10 Questions You Need To Ask Your Electrician
By Dave Donahue
Electricity is a useful resource we use in our everyday life. Used properly, it can make our lives easier and enrich our lives. Unfortunately this very resource we use daily also has the capacity to injure and even kill us. This is why it is important to treat electricity with respect. A trained electrician is aware of the dangers of this energy and takes the proper precautions necessary to create a safe work environment. For you, the customer, should be informed as to how an electrician will perform electrical work in your home or office. Here are ten questions you should be prepared to ask an electrician before hiring them.
- Are you licensed and insured?
- This will allow you to know whether the company or individual is authorized to legally work in your State. Ask to see a copy of the license and a copy of the insurance. Are they registered with the local Regional Building Department? This will allow you to ascertain whether the company or individual is legally authorized to work in your city or county. Ask them to provide proof. If you accidentally hire an unlicensed company or individual, and there is ever a complication or heaven forbid, a fire, you will have no recourse to that company, or that individual. On top of that, your own insurance will not cover any losses.
- Do you require your electricians to either be licensed or in an accredited apprenticeship program?
- This will allow you to determine whether or not you are having work performed by an a licensed electrician, an electrical apprentice, or someone who is just learning by on the job training, or a handyman. After 2011, all Colorado electrical contractors are required to have their electricians trained by an accredited electrical organization and some are members of national electrical organizations (For example: The Independent Electrical Contractor’s Association). However this is not always the case. On the job training workers should always work with a qualified electrician. Colorado law prohibits anyone who is not a licensed master electrician, licensed journeyman electrician, or a registered electrical apprentice to perform electrical work in your home or on your project. Electrical apprentices are required to be supervised by a licensed electrician. Ask the electrician if they are in fact a licensed journeyman worker and ask for proof. It is Colorado Law that Electricians carry their registration with them. If an electrician doesn’t have their registration, there is a good chance they are not licensed or registered with the state.
- Does your work meet electrical code requirements for this county or state jurisdiction?
- This will allow you to know whether or not the company abides by the policies set forth for performing code compliant work. Licensed companies are required to meet certain criteria that meets the state or county in which work is performed. In some cases the Authority Having Jurisdiction (the inspector) may set the requirements for an install.
- Do you have references?
- Many companies have references. If they do not have references or positive reviews, you will most likely be provided with substandard service. References can be customer testimonials, certifications received, etc. If not always ask for references and testimonials. Ask for documentation like licenses and insurance paperwork. If not licensed or insured always search for a more qualified company.
- Do you have a set price for certain types of work performed?
- This can be a gray area. Many companies do have a set price for installation of products, ie such as: receptacles, lights, etc. and switches. Labor costs are usually where the prices may fluctuate. Always ask what the hourly rate is and how long the project is expected to take. Remember that cheaper is NOT always better.
- How long have you been in business?
- Electrical companies gain work by reputation within the community. Always search for a company who has a solid reputation in work performance and safety ratings. Find out if they have a good standing within the community. Google their business and check for reviews before hiring.
- May I check on the work being performed periodically?
- Many electricians prefer to work alone without distractions. However it is your right to know how the work being performed is coming along as expected. Most electricians have no issues with this just so long as you aren’t standing over their shoulder, so to speak.
- Is there any additional cost I can foresee?
- Always do your homework. Electrical installs can run into problems. There may be studs that need to be drilled, wire pulled and a myriad of other unforeseen obstacles. Get an estimator estimate before hiring an electrical company It is important to find a contractor who is honest and forthright in their estimate of a project. Contractors should conduct themselves in a professional manner and always take the customers concerns as a priority.
- Are there any things I should know about the work, once performed?
- In some cases there may be changes to your home electrical service. This may be added receptacles, breakers, lighting and possibly a new panel service. Ask questions about placement of new devices and how to shut them off in case of an emergency. Always “check” the work before approving the final job.
- Do you warranty your work?
- Most companies have a policy of giving a warranty on work performed. Typical contracts guarantee the work for up to a year. Ask if you aren’t sure. This should be a priority question before any actual work is done.
Swartz Electric is Colorado Springs highest rated Electrical Contractor and is licensed and insured to perform electrical work throughout the entire State of Colorado. Please see our website for our licenses, insurance, and links to reviews and testimonials. In addition, Swartz Electric provides a 2 year material warranty and a lifetime workmanship warranty.
Swartz Electric – Your Colorado Springs Electrician performs electrical work throughout Colorado Springs, Monument, Black Forest, Fountain, Falcon, Woodland Park, and everywhere inbetween. We are the electricians in Colorado Springs to solve your electrical problems and meet your electrical requirements.
Call, e-mail, visit our website, or stop by our office today, and allow Swartz Electric to serve YOU.
This is an original article written by Dave Donahue for Swartz Electric. This article may not be copied whole or in part without the express permission of Swartz Electric, LLC.
Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.