Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician
The phone directory is filled with electricians for hire. No matter where in Australia you live, there are bound to be multiple electricians from whom to choose. Most people will just pick the first electrician they find without first asking any initial questions.
It is important to ask the right questions before hiring an electrician, or else you could end up with someone who will do a less than satisfactory job. Not only that, the electrician may overcharge you for their services, too. For this reason, learn everything you can about this person before you hire them.
Unsure where to begin? Here are the top five questions you should ask electricians before hiring one:
1. Do you have a license to legally conduct electrical work?
All towns, cities and states require electricians to have a license. Given the dangers involved with electrical work, a license proves that your electrician has the background training and skills to perform their given duty with electricity.
There are two types of licenses for electricians. If the electrician is newer and just working on electrical installations, then they have a journeyman’s license. Master electricians with more than two years of experience will have a higher-level license.
This proves they are qualified to design electrical systems and install them, too. Make sure your electrician has the appropriate license.
2. Do you carry insurance?
Electrical contractors are doing very dangerous work. There are many accidents that could happen when they’re designing and installing an electrical system. You’ll want your contractor to carry both workers’ compensation insurance and liability insurance worth a minimum of $500,000.
That way, if the contractor or their employees end up getting hurt on your property, their insurance will compensate them. Also, it will protect you as the homeowner in case you get hurt or your property gets damaged as a result of their work.
3. What is the estimated cost of the service?
This is the big question that everyone will want to ask. It is important to get an idea of the cost before the service is carried out. That way, you are not surprised by a big bill after it is done.
Ask the electrician to provide you with a detailed list of everything that is going to be done, and the cost of it. If you are on a budget, then let them know what your expense limit is. They then might perform the job for a fixed price rather than an hourly rate.
4. Do I need a permit for this electrical job?
Electrical work does not always need a permit, but sometimes it does. It is generally the responsibility of the electrician to pull permits.
You should never be in a position where the electrician is asking you to get the permit. This must be requested by a licensed electrician and not the homeowner. If an electrician is saying that you need to do it, then consider hiring someone else.
5. Do you have any references?
Do not be afraid to ask for references. You are basically the employer because you are hiring someone to do a job for you. So, you should ask to see their references just to ensure they are a legitimate and professional electrician.
This will involve calling their previous clients and asking them how good a job they did on their project. A reputable electrician should have no problem providing this reference list to you.