Everything you need to know about hiring the right electrical contractor for the job you need.
Repairing and upgrading your home’s electrical systems is a non-negotiable investment for homeowners. It’s crucial to your household’s safety to have efficient, safe wiring in all fixtures and appliances. Plus, it makes for a more pleasant household. It’s also intricate work that requires a high level of knowledge and skill. Although there are some home electrical repairs you can “DIY,” for the big issues, it’s a smart idea to hire professionals, like electrical contractors.
But how can you be sure you’re choosing the right person for the job? What’s a fair wage for the work, and how can you be sure you’re negotiating with all of the necessary information? In this article, we’ll share some tips for hiring electrical contractors, so you can feel great about the work performed — and maybe even form a lasting professional relationship for future work, repairs, and upgrades.
What Is The Difference Between Electrical Contractors And Electricians?
As you begin your search for a local electrician, you may be wondering about the difference between these two titles. An electrician is a singular person, and is typically part of a larger entity. “Electrical contractor” typically refers to a business or larger entity. Your electrical contractor will estimate the cost and scope of the potential project, handle ordering materials, and manage budget and timeline. In contrast, an electrician is the individual who performs the work required. In the case of small business owners, an electrical contractor may also be the sole electrician who performs the work required. Other times, the contractor may hire many electricians who could work separately or on a team, depending on the needs of the project.
When you start your research, you will likely get the best results by searching for an electrical contractor, as they are the individuals who will walk you through the whole process, from A to Z.
Top Tips For Hiring Electrical Contractors
Now that you know the differences between electricians and contractors, here are some insider tips for hiring one.
- Understand the scope of work required. It’s in your best interest to clearly describe all of the work required. This will help the electrician give you an honest estimate of cost, with no surprises mid-way through.
- Ask around. Have your neighbors or community members had a positive experience with an electrician? Neighborhood forums and chat rooms, as well as social media platforms, are great places to crowd-source positive references.
- Read reviews. It’s true that most consumers will leave comments and reviews only after a very positive or very negative experience. But either way will give you helpful insight into the electrical contract you’re looking to hire.
- Ask about certifications and licensing. Quality electrical work starts with proper credentials. Your contractor should be happy to disclose their training and certification information.
- Know the difference between commercial and residential. Commercial electricians must adhere to a strict protocol of training, apprenticeship, and licensing. But commercial work is often performed at a much larger scope, and commercial contractors may not be in the business of doing small home repairs and upgrades.
- Shop around. You should familiarize yourself with what electrical contractors charge, on average, for your project. Keep in mind that this information is often region-specific, so focus on contractors in your area.
- Keep an open mind about rates. It can be tempting to hire the contractor with the lowest hourly rate. But if they are less recommended, or worse: less experienced, than a contractor with high rates, your costs could actually snowball. There’s something to be said about a job done right, efficiently, the first time.
- Communicate about any concerns you have before, during, and after the project. There’s not much to be said about a bad haircut after the fact. (Other than “yikes!”) But in the case of your home’s electricity, you should speak up if you’re unhappy with the work performed. Many contractors feel that the job isn’t done until all parties involved are satisfied and proud of the results.
As with all home improvement projects, you’ll want to maintain clear and open lines of communication throughout the job. A simple one-day project wraps up in no time, but for longer-term work, it’s important to receive regular updates about the timeline. Remember that although you may be charmed by a contractor during their pitch, the real work begins once they unpack their tools.
Contact Blanton’s Air at (910) 249-4898 for all your Fayetteville or Raleigh, NC HVAC and plumbing needs.