When hiring an electrician or electrical contractor you want to make sure that you make the right choice. Your entire project depends on the experience and expertise of this person or their team, and any mistake in hiring will significantly impact the outcome of the project. That is why is it is extremely important to take your time to ensure the hiring process involves everything that will allow you to understand the capabilities of the electrician before signing the contract.
Generally, when you seek the services of an electrician, you want someone who is qualified, insured, and certified. Those are the major things to look for in a professional electrical contractor, but there are more. The person should also be highly experienced and skilled in performing various electrical repairs and services.
With the above in mind, it is clear that calling someone on the phone is not enough to reveal their true qualifications.
Thankfully, it is extremely possible to try and be strategic in the manner in which you handle the hiring process, and I am going to share with you a blueprint below for hiring an electrician or electrical contractor.
1. Shop around
The first thing you need to do after realizing you need the services of an electrician is to shop around and come up with a list of prospective candidates. The best place to start your search is your friends. Ask if one of your friends if they knows an electrical contractor, perhaps someone they have even worked with previously. This way, you will be able to get an honest opinion about the electrician. Alternatively, you can check social media groups or post on industry-specific sites and see if you can find someone. Try your LinkedIn or any professional networks you are in. Social networks can help you tap into a wealth of great candidates for your electrical service needs. Twitter and Facebook are the two biggest social networks you can use to find or reach out to friends who might know and electrician or electrical contractor in your area.
Make sure you come up with a couple of names before proceeding to the next step.
2. Compatible skills with the job on hand
After finding prospective candidates, you want to make sure they have the skills needed to perform the task in question. Electricians have different skills and fields of specialization so the first step is to ensure they have the skills and expertise to match your needs and what you need to get done.
Just check their website for the types of services they offer. Get in touch with them and describe what you need to be done in detail.
Don’t be afraid to ask the level of experience a potential candidate has with specific duties you need to get done.
What you should be aiming for here is going for the most experienced electrician.
3. Check feedback
Most electricians will list the names of their previous clients. If you can find this list, then look for the feedback left behind by the people who the contractor has worked for before. This includes reviewing online reviews.
If the prospective candidate doesn’t have a website, you can just ask for their references.
4. Create a clear line of communication
For a job as complicated as electrical wiring and installations, having clear communication between you and the contractor will go a long way to simplify both your jobs.
Here is also where you can begin to see the red flags. If someone cannot express themselves properly, or explain to you what they are going to offer, or have very little knowledge about the specific issue you need to be addressed, you should move onto the next person. Any miscommunication may lead to massive losses and other problems such as delays in resolving problems, difficulties following up on warranties, etc.
Poor communication can also be costly to you because you may be given incorrect estimates of the project.
5. Licenses and insurance
This is the most important thing to look out for when hiring an electrician or electrical contractor. Make sure that the electrician is insured or licensed and that they are willing to provide you with these documents. This is vital especially if you are dealing with an independent electrician.
6. Permits and permission
Depending on your local government, any electrical repairs may require permission from the city council. To be on the safe side of the law, ask the contractor to provide their permits and permission, failure to which should serve as another red flag.
A good and professional electrical engineer will never try to cut corners by working without necessary permits.
7. Ask for a quotation
Don’t let the contractor begin working on your project without obtaining an initial quote. In fact, you should obtain quotes from a number of electricians before settling on the one that will work for you.
The quotation should also include what you are being promised so that if anything short of what is stipulated in the document is delivered, you can contest it.
8. Ask for a warranty
Electrical projects are risky and besides insurance, you should also inquire about a warranty. The warranty should cover such things as: if something goes wrong, who will incur the cost? How long is the electrician going to be working for you?