Get up to4 free estimates
for ANY type of Contractor near you
- No Obligations
- Stop Paying Too Much For Your Contractor
- No Spam Calling
- Screened & ID Checked Contractors only!
Looking for an electrician in your local area? Learn what to take into consideration before you hire a contractor, so you never overpay or get scammed.
Choosing the best electrician contractor for your project is a delicate task that requires extensive consideration and commitment. Electrical contractors do not come easy, and you would have made a financial miscalculation if you choose one, haphazardly. Moreover, you do not want the most important part of your building project to be half-baked. Besides the frustration you will have, and the possible cosmetic damage you will suffer, such a step may prove to be a fatal one. We have heard of electrical faults that wreck havoc and bring down structures and properties, and even take lives. You would not want to live with such a risk in your premises. If you are intending to get an electrical contractor, you must engage your time, effort, and persistence in ensuring you get the right one. Here are a few tips to guide you in the process of acquiring a contractor for your electrical project.
Whether you are giving electricity to a new building, or just repairing, you should engage a professional electrical contractor. You might be tempted to save money by hiring a handyman or DIYing, but saving money will mean nothing if you end up torching your house or injuring people for not following the right protocol. Hiring a professional, despite being more expensive will give you more peace of mind; and seeing as electricity handling is a specialized job, you want to hire specialized personnel. Contractors attend classes and courses to stay informed on all safety practices and as a result, will offer quality installation. There are more perks of engaging a proficient electrical contractor over a handyperson or DIYing.
If you are looking for top quality work, safe and up to standard, we insist you hire a professional. First, contractors go through intensive training before they are licensed to operate. They, therefore, are well equipped with the skills and knowledge to not only install, but also deal with any electrical problem. Also, there are required to attend annual workshops and training on safety practices.
Also, there are stringent measures and codes in place to cover all electrical activities. It’s, therefore, best you hire a professional who understands the regulations. Additionally, a contractor knows where and how to get the required permits and has established contacts with the local inspector who will come to check on the work. Though pulling permits and engaging the local inspector may sound trivial, they are challenging for most homeowners. By and large, you will end up with a safe, excellent, and up to standard job when you hire a pro.
One of the top reasons why you should hire a professional is so as not to compromise the safety of your family and colleagues. Hiring just another electrician might save you money, but it might compromise on the quality of work, and there are also no guarantees. Professional contractors, though expensive will give you top quality work. They also provide value for your money and warranty their systems. Their systems also are reliable and will run efficiently for a long time. Though the initial cost is high, the long-term benefits are worth it.
Another reason why you should only engage a professional when hiring is that you will get a surety bond, and most of these contractors are insured. A surety bond should appeal to any homeowner who wants to protect their investment and property. First, a surety bond will ensure that you get paid should the contractor fail to complete the job. Also, you will be reimbursed should he do a shoddy job. Remember that electricity is hazardous and there could be issues that arise if the proper care is not taken. Finally, hiring a contractor with liability insurance protects you and your property. You will not be liable if the contractor or one of his personnel is injured on your property, and you will be reimbursed should they damage your property.
There is the misconception that electrical contractors only deal with wiring and lighting. However, they handle more such as home improvement, wireless and security systems, LEED services, etc. Below are some electrical contractor services.
LEED Services – The need for better electrical services is on the rise. There is a higher demand by homeowners for systems that are more efficient and sustainable. Contractors are pushing to meet these demands and one way they are doing this is through LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) services. They are continuously striving to surpass all client needs when it comes to meeting the LEED requirements.
Engineering and Design – Home electrical systems are complex and will only get more complicated. Also, design is changing and homeowners have a wide berth of designs to choose from. But with the many design options available, it’s challenging for homeowners to decide. Contractors step in and apply the latest SAD design software to ensure you get what you desire. Their engineering also ensures that your design will consume the least energy for efficiency.
Other than the above, there are more comprehensive services you can get from a certified electrical contractor. Below is a complete list, and the associated costs.
Chandelier Installation – Putting in a chandelier is one way to add drama to your home. It can define, glamorize, or add a sophisticated touch to any room in the house. With that in mind, it is still a complex process and you will need a professional.
