7 Reasons Why Rewiring A House Is Noisy (Better Warn The Neighbours)

As I was home today I decided to catch up on a little paperwork. Filling out tax forms is never fun so biting the bullet seemed like the right thing to do. That was the plan anyway. Unfortunately, the apartment above mine is having some building work done and it sounded like a herd of wild elephants had been left to run riot up there.

I decided the best course of action was to take myself off to the sanctuary of a coffee shop where I got to thinking, is that noise level what it’s like for customers when I’m going about my work day as an electrician?

When thinking about electrician work that creates noise, the question, is rewiring a house noisy? seems particularly apt as this is one of the biggest jobs a homeowner will take on. With this in mind let’s take a self-reflecting look at how much noise electricians make during a rewire and if you had better warn the neighbours in advance!

Rewiring a house is noisy for the homeowner involved

In my experience, the 7 reasons why rewiring a house is noisy are:

  • Lifting floorboards
  • Crawling through attics
  • Shouting at one another
  • The bass
  • Van doors
  • Chasing walls
  • SDS drills

In my opinion, these are the top 7 noise-causing factors to look out for so let’s break them down a bit further with this lighthearted look at what causes so much noise during a rewire and what homeowners can do to maintain a sense of zen calm in the otherwise chaotic world.

Lifting Floorboards

I mentioned the noise caused by lifting floorboards in the article, 12 reasons rewiring a house is so disruptive, but simply put in order to lift the floorboards, we need to pull the carpet away from its gripping edge, use a hammer and floor lifter to get underneath the floorboard and then lever and work to prise it up.

What sounds like a small noise from above reverberates through the floor and around the whole house, just ask anyone who knows the noise of young children jumping around upstairs!

Crawling Through Attics

Don’t let the fact that there are no floorboards above the upstairs rooms fool you into thinking that upstairs can be a place to find solitude from the disruption. A rewire nearly always means the electricians will be heading up into the attic space in order to route cables and pull lighting supplies through.

Someone crawling around in the attic space above can make the homeowner below feel like they are about to come through the ceiling at any moment. Of course, they are not likely to, but it can be an unnerving noise nonetheless

Shouting at Each Other

By shouting at each other I don’t mean an aggressive screaming match between disgruntled colleagues. Instead, it is the raised voices that are required for two people to be able to communicate through a wall or ceiling.

Lots of work during a rewire involves two electricians helping each other route cables through various obstacles such as from the attic to the bedrooms below. The raised voices are the only way to communicate through the wall or ceiling and make sure that when one says to pull the other isn’t trying to push.

All About The Bass

We all enjoy a little bit of radio to help the work day move along. Most tradesmen seem to enjoy an upbeat dance station to help the day move along which can leave a constant thudding bassline echoing through the work site.

If the homeowner is home during the rewire a radio being on is unlikely and a simple request to turn it down would put an end to the unwanted noise. However, if the homeowner has taken shelter at a family member’s home during the work, it’s probably best to warn the neighbours that the sound of bass may come through the walls during the hours of 8 to 5.

Van Doors

Van doors may seem an odd one to put in a list of reasons why a rewire is noisy. That is until you’ve experienced what sounds like a rogue tradesman taking a long run-up before slamming the van door shut whilst you’re still eating your breakfast cereals.

Most electricians I know are very protective over their vans and treat them with a gentle touch, but there is the possibility the sliding door may get a bit louder as the stress levels increase

Chasing Walls

Chasing walls and removing plaster is an inevitable part of a rewire. If the electricians are using the old school method of a hammer and chisel this is going to create plenty of noise for those on the other side of the wall.

If they use a chasing machine, which the vast majority of electricians now will, then the noise is pretty hefty (think circular saw cutting into brick) but at least it’s over a little quicker.

This is definitely a noise to warn the neighbours about.

Drilling Holes

The final noise maker on our list of 7 reasons why a rewire is noisy is the drilling of holes. Holes of various sizes are drilled to allow cables to pass through, various electrical items to be fixed to the wall, and even larger holes (known as core drilling) for extract fans may be needed.

Drilling is the regular accompaniment to a rewire and is perhaps the noise you will hear from the start until the finish.

Final Thoughts

I hope this post comes across in the tongue-in-cheek way it is intended. Of course, I am poking fun at myself when answering if rewiring a house noisy. These points are valid considerations in my opinion but the vast majority of electricians carrying out the work will be professional and keep the noise to an absolute minimum.

I may be biased, but in my view, electricians are adept at working in customers’ homes making as little noise and mess as possible.

However, the old adage that you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs holds true for rewires so it’s probably best to give the neighbours a friendly heads up, reminding them that whilst it may be noisy it is only going to be during regular working hours.

Dave Nicholas

I have worked as a professional electrician for many years and like to use my experience to help others in any little way I can.

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