Can I Wire My New-Build Myself?

Recently when in the local electrical wholesalers we met a pleasant lady asking some unusual questions about electrics. It turned out she was building a new property and was intending to carry out all the electrical design and installation work herself.


As an electrician, this is the sort of thing that makes you shudder - we've all seen poorly installed and often downright dangerous wiring, with risks ranging from fire to electrocution. But it raises a fair question - can you, as a non-electrician with some practical skill and motivation, design and wire your own electrical system for your new-build property?


First, we recommend you read our New Build Design & Installation article to understand exactly what's involved.


Then, answer these questions.

  1. ​All electrical work carried out in the UK has to be compliant with British Standard BS7671. Do you own it, have you read all 429 fine-print pages, and do you genuinely understand what it requires of you?
  2. Are you able to carry out cable capacity calculations - calculating design current and tabulated current?
  3. Do you understand Reference Methods and can you choose appropriate cabling based on tabulated current and reference methods from the tables in BS7671?
  4. Do you understand the difference between TN-S, TN-CS and TT installations, do you know which one your property uses, and do you know how they affect the parameters of your design and testing?
  5. Can you calculate voltage drop using the information provided in BS7671, and do you know what voltage tolerances are permitted for different circuits?
  6. Do you fully understand the difference between overcurrent and earth leakage fault protection, and Prospective Short Circuit Current and Prospective Fault Current?
  7. Are you familiar with all aspects of the Building Regulations as they relate to electrical installation, including cable routing, fire detection requirements, accessibility requirements and environmental requirements?
  8. Do you own or have access to an electrical test meter with Low Resistance Ohm-Meter, Insulation Resistance, Fault Current, Short Circuit Current, Earth Loop Impedance and RCD test facilities, and is it calibrated and compliant with all relevant IEC safety standards?
  9. Do you know how to use it?
  10. Are you able to understand and complete all the necessary test and inspection paperwork to submit to Building Control?

If the answer to ALL of these is YES - then this is a starting point to answer whether you might be able to carry out the work yourself.


Otherwise, you'd best call an electrician, as this is what we do for a living!

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