Carrying out electrical work by yourself at home can be very tempting – especially if you have some knowledge of electrical repairs or are very good with your hands. While it’s not advisable to undertake DIY electrical projects, there are some people who can adequately carry out small repairs around the house. Even so, there is much conflict with regards what you can do yourself and what must be left to a professional.
The truth is, as a homeowner, you are free to carry out DIY electrical works on your home or even use an unregistered electrician. Smaller electrical installations or repair projects – such as installing a new lamp holder or changing a blown switch – might not require Part P compliance. However, if at the end of the electrical project, you need to self-certify that the work was completed in accordance with British Standards and register it with Part P for compliance, you’ll need to show proof that you’re a competent person, did the work correctly and are certified to do so.
If it happens that you sell your house or move elsewhere, whoever is taking over the property will request that you present all the certifications for electrical work undertaken in the house. If you don’t have such documentation, you could find it difficult renting out or selling the property. Additionally, you won’t be able to acquire certification for your own installation at a future date; in the event that there’s an electrical related accident in your property, your insurance will be void if you fail to produce the appropriate certification that proves the system is safe.
The bottom line is that you should always use a qualified electrician for any electrical work in your house. When you hire one, confirm that they have Part P certification and ask about the relevant body with which they are registered and their scheme number. You can then check to confirm the details provided are in fact authentic and valid. Once the work is completed and you are provided with the relevant certificate, store it in a safe place, as you may need to present it at some point in the future.
In the UK (especially England and Wales), all electrical work carried out in private residences and non-commercial properties must be carried out in accordance with Part P Building and Safety Regulations. If you choose to do the electrical work yourself or happen to use an electrician who cannot self-certify the work, you are allowed to look for another electrician who is registered with any of the third-party electrical installation certification schemes for residences and dwellings. Such a person can look at the electrical work that’s been carried out in your home, check that it meets with the current safety and building standards and self-certify if it does.
We strongly suggest that you use a registered electrician for all the electrical requirements in and around your house. When you do so from the beginning, you can expect a safe electrical installation, carried out using materials and following guidelines that adhere strictly to the UK standard. This way, you won’t have to deal with third-party certification or worry about the dangers posed to both lives and property.