Not all electrical contractors are created equal.
This is the prime time of the year to start new construction projects. And almost every one of those projects will require some electrical work.
There are a lot of individuals and companies that offer to do electrical work. In choosing which one is best suited to install a new electrical service; wire your home or business; or perform service calls and repairs; you’ll want to ask the following questions.
Do they hold current state licenses?
Are they up-to-date on all code requirements?
A license is your guarantee that the contractor has completed the necessary courses and practical work to perform the job safely and correctly. You should insist on any job, large or small, that your contractor demonstrates adherence to code and license requirements. Failure to do so could mean additional costs down the road to re-do a non-compliant job.
What type of training have they received?
Choosing a company that uses degreed journeyman electricians, who have completed a 4 or 5 year certified apprenticeship program, helps guarantee that the electrician has both the field experience and education to provide top level services and deal with the unforeseen in a professional manor.
Are they bonded and insured?
A call to the City Engineers Office in the town or county where you live can reveal a lot. Find out if the trade you are researching requires a state license, and if the specific contractor you are researching is bonded with the city or county they are working in.
Be sure your contractor carries their own workers’ comp insurance. Ask to see copies of current policies and make sure they have not expired. Make no mistake, if an electrician is injured on the job, it will come back on the homeowner’s insurance policy if the contractor doesn’t carry workers’ comp insurance. Always ask that a COI (certificate of insurance) be sent directly to you from their agent!
Are they listed with the Better Business Bureau or well-reviewed on Angie’s List?
The Better Business Bureau has an ever growing data base of information on contractors – you can find out a lot from their website or a phone call. Angie’s List is a great resource to find out about first-hand experiences other customers have had with a contractor.
Does their company do background checks?
Not all electrical contractors perform background checks. In this day and age it is important to know who you are hiring and letting into your place of business or home.
Is their estimate clear and in writing?
A proper estimate for work should be fully itemized; provide adequate details and a scope of work; outline the terms and obligations of all parties; and always be in writing. It should be clear what is and what is not going to be done for the dollars you are about to spend.
Will they provide full disclosure?
If you feel uncertain about an initial estimate ask the contractor to provide a schedule of values. This is a document used to break down and track all job costs, including percent mark up of material and profit. A good contractor should be willing to share this information with you up front.
Ask for recommendations and references.
Talking with someone you trust, who has worked closely with an electrician, can give you valuable insight into what you can expect in service and workmanship. If you cannot get a recommendation then ask the electrician for references. Contact the references to learn firsthand about their experience with the contractor.
We’ll Be Happy to Answer Your Questions
Talk to us about your next project and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions. We’ll follow up with one of our licensed pros providing an estimate on any electrical work you wish done.
Contact us today at Artisan Electric or give us a call at 765-414-3913.