Hiring a service provider is something that we do on a regular basis.
However, making sure that that particular person or company is able to offer a service that satisfies your needs and expectations is a bit difficult.
It is not as simple as when you go shopping for a product.
Therefore it is important that you take your time to research well, as well as ask around, prior to making your decision.
In the case of hiring an electrician you need to make sure that the service is one that gives you peace of mind.
An electrician needs to be trustworthy and experienced as the job will be critical for your home or offices safety and efficiency.
It is vital that you ask certain questions to the electrician you are considering hiring to ensure that you are going to choose well.
The following article covers 10 important questions you must ask an electrician before hiring them.
Read on to find out more or jump to a question by using the menu links listed below:
- Are you Qualified & Licensed?
- Are you Insured?
- Can I See References?
- What’s Your Experience?
- What’s Your Specialism?
- Do You Have a Fixed Rate?
- Who Will Carry Out the Work?
- Is Your Work Guaranteed?
- Are You Punctual?
- Can I Get a Second Opinion Before Proceeding?
1. Are You Qualified & Licensed?
Make sure the electrician you hire is properly licensed.
In most countries this is a legal requirement, so you should make a point of asking them to provide documentation to be absolutely certain.
Having a license to perform electrical work gives you peace of mind that the electrician has experienced, as well as certain qualifications to back him up.
Nowadays, electricians are being asked to carry out works on newly emerging technologies like the installation of domestic, commercial and community charging points for EV’s, which requires them to be fully OZEV approved.
So without proper licensing and certification, there’s no way the work they carry out will be insured, 100% safe or conducted according to statutory codes.
2. Are You Insured?
Needless to say, electrical jobs are rather dangerous so unless one is very careful and experienced, serious risks are involved.
Therefore it is best to hire an electrician who is fully insured.
This kind of coverage will not only be safeguarding the electrician himself, but also his clients.
So, should there be something that goes wrong during the work, you will properly covered in all eventualities.
3. Can I See References?
Always ask for references from past jobs or clients.
While you may have conducted your own research and looked up online reviews online about the electrician, it is a good idea to ask for references just to be absolutely sure.
4. What’s Your Experience?
An electrician who can boast several years of experience is definitely a strong option.
As a general rule of thumb, you should go for an electrician who has at least three years’ experience minimum.
While this is a common question you will ask him, you cannot be sure that he is being truthful.
So you may still wish to check their NIC details online to know for sure how long they have been operating in this field.
5. What’s Your Specialism?
Electrical jobs are varied and sometimes challenging.
Some electricians might specialise in certain types of job more than in others.
For example, some electricians prefer to deal with larger scale commercial work, whilst others prefer smaller residential projects.
You may wish to hire an electrician who specialises in the kind of work that you need to get done.
As such, you will be getting a service by a better trained and more experienced electrician in your particular type of project.
6. Do You Have a Fixed Rate?
It’s a given that everyone wants to know how much a job will cost before pressing ahead.
Getting a quote should be one of the first things that come to mind when discussing your needs with any electrical contractor.
Some electricians offer different costs and payment options.
Some operate by a fixed rate per hour, while others will just give you a fixed rate according to the job you need to get done.
Most people prefer a clear itemised breakdown of the various costs involved.
This includes the labour and the materials needed for the job.
Make sure that you hire an electrician who is willing to be flexible with costs, as well as trustworthy.
There are times when some electricians will give you an estimate, only to end up adding up a substantial amount once the job is completed.
They’ll use typical excuses that certain unexpected additional expenses cropped up while the work was underway.
You want to avoid an unreliable electrician who is known for this sort of practice.
Hidden costs and nasty surprises are something that you want to avoid.
It’s also important to bare in mind if the total cost quoted seems to be too low, then there’s probably something that does not quite add up.
The cheapest quote is not always the best one on offer.
So always try to agree a fixed cost that includes any potential additions or unforeseen extras.
7. Who Will Carry Out the Work?
If the electrical work you need to get done is fairly substantial, it’s highly likely more than one contractor will be involved.
Make sure to ask this question as it is best to learn about the team of electricians who will be carrying out the work, and their respective expertise.
Also, check that they are directly associated with the firm in question and are not a third party contractor pulled in to help out.
If so, you need to check all their credentials and insurances separately, which opens up a whole new can of worms.
8. Is Your Work Guaranteed?
Ask the electrician this question to ensure you’ll be safeguarded with a warranty of work.
Most electricians will assume the responsibility of buying the required devices and material themselves on your behalf.
This will be done through a contractors account with their suppliers, therefore warranties should be as standard for all items supplied.
A warranty should also be offered on the electrical work itself, such as the labour and any faults that may arise as a result.
9. Are You Punctual?
One common problem is to hire a contractor who gives you an estimated turnaround time that seems acceptable, only to end up taking far longer to complete the work.
Naturally, this is something you want to avoid, since electrical work can be messy, noisy and hazardous as well as inconvenient.
Having an electrician who is not punctual and reliable could also impact other jobs you might have booked with other contractors.
So ask the prospective electrician for a truthful answer to this question before hiring them, as a hold up could have major consequences on larger construction projects that need to run to schedule.
10. Can I Get a Second Opinion Before Proceeding?
If there’s anything that you’re not quite comfortable with, do not feel pressured in any way to proceed immediately.
You have every right to make a well informed decision.
To do this, you might want to check on other electricians first.
So, if you are uncomfortable with any answer you received from the prospective electrician, let them know that you would like to get a second opinion, and will then get back to them with a decision as soon as possible.
If they become difficult or try to pressure you into proceeding immediately, this is a sure sign that perhaps they are not a suitable candidate.
In most instances, there are some very well trained and highly qualified electricians out there.
But like most instances, there’s also a fair few charlatans who need to be weeded out and avoided at all costs.
Electrical work can be complex and require someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.
So prior to hiring any electrician, make sure to ask the aforementioned questions above.
They will give you a far better idea of whom to hire fo your work.
This will increase your chances of being satisfied that the job has been completed safely, to correct standards and at a price you are happy with.