If your home’s ancient electrical system just fried your brand-new, very expensive, ultra HD television, you need an electrician. It may tempting to hire the shop that says they can come right out (really fast), your neighbor’s cousin’s brother-in-law (really cheap) or the contractor that just moved in down the block (really close). But cheap, close and fast doesn’t necessarily mean best.
Electrical systems are complex. To stay safe and ensure an efficient source of power for years to come, you want an experienced, skilled, and professional electrician. That means research, and coming up with the right questions to ask an electrician you are considering. Luckily for you, we’ve done the second part for you. Here are 4 essential questions to ask when you hire an electrician.
#1. What’s your experience?
Electricians must go through training, either at an approved school or an apprenticeship, before becoming certified. It takes at least 4,000 hours to get a license.
At that point, they can get a job, and most importantly, experience in the field. Ask an electrician and he’ll tell you experience is by far the best teacher for such a hands-on specialty.
Before you hire an electrician, ask him how long he has been actually working with customers, on residential and commercial job sites. An electrician with practical knowledge can save you money by recommending the right solution and directing you away from unnecessary repairs.
#2. Are you licensed? Insured? Bonded?
Confirm that the electrical contractor has a current license, and is bonded and insured.
- A license tells you he has the proper training.
- Insurance and bonding protect you as a consumer, as it tells you the contractor is most likely a professional and reputable. It also protects you financially if something goes wrong on the job.
It’s also a good step to make sure the contractor has a business license and it is current. Usually you can check online at your state’s Secretary of State website.
#3. Will you be doing the work yourself? Will it be a long-term employee? A subcontractor?
Before you hire an electrician, find out who will actually show up at your home to do the work. Is it the owner, the person you made the arrangements with, or is it one of their workers? If it’s the employee, one of the essential questions to ask the owner is whether or not the worker is a journeyman. You don’t want an apprentice in training doing the work. In fact, they are not supposed to work unsupervised.
Or does the owner contract out jobs? If so, is the subcontractor covered by the contractor’s insurance? Stay safe by making sure the required insurance is in place before you hire an electrical contractor who uses sub-contractors.
#4. What type of guarantee do you offer?
Problems can happen even when the work is done by good electricians. That’s why a reputable contractor offers a warranty. Before you hire an electrician, ask about the warranty. Does it cover just parts, just labor, or both? And how long is it good for?
Are you ready to hire an electrician? Call the experts at Prairie Electric today. They’ve been helping people like you since 1975.