Perhaps you need to get a few switches changed in your bedroom or your fuses keep blowing for no reason. You may also want to add a wall sconce and ceiling fan just to brighten up your room. Regardless of what task you want to accomplish it is always a good idea to hire a professional electrical contractor because even the smallest mistake can be disastrous.
Even though doing it yourself will help you save some money it can cost you thrice as much if you land in the hospital which is why electrical contractors are the right decision. Below we look at seven tips which should help you hire the right contractor for the job.
Start with a budget in mind
You should always start by knowing how much you are willing to spend on a particular project which includes both labor and parts. If you are not sure what budget to set or what is realistic then get a few estimates for the job and then add 10% to that in order to arrive at a concrete budget. That said at times your project can go over budget by 20% depending on numerous factors.
Pre-screen electrical contractors
Just call up electricians in your area to find out a few things prior to deciding to get an estimate from them. You should ask and note answers to questions like:
- How long has your business been around?
- Do you have a permanent business telephone number, website or address?
- Are you insured and bonded?
- Are you licensed and certified?
- Please provide me with three references at the very least. Names and numbers.
- Will you back the work you do with a guarantee?
Always check the electrical contractor’s references
Even though all good electrical contractors give their references people often never check them. However, before you hire it is very imperative that you check the references and then add the information you collect to your notes. Below are a few questions apart from a few others that you can think of to ask references:
- How would you rate the quality of the work done?
- Did they give you an accurate estimate?
- Did the work commence and finish as previously scheduled?
- Are you satisfied with the electrical contractor’s work ethics?
- Would you hire them again?
Schedule getting estimates / quotes for the job
Now, if you have gotten positive feedback from the references you contacted then it’s time to schedule a meeting with the contractor in question. This is perhaps the best time to gather all the information you need and check for yourself if the contractor is ethical. However, if the estimates are not given to you for free then you should be aware of other hidden costs too.
Ideally, you will want to get at least three estimates. Also because the cost of materials and labor will fluctuate every now and then, only get an estimate if you’re willing to get the job done within a few weeks’ time.
Get some proof from the electrical contractor
You should always ask the contractor to bring with him proof of insurance and bonding. This is just to make sure that you are not responsible for any injuries or damage done within or outside your home by the contractor. Always see the licenses and the certifications in person. Also, double check with the contractor to make sure that the person giving you the estimate will be the person working on the project. If this is not the case then ask for qualifications of the company’s crew or their subcontractors.
The other thing you should make sure of is that the estimates are given to you in writing and include the cost of permits, labor and materials. All the work done including any taxes should be mentioned in the grand total of the estimate.
Compare all your estimates
When comparing estimates the point to remember is that the lowest bid does not always offer the best value. You need to make other considerations for instance the quality of the materials used. Make sure you weigh in all the pros and cons of the contractor prior to hiring him.
Read the contract
Professional electrical contractors like Speedy Electrical always sign contracts for the type of work they do. They also urge people to read through the contract they present prior to signing regardless of the size of the job.
Mark has been an electrical contractor for over a decade. He is one of the most reputed and trusted electrical contractors in Brisbane, Australia. People trust him because he has been providing an excellent service for a very long time. His name is synonymous with great quality, durability and great finishing.