Electrical Contractor

Every architect who designs a residence will have a set of plans for the electrical contractor. In this capacity it is usually a licensed electrician and he or she can go over the design and install the required electrical services as prescribed by the design.

In the past an electrical contractor started out as an apprentice and this is true today. However, now prospective electrical workers are encouraged to take the first part of their training in school. After this course has been successfully completed the student then applies to the apprenticeship program and an admission board will test the individual on both physical and mental attributes necessary to be an electrician. This includes comfort with heights and high voltage areas because not all people, despite their intelligence, are cut out for this kind of work.

However, intelligence and marks are a big part of acceptance into the program. This is because electricity is not a trivial service for the home. A mistake by a plumber can cause water damage thatmay also lead to structural repairs. However, improperly installed electrical work can lead to death by fire or can kill outright with a high amperage shock. This is why the applicants are screened before being accepted. In school the applicant brushes up on calculus and algebra and must have an understanding pf physics and chemistry. Electronics and mechanical drawing are also taught so that the student gets a well-rounded education in the electrical industry. Once the apprentice has been completed then the person becomes a licensed journeyman

To be an electrical contractor takes years of being an electrician. This also requires experience in electrical construction where the electrician learns the skills required to market his or her skills and to give educated quotes on projects. In addition, there has to be a wide knowledge of electrical processes including signs, telecommunication, large-scale lighting and digital equipment.

For building a home the general contractor will give the blueprints out for quotes by the electrical contractor. The successful bid will have to include all the electrical power applications including, lighting and outlet installation, mechanical systems (furnace, air conditioning), appliance considerations, computer and telephone connections and the electrical panel. Before the power can be turned on there has to be an inspection by a government source. He or she will go through all the systems and then certify that the home has been wired to the satisfaction of the local authorities who decide on the parameters of the electrical code.

Hiring an Electrical Contractor

As with hiring any profession choosing the right electrician is a process. You are paying the money so you have to be sure that the person will perform the task up to the codes of the industry. Referrals are a good place to start but should not be the end-all and be-all. This especially true if your project is not quite the same as your neighbor's. The internet is another place to find names for your list as is the local building supply places. They will have a list of people to who they sell equipment. They will usually recommend tradespeople who pay their bills promptly and have a good reputation in the industry.

Here is a checklist of what to ask:

  1. How long have you been an electrician?
  2. For what kind of electrical work are you presently licensed?
  3. Are you and your workers insured?
  4. What is you personal specialty?
  5. Will you subcontract the work or do it yourself?
  6. How will you do this project?
  7. When can you start?
  8. How long will it take?
  9. Will you provide the clean-up?
  10. Will you take out the permits required?
  11. May I get a list of references?

A reputable contractor will not take offense to any of these requests.

Now is the time to get a sense of how you feel about the contractor. Because when it all comes down to it, you are that person's partner for the duration of the project and until you are satisfied that the job has been completed. Therefore, you want to feel that you can have a good working relationship with this person.

You can fill in the rest of the blanks with the references that the contractor gives you. By having a short conversation with a former client of the contractor you can get an idea how he or she works. For example, does the electrician work for a few hours and then take off for the rest of the day, not to return until a couple of days later? Or did he or she come for a whole day and then not come back for a week?

In addition, a reputable electrician does not expect to get paid until the job has been completed. Therefore, do not pay in advance regardless of the situation. Paid workers find it hard to return to the job.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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