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Tips for Hiring an Electrician to Work on Your Home

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While many of us like to do some odd jobs around the home where possible, and some of us can even take on various handyman and renovation tasks, there are some things on the to-do list we likely shouldn’t ever tackle unless we have the necessary training.

One of these things is electrical work. It’s no problem to change a light bulb, for instance, but handling many other electrical tasks should be left up to professionals. Here are some tips for hiring a specialist in this area.

Look Into People’s Licenses, Insurance, Etc.

For starters, research those you’re considering hiring to see if they have the necessary electrical licenses. Electricians need to have valid, up-to-date paperwork that allows them to work on other people’s properties. Depending on where you live, electricians might need national, state, or even municipality licenses to do their job legally.

Plus, electricians, like many other tradespeople, must have adequate insurance to cover liability in case they hurt themselves or others or if issues occur at some point with the work they’ve completed. Ask to see a copy of each person’s insurance policy so you can ensure it’s valid and covers any other team members, apprentices, etc., that the electrician might have working with them, along with relevant workers’ compensation insurance. Looking elsewhere is best if you’re unsure of a professional’s licensing or insurance credentials.

Plus, there may be times when permits are required to get specific electrical jobs done in or around your home. You may even need a local council member or another person to inspect the electrician’s work to ensure it was done correctly and safely and that nothing needs to be fixed or replaced.

It’s wise to talk to electricians about this and see if they can organize it and work with municipality people to sort the permits. Be sure to ask to see the permits and keep a copy for yourself if electricians look after this side of things for you, though, so you know everything is up to code and signed off on.

Ask for Referrals

Another tip for hiring an electrician is to ask around your family members, friends, colleagues, etc., for referrals. If people you know and trust have used tradespeople in the past and can verify the workers did a good job, were easy to communicate with, had reasonable fees, and so on, this can help put you at ease.

If anyone recommends an electrician to you, ask what work they completed on your contact’s home, if your contact would hire them again, and if there were any issues with the project worth knowing about. Those providing the referral should also be able to let you know if the electrician was capable of handling certain complex tasks or specialties, if this know-how is something you require.

Many electricians can handle relatively simple jobs, but not all can do more intricate work. For example, you might only need to hire an electrician to install a windmill ceiling fan for you, service an HVAC unit, or put in new lights or power points. However, not everyone will be adept at totally rewiring a property, installing solar panels, or repairing complex machinery. Ensure you select a tradesperson with the necessary skills and experience to do everything on your list. Question their training and how many more demanding jobs they’ve done over the years so you can be confident about their abilities.

Read Reviews and Testimonials

You might not get any helpful recommendations from those in your network, though. If not, turn to online reviews and testimonials on social media sites, forums, blogs, etc., or even read local newspapers or magazines for mentions of qualified professionals to consider.

Check out what dozens or even hundreds of other people who have hired electricians in your city or suburb have said about the people they’ve dealt with to see who stands out for you. Remember that most workers will never get a 100 percent glowing feedback list, as it’s hard to keep all people happy all the time, but you can look out for those who get at least primarily favorable words said about them.

Another tip for hiring an electrician is to ask for detailed quotes from each person on your shortlist. Quotes should cover not just the general costs but also other fees that could potentially arise, such as extra charges for working later on workdays or on weekends and for making payments using specific methods, such as by credit card.

Learn if you need to pay some money upfront, before the work is completed, and get a contract in place outlining all the terms and conditions and costs that you can sign before any work begins.

Follow all these tips, and you’ll be better placed to find the perfect electrician for your needs whose work you’re happy with long term.

By Liliana Alvarez

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