Cost of Rewiring a House
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Written By Tristan Cameron
Table of Contents
If your home is over 30 years old and you use many devices and gadgets, chances are you’re seriously overdue for it to be rewired.
The action of rewiring a house in Australia is more common than you’d think. It may be something you need to consider — we’ll get to all of those reasons in a moment.
Many people put this off, believing it’s a costly and time-consuming activity. Let’s break all this down and make it all clearer.
So how much does it cost to rewire an entire house? That’s not a simple figure we can pluck out of the air as there are so many variables. As a range, it’s somewhere between $2,500–$10,000. We have quoted some over $12,000, but they’ve been massive projects.
Before we look at the costs in more detail, let’s look at why and when you should rewire your house.
What Does It Mean To Rewire a House?
In its simplest format, rewiring a house means removing all the existing wiring and putting new, more modern ones in.
However, there’s often more to it than that. Many people choose this time to relocate sockets and power points that aren’t in convenient locations.
In the 21st century, we rely on devices much more than we did previously. Home theatres, gaming consoles, and printers all put a massive drain on power.
This additional need for electricity usually means installing more sockets and, as a result, more circuits, circuit breakers, and safety switches on the switchboard.
So these days, to rewire a house means a complete revamp of the entire electrical requirements so that the property can cope with our modern need
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Why You Should Rewire Your Home
Did you know that Australian Fire Brigades respond to over 300 residential fires caused by electrical faults every year? It’s becoming almost a daily occurrence.
Why? Because there are issues with the wiring.
Let’s do a safety check of your home. Have you noticed any of these things happening in your house?
- Lights dim or flicker regularly
- Exposed wiring
- Fuses keep blowing
- Buzzing sounds or burning smells near sockets
- Light bulbs need replacing too often
- Sparks appear when you plug in an appliance
- Wall outlets give you a tingling or slight shock if you touch them
- Power points look brown or burnt
- There are too many fuses in the electrical panel
- Circuit breakers keep tripping
- Cords and plugs change colour or get hot
- You need to use a lot of double adaptors, extension cords, and power banks
Even if you’ve only answered yes to one of the above, that’s an indication that there’s a wiring problem.
If your property is over 30 years old, the wiring is likely old, getting frayed and causing issues. They start minor but escalate quickly.
Some common threats found in older homes are:
- No safety switches – these devices save lives; they detect power leaks and immediately shut off power to it, eliminating the risk of an electrical fire.
- None, or non-compliant smoke detectors – 3 out of every home fire deaths are found to be in houses without a smoke detector; they’re also now compulsory
- Frayed wires – you might not see them as they’re inside the walls, but the issues listed above indicate this could be the problem
- Not enough circuits – some older homes only have one circuit, and with the amount of electricity we consume every day, that is nowhere near enough
When was the last time you had an electrical inspection of your older home? If you haven’t had one in five years, schedule one today. We’ll let you know if a re-wiring is required.
By rewiring your old home, you’ll eliminate these possibly life-threatening issues.
There are wiring rules in Australia that every property must comply with. If the house has undergone any DIY projects, these may have breached these rules or possibly created a hidden danger.
Rewiring a home can ensure that it meets all of the regulations and standards.
Increase the Value Before Selling
If you’re considering selling your home, a new rewiring will inflate the property’s value, especially in older homes. As that’s an expense the new owners won’t have to worry about, they’ll show more interest too.
Move Your Home Into the 21st Century
As we mentioned earlier, technological advances have meant that we need more electricity and faster access to it. Most older homes (and even some poorly constructed new ones) don’t have enough power points.
The added drain of power puts a heavy load on your existing wiring and circuits and could set you up for an electrical fire you want to avoid.
Installing new sockets is only part of the project. Old switchboards with only one circuit will be more at risk of blowing if too much consumption is expected of them. More power points mean the need for more circuits and the breakers and safety switches required for added protection.
What’s Involved in a Home Rewiring
We won’t sugarcoat it; rewiring a property is a massive project. At the very least, we have to remove all of the existing wires and replace them with modern, safe ones.
How the house was constructed impacts the job too. If we get lucky, we can access all of the wire from outside the home without digging inside walls.
