Electrical work is associated with various hazards, including burns, fire, and shock. Therefore, if you lack the necessary knowledge and certifications, you should not do your own electrical work. Instead, you should hire a qualified and certified electrician. However, this may be a challenge, especially if you do not know how to go about it.
To get you started, here are seven questions you should ask potential candidates to find the right one.
1. Are You Insured and Licensed?
Most states across the U.S. have licensure requirements for electricians. Typically, there are two types of licensed electricians: master electrician and journeyman electrician. A journeyman electrician’s license only permits them to maintain or install electrical systems. Licensed master electricians have at least two years of experience and can design, install, and maintain electrical systems.
Additionally, most states require electricians to carry liability insurance to protect themselves and their clients against the perils associated with electrical work. An electrician needs at least $500,000 in worker’s compensation and liability coverages.
2. What’s Your Specialty?
Typically, each electrician has an area of specialty. For instance, some electricians may focus mainly on commercial work while others may focus on residential homes or multi-family buildings. You should ideally choose an electrician with lots of experience in your type of project. If your project requires specific expertise like solar installation, voice/data cables, or home automation, you should also inquire if the electrician has experience in that type of work.
3. What’s Your Estimate?
This question addresses multiple issues. Your electrician may give you a ballpark figure, but you also need to understand how they arrived at that figure. You also need to find out if that figure includes accompanying work like drilling through drywall to access wiring and fixing it. If the quote is too high or too low compared to estimates for similar work, that’s a warning sign. If it’s too high, they may have assumed you’re clueless, and they’re trying to rip you off, and if it’s too low they may be unfamiliar with the kind of work you need, or they may be desperate for work, and that can be a bad sign.
4. Who Will Be Working on the Project?
You need to find out if the owner will be handling the project or if they’ll delegate it to employees or subcontractors. Ultimately, you should ensure you have competent and experienced electricians (at minimum a journeyman) working on your project. When it comes to subcontractors, you should understand the legal responsibilities that you have because not all contractors have insurance coverage for their subcontractors.
5. Do You Offer a Guarantee?
Warranties and guarantees show how much an electrician believes in the excellence of their workmanship.
6. Do You Have References?
References enable you to make an informed decision based on others’ experiences.
7. What Permits Do I need and Who is Responsible for Obtaining Them?
A permit ensures that the electrical work will be examined by the city inspector. This is a critical safeguard for homeowners. Typically, it’s the electrical contractors who get to pull permits.
Whether you’re looking for a qualified home electrician or a commercial electrician, you need to ask the right questions to find out about their insurance, licenses, capabilities, and experience. As an electrical contractor, you’ll likely win more business if you make it clear that you’re not only qualified for the job but also adequately insured and won’t pass liability to your customers. For convenient and reliable insurance services, contact the experts at Artisan Insurance Solutions today. We’ll help you get a policy that’s ideal for your electrical contracting business.