How to Select an Electrical Contractor

How to Select an Electrical Contractor

Having to work with a contractor is never easy. Working with an electrical contractor is pretty much the same. Sometimes you don’t get to choose the electrical contractor as it comes in the package with your remodeling contractor. Other times you will have to find one on your own. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, but finding an electrical contractor on your own can be a bit more stressful. There are plenty of ways to look for contractors: check the phone book, search the net or simply ask some of your friends or family if they have someone to recommend. The only problem is that your access to relevant information is limited. The name and the company the electrical contractor works for won’t tell you much about the quality of service they offer. That is why there are some things you should consider in case you need to look for these services.

Some things you should consider

  1. Define the scope of your project. Is this something simple that can be done in an hour or two, or do you need someone who can offer you their services for a longer time?
  2. Always try to use the best resource you have available. Check with the people you know, see if they have someone they can recommend.
  3. Ask for free estimates. If the contractor is not able to give you an estimate for the cost, then ask for at least a round figure. Talk about the services this contractor is offering and ask about the type of services they provide. Before you decide to hire this person always try to understand what you are signing up for. Some contractors tend to ask their clients to sign a contract where they agree to pay the fee and that is even before the project has officially started. When it comes to the payment, you should never get any surprises. In case the cost needs to be modified the contractor must consult with you first and get you to agree to any new cost.
  4. Check for references from previous clients. If the contractor has been doing a good job, then they must be able to give you references form their previous clients. If they don’t provide this on their own, there is no harm in asking for it. In case the contractor doesn’t have any references, it won’t be a problem for them to contact the clients and ask for some feedback assuming the response is positive.
  5. See if they have insurance. Always make sure you see the insurance they have for worker’s compensation and general liability. The insurance should be on an amount that would be enough to cover the cost of your entire house, and have some change, in case something bad happens. In addition if they have insurance and a worker gets injured on site, you won’t be held liable for it.
  6. Agree the point of contact. Before you start work ask who you should contact in case you have any complaints. Most contactors have no issue in providing this contact point for you as they want you to be confident in the work they do. Sometimes there can be a miscommunication between the people working on site, the main office and the homeowner, so the contractor must provide contact information from the person who will be able to assist you at all times. This person should be well informed for the progress of your project and be able to answer all your concerns at any time.

Follow your instincts. If you notice that the contractor is not available for communication when you need them, they don’t answer your phone calls or e-mails, don’t follow up, come late to the scheduled appointment and tend to change the conditions of the contract don’t start work with them. If this is how they treat you at the beginning, most likely things will get even worse once you hire them.

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