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Demand for electricians is on the rise across America with the profession expected to grow by about 8% through 2029. If that growth surprises you, it shouldn’t.
After all, there are millions and homes and businesses out there and 99.9% of them have electricity flowing through them.
If you’re one of the many people that need to call on an electrician to fix an issue, chances are, you have a lot of options. That brings us to the question of which electrician services you should hire.
For those that need guidance when it comes to vetting prospective contractors, keep reading. Below, we share key questions you should ask anybody you’re interviewing which should make clear who your best options are in the marketplace.
1. May I See Your License and Insurance?
There’s no wiggle room when it comes to hiring licensed and insured electricians. Failure to do so puts you at risk of liability and makes you an accessory to your electrical company’s circumvention of local laws.
Looking at insurance, business insurance is what protects you when your electricity services company comes into your house, drops a fixture on your shelf, and breaks a $5000 heirloom.
Insurance is what also protects your electricity company’s employees should they get hurt on your property.
Without insurance, any expenses that come out of your contractor’s actions could be forwarded to you.
When it comes to licensure, it’s good practice to make sure that the people you work with are complying with local laws. If they’re not by choosing to not be licensed, what makes you think they’ll manage your job with integrity?
2. Do You Have References?
Electrician services that have been in business for a while have likely worked with several clients. The great news there is that each of those clients represents a story that you can dive into to get a sense of whether or not the company you’re considering is worth hiring.
So, before you sign anything, ask companies you’re vetting if they have references. In a perfect world, they’d point you to reviews you can find on their website, which you can click here to see an example of.
In a less perfect world, they’d give you the name of some clients you can follow up with.
Any electrician services provider that won’t connect you with any kind of reference is best avoided.
3. Will You Be Subcontracting This Job?
We’ve seen time and again people fall in love with a company’s pitch, hire them, and then have a different team show up to complete the job. What gives?!
Unbeknownst to many, contractors of all varieties make additional money by taking on more jobs than they can handle and reselling the overflow to other contractors at a profit.
If you’re not okay with your job being resold, make that clear. You may get charged a premium or lose a bid because of your adamance but if working with the people you hire is important to you, don’t settle for anything less.
4. How Long Have You Been Working?
While not always the perfect indicator of quality, when a company has been in business for a long time, they’ve managed to procure a steady enough stream of clients to remain operational. That says something about their quality of work.
This is why we advocate that people hiring an electrician prioritize companies that have been providing services for a long time. While there’s nothing wrong with hiring newcomers, in doing so, you’re shouldering the risk of their inexperience.
5. Will Permits Be Required and How Will They Be Pulled?
Most small jobs an electrician can do for you won’t require permits. Larger jobs, though, that beg substantial entry-points into your walls, ceiling, community grid, etc., may require city approval.
Your electrician should be able to tell you if a permit will be required for your job, assuming they’ve done jobs in your community before. If a permit is required, have them spell out that process so you know what to expect.
6. Do You Guarantee Your Work?
Any service professional that won’t stand by their work is a service professional that you shouldn’t hire.
It’s standard for electricians to guarantee their installs for a year. Failure of electrical work, so long as it’s not attributed to a part (which has a separate warranty), should be owned by your service provider and fixed at no expense to you.
Not every electrician services provider will offer a warranty and fewer will put warranties in writing. Aim for those security blankets when hiring help.
7. May I Have an Estimate in Writing?
A contractor’s desire is to create as much ambiguity as possible so they have wiggle room in cost if jobs get tough. Your desire is to make things as concrete as possible so you know exactly the kind of deal you’re getting into.
Those separate aims create the need for compromise which you’ll want to accomplish before a job starts.
Whatever you and your electrical contractor decide on, get it in writing. That way, you’ll have legal recourse if the worst comes to pass.
Electrician Services May Take Time to Vet
The electricity that runs through your home or business is important to you. Be mindful of that importance and don’t trust it to electrician services that are cut-rate.
Use the questions we’ve shared to slowly vet your options and locate a partner you feel will manage your interests and your wallet well.
If you find yourself in need of more guidance as you conduct your search, we welcome you to explore more helpful content on our blog.