If your house has been built for several years now, chances are, it may need an upgrade to conform to modern appliances and devices you’ve added to your home through the years.
Years ago, you may have bought a simple television set. With the introduction of new television models, you may have recently bought yourself a 75-inch OLED TV complete with a home theater.
For this newly acquired asset, your old electrical outlet may no longer be sufficient, and you risk short circuiting your breakers.
To solve this problem, you can rely on professional electrical contractors to do the job for you, but before hiring one, you need to take steps to ensure you are getting only the best in the business.
How to Choose the Right Electrical Contractor
- Search the web
These days, most electricians are aware of the value of having an online presence – they have their website and social media accounts. You’ll be able to evaluate the contractor’s capability and services by reading through its web pages.
Using the web as a search tool is convenient because you will not need to drive and ask around, which is too much of a hassle.
- Do a background check
When you have pinpointed at least three possible contractors, do another search to check on their reputation.
There are websites like the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List that provide reviews for various businesses and trade.
Knowing a contractor’s reputation is important, so you don’t suffer from poor electrical repairs and bad experience. This ensures you don’t hire one who has been involved in questionable projects or one who left an unfinished project.
Ask your neighbors and friends if they have used or have heard of the contractors you’re planning to hire. Know what particular job they hired the contractor for and what was their experience. A satisfied customer would normally have only good words for a reliable electrical contractor and would usually recommend them.
Are they pioneers or well-known in the industry? Contractors of this type have lasted and continue to be successful in the business because they provide quality work. They care for their reputation and thus, deliver only the best service. Contractors who have been in the business for years have accumulated tons of experience and would know how to deal with various electrical improvements.
- Check for licenses
It is important to note that a licensed professional does not equate to excellent workmanship. When you look for an electrician, you need to know what type of electrical improvement you need because they have different specialization.
You can verify their license by getting the number that appears on the license and cross-checking it on public records. You can also ask for the electrician’s full name and check if he is listed. You may also ask assistance from local licensing offices or organizations.
Types of licensed electricians:
A Master Electrician has a degree in Electrical Engineering and should have a minimum experience of seven years. He can be a supervisor or a project contractor. He is authorized to create an electrical plan and can install and maintain an electrical system.
A Journeymen Electrician is licensed to do wiring and equipment installation with the assistance of a Master Electrician in residential and commercial buildings.
Commercial Electricians are required to work under a Master Electrician before being licensed. This is important because they are involved in projects that could affect public safety. They work on construction sites or commercial buildings.
To be a licensed Residential Electrician, an individual needs to undergo classroom training and apprenticeship for at least four years. After licensing, he can install and upgrade electrical equipment in homes and apartments.
- The work should be guaranteed
Faulty electrical installations pose a high risk to the destruction of life and property as it can lead to fires. The National Fire Protection Association reports that between the years 2010 to 2014, fire departments all over the U.S. responded to an annual average of 45,210 cases of home fires that were traced back to electrical malfunctions.
If you inadvertently hire an unlicensed contractor, chances are, he would not be liable for any damages you will incur due to faulty work. Your homeowners’ insurance may not also cover the damages caused by the same.
You can prevent this by checking on the contractor’s insurance policy and its coverage.
- Look for someone who understands your needs
Find someone who prioritizes listening to your electrical problems and suggesting solutions for it. If a different suggestion to what you have in mind is presented to you, ask him to explain why this is the case and weigh the pros and cons. A professional contractor will be able to explain this to you in clear and simple language.