5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician

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One wrong spark is all it takes to burn down your house.

The NFPA lists electrical distribution and lighting equipment among the top five causes of home structure fires. That’s why hiring an electrician shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Even for a simple repair job, you shouldn’t hire just anyone who calls themselves “electricians”. Faulty wiring, from a bad electrical repair or a botched installation, could set your house on fire or damage your expensive devices. You and your children or pets are also at risk for fatal electric shocks.

It may take a few days, months, or even years, but hiring the wrong electrical contractor could come back to haunt you.

Don’t cut corners and always do a proper interview before hiring. Here are five questions you need to ask your electrical contractor before letting them do the job.

1. Are You Licensed?

No license, no job. There are no ifs or buts about it. Think about it, would you risk getting surgery from a non-licensed “doctor”?

Letting someone mess with your wires is the same as letting someone operate on your body. Lives are on the line! This seems like a no-brainer but some homeowners fall victim to fake electricians.

A license tells you that the electrician has the education, training, and competency to complete the job. It also means that they can provide electrical services that are up to the current code standards.

In addition to a valid electrician’s license, ask for the contractor’s business license as well. It should be current and legitimate for your area.

2. Are You Insured?

This is another non-negotiable matter when looking to hire an electrician. Because of the high liability for the work involved, the contractor has to be insured. Even for a small project, make sure that the contractor carries liability and workers’ comp insurance.

3. Who’s Doing the Work? Get a Clear Answer When Hiring an Electrician

Some states only require the owner of the contracting company to be licensed. This means that some contractors will allow apprentices to carry out the job alone. At the very least, if the owner isn’t onsite to supervise, a journeyman electrician should work on electrical repairs or an install.

Ask about who’s working, their qualifications (master vs journeyman or apprentice), and their hourly rates. If the contractor recommends a journeyman but you feel that the project requires a master, talk about it during the interview.

4. How Experienced Are You?

For some projects, having a license isn’t enough. The level of experience is important for top quality service, safety, and budget implementation. Even if they know the codebook by heart, their inexperience might cause unnecessary repairs and expenses.

5. Who Have You Done Work for in the Past?

References are very important when hiring electricians, or any job for that matter. If you haven’t worked with them before, it’s hard to know the quality of their work. A reputable contractor should happily provide you with references to show that they have a clean track record.

Wrapping Up

When hiring an electrician, it’s important to ask these questions to avoid getting saddled with shoddy work. With faulty electrical jobs, you’re putting your house, appliances, and lives at risk. Make sure that you’re hiring a reliable and trustworthy professional.

For more articles about maintaining your home, you can check out the rest of our website.