Finding an electrical contractor that you trust is key to ensuring the safety of your home and business. An electrician that is reputable also ensures you will not be overcharged for the job while also receiving quality work. Because electrical problems are one of the leading causes of fires, hiring an electrician that is professionally trained, certified and licensed is a must.
Top six questions we recommend homeowners and business owners ask prior to hiring an electrician:
Are you licensed and insured? All electricians are required by Washington State to be licensed. Many are required to be licensed for design and installation, except for journeymen who are only required to be licensed for installation. Electrical contractors should also carry at least $500,000 in liability and workers’ compensation insurance. If they are not, you will want to interview other electricians who are.
Do you have references from business owners and homeowners? Angie’s List and Yelp are both great places to start when it comes to gathering reviews, however, the most informative and telling information you will receive will be from friends, colleagues and neighbors. Ask them who they have hired and what their experience was like. As with anything the cream of the crop will rise to the top!
Can I talk to other clients that have hired you for this specific specialty/job?We recommend not only getting references regarding quality of work but to also see what it was like to work on a specific need. For instance, we have a great deal of experience in home remodels, large commercial businesses, working with the City of Seattle and coordinating with general contractors and interior design professionals. Determine what you need and make sure the person you are planning to hire can deliver.
How do you communicate, coordinate, follow-up and assure me that the job is on schedule? Often times, when you hire an electrician, the project is not just about electrical work. There are many different components to a job so it is important that the person you hire is on schedule, easy to work with and communicative. Ask how they work with others and ask the other people you are hiring how they feel about working with the electrician you are planning to hire.
What are your policies on how you enter and leave a job site? Whether it is home or business job site, your electrician, as any contractor or business partner, needs to take into account that it is indeed a home or a business. Ask them about their company’s policy on how they enter and leave a job site and whether the work they will be doing will impact your access to the location.
What does your estimate include? Take the time to closely review the estimate provided. Your electrician should be very transparent in what the estimate includes so that you can budget accordingly. If you have any questions at all, be sure to ask. If for some reason you do not feel like their answers are clear or that they are being glossed over, it may not be the right electrician to hire.