How to Select an Electrical Contractor

Choosing any type of contractor can be a nerve racking experience. Selecting an electrical contractor is no different. Sometimes the electrician comes with whomever you chose to remodel your house. Other times you are in need of just electrical services and have to venture out on your own to find one. There are many ways to find an electrical contractor; phone book, web search, referral service. These sources will often give you a name and a blurb about the company, but they do not provide anything past that. Every homeowner looking for a contractor should follow the steps below


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    Define the electrical project you are seeking to have completed. Is it a service call with a couple of small items? Or is it an extensive project like an addition or new home?
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    Use the resources available to you, do you know anyone who recently had work done? Does your contractor have a guy he always uses?
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    Make sure the contractor gives free estimates. If it is something they can't estimate their rates, then get a general idea. Also, learn what that type of job usually takes. Make sure you know what you are getting into before they start work. Most contractors will have you sign an agreement stating you agree to what they are charging for a project before work starts. There should be no surprises when it comes to pricing. Any changes, the contractor should go over with you in detail before those items are completed.
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    Check references. A contractor should be able to provide a testimonials and references from past customers. While they may not have a list ready to go, do not be afraid to ask for them. Most contractors like hearing positive feedback. When a new customer asks for a reference it forces the contractor to go back to previous customers for this information. As long as the contractor did a good job, most people do not mind providing a reference or testimonial.
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    Ask the contractor for a certificate of insurance for worker's compensation and general liability. The insurance coverage should be enough to cover your house and then some. If something unexpected were to happen, you want to know that the damage to your home will be covered and an injured employee will not be coming back to you looking for compensation.
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    Make sure you know who you are dealing with in the company and who your point of contact is if you have a complaint before work begins. Most contractors are willing to do what it takes to make the job right and the customer happy. A lot of times disagreements boil down to communication issues between the contractors field crew, the contractors office, and the homeowner. A good contractor will provide the homeowner with one point of contact and follow up throughout the project to make sure the homeowners needs are being met. That contact will coordinate the scope of work and all changes with the field crew and keep the homeowner updated on the progress of their project.
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    Go with your gut. We all have different personalities and ways we conduct business. If a contractor rubs you the wrong way and/or is unresponsive and hard to deal with before you start the project, chances are they will be even worse once works commences.

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Categories: Electrical Maintenance