Don’t just let any electrician work on your house. Keep reading for 7 key questions to ask before hiring an electrician.
There should always be more to your electrician search than just money. Your motivation should never be focused on finding the best deal alone.
When hiring an electrician who will most likely spend hours of time re-wiring your home, other factors should come into play. This includes their level of experience, expertise, reputation, and insurance to name a few.
Without any of these factors to back-up their services, you are could be entrusting someone completely unreliable with an expensive and dangerous job.
Here’s how what to ask before hiring an electrician for your needs…
Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician
The re-wiring of your home can be both a time-consuming and risky job.
Poor electrical work can end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of damage to your property. Not-to-mention causing major bodily harm if anyone is caught in the cross-fire. That’s why it’s super important to entrust this job to the right person.
Here’s what you should consider asking an electrician before you sign on the dotted line:
1. May I See Your Electrician License and Permits?
One of the single-most-important questions to ask an electrician is to see proof of their license to operate. Anyone can tell you they’re qualified, but showing you the visible proof is a different story.
Make sure to double-check that their license period is still valid and has not passed expiry date.
If you’re having major re-wiring work done on your home, you’ll need to ask about a master license. This permits an electrician work on both design and installation aspects of a job.
If an electrician only has a journeyman license, this means they are only licensed to install electric features. Remember that licensing requirements differ from state-to-state.
Additionally, you’ll need to ask about permits for a specific job and whether an electrician is open to getting these permits where they need to. Working without a permit could land both you and the electrician in hot water.
Take note that it’s the job of an electrician to acquire these permits, and not yours!
2. Do You Have Proof of Insurance?
Insurance is an absolute must for any type of contractor working on or inside your home. When changes are being made to your property, especially of an electrical nature, always be sure to ask about contractor liability insurance coverage.
If something goes wrong which causes damage to your home, or a person inside it, you want to have that peace-of-mind that accidents are covered. An electrician’s insurance company should cover these damages, it’s not your responsibility. So if an electrician fails to offer proof of insurance, do not hire them!
3. Do You Have Contactable References?
When it comes to contract work, there’s nothing more powerful than a word-of-mouth recommendation. Remember that you have every right to ask an electrician if they have a contactable reference who would recommend their services.
Make sure you are given a legitimate number and make the call yourself. Ask about the level of service, the quality of work, punctuality, and whether the electrician’s rates are fair.
References are a great way to help you make a final decision, so don’t underestimate their first-hand opinions!
4. Do You Have a Rough Estimate For the Job?
While a license, permits and contactable references are all very important, so is money. You want to be able to hire an electrician you can actually afford, after all!
There’s no harm in asking an electrician for a rough estimate on what a job will cost. And be warned- if their quote is a little too high compared to the others you may have seen, this is a red flag. This means they assume you haven’t done your own market research on fair prices for the job you want.
But keep in mind that an electrician who quotes below the average rate is not your best option, either. This could mean they are desperate for the job or unfamiliar with the level of work you want done.
Look for someone who quotes both a fair and competitive price.
5. Do You Charge By the Hour?
Beware of an electrician who charges an hourly rate. All contractors work at a different pace, so this means you could be paying a very different price between one electrician and the next.
There is no way to tell how quickly an electrician will get the job done. But an open-ended project which is charged by the hour can end up costing you far more than you bargained for.
On the flip side, a contractor who works too quickly by watching the clock isn’t a great option either. Finishing off a job too quickly could leave you with electrical faults and a sloppy job overall.
Your best bet is to go for an electrician who charges a flat rate, upfront, regardless of how long a project may take.
6. What Type of Job Guarantee Do You Offer?
When it comes to major electrical work, you want to have that peace-of-mind that a warranty is in place should anything go wrong after a job is complete.
A reputable electrician should offer a guarantee that allows you to contact them anytime should a problem arise, free-of-charge. Generally, this warranty period is valid for a limited time-frame, but regardless, the job guarantee is important.
7. Do You Specialize in Any Specific Areas?
If you have a very specific type of electrical project that needs to be done, it’s always worth enquiring if an electrician can handle it.
Make sure to get clarity on what an electrician can and can’t do, i.e. what their limitations are. If they offer a specialty service, ask for examples of previous work they’ve done and references to back it up.
Looking For High-Quality Electricians in Tampa?
If you’re hiring an electrician for a specific project within the commercial, construction, residential docks or residential service, we’re your go-to.
At Buell Electric Inc, we are your expert electrical contractors, experienced in a plethora of projects. Contact us today for all your project needs!