There are a lot of good reasons to hire someone to come in when you need repairs to be made around your home. There are a lot of things that people who like to work on their home can and should do but when it comes to making repairs to your electrical wiring, it makes more sense to bring in a qualified electrician. Every year, at least $1.5 billion in property damage is caused by electrical fires. Between 2007 and 2011, at least 63% of all home structure fires that involved electrical systems were caused by wiring and related equipment problems. About 20% of these fires were caused by lighting fixtures, lamps and light bulbs. Transformers and power supplies were to blame for 6% of these fires. It is hard to say how many of these were also due to work that was done by laypeople vs. qualified electricians but when you find electrical problems in your home, it is worth bringing in a professional.
Tips for Finding an Electrician:
- Talk to the people you know. The best way to find good services and products is to get a recommendation from someone you know and trust. Talk to your friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers. If you know anyone who owns their own home, you probably know someone who has hired a qualified electrician. If you are lucky, you will get the same recommendation from at least two people (separately).
- Check online. Many cities and towns have Facebook pages and groups that were set up to promote local businesses. If you do not see any posts about local electricians, ask. People love to share their experiences. You can also check Angie’s List and Yelp. Do a Google search. If you see a lot of bad reviews that were left anonymously, be skeptical. People are more likely to complain than compliment.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This is a good step to take whenever you have a contractor do work in your home. Make sure they are in good standing with the BBB and that there are no complaints outstanding against them.
- Get estimates from at least three different qualified electricians. You should get detailed estimates in writing. There are a few reasons for this. You will have an easier time comparing quotes when they are itemized and in writing. You will also know what to expect and can hols the contractor to the estimate. These are estimates so you should also ask what extras could be added. Make sure you are clear on what you are paying for. Ask about the materials and overtime rates.
- Price is not everything. Sure, this is important but should not be the only thing that you base your opinion on. The lowest bid may end up costing you a lot more in the long run. By the same measure, the most expensive quote may not give the best service. It is better to go with someone in the middle. You should also do some research into what is normally charged in your area for the work that you need done.
- Talk to the qualified electrician about guarantees. Check to see if they will give you a guarantee for the work that they do and what their policy if anything they install fails.
- Make sure they have the right license. Before you start talking to any qualified electricians, take some time to get to know what your city or town requires of them. When you talk to the different contractors, ask if they have the license they need but also verify what they tell you.
- Ask about their insurance. You need to hire only qualified electricians who have the right insurance. This is incredibly important. If someone is injured working on your home, you can be held liable legally if they or anyone working with them is injured during the process.
- Ask for references. Reputable qualified electricians will have no problem giving you the names and contact information for people they have done work for. Check their references.
It is possible to find the right qualified electrician when you need electrical repairs to be done on your home. If you take your time, you will find the right person.
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