How to Pick the Right Electrician
There’s no reason not to call in an electrician, regardless of the size of your project. Even DIY aficionados are aware of the risks of handling electrical wiring without proper knowledge and training.
Question is, how can we find a competent electrician? There are several out there, but what should we consider as we choose one? How do we even start?
Word of mouth remains the best way of finding a good tradesman, including an electrician. Talk to your relatives and friends, and ask for referrals.
If you can’t get a recommendation for any reason, you can always go online and read consumer reviews.
Once you have three or four names, give each of them a call and ask them to give you estimates, so you know how much you’ll likely spend. Tell them you need all the details. Do they charge a fixed rate or an hourly rate, for instance? All materials to be used, together with their individual costs, should be indicated in the estimate.
One of the most important questions you need to ask your potential electrician is whether they provide a work guarantee. If they do, then it must be on paper. Otherwise, look elsewhere. It’s foolish to trust an electrician who doesn’t trust himself.
Professional experience makes up a huge part of an electrician’s reliability. That’s why it’s preferable to go with someone who has been in the industry for a while. There are lots of new talents emerging today, but if you want to be totally sure about your safety, go with an established electrician.
Choose an electrician whose expertise is focused on the kind of work you need. Generalists may be good for small jobs, but for something more extensive, such as wiring up communication equipment, you may need a specialist.
License and Insurance
Before you seriously consider a particular electrician, determine if he has a license to work in your state. If he says yes, ask him for proof and check if it’s not expired. Similarly, ask for proof of their workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Of course, these two should be current as well. No license or no insurance means you should forget about the electrician and consider other prospects.
Unless you began with a personal referral, ask for client references from each of your prospects. This will give you a good picture of the future of your business relationship.
Better Business Bureau
Lastly, approach the Better Business Bureau to know if your prospect has any consumer complaints lodged against him. Keep your mind open however. Some consumers are simply so hard to please. If you do find complaints, know what the case is all about and how it was resolved. Then just listen to your gut. If you don’t feel so happy hiring a certain electrician, don’t.