Hiring electricians may seem like a daunting task for many homeowners. The scariest part is that you know you need to do it but you also know that it is going to cost some cold, hard cash. This is true, but you probably won't need to cash in your IRA if you play your cards right.
Do I Need A Professional?
Electricians are highly skilled tradesmen. This is one of the trade professions where an apprenticeship is involved and required. An apprentice must work under the supervision of a licensed electrician for a specific period of time. The amount of time is determined by each licensing municipality.
Those that have chosen to become full-fledged, licensed electricians have gone through a ton of training and on the job work experience. They like what they do, take their work seriously and are genuinely concerned for the safety of their clients. The state licensing tests are grueling and time consuming.
These tests cover a wide range of areas pertaining to the field. Those taking the test must prove that they have proficient knowledge of electrical theory. They also need to know about local, state and national electrical and building codes.
You'd be foolish not to hire professional electricians for most projects. Trying to do extensive repairs yourself is both unwise and dangerous. Not only could you get electrocuted but you could cause your house to catch fire and kill your family. Electrical work is best left for professionals.
How Do I Choose?
Once you've compiled a list of local electricians, you'll need to start doing your homework. There are several ways for you to find the best ones in your area. It will take a little bit of time but will be well worth it.
Call your municipality's building code office. Give them the names of the electricians that you have found. Ask them if they are licensed through the county. Any that are not licensed should be immediately crossed off of your list. Those that are licensed are keepers.
Now, you will need to contact the Better Business Bureau. They help consumers resolve any problems they have with local businesses. The Better Business Bureau also gives the companies ratings which help consumers decide whether or not they want to work with them. Ask for each electrician's rating. Any of them that have had a lot of complaints should be crossed off the list.
Finally, contact the electricians that are left of the list. Explain the project completely and ask for an estimate. More than likely he will want to come out to the jobsite to give you a clearly written estimate. That's a good thing. Once you have received all of your estimates, you can select the best one.
The Estimate is High
Many electricians will give you a discounted rate. A lot of people will just pay what they are told to pay without even asking for a break. Believe it or not, most electricians will lower the bill just to get the work. Either way, it can't hurt to ask.Posted by: TrustedPros