10 Tips in Hiring for an Electrician

by RobertKeith

When something goes wrong with the wiring in your home, not only will it be a major inconvenience, but it can also start a fire.

When something goes wrong with the wiring in your home, not only will it be a major inconvenience, but it can also start a fire. If your home or commercial building needs electric work, it must be handled by a professional right away. Here is the guide on how to choose the right electrician for your needs.

1. Multiple Jobs, One Visit

You might have damage in one area, but chances are that your home’s wiring could use some general maintenance as well. Rather than waiting until something else breaks, consider bundling these jobs together. You’ll save money by doing more work at once, and tackling potential issues before they become problems will give you peace of mind. 

2. Check on Travel Costs

Some electricians service a wide area, which means travel costs must be taken into consideration. To handle these extra costs, they may choose to charge a flat fee for travel. Others charge a higher rate for the first hour or a higher rate in general. Always ask about travel charges prior to hiring the electrician. How they handle these fees can make a big impact on the overall price you pay. 

For example, if you have a number of jobs that will take the electrician all day to complete, it makes sense to hire someone with a flat rate for travel. If your job will take under an hour, going with someone who charges more per hour and skips the travel fee might be your best option. 

Electrician at work
Electrician at work

3. See Beyond the Hourly Rate

Sometimes, the electricians that charge the lowest rates are doing so for a reason. They might be attempting to work as independent contractors without the required training or certifications. It’s better to work with a qualified electrician who charges a bit more than go with someone cheap who could cause damage to your home. 

4. Get it in Writing

When you get an estimate from an electrician, be sure to get it in writing. If you agree to the costs, ask for an official contract before the work begins. 

5. Ask for References and Read Reviews

Most experienced electricians will feel comfortable showing you reviews or recommendations from past clients. If a client would work with an electrician more than once or has done so in the past, you should feel safe moving forward. 

6. Look for Areas of Expertise

The world of electrical repair is broad, so most electricians end up with an area of focused experience. Some choose to work in commercial operations, others take long-term jobs at industrial plants or farming operations. The possibilities are endless, so if you want to hire an electrician to work on your home, it’s wise to check whether their experience matches up. 

If you aren’t sure how to find an electrician with the experience for your job, make an inquiry with a local general contractor, ask your local home-builders’ association or speak to someone at an electrical-supply center for a recommendation. 

7. Check on Insurance

Your electrician should be licensed in your state and carry a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance. 

8. Know When You Need a Master Electrician

Beyond the general state license, there are two other types of certifications to consider. The first is the master electrician. These electricians have at least two years of experience and have passed a test detailing National Electrical Code and the details of that code in your state. Master electricians have the skills to design, install and maintain electrical systems. 

9. Know When You Need a Journeyman Electrician

The journeyman electrician is still in the learning stages. Journeymen can do some repairs, but they aren’t qualified to design or install electric systems. Most often, journeymen electricians work alongside master electricians to further educate themselves and gain valuable experience, but you might be able to hire one to do a simple solo job. 

10. Prepare in Advance

If the electrician charges by the hour, anything you can do to make their job easier will save time. Cleaning up the house and moving things out of the way of the work area will hurry things along. 

Finding the best electricians isn’t always easy, but once you find one you like, you can continue to hire them for other jobs in the future.

Updated: 05/18/2018, RobertKeith
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