It may be the case that you have noticed one or a few electrical problems around your home or office and realise that it is time to call in the services of an electrician. Making a call to an individual electrician or electrical service can seem simple enough, but it is important to know that electricians are not all one and the same – there are key qualities and characteristics that you should look for when appointing an electrician.
Fortunately, many of these steps are simple, straightforward and logical. By asking the right questions, you can ensure that you will hire a quality electrician who will complete your project or tasks to a high standard and will take the appropriate safety precautions.
So, what should you look for when hiring an electrician?
#1: Your electrician should be licensed
Do not ever hire an electrician who is not licensed and, for that matter, do not even consider it. Qualified electricians need to have a current and valid state license, as well as proof of appropriate insurance cover. Generally speaking, an electrician that carries out standard, residential repairs should be insured to the value of approximately $500,000 in liability insurance and workers’ compensation cover.
It is worthwhile asking to see a copy of the electrician’s license and insurance cover at the time that the first estimate is done. Asking to see these documents at this time will help to provide you with a degree of assurance that they are professionally accredited and have some knowledge and compliance with safety standards and practices.
The benefit of obtaining references from those who have had similar jobs to the one that you require done by the same electrician cannot be underestimated. Speaking to other who have accessed the services of the same electrician will help you to appreciate more about the quality of the electrician’s work and the approach they took to their work. Previous clients can also comment on whether they felt the electrician delivered good value for money and completed the job within the expected timeframe.
Another good way to find out more about an electrician and customer satisfaction with their services is to look online for reviews submitted by other customers and industry opinions.
#3: Written estimates
It is important for you to quiz the electrician about the specific details of the job. It is important to know exactly what needs to be done and why. A quality electrician will provide you with written estimates of the costs involved and the expected timeframe for completion of the work. If written estimates are not volunteered by an electrician, ask them to provide this documentation.
It is often the case that electrical projects need a permit issued by the local council or building department prior to proceeding (this is particularly so for large scale projects). In these circumstances, a building inspector may need to approve any electrical work that is done in order to confirm that it is of the standard demanded and expected by the code.
Discuss this with your electrician, so that you and they are clear about any processes that need to be followed and any permits that need to be obtained.
#5: Specialty areas
It is often the case that the most professional, highly qualified and experienced electricians will specialise in one area of the electrical industry. An electrician may focus on an area such as: commercial or residential projects or may opt to only provide an emergency response service.
It can therefore be worthwhile engaging with an electrician who specialises in the area that corresponds with the project you are doing. Although all electricians have the same fundamental training, it is worthwhile hiring an electrician that specialises in the type of job you need completed.
When hiring an electrician to complete a project in your home or workplace, it is important to know that they are qualified, licensed and will deliver a professional service. Never hire an electrician before doing a little bit of research as electrical work is far too dangerous to be left to someone whose professionalism, knowledge and experience is below standard.