Electrical work is technical work, and while it might be easy to say that you should hire an electrician for the job, you do still need to satisfy yourself that the electrician you hire is legally qualified and has the appropriate experience for the job. The purpose of this is to protect yourself and your home because inappropriate electrical work is dangerous work that could potentially cause electrocution or house fires. Also, you will want to make sure that any electrical work being done at your home or establishment is completely legal and aboveboard.
So, before you even think of hiring that electrician, make sure that you are satisfied with regards to the following:
- That the electrician is licensed and insured
Many states regulate the practice of electricians so that only licensed electricians can legally offer their services within the state. Just ask them if they are licensed. If they are working for an electrical contractor, ask about the company’s background and legal permits. Any trustworthy electrician wouldn’t hesitate to answer your questions regarding these, and might even be willing to provide sufficient proof that they have all the necessary legal papers to operate legally as electricians.
Safety is always a priority when it comes to electrical work, so no matter how careful the electrician professes to be in carrying on his job, he will still do the responsible thing and make sure that he is covered by insurance. Even the most experienced electrician knows that accidents can happen, and one of his priorities is to protect himself and his clients by having liability insurance.
- What is your area of specialization?
Electrical work is rife with specializations, and many electricians have their own specialized skill set that they can offer their customers or clients. Someone who was properly trained and has years of experience in installing solar panels may not have the same kind of training as someone who has been installing air conditioners or alarm systems for years. You will want to pick an electrician who has had both training and experience in the type of electrical work you want to be done, so you might want to ask prospective electricians regarding their background and specializations.
Of course, if all you are looking for is someone who can do general electrical work around your house, you may not need to be so discerning. And yet, you will probably also want to make sure that you are not hiring above your paygrade – by hiring a licensed commercial electrician or a journeyman, for instance, to do basic electrical work at your home. This is especially true if you are on a tight budget. The more extensive the specialization, the higher the hourly wage. Just make sure you hire appropriately, according to the task you are looking to have done.
- Do you have a warranty/guarantee?
There are some electricians and electrical contractors who offer warranties or guarantees for work they have done. If there should be any problems or issues from electrical work they have done, you can contact them, and they will look into the matter again to make sure that everything is working well. Be aware, though, that warranties or guarantees for services rendered are only valid within a limited period.
- Get an estimate of costs
You may not be hiring based on the cheapest rate, but it’s still smart to know how much an electrician will be charging, and what these charges will be for. After you get an estimate, you will also want to know about their payment plans, such as deposits and payment installments. This is an area you will want to be clear about, to avoid misunderstandings and potential disputes later on.