We live in an increasingly connected world, where our smart devices are capable of controlling everything in our homes from the lighting to the temperature and beyond. In such a world, electricity has never been more important for domestic households and electricians have never been more in-demand.
Messing about with the wiring in any home, however, is a delicate operation that can lead to disaster in the wrong hands. That’s why hiring the right electrician is crucial. You don’t just want to ask your local handyman who, ”Knows his way around a distribution board,” you want someone who really knows what they’re doing when it’s your property and your family’s safety on the line.
Given the number of domestic fires that are started due to poor electrical work, it’s certainly not something you’re going to want to overlook.
So, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 things you might want to look out for when choosing an electrician to work on your home.
Before going any further, you must ensure that all electrical contractors are certified by the NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting). Without this accreditation, not only might your insurance fail to pay up if they make a mistake but you have no legally verified way of knowing they are competent and safe.
All NICEIC certified electricians will have been assessed by the Institute of Electrical Engineers and judged to an increasingly high standard. So don’t settle for less, whatever the price might be!
Whilst an NICEIC accredited electrician is more likely to be a literal ‘safe bet’ than a non-accredited electrician, there are still safety standards that need to be attained.
Since the 1st of January, 2019, for example, all electrical installations must meet more exacting standards and since 2005, all contractors need to be able to supply clients with a Part P safety certificate upon completion.
Of course, quality work is always going to be subjective and as many of us are perhaps unaware of what quality electrical work actually looks like, that makes judging quality all the more difficult.
However, good quality work is always, generally speaking, neat, tidy, clean, and precise. If the electrician has a website or social media presence, they might have pictures of their work available for inspection so don’t be afraid to do some digging.
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever before to find out whether or not a contractor is reputable. Sites like Check-A-Trade allow you to search a database of approved electricians and many social media sites allow customers to leave feedback.
Read as many testimonials as you can lay your hands on, but don’t be put off by 3 and 4-star reviews if there are only a few. This could have been due to a personal clash or perhaps a problem that the electrician was eventually able to solve. Use your head and read between the lines!
Finally, never go with the first contractor unless you know for sure they will be able to get you the best service for the best price. Once you’ve managed to put together a list of 3 or 4 reputable local contractors, get quotes from each and compare them with one another.
Also remember – if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is and if the price seems incredibly high then they might be taking you for a ride. The quote should also include a basic timeframe for the job, not only when they can start but how long the job will take.
For some, this is almost as important as the price, though this will depend on the severity of the job: A complete re-wiring, for example, is incredibly disruptive but just fitting a few new sockets shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.