Home ownership can be a roller coaster: one day you’re patting yourself on the back for finally choosing the perfect white paint for your walls, and the next you find out that you need to rewire your house. Rewiring your house isn’t a glamorous part of homeownership, but it is important.
In fact, electrical issues are the fourth most common cause of house fires in the United States. The cost to rewire a house might send shivers down your spine, but keeping old wiring could have disastrous consequences.
What Is Rewiring Your Home?
Most of us give very little thought to what is really happening behind the scenes when we flick on a light switch or tell our smart speaker to turn on the TV. But behind those instantaneous results is your home’s electrical system.
While it might just look like a bunch of multi-colored wires inside your walls, your home’s wiring is actually a complex system designed to ensure that your coffee pot actually turns on when you plug it in and that your house doesn’t catch on fire in the process.
Of course, just like the rest of technology, home wiring technology has improved and changed over the years. Have you ever noticed that you can never find an outlet when you need one in an old house? Well, that’s because every year we rely more and more on technology throughout our homes.
Fifty years ago, families may have only needed one or two outlets per room. Now, we need outlets for our smartphones, computers, TVs, blenders, and essential oil diffusers. All of these modern appliances can overload older electrical wiring that wasn’t designed for our increasing technology needs.
Rewiring your home involves trading out all the old, outdated types of wiring inside your walls and connecting new, modern wiring that can safely meet your electrical needs.
It’s typically done by a licensed electrician, who strips out the old wiring and restrings new wiring throughout your entire house, including updating the load your wiring system can handle and ensuring that your home is up to date with building codes governing electric wiring.
When Do You Need to Rewire Your Home?
Two common circumstances indicate that you may need to rewire your home: first, if you’re purchasing an older home or second, if you start to notice some of the tell-tale signs of electrical problems in your current home. If you’re buying an older home, a home inspection during the buying process can tell you if the building needs to be rewired.
Building inspectors examine both the inside and outside of a house to determine if the home’s wiring is up to date or will need replacing. Although the cost to rewire a house can be a slight complication when buying a home, in many instances it is ideal to plan for rewiring during the purchasing process so that you can complete all the construction prior to moving in.
The other scenario can be more complicated. If you’re living in a home with older wiring, you may start to notice signs that something is amiss with your electric system. If you notice that your circuit breakers trip every time you turn on the blender or your dining room lights blink out when you start vacuuming, you may want to schedule an appointment with an electrician. Likewise, if you notice an fraying wire, scorch marks on your outlets, or smoke it may be time to overhaul your home wiring.
Estimated Costs to Rewire a Home
The cost to rewire a house varies depending on where you live, the size of the house, the extent of any damage to the home from previous faulty wiring, and the amount of construction that electricians will need to do in order to reach your old wiring in the walls.
Of course, shopping around for an electrician may help cut down on costs, but much of that initial cost to rewire your house goes to pay for the new, safer wires and other materials that will be used to update your electrical system. Your costs may also go up if you choose to add additional electrical sockets or other upgrades that require additional parts and labor.
Planning for Rewiring Construction
One of the biggest things to plan for when it comes to rewiring your home is the cost. The average cost to rewire a house varies greatly depending on a variety of factors, but it can sometimes cost more than $10,000 . That is a big number for something that will be hidden behind the drywall, but making your home safe is worth it.
Homeowners’ insurance won’t necessarily cover run-of-the-mill rewiring, so you’ll likely be stuck paying the costs out of pocket. In addition to the cost of hiring an electrician, don’t forget to account for any other incidental expenses.
Some people choose to move out of their home during the rewiring process so that electricians can quickly access old wiring and you avoid breathing in drywall dust when they cut into your walls. This means that you may need to budget for a week of hotel living and restaurant dining while the work is completed.
Additionally, because the electricians will be cutting into your walls and potentially ceilings and floors, you may need to budget additional money for patches, paint, and other repair work. Consider taking out a personal loan to cover the cost of rewiring your house. With SoFi, there are no origination fees or prepayment penalties.
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