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Hiring An Electrical Contractor: What You Ought To Know
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Not all jobs are suitable for a DIY enthusiast. Some jobs require the expertise and experience of a professional trained and licensed to undertake critical or dangerous tasks.
Electrical work is one of these tasks. In fact, people usually demand a licensed, professional electrical contractor.
Here are few things that people ought to consider before hiring the services of an electrician:
a) Electricians must be licensed, insured and bonded. The vendor must assume all liability for employees and contractors working on your property.
b) Ensure (check, don't assume) that the contractor is certified to complete the type of work you are hiring him to do. You want an experienced contractor, not someone learning at your expense.
c) Determine in advance who has the responsibility to get local permits and to schedule required inspections. The electrical contractor will almost always do this, but don't assume it will be taken care of for you.
d) Many local resources exist allowing you to check the reputation of a potential electrician. These include local county or state licensing and consumer protection departments, the Better Business Bureau, and local internet resources specializing in collecting and publishing reviews of local vendors. Your chances of a positive experience increase if previous clients of the electrician have had positive experiences. Don't hire anyone you don't trust or who has bad reviews from your neighbors.
e) Some local authorities publish a list of contractors who have previously violated local building or electrical codes. Check for violations by calling the county department charged with licensing electricians. Avoid contractors with violations or complaints.
f) Agree on a firm schedule for completion of the job. For more complex jobs requiring long work schedules (more than a week or two), be suspicious of early delays. Failing to meet early schedule objectives is a good indication that final completion will also be delayed. Consider delaying unessential projects which might disrupt family holidays or special events if they are not completed on time.
g) Execute a written contract including specific description of all tasks to be completed and scheduled completion date. Nothing should be left to verbal agreement. Consider including penalties for failure to meet scheduled completion, or incentives for on-time or early completion.
h) Understand that most contractors required incremental payments as specific work units are completed. Ensure that incremental payments correspond to work actually completed, not to dates on a calendar. Then ensure that each work unit has been completed before authorizing payment.
i) Don't hire a contractor who doesn't guarantee his work. While minor schedule delays must be expected, don't hire a contractor who doesn't guarantee project completion either on, or within a set number of days of, scheduled completion.
Following this checklist will minimize problems getting your project completed, and greatly increase your satisfaction when your project is completed.
Walsh Electric has been a trusted electrical maintenance service company in Virginia for decades. Your grandfather probably had to telephone us, but you can contact us at our website: http://walshelectricalservice.com
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