5 Tips for Finding a Qualified Electrician

When to call a professional electrician

If you are looking to have some electrical work done you need to make sure you get a qualified electrician to do the work. More than $1.5 billion in property damage is done every year by electrical fires. Fire departments around the United States responded to at least 47,700 home structure fires that were caused, at least in part, by problems with electrical systems. Finding a qualified electrician can be very important but it can also be a challenge. Here are some tips to make the process easier and yield better results.

  1. Talk to the other homeowners you know. You probably have friends, family, neighbors or coworkers who own their own homes. At least one of them has probably used the services of a residential electric contractor. When you are working on finding a qualified electrician, the first place you should start is with the people you know and trust. This is always the best way to find good products and services. If you get the same recommendation from one than one person, when this is done independently of each other, that is the best case scenario.
  2. Talk to a few electric contractors. You should get estimates for your electrical repairs from at least three companies or contractors. Get them in writing. You should make sure they are detailed and spell out, not just what you will end up paying but what it will cover. It is a lot easier to compare your quotes and estimates when they are in writing but this can also prevent them from charging you more than they say they will later on. You need to deal only with contractors, for any work you have done in your home, who are completely transparent with their billing. If you have any questions, you should get them answered completely before you hire them. If they balk at answering your questions, you should go with another company. This is too important to just leave to chance.
  3. Do not make your decision only on the price tag. Say you find a company that can fix your electrical problems for a super low price. That may not end up being what you spend on the job. They may be low balling your estimate only to have it balloon as they do the work. On the flip side, maybe they do end up charging you only what they say they will but then you have to have the work redone by a more reliable electrician so you end up paying more in the long run. By the same token, the most expensive service may not be the best. Take a look at the entire quote and make your decision on the value the company brings to the table.
  4. Ask about the company’s insurance and licenses. Before you set out to start finding a qualified electrician, you need to look into what the regulations are for your state and city. Ask the contractor or company but verify what they tell you. It is easy to just say that they have the license (if they need it, not every state requires it) or insurance. If they do not have enough insurance and something happens, such as a worker injury, while working on your home, you can be held legally liable. It can cost you too much to not take the time looking into this.
  5. Ask for references. When you are in the process of finding a qualified electrician, getting feedback from their current or former customers can give you a lot of information into what it is like to work with them. Many electrical contractors have websites with testimonials. Make sure you take some time to research the claims they make on their website. Unfortunately, it is easy to fabricate these. Reputable electricians will not have an issue giving you access to people with whom they have worked.

When you are talking to different residential electric contractors, you should really ask about their experience working on problems that are similar to yours. When you are dealing with electrical wiring repairs, this can mean a lot of different things. You should look for qualified electricians who have experience dealing with problems similar to your issues.

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