Needing skilled workmen like an electrician is part and parcel of life. But getting involved with someone who is less than the desired can not only cause stress but also leave you on your own to manage risks like voiding insurance or dealing with faulty wirings/fixtures. This blog in a step-wise manner let you know an approach to hiring an electrician as good as he can get.
So here we go!
1. Find local electrician
Getting someone, An electrician, in this case, certified, registered with any of the government-approved schemes (run by bodies such as NAPIT, ELECSA, National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contractors (NICEIC) or others), qualified for your job locally has too many benefits to ignore:
- In case anything goes wrong, you’ll receive support from the scheme operator.
- Part P registered ‘competent-person’ has everything you want to get done with as far as domestic installations are concerned.
- His credibility can be easily verifiable.
- Endorsements, testimonials and references can be second-checked if needed.
- All the relevant notifications and paperwork will be completed for you.
- Every standard would be taken care of with the specialised equipment.
Any electrician who is reluctant to show you proof of his registration, certification and qualifications should be avoided.
2. See if he listens
All the skilled professionals might not come with this important trait so will need to look hard. The best electricians will always:
- Prefer you talk first and that too elaborately about the issue to get a better idea of the task at hand much before he visits the place
- Provides a rough idea as to what might have happened in a plain and simple way depending on your inputs
- Be ready to give a detailed analysis only on a visit.
Since employing a certain electrician is quite involving, it’s better to judge him on some nuanced attributes of human beings than just on his skills and certificates.
3. Organize a survey
For major electricity issues, you just have the symptoms in your knowledge but not the real issue that caused the problem. Getting an electrician to survey the building to know the real issue and what might it cost you approximately will remain the only suit to follow. Only when that’s done could you think of getting the actual work done. Things to keep in while getting the survey:
- Is the prospective electrician keeping the appointment?
- Is he willing to share his credentials to prove his worth and trustworthiness for that matter?
- Is he ready to give you detailed written quotes (to make it easy for you to compare it with the others)?
- Are you required to pay the fee in instalments (which is generally required if the project is big): apart as advance and rest when the work is done? Will it be in the contract or not?
Positive answers to these questions are enough to put your worrying mind at rest as far as hiring an electrician is concerned.
4. Get 3 quotes (or more)
Once the above step is taken care of, the only thing remains is getting a quote. (Though in some cases, getting a quotation comes prior to getting the survey done so decide as per your needs.) However, the estimates could differ from one electrician to the other. So, it’s recommended to:
- Get at least 3 quotes (or more if you have the time and patience needed for the task) for you to decide better as to which one’s quoting a fair price depending on what all he is promising to accomplish.
- Avoid getting estimates over the phone as these might not match when it comes to actual task.
- Ask about guarantees period for the task, amount of time needed to get the task done and insurance protecting your property.
These things can help you in finalizing the electrician to go for.
5. Permits and Permission
The task needed to be done might require particular permission from local authorities. A qualified electrician would know that immediately while surveying and tell you that. However, that may take time to get done with the task. See if the electrician is:
- Reluctant in getting those permits/approvals.
- Willing to cut corners by carrying out work without the necessary permission.
- Ready to put you and your house insurance at risk.
You would definitely not want to employ such an electrician.
6. Understand how to work with an Electrician
Bigger remodelling tasks need to be done after consulting architectural/interior designing plans which show every fixture by its type, outlet and switch location. The suggested approach to take up such tasks includes:
- Informing the electrician about the plans and supplying him with a copy.
- Asking when he needs the fixtures and shopping around but not buying.
- Making a list of choices with the needed details.
- Asking the electrician to make the purchase which ensures that the electrician assumes the responsibility for warranty issues, breakage, defective products and missing parts.
- Staying under allowance and budget to account for surprises (if any).
Going around the remodelling job this way would take much load off your shoulders. The electrician is bound to get some marginal profit when he makes the purchase yet that would not be more than what you would have had to pay had you made the same purchases. Plus you get some warranties that otherwise is not taken care by the electrician. So, a wise decision through and through!
7. Judge the work quality
A nicely accomplished job would be reflected in how cleanly and properly everything is done. Obviously, you would not be in any position to judge on any mistake in the whole project. Yet, some points are enough to help you decide if you would continue your association with the electrician for future, like:
- Any task that isn’t neat is rarely safe, so be wary.
- Cables that are crossed and jumbled are surely a sign of mismanagement by the electrician.
- Utility box must be set securely at a proper distance from the wall.
- The electrician makes it his responsibility to show you what is needed to be done before he does that and then shows you exactly what he has done after he finishes.
You should pay attention to the details as sloppy work will shout out from anywhere, and so would his attitude.
Hope all these aspects of getting a great electrician would assist you in landing on one.
This article is authored by Malcolm Porter. He is an content strategist at T G Gregory & Son, one of the leading Electricians and Electrical contractor firm. He is highly skilled and expertise in sharing his knowledge and views on electrical, electrical installation or repairing for household appliances goods.