You definitely don’t want to install electrical systems in your own home if you don’t know what you’re doing. There can be house fires, there can be electrocution, there can be overloaded circuits; all in all, there can be a huge mess. That’s not to say you can’t do small electrical experiments on your own*; rather, it’s to say that for upgrading your system’s capacity, or removing and replacing light fixtures, or uninstalling knob and tube wiring, you’d better call the professionals. With so many professionals to call, though, which one is best? This guide will help you ask the right questions.
Licensed and Insured
You want to find electricians who are licensed to do the work; after all, if they’re not licensed, you might as well be doing it yourself! You can read up on all the technical and legal jargon for becoming licensed as a journeyman electrician; it’s a long road that takes years of theoretical learning and apprenticeship. The chief difference between a journeyman and a master isn’t quite as big; master electricians have to have at least two years experience as journeymen, then pass a written exam. Many folks elect not to get their master’s license, as it doesn’t open up that many options.
Insurance is absolutely key; if something goes wrong, you want them to have the liability to cover it. You’ll want them to have liability insurance of at least $500,000, so that even in the worst case scenario, they’ll be able to cover any costs associated with faulty installation. You can check an electrician’s license and insurance before they begin work on your home or business.
Look at Their Work
A great electrical contractor will have a lot of references, and a lot of before and after. Ask them if you can look at work they’ve done before that’s similar to the work you want done, and make sure everything looks high quality. Ask them for references, and don’t just look at what’s written; see if you can phone their references to ask about how the contractors behaved themselves. After all, it’s not just about the quality of work done; it’s about the quality of interaction that you have with your contractors.
Talk to Them
When you’re looking to have work done in your home, it can be incredibly valuable to start a relationship with the people who will be working there. Optimally, you want to find a contractor who you can call again and again over the years for different needs, one who you can recommend to friends. That means sitting down with your electricians and talking to them about what they can do for you, how much it’s going to cost, and what the timeframe will be is important. You shouldn’t hesitate to get quotes and timeframes from various contractors. We’re a full-service electrical contractor, and we’d be more than happy to go over any projects you might have planned. Call us up, we’ll have a conversation, swing by your place and see how we can help you!