Choosing an Electrician: Starting in the Right Direction
Hiring an electrician can be challenging. The key is to find a good one. Here are some tips that will set you in the right direction.
Check for a Proper License
It isn't enough to hire an "electrician", i.e., someone who knows how to do the work but isn't licensed in your state. You can find cheaper work by going this route, but you'll have no quality assurance. If you're hiring for your place of business, you could be running afoul of wiring laws that could sink your company. The same holds true for a residence, however. While the chances of being caught in a home are lessened, you could reduce your resale value and create a potentially dangerous environment. The first step to hiring someone good is to hire someone licensed.
This isn't as important a step if you came by an electrician through a number of personal recommendations, but it's one you shouldn't ignore if you found him by any other means. If a homeowner was pleased with the service he received, he shouldn't mind going on the record in support of that service. If the contractor you're considering can't furnish a list of at least three or four references, it could be a warning sign. If they can, make sure you call them. While they are probably going to have a positive story, they may be able to give you some interesting details that can inform your choice.
Other than positive word of mouth, one of the things that speaks loudest about an electrician is how long they've been doing business in the area. Contractors who continually do wrong by their customers don't typically get the chance to stay in business for long. Not only that, but with longevity comes experience. That makes it less likely that you will present a situation he's never seen before. That means more efficient work, better problem solving, and methods that have been tested on real world applications.
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