Hiring an Electrician for Your Home

Before you hire a contractor to complete electrical work in your home or business, you’ll need to do a bit of investigation, planning and interviewing. You’ll want to get an idea of what the project really involves and consider a number of contractors before deciding on which electrician to hire.

Taking Bids

One of the best ways to ensure you get the most for your money is to take bids from several electrical contractors on the job. This allows you to compare the services offered and the pricing from each contractor.

You’ll want to find out exactly what services will be covered under the price quoted by each contractor and how long the estimate provided is good for as well. This minimizes the risk of being hit with unexpected costs when the work is completed. Keep in mind that prices can change if there is too much time between when an estimate is given and when work is actually completed. Ensure you are well informed before any work begins.

Checking Credentials

Before deciding on an electrician, you’ll need to check on his reputation, knowledge, skills and education. You’ll also need to ensure that he is properly licensed and insured. Get his license number and ask for proof of bonding or workers compensation insurance.

A licensed electrician is required for insurance reasons but you also want to know that you’re hiring a true professional with the expertise to do good safe and quality work. You need the electrician to carry the appropriate insurance coverage to protect yourself in case of any accidents or injuries while he’s on the job as well.

Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no complaints on the contractor or electrical service and take a look at the internet as well as dissatisfied customers tend to voice their disappointment quite verbally.


Any work done to your home or business can seriously disrupt normal activities. Before work begins you’ll want to know approximately how long the project will take. When taking bids on work, you should also ask for as firm a time frame as possible from each contractor. This allows you to plan your life or business activities around the work, and also helps you hold the contractor to a reasonable window for the completion of the project.

The Contract

Once you’ve selected a contractor, you should ensure that a written agreement is in place. This agreement should include detailed information on the project time frame, materials required, labor estimates, and price sheets for both labor and materials. Review the contract thoroughly and ask for more information whenever insufficient data is provided.

Most electrical contractors ask for a certain amount of the project cost to be paid up front in order to pay for the cost of materials and initial labor expenses. The balance will be paid after the work is entirely completed. Typically, you should expect the upfront portion to be somewhere between 30% and 50% of the entire project budget.

The Work

Clarify any questions you may have before the work begins and then you’ll be able to rest assured the work will simply be done and done right. Know that you’re hiring a professional, capable of efficiently completing the work. Get the questions out of the way in advance and allow the electrician to do his work uninterrupted.

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