Tips to Choose The Best Electrician for You
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Published by TOP4 Team
Electricians may be employed to install new electrical components such as lighting, fans, power points, safety switches or to fix existing electrical infrastructures. Their expertise area often cover Air Conditioning, structured cabling systems, home automation and theatre, LAN, WAN and VPN data solutions, light fittings and installation, phone points, power points, safety switches, smoke alarm installation, testing and tagging of electrical appliances.
For your own safety, it is better to deal with professionals even if it will cost you a few dollars. At the end, it always pays off. Indeed, there are lots of rules relating to electrical installations which are vital for your safety and that you probably don’t know. Bad wiring and poor electrical practice can cause a lot of damages.
However, you can try to fix yourself minor problems such as repairing some appliances, outlets or other wired objects. Start simple and make sure that the power is off before you start.
How to Choose the Right Electrician
When you have decided to hire an electrician, you have to choose one that you trust for the job. There is always some electricians who will try to do as little as possible, by using cheap material, overcharging for work or materials not furnished, not showing up on time, etc. Here are some tips and advice on how to properly assess an electrician before hiring him to avoid common pitfalls.
STEP 1: Check Qualifications
Check if the contractor has undertaken all the necessary training and carries a current Electrician’s Licence, which is regulated by the following state authorities. Visit their website to check if the electrician you may hire is registered.
Australian Capital Territory
ACT Planning and Land Authority
|New South Wales|
The Office of Fair Trading
Electrical Workers and Contractors Licensing Board
Electrical Safety Office
Office of Consumer and Business Affairs
Workplace Standards Tasmania
Energy Safe Victoria
Also check if he is affiliated with professional industry organisations like the NECA, ECA and ESAA so that you make sure that the painter has proper qualifications and aspires to high standards of work.
Always find out if they have worked with local homebuilders or well-known local companies. How long has he been in the business?
STEP 2: Check Insurances
Make sure that the contractor has insurances. He must have a Public Liability Insurance to protect your personal property and your family. He must also have an Accident and Sickness Insurance to protect you from being liable if a painter injures himself while in your home. Insist on getting a copy of their certificates of insurance.
Professional painters working in the best interest of customers will be more than happy to provide the requested information.
STEP 3: Check References
Ask for a list of references that you can call on your own. If possible, visit completed jobs so that you can see the quality of the work for yourself. Make sure that the job was completed within the time and budget, that the customer was satisfied with the result, that there was no disruption to the household, that the contractor and employees treated them professionally and with respect.
As the contractor will only give you good references, you can also ask to previous clients if they know of any other work the contractor has performed.
STEP 4: Arrange a Meeting and Have Him Inspect the Site
Ensure that the electrician is professional. Meet face-to-face and discuss your problem. Does he look clean, neat and tidy? Does he have communication skills? Is he punctual? You need to be able to trust him and make sure he won’t damage your electrical system. Before providing an estimate of the cost, it is always a good idea to have the electricians inspect the site.
STEP 5: Get Quotes
Always get at least 3 quotes of your project with estimations including the price, estimated job duration, progress payments, materials to be used and terms and conditions. Make sure the contractors are quoting on the same specifications.
Don’t choose your contractor only on price! Electrician is a skilled trade and requires considerable expertise and experience. The may be planning to add extra costs later. Someone who warrants his or her services is preferable over someone who doesn't, no matter the cost.
STEP 6: Execute a Written Contract
In the case of larger electrical jobs, drawing up a contract is a good idea. This contract should clearly specify the scope of the work to be performed, time schedules, payment procedures and excess materials needed. You should also discuss about potential unexpected costs, which will help you avoid paying more than expected.
Discuss any guarantee or warranty programs the contractor may offer.You need a promise that the electrician will come back and fix his work if problems occur.
Pricing and How to Cut Costs
Electricians charge between $60 and $100 per hour. For larger jobs, they can also require a deposit up front or money for materials. In some cases, you will need to make payments throughout the process.
You may be tempted to try to fix problems yourself, but for your safety do it only for minor problems. Start simple and make sure that the power is off before you start.
When you are hiring an electrician, ask him to give you insights into the state of your wiring, how to improve the electrical efficiency of your home and so on. This can save you money later as well.