Are you trying to get a quote from an electrician and feel a bit overwhelmed? If you aren’t in the home building industry yourself, it might feel like you’re looking at a Latin manuscript when you get a quote from an electrician. You can’t just look at the bottom line when you get a quote from an electrician, because the total bill doesn’t tell you if the residential electric contractor is adequately equipped to perform the electrical wiring repairs that you need, or if the quote includes all of the labor needed to make your electrical repairs, or if the materials used on the job will hold up over time. Sometimes the lowest bid you get when you get a quote from an electrician is the last person you should hire for the job.
So how does a normal person who isn’t a professional contractor with ample experience go about finding an electrician they can trust? Stand by for our list of tips:
Four Steps in Finding an Electrician You Can Trust
- Get Recommendations From People in the Biz
Maybe you don’t know any electricians personally (and even if you do, we don’t recommend using a personal acquaintance for your residential electrical repairs… it can get weird and awkward if they make a mistake), but you probably know someone who works in the home repair industry in one way or another. Maybe you know a home builder. Maybe you know a developer. Maybe the company you work for has a facilities manager who schedules electrical repairs at your business. These types of people regularly work with electricians and know who does a great job, and who has to come back a few times before they get it right.
If you’re new to your area and don’t know anyone who would be able to point you to an electrician you can trust, you could just give a call to a property management company and ask them for recommendations. Or you could look online at websites that offer customer reviews for services like electrician. The point is, using an electrician who has provided great work for someone else and has a great reputation is a good way to ensure your electrical repairs will be done right.
- Choose an Electrician Based on Area of Expertise
The electrician profession has numerous sub-specialties. Some electricians specialize in new commercial construction. Some electricians focus on service calls and electrical repairs. Some electricians specialize in home energy efficiency such as solar panel installation. Some electricians don’t specialize in any area of electrical work, and serve more as the primary care physician of electrical work.
If the electrical work you need is fairly generic, you might be fine with any qualified electrician. But if your electrical need is somewhat unusual or complicated, it’s a good idea to look for an electrician who specifically works with your type of electrical need. You have no way of knowing if the electrician you use has done the type of work you need of them many times before, unless you choose your electrician based on their specialty.
- Verify the Electrician’s License
Electricity can be deadly if it is not handled properly. It is essential to only use an electrician who is properly licensed to handle your electrical needs safely and efficiently. In fact, this isn’t just a good idea. In many states it is the law.
When you verify the electrician’s license, you want to request a copy of it, and then you should contact the State Board that regulates electrician’s licensing in your area and verify that it is still current. If the electrician you use has any complaints filed against him, the licensing board would be able to tell you about it as well.
- Check Out The Electrician’s Insurance and Bonding As Well
It’s not the law that an electrician is insured and bonded, but you should make sure that they are. Insurance and bonding is in place to protect you. If anything were to happen to the electrician (or anyone else) as a result of the work they are doing on your home, the insurance will cover the damages so that you aren’t responsible. The bond protects your home in case the electrician damaged it. And in order to maintain the bond, they won’t damage it.