Whenever some electrical work needs to be done around your home, it’s important to know that this is one area best left to the experts. Using a DIY approach to electrical problems not only comes with the risk of performing work that falls short, you are also in danger of electrocution and fire. While hiring an electrician is certainly the right thing to do, not all electricians are created equal.
Hiring the wrong contractor could leave you grappling with more than you bargained for. In order to get the hiring right and find a professional contractor like the ones from Jennings Heating & Cooling (jenningsheating.com/akron/electrician/), you need to ask the right questions and look at their requirements. Here is a look at some things you need to pay attention to when hiring an electrician.
The electrician’s license is the first thing you should look at. If they are not licensed, that should mark the end of any conversation. There are two main types of electrician licenses – the journey-level license, and the master license.
In most cases, an electrician will require formal education, some on-the-job training as well as an apprenticeship before they are qualified to work on their own. Many states will also require the electrician to engage in continuous education and stay up-to-date on safety products and building codes.
Insurance is another deal breaker – or, the lack thereof. Electrical work has potentially high liability given the sizable risks to life and property if something were to go catastrophically wrong. An electrician should demonstrate that they have all their bases covered in the event of an accident. You don’t want to be left with enormous health bills and repair costs.
The contractor should have a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance and worker’s compensation. Don’t take their word for it. Ask to see copies of the policy and confirm it has not expired.
You are always advised not to choose a contractor based on their fees alone. Nevertheless, you cannot ignore this aspect, since everyone has a budget they must adhere to. Find out the contractor’s hourly rate and establish how it ranks when compared to other electricians in your area with similar qualifications and experience. Though you don’t want to pick the cheapest contractor, you want to be certain that you are paying a reasonable fee for the service.
Other than the contractor’s hourly fee, obtain a quote for the materials and fittings that will be needed. The contractor should have no qualms about providing a breakdown of prices. Get quotes from at least three contractors to be certain you are getting the right person for the job.
The two licenses required to work as an electrician depend on the contractor’s experience. The more the experience, the better the quality of workmanship you can expect.
Each state sets its own experience requirements in regards to the journey-level and master-level licensing certificates, so it’s always best to check what rules apply in your jurisdiction.
Nevertheless, about 8,000 hours training under a journey-level is required for a journey-level license. One generally requires about 4,000 hours experience as a journey-level electrician to progress to a masters-level license. A master-level electrician will also usually offer a 12-month warranty on their work.
5. Recommendations and Reviews
Just because a contractor has all the required licensing, insurance and experience, it does not necessarily guarantee a certain level of professionalism. Other than these hard skills, you want to work with an electrician who possesses vital soft skills as well, such as good communication, time management, work ethic, problem-solving skills, adaptability/flexibility and interpersonal skills.
Since these are skills that are unlikely to be proven via a formal certification, your best bet is to listen and read recommendations and reviews from their past customers. If you are concerned, take the time to speak to their references as well.
No electrician is flawless, so you can expect to encounter some negative reviews online. However, what you want to look for is the overall sentiment of past customers. Steer clear of any electrician where reviews are largely negative.
Get It Right the First Time
Electrical work is some of the most sensitive activity you can carry out in your home. Don’t leave it to chance. Make sure the electrician you entrust the work to will leave your home and appliances in a better state than they found them – not worse. Use these tips and get it right the first time.