When a homeowner has a sudden and unexpected electrical problem, they sometimes panic and call the first electrician they see. Without concern if this person has the knowledge and equipment to handle the problem, these homeowners usually end up disappointed in the electrician's performance. But, if you ask the following questions of any electrician before you hire him or her, you will have a much better chance of being happy with the electrician's work. Keep reading to learn about these 5 important questions:
1. Have you ever worked on a project like this before?
You are looking for a licensed electrical contractor who has experience working on projects and/or repairs like the issue you're having. There are basically 2 types of electricians: junior workers and masters. Junior workers consist of both trainees and journeymen, and they only know the basics and can handle simple wiring and repair work. Master electricians are better able to take on complicated repairs and new installations.
2. Are you licensed and insured?
It is essential that you only hire an electrician who is licensed and insured. Each state has their own laws regarding what an electrician must do to become licensed, but it typically involves coursework and an apprenticeship. The insurance will protect both you and the electrician if something was to go wrong while working on your project. If the electrician gets hurt while working at your house, the insurance will cover his medical costs and any repairs to damages that may have incurred.
3. What is the nature of your experience and training for this type of electrical work?
Listen to the electrician as he or she talks about his schooling, which may include attending a vocational technical high school to learn about electricity and basic electrical work. In most cases, an electrician who attended a vocational high school will have a lot more experience, knowledge, and training in electrical work because they've been taught by licensed electricians while still in high school. Also make sure this individual received additional schooling or completed an apprenticeship after high school, then took and passed the required licensing exam. Finally, the electrician should be able to give you an estimate of how many times he or she has worked on a project like yours.
4. Can you provide an estimate?
This is obvious to most people, but it's not done enough. Don't just get 1 or 2 estimates. You need to contact several professional businesses, like Genesis Electrical Service Inc., to get detailed estimates from at least 3, but preferably 5 or more electricians in order to find the best person for the job. Make sure the estimate includes details about labor fees, hourly rates, the prices of parts, and the estimated amount of time it will take to complete this repair. Many people are satisfied with a price quote, but never dive into the details about what the estimate covers. This could mean you get a few big surprises when you get the final bill, like the addition of fees you never knew you'd be charged. Ask if the electrician will be doing the work alone, or with the help of other electricians. If he or she will be working with other electricians, ask if their rate will be the same. Usually, a master electrician will charge more than a journeyman.
Before you hire an electrician to work on your home, you should always give them a short interview. Interviewing potential candidates for your project allows you to learn more about the electrician and his or her prior experience. You can then use the information you've gained about each electrician you interviewed to find the best person for the job.