One of the most important tradespersons that you will ever hire within the building trades is the electrical contractor. Many jobs are do-it-yourself appropriate, but working with electricity is not one of them. Proper wiring and electric work can literally mean the difference between life and death.
Here are some things to look for when hiring a service provider:
Good reputation: When it’s time to hire an electrician, ask friends, neighbors and family members who they recommend. It is important to have word-of-mouth referrals rather than merely reading an online advertisement or the painted ads on the sides of service vehicles.
Experience and training: It is important that the electrician has adequate experience and training before touching your building’s wiring. A service provider should have completed a course of study in this area, worked for several years as an apprentice and then successfully completed the state or county licensing exam.
Complaint free records with the Board of Contractors: Before hiring an electrical contractor, it is wise to check their record with the local contracting board. This is where unhappy customers have filed complaints about fly-by-night operations.
License: As stated under “experience and training”, it is important to select a contractor who is licensed and insured. This protects you, your building and gives an avenue of recourse, should problems occur.
Ethical: Make certain that all building codes are met in an ethical manner by ensuring that city building inspectors have given the green light on work performed by your hired tradesperson.
Customer service: Having good communication skills, friendly office staff, punctual service and professional manners in an electrical contracting company makes a huge difference in a business relationship. Never underestimate the importance of great customer service.
Reliable estimate: Get more than one bid on an electrical job that you need to have done. If you get several price estimates, you will know if a contractor is charging an inappropriately high price or is playing fair with a reasonable and competitive price.
Guarantees and warranties: Ask about the warranty covering the work in order to make certain that it will hold up over a specified amount of time or be repaired if necessary. Get all guarantees, warranties and estimates in writing.
There are many jobs that a handy person can perform on their own, but anything involving electricity is not one of them. Money spent on the expertise of a licensed and reputable service provider is an investment in your home, office building and family’s or employees’ safety.