When a building becomes listed, it is generally because it holds special significance either historically or architecturally. This listed tag brings with it a number of stipulations, with the most obvious one being that it becomes very difficult to modify or alter the building in any way.
However, all buildings – listed or otherwise – need to have certain things updated or enhanced over time; from water pipes to insulation, windows to electrics, it is essential that improvements be made to ensure the long-term safety and security of any property.
So, with that in mind, what must be done to ensure that a rewiring job in a listed building is done in the correct manner and with the minimum level of disruption?
1. Survey the building
To make perfectly clear what you can and cannot do, and where the biggest challenges are likely to lie, it makes sense to survey the building before any work gets started. This will enable you to better understand what sort of wiring currently exists, what you will likely have to do to complete the job, and what parts of the building are liable to cause you the greatest levels of difficulty.
2. Minimise any and all damage
This is the crux of the entire job. You must, at all times, be very aware of the fact that the listed building is protected, and you should be incredibly careful that it retains its integrity and maintains the appearance that led to it being listed in the first place. Given that older buildings may have unusual wiring configurations, this is likely to be a task that requires a lot of time and patience, but it is essential that additional care is taken along every step of the job.
3. Installing the right equipment
When working on a listed building you will have different requirements than you would generally encounter in any other property. For example, things such as light switches, external wires, brackets etc. will all need to be in keeping with the overall aesthetic of the building. It is nearly always worth having a conversation with the person or people who are in charge of the property prior to purchasing or installing any equipment like this, as it could be that they have very specific ideas about what is required.