Contractors will come in handy where wiring running to the chandelier is old and needs updating, or if you are adding a chandelier where one has never existed. Also, consider engaging a pro if the piece is too heavy that it needs a support system and you are not sure how to install it. Otherwise, expect a fee between $100 and $200 if you are installing a chandelier where an old one existed and $300 to $2,000 when installing where one was not in place.
Automation Systems – More homeowners are embracing home automation and creating smart homes. However, there is a lot that goes into home automation and you will want to hire a professional. Most homeowners report spending between $472 and $2,020 to automate their homes, with electricians charging $85 an hour. $85 an hour might sound like a hefty sum, but it is worth it for top results. Bathroom floors that warm up before you get there, lights that turn on as you enter a room and turn off once you leave, a smart shower that saves water, smart toilets, controlling security systems, kitchens, water sprinklers, etc. Electrical contractors have specialized in this and will ensure you get top results.
Ceiling fan installation – Mounting a ceiling fan looks like one of those tasks that you can handle, but a lot can go on. Hiring a contractor will prevent any damage. Most qualified personnel are knowledgeable in ceiling fan installation and will ensure the appropriate ceiling box is used, buffer the system properly to avoid any ceiling damage, ensure correct wiring, and quick installation. Expect to pay between $60 and $90 an hour and between $60 and $270 since the project takes between 1 and 3 hours.
Childproofing outlets – Another service and another reason why you should hire an electrical contractor is to properly childproof your home. Electrical shocks and burns send about 2,400 children to the emergency room every year and is often a result of kids sticking alien household commodities in an electrical outlet. Contractors can childproof these outlets for as little as $100.
Adding dimmers – mounting dimmers is another home improvement service that contractors offer. Though you can DIY, you are better hiring a contractor. First, the contractor can bring the wiring up to code if necessary and can install boxes that can accommodate new safety standards. Also, they can advise on the appropriate dimmer to purchase according to need, and the bulb compatibility. As for the costs, expect to pay between $100 and $200.
There are more home improvement services that contractor provide. From custom lighting to light fixtures, boiler setup, to installing smoke detectors, and circuit breakers.
|Replacing a chandelier||$100 - $200|
|Installing a new chandelier||$300 - $2,000|
|Automation systems||$472 - $2,020|
|Ceiling fan installation||$60 - $270|
|Adding dimmers||$100 - $200|
Another service and reason you should engage a professional is large appliances installation. Yes, you can DIY most of these, but experts advise you hire a professional to ensure it is done appropriately.
Dishwasher – Installing a dishwasher may require adjustments to the countertop, wiring, and plumbing. Contractors have more experience installing such an appliance and you are better off hiring one. The cost, however, will depend on whether it is a new installation or a replacement. New installations frequently require additional wiring. Therefore, be prepared to pay between $171 and $517 for this. Replacement will be cheaper as it only needs some minor wiring adjustments. It will set you back between $150 and $463.
Others – Electricians help mount more than dishwashers. Other appliances they can help with are refrigerators which will set you back between $116 and $200, microwaves for the same amount, and electric stoves for about $98 and $182 if no electrical changes are required. If the system requires changes to your wiring, you will pay between $50 and $100 an hour. Finally, we have the washers and dryers. Expect to pay between $50 and $150 if the electrical lines are in place. Otherwise, be ready to pay around $500, for installation of the lines and washer.
|New dishwasher installation||$171 - $517|
|Dishwasher replacement||$150 - $463|
|Refrigerators||$116 - $200|
|Electric stoves||$98 - $182|
|Washers and dryers (if electrical wires are in place)||$50 -$150|
|If electrical wires are not in place||$500|
Electrical contractors also help cater for outdoor lighting. Most proficient contractors will cater for anything from tennis court lighting, sports court/basketball court lighting, pool and spa lighting, garden and fountain lighting, floodlights, plant heaters, and garden heaters.
