Electrical Things You Must Check When Buying A House.
Updated: Mar 16
As my partner and I are currently looking to buy a house, we have been to view quite a few houses and keep coming across similar electrical issues with some of the older style houses as well as the newer properties. So I thought I'd give you a bit of information on electrical aspects to check when buying a house, so that you're able to make a slightly more informed decision if you plan on proceeding with purchasing a property. A lot of these potential issues might be flagged up before you purchase the house, if there is an inspection done or if you decide to pay someone to do an electrical installation condition report (EICR) before you proceed.
Look at the age of the fixtures and fittings.
The age of the fixtures and fittings will generally give you a fairly good understanding of the age of the electrical installation. If there are really old sockets and pendants throughout the house, then that is a pretty strong sign that the electrical installation might be quite old. Having old electrical wiring in a house isn't necessarily a bad thing, its more the things that come along with old wiring. Something that we quite often see with some of the older installations is missing earthing at lighting, this is something that is not an issue providing all of your light fittings are plastic but if you are planning on putting any metal fittings up when you move in, then a lighting rewire will be needed.
Check how old the fuseboard looks.
Something else which I highly recommend checking is the age of the fuseboard, this is something that in the long run can actually end up costing you quite a lot of money because if you're planning on doing any sort of large renovation work that requires installing new electrical circuits, like a kitchen refurbishment, you will need a whole new fuseboard installed before any of the electrical work can be signed off and certificated. Something else that comes along with a fuseboard change in a house with older electrics is electrical faults, this is caused because the new fuseboard will have a higher level of fault detection and detect faults that the old board was not able to detect. Electrical faults can be fixed quickly but can also be costly to rectify so this is something to bear in mind.
Look for DIY electrical work
Most people I talk to wouldn't dream of doing anything electrical in their homes out of fear or getting an electrical shock or burning the house down, but for some people this doesn't deter them. These people are often handymen or someone who loves to give things a try and so they decided to do their own electrical work in their house. Nine times out of ten this goes horribly wrong and either looks terrible or even worse, it is actually dangerous and this is what you need to look out for! If you see any signs that there has been any DIY electrical work in the house, you should ask the estate agent about it. More often that not they will tell you that the person who owned the house was a bit of a handyman and liked to do bits of their own electrical work, this is not good and should be fixed and made safe by a qualified electrician.
As I mentioned at the start, these are just recommendations to look out for that will hopefully save you some money in the long run. However, don't be put off by any of these things as they can be rectified and providing everything is correctly checked and tested before you move in, these issues will be flagged and they might even give you a chance to get some money knocked off the asking price.
Because we know this can be a lot to deal with, we are offering everyone 10% discount on electrical installation condition reports (EICR) and all electrical work for new home buyers. Call us now to book in for your free quotation on 07931957447.