Dos and Donts of Hiring Electricians / Electrical contractors

The Yellow Pages are not the only way to find the right electrician. Hiring the incorrect contractor can result in financial ruin and may even be hazardous.

To begin with, you must ensure that any contractor whom you consider hiring has the necessary general liability and workers comp insurance, as well as a license and bond.

If you want to hire advanced electrical contractors, make sure they’re experienced and honest.

This is the best place to ask these questions. The Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors / Division of Consumer Affairs – the Authority having Jurisdiction – and of course the Better Business Bureau are the two places you should start.

For a brief moment, let’s pretend that you had an electrical task to be completed.

This isn’t an emergency. You may just have to replace a lamp that no longer works.

What Would You Do?

Are you going to contact several contractors in order to receive multiple bids from them? But I wouldn’t always recommend it.

Many people believe they need to get several bids on every single job. In actuality, this is not always the case. Putting every small job out to tender can actually backfire.

You will find few, if any, good contractors. And asking multiple times for small jobs is only going to alienate these people the next time. From their perspective, try to see the issue. Although their time is valued at about $100/hour, they are willing to make the trip to your house to offer you a complimentary estimate.

Typically, good contractors are willing to bid “extra-competitive”, especially the very first time. They want to keep you as their customer.

However, how do you know if that first contractor in your home really is the good one? Some rules are applicable here. But remember that every rule has exceptions.

A professional contractor should look good. It is important to note that the appearance of a person who looks messy and unorganized can be a good indicator of the work he does. Someone who prides themselves on their work is usually proud of their looks. Many contractors will argue against this statement, but it’s important to remember we are discussing the generalities of things and not specifics. A company shirt or other identification is sufficient.

O A good contractor has company cards on which they list their company, name, and telephone.

o An excellent contractor will be responsive to your phone calls, give you an estimate for free (for most projects) within a short time or the next day. They should also explain in detail what and how they plan to complete the project.

It is not acceptable for a contractor to offer to perform a task without the required permits. In fact, he may refuse the contract if an owner insists that they aren’t obtained. A permit is an added insurance to the homeowner, ensuring that they are getting a job done right and in a safe manner.

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