The electrical system is obviously one of the most essential parts of your home. It is also the most hazardous part of the home since electrical problems could create a major fire risk or a potential for electrocution.
Performing any electrical work on your own is always a bad idea for these reasons, but opting to hire someone without the right knowledge, skills and licensing can be just as bad. This is why you should always do some research and carefully consider just which electrician you hire for any work on your home. After all, the last thing you want is to waste money on someone who doesn’t have what it takes to do the job safely and correctly. With this in mind, here are some important questions to ask to help ensure that you hire an electrician that can get the job done properly and for a fair price.
1. Are You Licensed and Insured?
This should always be the very first question, and you should immediately discard any electrician who cannot provide proof of their state license and insurance. Many electrical tasks must be performed by a fully licensed electrician to meet building codes and state requirements. Becoming a licensed electrician requires thousands of hours of training, and this is something that you definitely want to check before trusting your home’s electrical system to anyone.
Not only should the electrical contractor be fully licensed, but you also want to make sure that the electrician who will be performing the work is fully licensed. An electrician with an Apprentice or Residential Lineman license can perform most basic electrical work, but you will still want to make sure that the job is overseen by someone with a Master Electrician license.
Hiring an electrical contractor that is fully insured is just as important for preventing potential liability issues. If you hire someone that isn’t insured and they get injured on the job, you could get left on the hook for all of their medical expenses. Hiring an insured contractor is also important should the job not get done correctly or should any damage occur during the work or as a result of it. If the contractor is insured, they will be liable and their insurance would cover the cost of any repairs or necessary work in these situations. If the person isn’t licensed, you will most likely have to pay for everything out of pocket.
2. Do You Provide a Workmanship Warranty or Guarantee?
Any reputable electrician should always back up their work with some type of written warranty or workmanship guarantee. This means that they will cover their work for a specific period of time and perform any repairs at no cost should any issue arise due to their workmanship. The contractor should also honor any manufacturer’s warranty on any fixtures or equipment you purchase through them. It is important that you get this information so that you are aware beforehand of what things are covered as well as the specific terms and so that you have something to rely on should any issues arise.
3. Will the Work Require a Permit?
Minor electrical tasks like replacing an outlet or installing a new light fixture typically don’t require an electrical permit and inspection. However, larger jobs like rewiring, replacing an electrical panel or installing a whole-home generator or surge protector almost always require a permit. If the job does require a permit, it will also need to be inspected once the project is done to ensure that the work meets all relevant building codes. In this case, the electrician should take care of the permit and be responsible for scheduling all necessary inspections.
This is an important question to ask as performing some work without the proper permit could get you a steep fine and be forced to have the work torn out and redone. If the work isn’t done to code, it could also cause issues in the future if you were to try to sell the home.
4. What Does Your Estimate Include?
It is essential that you get a written estimate before signing any contract or hiring anyone to do any electrical work. While this is obviously true for major projects, it can be just as true even if you’re only having a few outlets replaced or a new fixture installed. Without a full estimate, there is no way that you can know if you’re getting a fair price or what exactly is included in the price.
A reputable, professional electrician should be able to provide a clearly written estimate that breaks down the various costs such as parts, labor charges and any other fees. Of course, there is always a chance that issues could arise that may lead to the project costing more, but a written estimate can still help prevent you from getting ripped off and also ensure you know exactly what you’re paying for.
5. Who Is Responsible for Any Other Associated Repairs?
The majority of your electrical system is hidden inside your walls and ceilings, which means it is often necessary to cut holes in the drywall when performing some types of electrical work. In this case, you will want to make sure to ask who is responsible for repairing the drywall and repainting it once the electrical work is finished. Most electricians won’t repair this type of thing on their own, but the contractor may hire someone to do the work. You may also be responsible for this part of the project on your own. In either case, this information should be clearly stated and included in the written terms of the estimate or contract.
6. Will the Job Require an Electrical Interruption?
Almost any electrical work will require the power to be shut off to part or all of your home for a period of time. If you’re having major work done, some parts of the house or the entire home may be without power for a few days. This is something that should be clearly communicated to you before the job starts so that you can prepare and make plans as needed.
7. Is This a Long-Term Solution?
Many electrical problems can be fixed fairly easily, but there is often a more long-term solution that can better fix the problem and prevent future issues. For instance, if your electrical panel is old and outdated and you have circuit breakers that constantly trip, you are often best off upgrading to a new, higher amp panel or considering rewiring your home. This is important to think about as you may be better off investing in a long-term solution instead of continuously trying to fix the same old issues.
8. Can You Provide Any References?
Looking at references and reviews is a great way to get a feel of a company, the quality of work they perform and the level of customer service. An electrician that doesn’t have any reviews or can’t provide references should be an immediate red flag. Looking at reviews is also great as you can then ask the electrician about any specific incidents or issues you may see to gauge what their response is and see what steps they took to ensure that the customer was finally satisfied.
Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric is proud to be one of the top-rated electrical contractors in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, and our team has what it takes to handle any electrical project or if you need any plumbing or HVAC service. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and see why everyone truly loves Bacon.