There are some jobs that should be left to the professionals and wiring is generally one of them, however, if you’re prepared to get your hands dirty, there are some areas in which you can do a bit of DIY and save yourself money.
Modern households put more demand on their electrical systems than ever before and older houses with outdated wiring, are often an accident waiting to happen. In addition to being a safety hazard, if you are looking to rent or sell your house, a periodic inspection report will reveal any inadequate DIY electrical work and mortgage providers will not lend to a house that is a potential fire risk. The government has even bought in regulations to prevent people from rewiring their own properties; the IEE regulations limit the DIY work that homeowners can carry out, including replacing: sockets, switches and ceiling roses or damaged cabling.
There are industry standards which the professionals follow: wiring for light switches should be run along the top of the wall and then vertically down to the switch. Sockets are the opposite: wires should be run along the bottom of the wall and up vertically to the socket.
The photo above is a great example of good and bad wiring. Bad wiring: the wires running into the switch have been run horizontally and not protected. In the left of the picture is an example of good wiring, running vertically down the wall and covered with a plastic shield, protecting the wires, preventing them from being corroded by the plaster.
The most time intensive part of wiring, is running the wires through the walls and under floorboards. Electricians’ time is expensive, if money is tight, employ a labourer to run the wires under the floorboards and tunnel out channels in the plaster. You are then only paying your electrician to connect the wires and will have a safe and legal job done, for significantly less money. Or alternatively if you want to get your hands dirty run the wires yourself under instruction from your electrician.
A good electrician will be able to advise you where you can and shouldn’t try and save money on wiring your home.
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Thank you to Ian Lynn from Spark Electrical Services for his wiring tips!