Seven Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician
Trying to get the best bang for your buck while doing right by your home can be a challenge. At times, it may mean steering clear of DIY projects and getting the professionals involved. Not sure where to start? There are seven important questions to ask before hiring an electrician.
First things first
First of all, prepare a list of references for electricians and expectations of their services. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Start with family and friends for referrals. Those close to you will be honest about contractors who have worked in their home. As a result, they are a good resource for recommendations.
- Take note of any specializations. While electricians are certified and trained in electricity, there are a variety of areas and specialities. If you are looking for a special project, understand what kind of contractor you need.
- Check the contractor’s credentials. Be aware and educated about the contractor’s training, licensure and insurance. States have different requirements and only a licensed electrician will have met state regulations.
- Get quotes from multiple contractors before choosing one. Ask what that quote will include-whether it will be a flat rate or if the electrician is using an hourly rate plus cost of materials.
Knowing what to expect from your electrician, can prepare you to tackle the situation of hiring an electrician. Here are several important questions to ask before you hire an electrician:
Are they licensed?
In Maryland, it is required by law that a contractor have a valid electrical contractor’s license, be bonded and have insurance (MD Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation). A license proves the holder has gone through state mandated training, education and has passed an exam after years of supervision by a Master Electrician.
2. Are you protected?
Insurance can make a big difference on how your home is protected. Because of that, a licensed and bonded electrician means that you will be covered in case of damage, incomplete jobs, or neglected pay to workers. Protect yourself from the unexpected. Ask to see proof of insurance.
3. Can they provide references?
A proud electrician provides references. As a result, they will share their satisfied customers’ information and hope to add you to that growing list! References are especially important for larger projects.
4. What do their estimates include?
Another point to cover with the electrician is to make sure the estimate is complete with all the details of your project. A good electrician answers questions regarding their quote, including worst-case scenarios and what to expect should that happen. Do not be blindsided. Furthermore, a trustworthy contractor has no secrets.
5. What is their guarantee and/or warranty?
Any reputable contractor has a warranty for their work. Above all, know the specifics before signing a contract. Guarantees and warranties should be valid for at least a year. Therefore, verify what is or isn’t included in the warranty with the electrician.
6. Are permits necessary?
A trick question! Some contractors may try and get you to take out a permit for your projects, but it could be their responsibility to handle the application process. Some counties in Maryland require that the applicant be a Master Electrician. Check to see if your local county government has that requirement.
7. Who will perform the work?
Finally, confirm who will be performing the work. At times, larger companies hire subcontractors or employees to do the job. Before that happens, understand the legal responsibility. Subcontractors may not be covered under the contractor’s insurance. As a result, be sure to ask.
Modern homes have modern day demands. Contact the professional electricians at Winstar to answer your home improvement questions.