Hiring an Electrician? Consider These Tips
When you hire an electrician, you want to ensure that you find the right one by carefully researching your options. Your family’s safety is at stake when you hire one of these professionals, so it’s not a decision to take lightly.
One of the best tips you can remember is to get estimates from more than one contractor. This is well worth the time investment, because it ensures that you are getting a fair price. Always talk to at least two, if not three, contractors. Be sure to consider the contractor’s experience and training in his price. It might be worthwhile to pay a little extra for someone with many more years of experience in the field. When you get these quotes, ask the contractors for references as well.
As you are gathering your list of electricians to contact, find out if your friends and family members have any suggestions for contractors. A good electrician will have a reputation in the community. If you cannot get solid references, you can use the Internet or even a phone book to help you located reputable contractors in your area, but always check online reference sites to see what others have to say. Hiring one “blind” is never a good idea.
As you are researching contractors, find out what the payment arrangements will be. Will you need to pay upfront, or can you work out a payment plan that enables you to pay throughout the project? Some even allow payment after the final inspection.
The answer to this will depend largely on the size of the job and the amount they will need to spend on materials to get started on the job. You cannot expect an electrician to foot the bill for a bunch of supplies prior to getting paid, because they could end up eating that cost if the customer never comes through and pays.
Keep in mind that the contractor or the company he works for is responsible for any necessary building permits. Some who are not properly licensed may ask you to do this. If an electrician asks this of you, you might want to think twice about using their services. Similarly, check the permits to ensure that the contractor puts them in his or her name. Your name on the building permit makes it your responsibility to make sure that the work is done to code and all required inspections have been completed. This should be the contractor’s job.
Finally, if everything else checks out, including references, credentials, and permits, go with your gut. As with any other contractor, hiring an electrician requires you to let a stranger into your home. If you feel uncomfortable, then choose a different one. If you feel confident, then chances are you have found a good one.
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