Many homeowners like doing stuff on their own – whether it’s a kitchen renovation, interior painting, or landscaping, there’s satisfaction in finishing a project all by yourself. But not every home improvement job is meant for DIY. The most evident example is electrical work.
Professionals must handle all electrical work. Even a slight misunderstanding of how an electrical system works can result in disaster. Any faulty wiring installation opens the possibility of starting a fire; there’s also a risk of getting electrocuted. Even an electrical shock from an outlet or extension cord could be fatal to children and pets.
Instead of risking injury and property damage, why not hire an electrician instead? Calling for the services of a licensed and experienced electrician guarantees a quick turnaround, safety and will even let you save money. But not all the prospects you meet are legit. Your job is to find a licensed, skilled and trustworthy contractor.
A good place to start is your city’s electrical licensing board or association. Look up the name of the organizations in your area and use their websites to find out where licensed electricians are located. You’ll most likely get the names of local contractors with a license. You can also ask your friends and neighbours for names of reliable electricians they know or have previously worked with.
Some homeowners prefer to hire electrical contractors through referrals from their utility companies, as these companies are qualified to check electrical contractor licenses before you sign a contract.
Pro Tip: Ask for a reference list from the electrician, and check them out to make sure the contractor is reliable. An honest contractor won’t hesitate to give you that list.
Expertise and Experience
These two qualities are the key to hiring an electrician. Some states make it compulsory for all contractors to have a license, while some allow electrical work only those who pass an examination and have years of training. So, if you’re looking for someone to install or repair your home’s wiring system, be sure to check out the contractor’s credentials.
Electrical projects vary, so be sure to find a contractor who’s done similar work before. For instance, if you need a new panel box or wiring installed for your home’s electrical system, be sure to look for an electrician who’s familiar with residential wiring.
Bonding and Insurance
Find out whether the contractor is bonded and insured. Bonding means that the company has to put forth the money to protect a client in case of an injury or damage done by an employee. At the same time, insurance assures you of any loss that happens while performing the electrical work.
Another way to find out if a contractor’s bonded and insured is by calling the licensing board that issued the license or check if the company has an electrical contractor bond and insurance certificate posted on their website.
Pro Tip: Insist on written proof of liability insurance and bonding. Some electricians want you to take their word for it, but that’s not enough. You don’t want to find out the hard way once you face a failed job.
Get Multiple Quotations
Get a quotation or rough estimate for an electrical project from at least three electricians. Comparing quotes will help narrow down your search to one or two electricians. Be sure to clarify what each quote includes – whether it’s labour, materials, permits and inspection fees for major electrical projects.
Pro Tip: Be wary of an electrician who tries to give you an estimate over the phone. You’re not getting any honesty from someone who can’t even show up in person to give a quotation.
Look up the history of complaints on your potential contractors at the Better Business Bureau. This information will help you know if any unresolved issues might affect their work or even turn into a lawsuit in the future. You can also check out reviews from past clients to determine whether they were happy with the work done.
Pro Tip: If you find an electrician with a history of unresolved complaints, go for another one. Don’t waste your time gambling on someone who has a propensity to do a botched job.
Choose a local electrician. Not only will you be supporting a local business, but you’ll also get more attention and follow-up than some of the larger electrical companies. A local electrician is easier to get a hold of when you need them for an emergency.
Be clear about what you want from an electrician. This way, your prospects will understand if they’re up to the task of addressing your needs. Some electricians have no experience in upgrading or replacing an entire residential system, while others are way too proud to work on small projects.
The way you choose an electrician also depends on how comfortable you are working with them. If you can get along with that person, it will be easier to discuss your needs and resolve any issues quickly.
If you need help with anything electrical, please don’t hesitate to give PTX Electric a call. With over 36 five star reviews on Google, they are Vancouver’s best electrical contractors. They promise to be on your doorstep within three days of you calling them. Email them or call at 604-700-3142.