Home entertainment involves installation of a home theatre with basic installation running between $150 and $800. Also, most electricians can help you run cable TV wires for about $12,000. Other services you can get from electrical contractors are: flat panel mounting which will set you back around $282, installing network access points, in-wall speaker installation, surround sound installs, and antenna wire setup.
|Home theatre||$150 - $800|
|Running cable TV wires||$12,000|
|Flat Panel Mounting||$282|
If you are looking for a power solution when there is no permanent connection to the site, you can always engage electrical contractors. Most specialize in providing temporary power restoration, backup generator installation, and generator installation until power is restored.
When you are in dire need of a quick repair fix, you might find it wise to handle it yourself or even call a colleague or a handyman to help with the issue, and you can save a fortune. While it is commendable that homeowners have resources at hand to resolve most electrical issues, the true costs of DIY far outweigh the savings. There are dangers involved, and electricity is a highly specialized industry that needs personnel with specialized skills. Below are some dangers associated with DIY.
Fires and shocks – Without the expertise and experience that most electrical contractors have, you are risking the lives of your family and neighbours. According to the USFA (U.S. Fire Administration), 335 people lost their lives back in 2013 in fires that were a result of an electrical malfunction. To avoid such incidences, ensure that safety is a top priority during any electrical repairs, and hire a professional. They will ensure that the repairs and installations are appropriately done to avoid and follow the National Electric Code.
Violation of Code – It is important to play by the rules. They are in place for a reason. DIYing electrical jobs is often a violation of code and most states require all electrical jobs be handled by a proficient electrician. Though there will be no inspection, it can affect the resale value of your house. Something as simple as a minor wiring mistake can lead to a failed electrical inspection, lowering the value of your home.
If you insist on handling the repairs, we insist you take the necessary precautions. Your safety and that of your loved ones should always come first.
✓ Unplug it – If you are working on an appliance, unplug it. However, there are some devices that store power in capacitors. If you are not sure of the latter, engage a professional.
✓ Turn-off the breaker – This works best where you are working on appliances that cannot be unplugged. Say lights. If your breaker is well labelled, just turn-off the breaker that directs power to what you are working on. If it’s not appropriately labelled, we advise you engage a professional. However, it is still not difficult to find the right breaker. If you are working on a light, just turn it on and switch the breakers off one by one. If it’s an outlet, plug in a light, and turn the breakers off one by one.
✓ Turn off the main power – If you haven’t found the right breaker, or you are unsure, just turn off the main power to the house. Though it gives you maximum protection, there is a shortcoming to this approach. You will not have power for your tools.
Getting a proficient electrical contractor is as important as the job itself. It is the first step in ensuring that your job goes as planned and that you get the desired results. However, it is a challenging task especially if it’s your first time working with an electrician. Follow the below tips to ensure you hire a reliable contractor.
Calling an electrician for maintenance or simple servicing is different from hiring a contractor for remodelling or a new construction. Any mistakes made during a remodelling or a new construction will be difficult and expensive to rectify. Therefore, you need to ensure you hire the best contractor, and that means you need to understand your needs before you invite any bids. Ensure you can outline the task, and know the nature and conditions.
You will have to put in some effort to create a list of credible contractors. References work best. Ask colleagues, friends and family for referrals, and especially who have had an electrical remodel in the last six months. If references aren’t an option, you can always check third-party review sites. One such website is the Better Business Bureau. You can check if there are any legal complaints against a preferred contractor, and what his track record is. You can also check on Angie’s List for credible contractors. We advise you take the reviews on a contractors website with a pinch of salt. The contractor is bound to put positive reviews.
Finally, invite estimates, and sign an agreement with your preferred contractor. When accepting quotes, ensure that all contractors are bidding for the same job. However, expect that the prices will vary as they have different operating expenses and overhead costs. As for the contract it should be detailed. It should cover the materials, employees, labor, and expectations. If the contract isn’t satisfactory, suggest amendments or have your lawyers draw up a new contract.
Most contractors aren’t crooks. But there are a few who ruin the industry. Here is a guide on how to spot them.
Electrical jobs aren’t cheap. However, contractors take advantage of the fact that most homeowners don’t know what the tasks entail and overcharge them. The changing cost scam takes two forms. First, a contractor takes a quick walk through your house and knowing that you expect a hefty fee, indicates a price much less than you anticipated. You are relieved, you agree on terms and in a few days, the contractor is hammering away. However, price starts to change. Either it’s the materials, or the job has become more complicated, and you end up paying double or triple what you expected. To avoid this, always invite a new contractor to inspect your job requirements.
