Finding a Reliable Electrical Contractor
As a home or business owner, you know that you are going to need the services of professional electricians at some point. Whether it is for remodeling, renovation, installing new equipment or upgrading you power supply, it makes sense to establish an on going relationship with a reliable electrical contractor. That way, you won’t have to start from scratch for each new project and you know who to call if you experience an electrical emergency.
One of the best ways to start looking is to ask friends and family , particularly if they have recently had electrical work done. They can tell you a lot about the helpfulness (or otherwise) of the company, promptness, whether the operatives left the premises clean and tidy at the end of each day, and give you an overall impression of how well the work was carried out.
There are plenty of other ways to source information about electricians. Local advertising, as well as the phone book and searching the internet will all throw up numerous companies looking for your business. Checking out a company’s website will provide you with a lot of the basic information about where it is located, contact numbers, whether they present a professional image and what types of electrical work they undertake.
To ensure compliance with code and that the work is carried out safely, you should always use a licensed electrician. In California, you need a licensed contractor for any job valued at $500 or more. The California Contractors State License Board’s website offers a quick and easy way to check a license by entering the license number, the business name or the name of an individual.
To protect yourself from any claims should an employee of the company get injured while working on your property, check that the contractor has valid insurance in place.
Bonds and Guarantees
The purpose of the bond is to protect you against any sub standard work. Ask about bonds and what guarantees are given for any work undertaken. Any appliances or equipment installed will carry its own manufacturer’s guarantee, but the company should guarantee the quality of their work in addition to that.
Testimonials and Reviews
Look for testimonials from previous customers, especially those who have given repeat business, as they can give you a feel for how the company works and whether the job was finished within the schedule and the budget. Review websites may also provide additional information. Don’t be afraid to ask to contact previous customers – a reputable firm will not object and will be keen to show off their work. A quick phone call can could set your mind at rest or set alarm bells ringing.
Quotes and Pricing
Obtaining three or four quotes for the work allows you to compare prices and get an idea of a reasonable price for the job. If one quote is much cheaper than the rest, it probably means the company is cutting corners somewhere and should be avoided. Also, look for a clear pricing structure, so you know exactly what your financial commitments are from the start.
Working well with any professionals often comes down to trust, so you have to find somebody you feel comfortable working with. Ask yourself if the person you have contacted is really listening to your concerns, understands what you want to achieve and is going to do their best for you. You will have to invest some time and effort into finding the right electrical contractor for your work, but it is much better to put in that effort in the first place rather than have to find someone to repair a botched job later.