Electrcal jobs: Some of our tips for anyone thinking of having work done.

General

Most job prices should include testing and certification.

Electrical work is generally more straightforward in new houses where existing wiring and fittings already meet regulations. It can be more costly and time-consuming to carry out electrical work in older buildings.

Job: replace light fitting

Many electricians will have a minimum charge (often the rate will cover one hour) for small jobs like this. If you have or are thinking of other work you may find it more cost effective to hire an electrician to complete several jobs at once. Some electricians will charge a call-out fee to cover the additional cost of completing just an hour two's work before going to the next job.

Job: perform an electrical installation condition report - EICR (used to be a periodic inspection report - PIR)

Quotes or estimates would include time to complete an inspection of the property and electrical systems, plus one or two hours in the office to write up the report.

Job: replace consumer unit

A good trader will usually include full testing with all installations. If any faults are found during testing it could take extra time to diagnose problems and fix them. Also, many issues with the existing wiring often mean that the new consumer unit can not be energised until the issues are rectified. This is due to having highly sensitive RCD's which will trip under different fault conditions to MCB's or fuses.

Job: install electric shower

Fitting an electric shower requires electrical and plumbing skills. Some electricians are qualified to do plumbing work so have included this in their costs. Others are only qualified to do the electrical installation so you would need to employ a plumber separately - it's obviously a good idea to ensure you agree what you are paying for.  

Job: install a light in loft

This job is made easier if the loft is not boarded out as existing wiring can be accessed more easily.  

Job: install two extra double sockets in lounge

Expect to pay a higher price if you want wires 'chased' into walls (hidden). Bear in mind that this will take longer and may require plastering afterwards. Surface trunking is quicker and cheaper but won’t look as good.  

Job: replace standard light switch with dimmer switch

Minimum charges may apply to a small job such as this. As mentioned before, it could be more cost effective to have several small jobs done at once if you have them.  

Job: repair a damaged power cable on vacuum cleaner or other similar appliance

Not all electricians undertake appliance repairs so you may need to find a specialist appliance repairer. Call-out fees may apply as this is a small job.

Job: rewiring

It will take much longer to rewire an occupied house than an empty one. In most cases, furniture and floor coverings would need to be completely removed. Rewiring usually takes at least two people. If more staff are used, it may be done more quickly but costs (total man hours) are likely to be the same.