Hiring an electrician is an important decision that can affect the value of your home or business. If you choose poorly, you may downgrade your investment. If you choose wisely, you will improve your investment. Not to mention that if you don’t hire someone who is qualified for the job and carries all the necessary licensure required by your state, you may be breaking laws, or at the very least you could be putting yourself at risk for damages and even fires.
Get Recommendations from Family & Friends
The first thing you should do when you find that you need an electrician is to ask friends and family for some recommendations. You want to choose someone who has actually done a job similar to your needs for someone you know.
Check That the Electrician is Certified
This requirement varies by state and location. You want someone who is certified general journey level or specialty electrician. They have to have the right education and experience as well as pass exams to be a certified electrician.
License, Insurance & Registration
Before you even bother interviewing someone check to see if they are licensed, insured, and registered with the right authority required by electricians. If they’re not insured with enough liability insurance and something goes wrong, you may be left to pick up the tab.
Ask for Written Detailed Estimates
Always ask your electrician for a very detailed estimate in writing. Ensure that they not only put what is covered but what is not covered in their estimate so that there is no confusion about what you are being billed for.
Know How is Billing Done
Is billing done hourly and if so how much? Is it done by job, if so how much? How much is charged if surprises come up and will they warn you if surprises have come up? Understand all that you can about how you will be billed.
Ask for a Written Contract
Always get a written contract that spells out exactly what the electrician is going to do, for how much, and includes all the payment details including ways to pay. If the contract spells everything out to the letter about what will and won’t’ be done, and what is your responsibility compared to the electricians responsibility there will be less problems and confusion.
Pay With Credit Card
If you pay your electrician with a credit card and you find something missing in the quality of the work or that the work is not finished to your contract and to your satisfaction paying by credit can give you a little additional coverage. You can dispute the charge while making sure the work is completed.
When you seek to hire an electrician, whether for a small job or a large job, it is important to follow this checklist to avoid problems down the road. You want to keep the value of your biggest investment and you can’t do that if you take shortcuts.