You’ve decided to sell your home, which means it’s time to fix that dead outlet in the guest bedroom. Or perhaps you’ve been setting aside the cash to install recessed lights in your kitchen. Both scenarios lead you to the same question: How do you go about finding a reputable electrician?
Electrical contracting is highly skilled and dangerous work, so this isn’t a place to cut corners. If you are having fixtures installed as part of a renovation, the more detailed aspects make it crucial that you hire a professional.
For larger renovation jobs, contractors may require a down payment to buy the materials. Be sure to ask how long the job should take, especially if the work needs to be coordinated with other contractors such as sheet rock installers and painters.
Finding a good electrician requires doing your homework — just as it does when you’re hiring any contractor to work in your home. Seek out personal referrals from friends, family, neighbors and coworkers, and then use the internet to vet the companies. Use sites like Home Advisor, Yelp, Trusted Pros and Angie’s List.
The Better Business Bureau is also a stalwart source of information, which you can find at www.bbb.org. Look for contractors who are part of the bureau’s “accredited” program, meaning they have agreed to the group’s standards for handling customers with integrity. You will also be able to see how long companies have been in business, their complaint histories and how they’ve handled them.
Longevity in business is a good sign, because poorly run businesses don’t last. A contractor in business for decades is doing something right.
Electricians are required to be licensed in every state in which they do business. Using the link provided by the Better Business Bureau, go to the state licensing agency’s website to search for potential electricians. Also, check to see if an electrician in question carries liability insurance and worker’s compensation if employees will be on your job site.
Several online sites provide consumer reviews, but exercise caution when reading these. Comments, both pro and con, are often not verified for accuracy.
Obtain three written bids from contractors. The cheapest and most expensive bids are not necessarily indicators of which to choose. Be sure to get an estimate on how long the job should take. Ask yourself if you’ll be happy working closely with one of the contractors.