The scam can take another form in that the contractor states an astronomical price but delivers low quality work. Often, the excuse is that they use high-quality products and provide warranty on their work. Again, hire a fresh pair of eyes to check your job requirements.
In this scam, electricians overwhelm homeowners with industry jargon. They can also aggravate a situation and scare you into signing a contract with them. Avoid such contractors who use scare tactics and always seek a second opinion should you encounter such an individual.
Setting the quotation for the whole project before starting is the right thing to do. It gives you the freedom of making the right decision before you are bound by the contract. You may bargain and renegotiate the prices at this stage such that you stain as close to your budget as possible. A good contractor will breakdown the estimates for you, advice on the margin of error included in the cost, and determine whether your budget will cover all the cost before advising you accordingly.
The duration of the project is paramount in striking a deal with an electrical contractor. This is especially necessary if the installation is being done in the same house as the residents. The danger associated with dealing with great current will affect the whole household as safety measures are taken to avoid unnecessary accidents. Moreover, it will help you determine the length of the project and thus establish expectations.
You may have chosen the best contractor near you, but man is to err. When you realize you made a mistake in your choice, you need an exit route, lest you end up trapped in a contract that is no longer serving your interests. This is why you should always ask the contractor about their warranty policy and have a written document to support it. The contractor is obliged to disclose the terms of the warrant policy and you can ask for clarification where you do not understand. This will save you future problems whenever the contractor performs poorly, compromising your safety or the efficiency of the system.
Requesting to know the insurance status of the contractor you want to work with is the wise thing to do. Electrical work involves dangerous operations with high voltage. A fault may occur and lead to unforeseen accidents with varying severity. You do not want to incur extra costs due to such rare events. The contractor should cover these uncertainties by ensuring his workers are covered by a comprehensive insurance policy. You may counter check to ensure the insurance is active and will stay so for the duration of the project.
An expert electrical contractor understands the needs of his job. Once you outline your preferences and the requirement of your project, he should manage to offer professional advice on the best material that suit the work. He will advice on the price as well as the safety and durability of the chosen materials. This will further enhance your decision making process.
Inquire from your contractor on any additional requirements of the job that will require your attention. This may be involving the project directly or indirectly. The essence is to develop an understanding of the expectations of the job. Once these expectations are set, you will know how to fit them in your schedule without being unduly shocked by the changes. Moreover, you will budget better after ascertaining all the requirements of the job.
This is an essential question to ask every contractor. It offers them a chance to defend their professionalism and experience, and it can be a chance to sell the services of the company. This is a good way to engage the contractor and determine if they will be honest regarding their experience, which you already know through your search.
The essence of the contractor is to ensure proper wiring within the target space as per the instructions of the owner, the design of the home, and the professional pre-requisites. Asking this is a way of determining if the contractor is indeed knowledgeable. It also gives you a chance to collaborate with the contractor, get his advice, and communicate your expectations in advance. This should guide his work later, making it easier.
This is a wide net aimed at giving the contractor a chance to make any comments relating to the job that you may have overlooked. He is the expert, and it would be rude and unprecedented to conclude the interview. The information that is garnered this way is often valuable and it will guide your decision. It honours the contractor since you recognize his expertise and give him an upper hand to describe the concepts for you.
Environmental sustainability is a conscious effort that you must make if you want to stay up-to-date. This involves understanding the materials that you may use to ensure energy is preserved as much as possible. The contractor that has been in the industry for years will advice on materials needed to go green, and even go out of his way to acquire them. This will separate the amateurs from the experts and thus you will have gained the best electrical contractor for your post.
All electrical jobs should be handled by a professional. There are tons of benefits for doing this while also avoiding the dangers involved with DIY. As for the services, electricians can help you with anything from appliance installation to telcos and security, and home entertainment. Yes, the costs involved might be high, but it is worth it. Finally, ensure you hire the right individual by asking the above questions and ensure you avoid scams.