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How to rewire a ceiling if you can't access it from above, with out removing most of the ceiling, the original ceiling roses or cornicing?

I am buying an old ground floor victorian conversion flat. I had a PIR done and it recommended a rewire as; the wiring is ancient, there are so few sockets in the rooms and no earth for the lighting.
As its ground floor, the ceiling lights will be difficult to rewire with no access from above. There is original large ornate cornicing and roses on the ceilings.
Is there a way to rewire with out damaging these, as they are a main feature of the flat?
How much of the ceiling would need to be removed? (some of the ceilings are batten & plaster not plasterboard).

I'm looking for advice on what is involved to do this job with minimal visual damage to the flat.


7 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

Get harry potter to come round and wave his magic wand :-)


Answered 9th Jul 2011

If the wiring is that old. I would advise a rewire. Unfortunately the electrician will probably have to cut a series of small holes to feed his rods to pull cables. Minimul making good if job done correcectly.


Answered 29th Jun 2011

To avoid any damage to ceiling, ask your electrician to fit wall lights and forget lights on the ceiling


Answered 5th Jan 2015


You will need to locate the beams in the roof ( these are normally between 14" and 20" apart from each other ). Then you will have to notch out the plaster on the beam and also about 40mm either side of it, you will have to do all this for every route you need. To get down the wall to the switches / sockets you will need to get a route from the roof side of the coving to the bottom of the coving. If the covings are very large ( 12"+ ) you made need to saw through them by hand which should allow you to have them stuck back on with minimal damage.
To do all of this will require more time and more craftsmanship from your electrician.
We are available and travel nationwide should you require a quote. Hope this helps.

NJM Electrical


Answered 29th Jun 2011

Hi there

The way you would go about rewiring the lighting is " fishing the ceiling" which involves threading the cable over the ceiling and under the joists kind of like sewing, then to get to the switch I would drill up behind the cornice and drill a round hole at the edge the where the cornice ends on the ceiling and hopefully pull the cable.

It can be very akward and you need to be very careful!

Good luck!



Answered 29th Jun 2011

To rewire the ceiling lights, i would see if when it was wired that the wiring is in conduit you could pull the new wiring through this or take down the coving to gain access to the ceiling?
Hope this helps?
and if you do go ahead you will need the works signed off under part p,which i could do for you.



Answered 29th Jun 2011

It will be very hard for a electrician to rewire that, ask the people in the above flat if there floorboard can be lifted and wire from above, if you have not got the flat yet get quotes for rewire, plastering and decorating costs give them to your solicitor and try to get it off the purchase price, if the floorboards in your flat can be lifted you could put wall light in so there will be no damage to your ceiling

ian parker


Answered 29th Jun 2011

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