The process of hiring any contractor is multifaceted, but picking the right residential electrician could have a lot of implications on your home's future safety. Here are some of the things to look out for.
If you choose to go through an established company with a good social media reputation, you probably won't have much trouble with unlicensed contractors. Less investigation is necessary. But when you look for an independent contractor, there are a few things to be aware of. Verify their current insurance and licensing, and get references from past clients. You could even ask to see photos of past work. There's a lot you can tell about a photograph, such as whether the work is neat and organized, with wiring tucked out of the way of home residents. Sloppy work is the mark of a bad electrician.
Speak Directly with Your Service Provider
It's a good idea to call the company for a consultation before they send someone out to look at your electrical issues. Try to speak directly with the person who will be addressing your claim so that you can get a sense of the quality of service and knowledge they will bring to the table.
Assess Experience and Expertise
When you have your service provider on the phone, ask what kind of experience they personally have with your electrical issue. Electricians can focus on many different aspects of the trade in their careers, including real estate home inspections, circuit breaker panel installations, lighting installations, and more. Find a specialist who focuses in your area.
There are also varying levels of expertise, for which you may need a master or apprentice residential electrician. Installing simple lighting fixtures requires less experience than fixing botched electrical wiring installations. This is something your electrical contractors may handle for you. But make sure that the price you pay is correlated to the experience level of the contractors they will send you.
Get a Quote
A quote may be offered to you over the phone or in person, once the electrician looks at your issue up close. Cross-check the quote online with what's reasonable for that issue. Allow your electrician to explain why they think the price is fair. Some electrical jobs may require additional time, especially if the electrician has to safely undo another contractor's bad work. The personality, experience, and price of the contractor are all important points in evaluating an offer.