We’ll most likely have to get into the walls by drilling into the timber after removing the cladding to get at other wires. Don’t worry; we’ll repair and clean all of that up after we’re done.
Then, based on your requirements, we’ll need to move sockets around, add new ones, and most likely replace the switchboard.
Finally, we’ll test that everything is up to code and to perform at its maximum.
After completing the project, we’ll provide you with a Compliance Certificate. This document will confirm that your property is up-to-code and meets all the electricity requirements determined by your state.
Factors That Impact the Cost
Let’s get down to it, how much will it cost to rewire a home?
Firstly, we can’t even begin to give you a quote until we’ve seen your property; as we said above, how the house was constructed significantly impacts the cost.
Getting to the existing wiring can be straightforward or incredibly challenging. Houses made from plasterboard or weatherboard are the easiest; brick homes, not so much.
If the electrician can access the attic space or through a subfloor, that would help us greatly.
If you’re adding to the project, like the installation of smoke detectors or safety switches, or the moving around of power points, this adds time to the task.
Size and Location of Your Home
Naturally, the bigger the house, the longer it’s going to take. While a 3-bedroom home won’t take three times as long as a 1-bedroom, it’s still extra rooms and wires to access.
For example, expect to pay at least:
- 2-Bedroom Home: $2,500-$5,000
- 3-Bedroom Home: $4,000-8,000
- 4-Bedroom Home: $10,000-$12,000
Where you live can impact the cost. We’re unlikely to add travel time to our quote for city dwellers. For those of you living a 3–4 hour drive into the bush, we need to factor that into our costing.
Depending on how large the project will dictate what materials we’ll need. Here’s a rough guide on the price for commonly used materials in a house rewiring:
- Copper wire: $600–$650, more for bigger homes
- New switchboard: $700–$1,000
- Switchboard cabling: $2,000–$3,000
- New power points, outlets, and switches: $65–$120 each
- New meter box: $250
- Rewiring an inverter: $90
Now we get down to the nitty-gritty. Rewiring a home can take a considerable amount of time. And we charge by the hour. We already have a detailed guide to our hourly rates, but let’s look at the average state by state if we’re going to look at rewiring your house.
- New South Wales: $80/hour
- Victoria: $65/hour
- Queensland: $70/hour
- South Australia: $75/hour
- Western Australia: $85/hour
- Tasmania: $80/hour
Frequently Asked Questions about Home Rewiring
How long does it take?
It can be quite a lengthy project depending on the additional requirements of the homeowner. Allow anything from a few days to more than a week.
This could be the perfect time to take that extended family holiday you’ve always discussed. That way, we can get in and get the job done and not affect your daily routines.
I’m a master DIY-er; can’t I just do it myself?
Please don’t. The task of rewiring a home is a massive undertaking and is best left to professionals. If anything goes wrong, you could blow your entire switchboard and not even be sure how it happened.
Ultimately, you may pay even more than necessary once you get us out to fix the damage caused.
What’s a partial rewiring?
After we inspect your property, we may determine that you don’t need to rewire it completely. Or, if your budget doesn’t allow for the entire project to be completed at once, you can stagger it into smaller tasks.
We’ll fix the emergency items first, including adding safety switches and circuit breakers for safety, then make time later to do the more complex parts of the project.
How often do I need to rewire my home?
The best news of all is that once it’s actioned, it’s done for life. Modern copper cables have an extremely long life, and unless you have major renovation work done later, you won’t need to rewire your house again in your lifetime.
Why Choose North Shore Electricians for Your Rewiring
We’ve been taking care of the electrical needs of Sydney for more than 20 years. In that time, we’ve done thousands of home rewirings.
Our team has it down to a fine art; we can get in and get it done in the quickest time possible without cutting any corners.
We partner with wholesale suppliers so we can purchase your material at prices cheaper than advertised retail.
Our pricing is transparent. We’ll come and look at the property first, discuss all your needs, and then come up with a competitive quote broken down for you to understand every part.
The team is professional yet courteous, and we’ll communicate with you throughout the project so you’re constantly aware of the progress.
We’re fully licensed and insured, so you have peace of mind that everything we do complies with government regulations.
Are you ready to get your house rewired? Contact us today, and our team will make an appointment with you to come and look at your home and start the process.