Looking for good information on how to hire skilled and competent electricians? Remember that it doesn’t have to be difficult, but you do need to hire someone that is skilled to protect your safety and the safety of your home. Faulty wiring can cause fires, electric shock or even electrocution. Here are some questions to ask in order to hire a skilled electrician and some tips to save money in the process:
Are you a licensed electrician?
A license is your guarantee that the electrician has done the necessary training to perform the job safely and correctly. Always ask to see their license and make sure that it is current. Check for any restrictions and that the license covers the type of work you need done.
Does the company carry insurance?
An electrical contractor should carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you in the event of an accident. Ask if they can provide certificates of insurance (workers’ compensation and general liability) before the job is started.
Have you done this particular type of electrical work before?
Make sure they are experienced if the work you need done is at all specialized (e.g. security or communications). Keep in mind that an inexperienced worker with a cheaper hourly rate could cost you more than a skilled electrician that charges more by the hour. The inexperienced worker can take a lot more time, and incur additional costs fixing mistakes.
Can you provide me with some references?
Request a list of 5 names and phone numbers of customers from last 12 months. It is not necessary to check all of them – 2 or 3 picked at random should do the trick.
Do you give a warranty?
This is especially important for bigger projects. Is the quality of work guaranteed? How long is it guaranteed for, and what happens if there is a problem? Ask if they will provide a document that outlines the action they will take to remedy any problems.
How do you charge for your work?
Find out whether there is a call-out charge. Some electricians charge more for the first hour of work, or charge a minimum fee, or add charges for travel time. Professional electricians may charge anywhere from $40 to $100 an hour, depending on the job and the skill level of the electrician. Some electricians may give you a quote for the type of job.
Confirm if all materials are included in the quote. Sometimes electricians do not have all the supplies on hand. Will you be charged if they need to run out to pick up supplies?
Will you provide a written quote?
When looking at how to hire electricians, make sure the electrician gives you a quote with a breakdown of prices as this will make it easier to compare one quote to another. Choosing an electrical contractor on price alone is unwise as there are other important things to consider.
Remember that it is worth paying more for quality when it comes to the electrical wiring in your home. You want to work with someone that gets it right the first time because fixing mistakes is expensive. Choosing the lowest hourly rate can cost you more in the long run.
If you are looking for savings, consider local skilled electricians to lower travel costs. You can also save in the long term by looking for less urgent electrical projects that could be completed at the same time. This saves money because if there is some form of callout charge it will be split between various projects. Some projects may also save you money in the long term by reducing your energy consumption. Light dimmers, Light timers, motion sensor light controllers and energy efficient ceiling fans are some possibilities. Your electrician may be able to suggest others.