Two of my electrician colleagues arrived back at the depot today looking like they had just done three rounds with Mike Tyson! Their clothes were drenched in sweat, covered in dust and that awful itchy fibre insulation was everywhere. It turned out that the house they began rewiring today had a loft crammed full of every trinket imaginable.
Will I need to clear the attic for rewiring? is a great question for homeowners to be thinking about as the answer will save not only my electrician colleagues a lot of heartache, but it will also make the whole process of the rewire go a lot smoother (ie make it go quicker – meaning that the electricians will be out of your hair much sooner!)
Will I Need To Clear The Loft For Rewiring?
If possible, clearing the loft for rewiring is a great way to give the electricians a happy start to the job. Whilst it is not always possible to remove everything, clearing a few items away in advance will make the world of difference.
Lofts are not the nicest places to work in by any means. They are hot and sweaty places full of all sorts of obstacles to trip and bang our heads on. That’s before the dreaded itchy fibre insulation comes into play. Crawling through the loft rewiring a house is not the best part of the job but it is made monumentally better when the loft space is clear.
If the loft space has been boarded out (ie boards nailed to the joists to allow for items to be placed on them) having as clear space as possible to work in makes it much easier. Many of the electric cables will need to be run underneath these boards. Prizing the boards up is much more pleasant with the extra bonus of space to work in.
What Happens if I Don’t Clear the Loft for Rewiring?
In reality, clearing all the items from a loft for a rewire is going to be tricky. I don’t think in my entire career I’ve ever been fortunate enough to turn up to a loft completely void of belongings. If the loft isn’t completely clear it is not the end of the world. The electricians will be used to working around obstacles and understand that moving boxes is part and parcel of the job.
That being said, there are stark differences between lofts with a reasonable amount of items in and those where the ceiling looks like it is buckling under the weight of all that stuff. If there are excessive amounts of items, and shifting them around is either too time-consuming or too dangerous, then the electricians are likely to decide they cant carry out the work and leave.
Safety is always the number one factor when it comes to any construction project. If the electricians feel it is unsafe in the loft due to the number of items (either because they will get injured trying to move it all, or because the ceiling looks like it could cave at any minute) they are trained to stop work on health and safety grounds.
Will The Electricians Work Around My Stuff In My Loft?
Electricians are used to moving things around in a loft in order to get access to the various cables hidden away up there so we can usually work around a reasonable amount of stuff. We always try our best to be as gentle as possible and keep the movement of items to an absolute minimum.
I’ve personally never witnessed any breakages but there is always the danger I guess. If there are things in your loft that are very precious or fragile before the work begins it may be worth relocating them to a safe place temporarily.
If you’re anything like me I used to treat my loft like it was a magic place where I could chuck old school books, photo albums and tins of paint thinking they’d be kept safe and come in handy one day. It’s only when faced with the daunting challenge of clearing it that you realise how much junk we can fit up there.
Fortunately, I now live in a flat so Sunday afternoons spent clearing the loft are a thing of the past for me. However, I still spend many a day crawling around in other people’s, so if you are able to clear a loft space before a rewire you will be rewarded with lots of happy electricians and a smoother quicker rewire as a bonus.