I am currently getting things ready to fit a new kitchen in my home. However, cost is an issue so I am trying to do alot of work with my dad, who is a handy tradesman.
With this in mid, can I rewire the electrics in the kitchen i.e. set up ceiling spot lights, have a 3 way switch to control kitchen, outside and under cabinate light? If I can do this myself, who should I contact to sign off? plus how much will it cost?
A kitchen is defined as an area with food preparation areas and were there is a change of use it is unclear to me what has to be registered and what does not.
However if there are new circuits (This means from consumer unit using a fused connection unit is not a new circuit for Part P) then it will need registering.
The fees in England vary but in most cases the minimum charge is around the £100 + Vat and now they can charge if a third party is employed for the inspection and testing which means you need to do your own inspection and test.
To test you need instruments and these cost around £750 to buy. To hire normally minimum of a week at around £70. There is a tester called a Socket & See which is around the £60 which will do a very basic test. I am not sure if the readings from one of these would be accepted it just has a series of LED's pass or fail and does not give any figures.
So if we consider the fees and hire charges will be around £200 then one wonders if DIY is really worth it?
What I would say is when you apply to the council you should submit a detailed plan. If you say on your application that you intend to use a non RCD protected socket for the fridge for example (this is permitted) and they accept it then they can't change their mind latter.
One of the problems is the inspection. Any normal electrician would run a cable and then plaster but because the LABC want to inspect you can end up having no power for days while you wait for an inspection.
And weekend work is unlikely to be inspected during the weekend so some one needs to be present when the inspector arrives.
As an electrician I did not have a problem. The LABC inspector visited talked to me about what I was going to do then said I would need to wait for paperwork. Because the work was for my disabled mother it was free of charge and also because it was emergency work he had to back down and allow me to work before the paper work arrived. He realised I knew what I was doing and we never got another visit. However for people without a City & Guilds 2391 and 2382 there control is likely to be far more.
So the likely best option is get a quote where you prepare walls for the electrician cutting all channels and you do all plastering after. But get an electrician who is a member of a competent person scheme (i.e. Part P registered) to do the electric part and he can issue his own completion certificate or at least his scheme provider can.
The only other option is the break the law. And although I am sure many do we see again and again where people have broken the law and now want to sell their house and have been asked for completion certificates.
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