Choosing the right electric company is the single-most important decision you can make for any electrical repair or project, whether it’s for your home or business. With a good electrician, you can expect sound advice, quality workmanship and a smooth, positive experience. If you choose poorly, your project could be fraught with problems and disappointment from the very beginning. So what are some guidelines for choosing the best electrician for the job?
Determine What Your Needs Are
Before you even start looking for the right electrician you need to have an idea of what type of work will need to be done. There is a difference between a service electrician and an electrical contractor who does large projects like remodels, additions or new construction. The service electrician usually handles smaller projects like repairs and upgrades that can be completed the same day. Service electricians can typically come the same day for estimates and repairs whereas electrical contractors may require you to schedule estimates well in advance. Look over their website to determine what services they specialize in.
Searching For An Electrician
One of the best ways to find an electrician is by word of mouth. Do you have a neighbor who has recently had electrical work done? Do you know anyone in the construction industry who might have recommendations? If you don’t have any leads from someone you know, the next best technique is to do some local research online. This method may yield even better results than word of mouth because you actually get multiple opinions of a business from their online reviews. Look for the highest rated electricians. A good benchmark for an electric company that has been around a while should be at least 50 reviews. Some businesses can have a great 5-star rating but only have a few actual reviews. This could be friends and family members. So choose a company with a good rating 4.5 and up AND make sure at least 50 people have reviewed them.
Check Licenses, Insurance, and Other Important Factors
The safety of your home or business and everything inside, including YOU should be a top priority. Contractors should be insured, licensed and background checked! If something gets damaged you want to make sure the electrical contractor is insured so it can be taken care of. In the State of North Carolina, electrical contractors are REQUIRED to be licensed. Make sure they have a license and that it’s in good standing and not expired. Ask for their license # and you can verify it for free by visiting the NC examiners board. Are the electricians working in your home or business drug tested and background checked? Do you need a permit for the work being done? The County requires certain electrical work to be permitted. You must comply with this, so if the electrician tells you that you do not need a permit make sure they tell you why. And get it in writing!
Always Get Free Estimates
Most electrical contractors provide you with a FREE estimate. The contractor, as well as the customer, cannot always accurately estimate a particular project until a professional has come out and assessed the work to be done. We all want to get quotes over the phone before we waste our time having someone come out but in the electrical field, other than minor tasks, you need a professional to assess your particular situation. Service electricians should be EXPERTS in diagnosing and estimating the work to be done on-site. Having the contractor come out to give you an accurate quote will also allow you to get to know them in person before hiring them. Are they professional? Did they arrive at the time they said they would? Were they informative and did they explain the estimated costs to you in detail? Also, it’s good to get a second opinion. This way you can compare the two estimates on price but also on your experience with the contractor and the company itself. The lowest price does not always mean the best choice. So factor in everything else we’ve talked about so far before making a decision.
Get the Proposal in Writing
Once you’ve chosen the electrical contractor you want to hire make sure you get the ENTIRE job scope in writing. It should be itemized and you should know the cost of each item and the total price of the job before any work is done. This is a very important step, you should both know exactly what is to be done and what the exact cost is before anything else happens. If the electrician runs into a situation where additional work is needed it should be appended to the current proposal or a completely new one be written up and agreed upon by both parties.
While choosing an electrical contractor can seem daunting, with these tips you can ask the right questions and take the right steps to choose the best electrical contractor for your needs. Express Electrical Service is fully licensed and insured. All electricians are background checked and drug tested. Each employee is required to have extensive knowledge of the electrical code and attends on-going training and certification classes. We give hourly time windows so there is no waiting around. Our techs call when in route to your home or business. All work is put in writing and must be approved & signed by the customer BEFORE any work is done. We back all work and products with a LIFETIME guarantee. Each customer is emailed a survey after each completed job and can choose to review us. Those reviews are posted right on the front page of our website by Customer Lobby. We hope we’ve helped you make an informed decision about your electrical needs and will be here to answer any questions you may have. 😀