Since January 2005, electrical installations in the home have been controlled under Building Regulations. Prior to these regulations it was possible for the “DIY electricians” to make significant changes in their own home without the appropriate training and experience.
Ultimately the aim is to ensure that electrical installations in the home are safe to use without the risk of an electric shock or fire.
Under the current regulations, a qualified electrician, usually NICEIC registered, can self-certify their work and provide the homeowner with a certificate of the works carried out and that the work has been tested as safe to use. The electrician must also inform the local council or other appointed Building Control body.
It is possible for a homeowner or other unqualified person to perform the work but they would need to ask a registered third party certifier, who would be a qualified electrician, to certify the work. However, this will often be uneconomic as the certifier may have to check wiring back to the “first fix” in order to issue the certificate, which could be costly and invasive.
As surveyors inspecting properties, we are obviously not qualified electricians and cannot test circuits for safety. Our role is to identify particular areas of concern and where considered appropriate draw these to the attention of our client in order that they can make an informed decision prior to a purchase.
What works are notifiable under the regulations?
Examples of Notifiable Works
• Complete re-wire
• Changing a consumer unit
• Installing a new shower unit
• Installing a photovoltaic panel
• Taking a new supply to a garden shed
• Installing under floor heating
• Installing a generator
Examples of Non-Notifiable Works
• Installing an additional socket
• Replacing a damaged socket
• Installing an additional light
• Replacing a light fitting
Note: Some works will become notifiable if they are in a kitchen, bathroom or shower room because of the increased risks.