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A Complete Guide to the Costs of Rewiring a House in Australia

If you’re looking at rewiring your home, one of the biggest factors is cost. Rewiring a home is not cheap. But it’s essential for the safety of your family.  After all, more than 40% of residential fires in Australia are associated with electrical faults or failures caused by degraded wiring or overloading the system.   Rewiring…

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If you’re looking at rewiring your home, one of the biggest factors is cost. Rewiring a home is not cheap. But it’s essential for the safety of your family. 

After all, more than 40% of residential fires in Australia are associated with electrical faults or failures caused by degraded wiring or overloading the system.  

Rewiring a home can involve anything from fixing up a few dodgy outlets to replacing all the wires throughout your home.

You might just be covering the essentials, or thinking of the future and setting your house up for complete home automation. 

Since rewiring jobs are so varied, it’s impossible to put a simple price tag on the project. But on average, you can expect to spend between $3,500 and $8000 to rewire a medium-sized home. 

In this guide, we look at the different factors that will impact the cost of your home rewiring and answer all those other questions you might have. Click on a section below and let’s get started.

What Does a Home Rewiring Involve?

There’s no pretending rewiring a house isn’t a big job. It involves pulling out all the old electrical wires and replacing them with newer, safer ones. 

If you’re lucky, a sparky can access the wiring from outside the house or without needing to damage existing walls. 

Sometimes, they might have to do a bit of damage - by removing the cladding or drilling through timber - that will be fixed up and costed out as part of the project. 

A home rewiring might just involve replacing the wires. More likely, it will include additional upgrades: new sockets, power points, switches, or a new switchboard. 

Why Get It Done?

Since it’s such a big and costly job, is a home rewiring really worth the investment? 

In reality, you’ve got little choice if your house needs the work. It’s about protecting your family and your investment. 

Protecting Your Family

Most of the time, people rewire their house for safety reasons. Australian fire brigades respond to more than 300 residential electrical fires each year. 

Every Aussie home should comply with Australian Standards, such as the Wiring Rules, to prevent any kind of electrical hazard, fire, or shock. 

This is particularly important in homes more than 30 years old (where wires might have degraded) or in homes that have undergone DIY electrical work, where wiring could be out of date, non-compliant, or even dangerous. 

Some of the threats these types of homes impose include:

    • Non-compliant smoke detectors. New homes have mains-powered smoke alarms compliant with the Building Code.
    • Zero safety switch protection. These prevent fatal electrocution and are mandatory in all new homes. 
  • Frayed wires. These pose both a fire hazard and risk of injury. 
  • Limited electricity capabilities. Most older homes only have one circuit for power outlets and another for lighting. You can end up using too much electricity for your home’s capabilities (especially if you have additional extension cords and extra plugs), which poses a fire hazard. 

So in reality, rewiring your home is a short-term hassle for the long-term safety of your family. 

Increasing Your Home’s Value

These days, we need electricity for everything from our home offices to our home movie theatres. Some older homes just aren’t up to the task of sustaining this power-hungry lifestyle. 

With home automation becoming increasingly popular, there’s more reason than ever to rewire older homes. 

Rewiring an old home serves as a priceless upgrade that will make your home work better for your family. 

Not to mention an efficient, rewired home adds a deal of value to your property when it’s time to sell. 

When Should You Rewire Your House?

Not sure whether a rewiring your home is necessary? Here are some signs your home electrics may need a makeover:

  • Your house is more than 30 years old
  • Fuses blow often
  • Lights flicker or dim regularly
  • The electrical panel is over-fused
  • Light bulbs need replacing often
  • There are buzzing sounds or burning smells from electrical outlets
  • There are sparks from an outlet when you plug in an appliance
  • You receive tingling or a minor shock when you touch wall outlets
  • Circuit breakers are constantly tripping
  • Switchplates, cords, or plugs are hot or discoloured
  • Plugs sit loosely in the outlets
  • You have too many extension cords, power strips, and double adapters
  • Your suspect the previous owner carried out incorrect wiring

Important: Even if everything seems to be in perfect working order, you can’t guarantee your wiring is safe and compliant.

How Much to Rewire a House in Australia?

It may not sound like the most thrilling expense but rewiring a home is no doubt an important investment. 

Plus if you get the whole works, you can come away with a home designed for the 21st century, complete with home automation. 

But how much will a home rewiring set you back? 

Quotes will vary drastically based on a range of factors and it’s almost impossible for tradies to put an exact figure on the costs without inspecting your home. 

