How to Hire an Electrician
When doing any type of home renovation project, you need to consider which tasks you may be able to accomplish yourself and which should be left to a skilled professional. This is especially true when your project includes any kind of electrical wiring.
Unlike tiling a floor or painting a room where a mistake will result in crooked lines or a splotch of red paint on a white ceiling, electrical mistakes can result in electrocution or fire. The risk simply isn’t worth it. Most homeowners prefer the peace of mind knowing that their job was done safely and done right the first time. A skilled professional will address your wiring needs in a manner compliant with the electrical code, ensuring the safety of your home.
Yet finding and hiring a skilled electrician can be difficult. Flipping through the yellow pages or doing a Google search will result in a list of hundreds of contractors. How can you be sure the contractor you hire will do the job right, in a timely manner and at a price that fits into your budget?
The rule of thumb in hiring an electrical contractor – like in so many other areas – is that you get what you pay for. A friend may tell you that his cousin does electrical work, but the results are likely to be amateurish and potentially dangerous. Make sure to hire a licensed and insured electrical contractor. If you ask the contractor or electrician to provide you with their license number and they aren’t forthcoming, simply move on.
Make sure the service electricians are OSHA trained and certified. The best contractors place safety as their number one priority and will gladly produce their certification credentials to inquiring customers. If a contractor doesn’t take the safety of its employees seriously, it’s probably an indicator that their work is substandard as well.
Ask if your contractor is properly insured and carries workers compensation. If anything goes wrong on the job – whether damage to your home or injury to the electrician – you want to be sure the contractor’s insurance will pay, not your own.
Ask friends or relatives if they use a trusted electrical contractor. There’s no better way to sort through the clutter than by asking a friend or relative who has recently done a remodeling project if they had a good experience with their electrical contractor. If the work appears professional and your friend heaps praise on the electricians, then you have a good lead. If they aren’t satisfied, you can at least cross someone off your list.
Hire a union contractor that belongs to their local NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) chapter. The easiest way to sort through all the fly-by-night electrical outfits in the yellow pages and on the internet is to choose a contractor where the quality and training of its electricians is guaranteed. NECA contractors who hire union electricians build their reputations on the quality of their work. You know that you are hiring the best in the business.
Return to the Find a Contractor tool to help locate a skilled contractor now.