Electrical Work

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE HIRING AN ELECTRICIAN

Q: ARE YOU LICENSED?

Electricians are required to be licensed. Ask for a copy of it.

Q: ARE YOU INSURED?

Electrical contractors should carry at least $500,000 in liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Many times people claim to be insured when they are not or when the insurance policy has lapsed. Ask for a copy of the insurance certificate.

Q: HAS YOUR ELECTRICIAN PERFORMED THE WORK YOU NEED FOR SOMEONE ELSE?

Like many contractors, electricians often specialize in one area or another. If the person you intend to hire claims that he/she has performed the work you are requesting, ask for specific references and call the references.

Q: DO YOU HAVE REFERENCES?

References are particularly important for hiring electricians; it’s hard to judge the quality of their work when you can’t see most of it and don’t really know what to look for. Once you have the references, call them.

Q: WHAT DOES YOUR ESTIMATE INCLUDE?

You need to make sure that the estimate addresses incidentals to the electrical job. For example, repairing drywall and other things affected by the electrical work. Chances are, you’ll be responsible for them.

Q: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PERMITS? SHOULD IT BE IN THE CONTRACT?

Generally, permits are required when electrical work is performed. When a permit is applied for, your job will be inspected by a city inspector, which only protects you. Your contract should state that the electrician is responsible for “pulling” or getting the required permits.

Q: DID YOU ASK WHO WILL BE PERFORMING THE WORK?

Don’t assume the person you talk to will be the one doing all the work. You need to find out who will be performing your job and his/her qualifications. If you believe your job requires a person with more experience, you need to have it stated in the contract.

Q: IS THERE A GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY IN THE CONTRACT?

Make sure that the contract specifically states the warranty or guarantee. If the electrician refuses to provide a warranty or guarantee for his work, you may want to find someone who does?