Hiring a new electrician can be a scary experience. You’re placing your home – and your family’s safety – in the hands of someone you’ve never met. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk. To make sure you’re hiring a top notch electrician that you can trust, just follow these steps.
Ask for 3 References
Great electricians have references from homeowners, contractors and builders that they can give you at a moment’s notice. If they don’t, then you might have to wonder about whether or not they typically deliver a quality customer experience.
Ask for Their License and Insurance
Only work with licensed contractors. Before you award them the job, ask to see their license and insurance. This ensures that if anything goes wrong on the job, you have the insurance company as backup.
Get a Written Agreement
Having an agreement in writing can help resolve all kinds of issues before they arise. Make sure your agreement contains:
- A description of exactly what kind of work will be done.
- The expected timetable of when the work will be completed.
- Details on the terms of payment.
- Recourse if the job isn’t done properly.
Get this agreement even if you’re working through a general contractor. Yes, you have your agreement with your contractor – but you should also have a written agreement directly with your electrician.
Understanding the Payment Terms
As you’re negotiating with your future electrician, make sure you clearly understand the payment terms. This can be a big hiccup in electrical projects.
Electricians will often require a partial payment upfront. This upfront payment could be a deposit on labor, or it could be the funds needed to cover the materials for the job. The rest of the payment might be made in a lump sum after the project, or it could be paid in multi-stage installments.
Be Crystal Clear on What You Want
Before you hire the electrician, make sure you’re absolutely, positively clear on what you need done. If you’re not sure, then wait until you’re sure before beginning the job. Changing the specs of the job midway can add to both costs and time. It can also wreak havoc on the contractor’s work plans, which can strain your relationship. Bottom line, be clear on what you want before hiring your contractor.
These guidelines will go a long way towards protecting you. As a final note, make sure you meet the contractor face to face before giving the go ahead. Make sure the two of you get along well and that you intuitively trust them before awarding them the job.