The DIY Handyman: What Electrical Work Can You Safely Do Yourself?


Electricity and power supply have become constants in everyday modern life; we flip a switch and lights come on or plug in a cord to recharge our phones, and it’s easy to forget that these mundane activities involve intricate wiring and specific flows of electrical power.

When everything is working properly, you hardly think about it. But the moment you flip that light switch but remain in darkness, you have a decision to make: do you call an electrician, or have a go at it yourself?

With so many complicated questions in life, it feels good to have a simple answer for this one:


Even the most industrious DIY-ers should enlist the help of a professional when dealing with electrical work, which is unique in its capacity for doing extreme harm when mismanaged, and in ways you won’t see coming.

If you’re a DIY King who, let’s say, builds your own furniture, the potential for injury or harm is there, but at a more predictable level of cause and effect.

With electricity however, one false move could spark a fire within seconds. Or worse, send an electrical charge through the “yourself” part of the phrase DIY, with dire consequences.

This is not meant to frighten you, of course! Only to make it clear that electrical work is not the place to flex your DIY muscles. Just as with mental health and doing pull ups at the gym, there’s no shame in asking for help. CALL AN ELECTRICIAN.

Rules and Regulations Apply

Another major reason to bring in a pro is because electrical work is regulated, so on top of potential damage, you could face fines if something goes wrong.

Home electrical work must comply with Part P of the Building Regulations, and the government compliance requirement automatically means it needs to be conducted by a registered electrician. Even the most skilled DIYer, able to properly and safely complete the work, will face penalties if they were not certified to do it in the first place.

We’ve Got You Covered!

It should come as no surprise that this is the part where we tell you you’ve come to the right place to find excellent specialists for your every electrical need, our electricians are ready to help.

Our professional electricians are not only experts in the field, but they possess the certifications with a body that gives them the necessary registered installer status, such as the ECA (Electrical Contractors Association) or NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting).

This professional status is required for any significant electrical work, such as installing new circuits or changing a fuse board for a consumer unit, both examples of what is classed as notifiable work.

Can an Unregistered Handyman Do Notifiable Work?

The answer is yes, but with conditions: DIY notifiable work must also include a Building Regulations application, and you must have the work checked and verified by a professional electrician when it’s complete. This can be a drain on both your time and wallet, meaning it might’ve been easier getting the electrician over in the first place.

We Still Support Your DIY Spirit!

We would be remiss if we didn’t also let you know there are actually some home electrical tasks we would categorize as safely DIY.

The main electrical jobs it’s safe and allowable to undertake yourself would be minor repairs, replacements, and ‘like for like’ changes. Swapping out old or damaged wires, or moving sockets, ceiling lights, and light switches are all allowed, as well as installing additional switches, sockets, or lights in a room.

Keep in mind, though, you will not be allowed to do any DIY electrical work if it’s in a bathroom or kitchen or located outside; these jobs always require a specialist.

Bottom Line: You Can’t Be Too Careful With Electricity!

Regardless of whether you’re making a small change, or something larger that will need to meet regulatory standards, it’s essential to take your time and be as safe as possible. Double check your work, then check it again.

Don’t be the person whose effort to fix something ends up needing fixing of its own. Even the best case scenario there is grim: you’re out extra time and money, and you’ll likely have someone in your life chirping “I told you so.” Honestly, just call a professional electrician from the start, or you’ll never hear the end of it.

Our team of experienced electricians are ready to help; reach out today!