The costs will depend on:

  • The size of your house (or the job, which can range from rewiring a simple socket to rewiring the entire house)
  • The location of your home
  • The materials you need (the amount of wire, switchboards, outlets, light switches, and other electrical components)
  • Additional services (such as additional power point installations or home automation) 
  • The electrician’s hourly rate
  • How easily accessible the wiring is (if you have a suitable crawl space or accessible attic, the costs may be less)

Cost of Materials to Rewire a House

Some aspects of a rewiring job have a fixed cost, such as the cost of replacing your switchboard or the standard cost per electrical component. 

  • A single outlet, switch, or power point: $65-120
  • Copper wiring: $600-$650 on average, more for larger homes
  • New switchboard: $700-1000
  • Cabling for a new switchboard: $2000-3000

Cost of a simple job

You might not need your entire house to be rewired. Below are some of the costs of smaller rewiring jobs.

  • Rewiring for a kitchen reno: $500-550
  • Rewiring for several downlights: $450-500
  • Rewiring light sockets: $100
  • Rewiring an inverter: $90
  • Fixing a power point: $60
  • Fault finding: $100
  • Repairing a meter box: $250
  • Fixing a damaged cable: $120
  • Replacing a light switch: $100

Average Cost Per Number of Bedrooms

Bigger houses demand more materials and additional labour, so they’ll naturally cost more to rewire than smaller homes.

  • 2 Bedroom House: $1,500-$5,000
  • 3 Bedroom House: $4000-8000+
  • 4 Bedroom House: $10,000-$12,000

Hot tip: Instead of settling on one quote, shop around - and let your electricians know you’re comparing costs. You might get a more competitive rate. Ask the electrical for their best price for the whole job rather than a quote based on individual fittings.

The Cost of Labour

How much you spend on labour depends on two distinct factors: the electrician’s hourly rate and how easy it is to access the wiring. 

Some electricians will quote a flat rate for the whole project. But it’s more common for them to charge an hourly rate. On average, you can expect to pay an electrician between $65-70 per hour in Australia. 

But the average hourly rate for an electrician fluctuates between states. 

State The average cost per hour
New South Wales $35-80/hr
Queensland $70/hr
South Australia $75/hr
Tasmania $79/hr
Victoria $65/hr
Western Australia $86/hr

You may also need to pay extra for additional services. For example, there could be an Electrician Call Out fee, as well as further costs for emergencies or after-hours work.

Hot tip: While tempting, it’s not always the best idea to go with the cheapest quote. Consider the electrician’s reputation, professionalism, and quality of their referrals before deciding.

 

Access to wiring will likely have the biggest impact on how expensive a job is. For example, an electrician can work more quickly if they have easy access through the subfloor or attic space. 

If you have brick walls or tricky access to the wiring, the job is instantly more complex and can take longer. Walls with plasterboard or weatherboard homes are generally easier.

If you keep the project simple - without changing the location of power points and outlets - it’ll be a faster job too.

Can I DIY My Home Rewiring?

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The answer is a definitive no. In Australia, homeowners aren’t allowed to conduct any electrical works without proper qualifications. Except changing a lightbulb. 

In fact, it’s illegal to DIY your home electrics if you don’t have the right qualifications. If you go ahead with the project anyway, there can be hefty penalties. 

Wiring projects that must be left to the professionals include:

  • Wiring any part of your home
  • Installing or moving power points
  • Installing or moving lights and switches
  • Installing ceiling fans

A complete home rewiring? No chance. 

Residential electrical projects as important as this must be done by a Licensed Electrician or Registered Electrical Contractor (R.E.C.). Don’t forget, even if your work is checked by a qualified sparky and deemed compliant with Australian standards, your DIY electrical work can’t be retrospectively certified.

Checklist to Find the Right Electrician

One of the hardest things you’ll have to do is find a certified electrician or registered cabler you can trust with a job as important as rewiring your home. There are a few simple things you can check before committing to any single electrician.

  • Their licence is valid
  • They’re well established in your area
  • Their references are high quality and check out
  • They have insurance
  • They have provided a solid quote
  • They will provide a compliance certificate on completion of the job, proving your new home wiring adheres to Australian standards.

How Long Does It Take to Rewire a House?

The cost of rewiring differs depending on a range of factors. The same goes for the length of time it’ll take to finish the job. 

Depending on the size of your home, ease of access to wiring, and how many modifications involved, it can take anywhere from a few days to a week or so to get the job done. On average, expect the job to take a week.

How Often Should You Rewire Your House

Once it’s done, it’s done. You shouldn’t need to worry about rewiring your house for another few decades - especially if you’ve factored your future needs into the project. 

To be on the safe side, get an electrician to check your home every decade to make sure it still complies with Australian electrical standards.

Do You Need Your Home Rewired?

Owning a home is a privilege but keeping it safe for your family is a responsibility. 

Investing in home rewiring protects your family. It’s a solid investment in your home’s value and safety. And it’s an investment in your future. 

Learn more about our home rewiring services at Hit the Switch today.

 

 

 

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