On an average job, electricians make upwards of $150 per hour. That number is telling of the demand electricians have for their services, which isn’t likely to abate anytime soon.
High rates and electrician scarcity in many markets may make it so you’re hard-pressed to find a quality professional that can manage your job at a reasonable price. When weighing the options you do have, which factors should you look at most closely when selecting an electrician?
That is a question we’ve asked ourselves many times and one we’re excited to share an answer with you now! Keep reading to discover the 7 most important factors you should look at to decide on whether or not the electrician you’re considering is worth hiring.
- Do They Have Insurance?
When you’re hiring an electrician, the first thing you need to determine is whether or not the person you’re considering has insurance. Why is insurance important when hiring an electrician? Consider this scenario.
An electrician has an employee working on your house. That employee falls, breaks their back, and tries to collect compensation via their employer’s insurance policy. The employer doesn’t have insurance.
Guess where that employee is going to come looking for compensation next? Your bank account.
To protect yourself from injury suits and to protect against any damage an electrician may cause to your home while working, ask about their insurance policy before bringing them on.
- Are They Licensed to Practice?
Most areas require a residential electrician and a commercial electrician to be licensed to practice in their community. That licensure may come in multiple varietals including a business license, a license from an electrical accreditation board, and so forth.
You want to make sure when selecting an electrician that they have all of the paperwork they need to manage your job legally. After all, if they’re willing to cut corners when it comes to their professional obligations, what makes you think they won’t cut corners on your job?
- What Do Their Reviews Look Like?
Online references and reviews are wonderful in that they take the guesswork out of having to hire people. If you like how an electrician looks in their advertisements, take a moment to see if their online reputation supports your impression of them.
Whether you’re looking on Yelp or Google, we recommend selecting an electrician that has a 4-star review average or better and at least 10 reviews. The more recent those reviews are, the better.
- Can You Afford Them?
We tell people this when they’re hiring any sort of contractor all the time… If you can’t afford an electrician, no matter how good they are, they’re not worth wasting time with.
Electricians are private contractors and are not beholden to any standards so far as what they charge is concerned. That means one electrician in your community could charge hundreds of dollars more than their competitors. Whether or not they’re worth that additional spend is neither here nor there if what they’re asking is outside of your budget.
Get a solid quote when comparing electrician fees as quickly as possible so you can eliminate workers that have priced you out.
- Do They Offer Free Consults and Written Estimates?
It’s standard that electricians will offer a free consultation on your electrical job. If they don’t, chances are, what they charge you will be deducted from your final balance if you choose to hire them.
In addition to finding a pro that is abiding by consultation best practices, you’ll also want one that’ll write down what they quote you on paper. Many electricians and other contractors try to keep their prices as vague as possible in hopes of building price flexibility into their work.
That way of doing business doesn’t benefit you, so be adamant about getting estimates in writing so you have a defensible position if you get overcharged.
- How Long Have They Been in Business?
While not a perfect indicator of an electrician’s quality, generally speaking, if an electrician has been in business for a decade, they probably do good work. After all, ten years of providing bad service would serve as an anchor that would likely bring down any company.
That’s not to suggest that electrical companies that haven’t been in business for a long time are sub-par. You are, however, taking a risk working with professionals that don’t have a long track record.
- What’s the Vibe You Get From Your First Call?
First impressions matter when you’re hiring somebody to work on your home or business. When you call a prospective electrician, take note of how they come off.
Did they seem receptive to your questions? Were they knowledgeable? Did they seem in a rush when they were talking to you?
Whatever service you get from your first point of contact with a business will likely either remain the same or get worse. Therefore, if things start on a bad note with your electrician, we recommend moving on.
Selecting an Electrician Should Become Easier With Our Guidance
Whether you’re picking between two candidates or two hundred, when selecting an electrician, if you run them through the list of filters we’ve shared, you should come away with a solid pick.
And remember, nothing is finite when you hire a contractor. If they violate your expectations, let them go (make sure your contract offers this leniency), and find a new one.
If you find yourself in need of more guidance as you search for professionals to help you on your home or business projects, explore more content on our blog.