There is no shame in using expert services for even the most minor electrical jobs. Even long-time DIY-ers do that sometimes when there are problems jobs that must be resolved. Electrical wiring is one area where the better-safe-than-sorry rule certainly applies. So how can you go about looking for a competent and reliable electrician or electrical contractor?
Ask for referrals. Seek personal recommendations from people you know. Word of mouth is still the best way of making sure that the job will be done properly. Of course, you can always check the Internet, business directories or local papers for local electricians who can do smaller jobs.
Check out three or four electricians and ask for quotes so you will be aware your costs right from the get go. For instance, will there be a call-out charge or a per-hour rate? For example, do you pay an hourly rate or is there a call-out fee?You need to know, for instance, if you have to pay an hourly fee of if call-outs come with a charge. As well, check if the quote covers all the materials.
Don’t focus too much on price. Know whether the electrician or electrical contractor will provide a work guarantee and will fix any work that falls short of applicable standards.
Choose a specialist. Like other professionals and tradesmen, electricians and electrical contractors have specialties too. Of course, you’ll want an expert in the particular project or task you have.
Check whether a prospect is employed or self-employed.
It is typically more expensive to hire an electrician who works in a company. But you may feel more confident, knowing that the tradesman was properly screened by the parent company and has authority to carry its name.
Always choose a licensed electrician. Check if your prospect is registered and has a valid license for the jurisdiction in which the job must be performed.
Never hire an uninsured electrician, making sure they have both workman’s compensation and liability coverage.
Get client references. This need not rule out electricians with less experience. An electrician may be competent even without a long history in the trade, but they have need to give references from their course or training provider.
Contact the Better Business Bureau to know if there are complaints or negative feedback on the electrician or contractor you’re considering.
Listen to your gut.
If you lack knowledge about electrical systems, meet your prospect electrician with a friend or relative who may have more expertise than you. You have to make sure that they’re not overcharging you or playing you in whatever way.
Compare your prospects. Don’t feel limited to one potential contractor. Comparing options will give you a point of reference that you will be helpful in determining who works best for your needs and budget.