:46

If you have wallpaper then when the walls are chased there will be deep plaster repairs required (not just skimming) so you may as well remove all wallpaper on those walls.
You'll be lucky if it all happens in 2 weeks! The plaster will need a couple of weeks to dry out before redecorating - ideally much longer especially if papering

TheBrockmans Wed 30-Oct-19 05:58:04

We are getting integrated usb sockets in some rooms- might age the property I guess when technology is outdated but we thought it was better than using adapters all the time. Means we can have double socket and two devices plugged in without substantially increasing the number of sockets (though we are also increasing the number of sockets).

TiddleTaddleTat Wed 30-Oct-19 08:44:14

Btw you shouldn't need to reskim whole walls following the rewire, the plasterer should just fill the chases and skim on top of those

FooOOOOoooofffffff Wed 30-Oct-19 11:24:40

Useful to know about how long it takes plaster to dry. I'm really hoping to not have lining paper because we have issues with mildew and I think that having just paint on plaster will make it easier to treat. It also looks sharper IMO but I would have to see the condition of the underlying plaster before deciding.
I will definitely be getting USB ports in some of the sockets in the kitchen, living room and bedroom. If they're wired in then they could possibly be upgraded to the latest charging port technology without too much fuss (hopefully...)

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bananabunch119 Wed 30-Oct-19 19:32:10

Let your neighbours know! The house next door to me (terraced) has been being rewired since last week and the drilling has been awful. I'm sure my hearing has been damaged. Not what we needed when home for half term with two little ones angry

Hecateh Wed 30-Oct-19 19:58:16

Think about automation, Controls through aps or electronic PAs, think about low level PIR lighting in bathrooms, landings and halls that are just passed through. Think about heating controls/thermostats. Wireless thermostats are pretty reliable now but need specific wiring at the boiler end. Think about outside lights, (and christmas lights?) where you need them and what area the PIR should cover, garden lighting and/or outside sockets. (Get another outside tap put in whilst you are already messed up). Think about having a car charging socket put in - or at least an inside socket somewhere close to where you would have it.
Do you have or are you considering a kitchen island - that often needs an electric supply.
Depending on other work you are considering, think about electric underfloor heating in small areas. (Warm feet in the bathroom and in kitchen prep areas are such a luxury and brilliant for drying shoes etc in the hall/porch)

Think about bedside lights, wall lights in the lounge - neither strictly necessary but worth a thought.

Sorry for the deluge but have just (had) built my own house and these are the things that I either did and love or wish I had done.

pinksquash13 Thu 31-Oct-19 18:33:35

I would remove wall paper and I would take up carpets to store. Have in your mind that nothing will be looked after if you leave it. Dust is unreal. I would even try to tape over window locks and anything that is exposed and could be tricky to clean. We had rooms completely replasted as they needed it anyway. Check with the people doing the job. When they've finished the electrics, draw a map of where the wires run as this is useful for future drilling etc. Get double sockets next to each other where TV goes and where you get ready in bedroom. Get them to wire in fire alarms. Check you've got an accessible plus for microwave, fridge, toaster etc.

foxatthewindow Fri 01-Nov-19 16:52:01

I am mid way through a re-wire in our house. I don’t think it’s necessary to move out (we haven’t) but it is very very messy. I’m not sure you need to do too much beyond making sure the place is tidy. Upstairs we are having to empty/move the furniture in different rooms each day to allow them to get to where they need to be. I’ve just spent almost ah hour hoovering and dusting for the weekend because everything is covered in a film of dust. And we have patchy electrics (some rooms don’t have power and lights each evening). It’s not the most fun but it’s not that big a deal

foxatthewindow Fri 01-Nov-19 16:53:16

And yes if your house is papered that should all really come off before the rewire. We have just had all the woodchip stripped in preparation for the rewire

foxatthewindow Fri 01-Nov-19 16:54:27

We are not plastering, we are having lining paper because that’s what’s best for this house. I doubt there is much price difference though tbh

TeaAndCake Fri 01-Nov-19 17:14:13

I second the suggestion of removing your vacuum cleaner from the house altogether.
If it is there, they will definitely use it and it will be useless forever after.

Leave a £7 Argos kettle and put your own one away. Find some 'builders mugs' that aren't at all precious and leave them out on a tray with the tea bags.
This one may sound ridiculous but, buy some sugar cubes and take away the granulated stuff. I found this tip on MN many years ago and it is inspired. Even the tidiest tradesman pays little attention to kitchen surfaces and floors covered in tea stains and sugar. Awful to clean up.

TiddleTaddleTat Fri 01-Nov-19 20:03:09

Lining paper gives a lovely soft finish, I prefer it to painting straight onto plaster but I may be in the minority in that view!
Regardless you will need paperless surfaces for the plasterer and trust me they will skim over any edges of wallpaper left near the spark's chases. It's annoying to have to remove plaster that has been skimmed onto existing wallpaper (been there...)

FooOOOOoooofffffff Wed 06-Nov-19 15:52:55

Oh wow, I hadn't noticed the rest of the replies on here. Thanks for responding, I will take all that into account.
We're basically moving as much as possible out of the house and putting it into storage for 2 weeks. I'll remove the wallpaper over the Christmas holidays (yay, fun...).

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