1. Are You Licensed? Always check the license number.
2. Do you carry general liability insurance? This will protect your property in the event of damage by the electrician or employees and will pay for repair of any damage that may occur. Ask to see proof of insurance.
3. Do you carry workers’ compensation insurance? This will protect you from liability in the event a worker is injured on the job. Otherwise, you may be liable. Once again, you need to verify the validity of the insurance by asking to see proof of insurance. Worker’s compensation policy information is also maintained by the state and view able online at: www.cslb.ca.gov.
4. Will you pull all the required building permits? When this is done, you know the work will be done to “code.” A reputable electrician will permit every job where required.
5. Do you guarantee your work? Ask that your contractor guarantee the work for at least one year from completion. There are contractors who will do so for two or even three years. Accurate guarantees it’s workmanship for life. We also honor all manufacturer’s product warranties which is generally 1 year.
6. Will you provide me with written references? Look for a well-established contractor with several client references from the last 6 months to a year. Don’t forget to check those references as well.
7. What percentage of your business is repeat or referral? When much of the contractor’s business is derived from repeat clients it is safe to assume customer satisfaction.
8. How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year? It’s good to know that the electrician has dealt with your specific issue.
9. How do you handle “dirty work?” If any construction work is involved in the project, there is the distinct possibility it will generate a good deal of dust and debris. Make sure the contractor intends to keep dust contained and clean up each day.
When you hire an electrician, you are paying for a service, and the quality of that service will determine the quality of the finished project. Hiring a professional electrician is a very important step in bringing your expectations to life. To make that final step as easy as possible, take the time to do the homework. Once you’ve established the contractor’s good reputation, you need also to consider the interpersonal relationship you share, especially if the project will take an extended period to complete.
Friday, December 7, 2012
- Good Communication. You need to be able to work out details and solve any issues that might arise throughout the duration of the project. Establish how you will reach your electrical contractor and that he will listen to you when you communicate.
- Comfort. You are essentially inviting a stranger into your home. Is he/she someone you are comfortable enough with to do so? Are all the employees drug tested and background checked?
- Trustworthiness. You may very well have to be absent much of the time while your electrician is working. It is important you feel secure leaving your home while the contractor is present.
- Completion. Make sure the electrician gives you a reasonable estimate for how long the project will take.
- Written Proposal. Ask for a detailed written proposal showing what is included in the project: materials, brand names when needed, costs and payment schedule.
- Details. Talk about debris disposal, daily work start and end times, smoking – anything that might be an issue during the project.
- Flexibility. Be sure you are ready to live with any changes that may be required while the project is being completed. You may be without power for a portion of the day, for example.
- Appearance. A little cleanliness goes a long way.
- Change Orders. Both you and the contractor should document and sign any changes to materials or contract items.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
- Never use an electrical device with faulty, frayed, exposed or cracked electrical wires.
- Switch off on power strips before plugging or unplugging devices.
- Always call a professional to repair appliances to avoid electrical shock.
- Portable lights should be fitted with insulation to protect from burns and potential overheating.
- Never leave your home with heat producing appliances still operating (e.g. oven, microwave, iron, hair styling tools)
- Regularly remove any build up of dust and clutter from around electricity sources and appliances.
- Ensure the correct bulb size and rating (watts) is installed into lamps and and fixtures based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure electrical cords are kept out of reach of children.
- Always keep well clear of overhead power lines.
- Know where the breaker box or fuse box is located on your property in case of an emergency.
- Always call a professional when replacing fuses.
- Hire a licensed electrician to inspect the main board once a year.