Some people prefer to fix, replace, or install things in their homes alone, without hiring anyone for assistance. However, unless you are a licensed electrician, you should not be messing with, fixing, replacing, or installing anything that can cause electrical problems. Even minor problems, like a tripped breaker or an outlet spark, can lead to more significant issues within your home’s electrical system.
Calling a professional, licensed electrician is very important when dealing with these situations. During your search for an electrician, there are a few questions you should ask to determine whether they are fit for the job.
What Projects Do You Need an Electrician For?
There are certain projects that only electricians should handle to avoid safety issues. For example:
- Installing an electrical outlet or an electrical panel
- Replacing or modifying a circuit breaker
- Installing a ceiling fan or a light fixture
- Adding or installing outdoor electrical features
Electricians should also handle smaller things, like flickering lights, easily tripped circuit breakers, overheating lighting fixtures, loose outlets, and sparking outlets. All these seemingly minor electrical issues could turn into more significant problems later. To avoid severe problems, call an electrician to investigate as soon as possible.
Hiring an Electrician
During your search for an electrician, there are a few things you should do to find the perfect company or person for your project. First, research the cost and familiarize yourself with the electrician’s rate. They may ask for $50-$100 per hour, depending on the location, the project in question, and their licensing level. Do your research on the company or individual, check their reviews, and get quotes from multiple different sources.
Interview as many professional, licensed electricians as possible—aim for at least three bids for your project. Once you have a few contenders picked out, ask them targeted questions about your project.
Lastly but most critically, ensure that the electrician you hire has all the professional credentials they claim to have, including a valid license and insurance.
Questions To Ask an Electrician
Asking your electrician the right questions ensures you’re hiring the perfect person for the job. Cover these questions when assessing an electrician’s capabilities:
Do you have a valid license and insurance?
No matter what, any electrician you hire must have a license in your state.
Are you bonded?
Ensuring your electrician has a bond will financially protect you from any claims of misconduct or fraud.
What type of experience do you have? Do you have any certifications?
There are different electrical certificates depending on the training and knowledge the electrician has acquired.
Do you have a warranty or service guarantee?
At the least, be sure the electrician offers a one-year work warranty, but a longer one is always preferred. This warranty helps protect you from damages caused by the electrician’s work.
Are permits needed for this project?
Depending on the electrical project’s size, you may need a permit or inspection. Ensure the electrician you hire acquires the necessary licenses and handles any legal work for inspections.
Will any subcontractors help with this project?
Sometimes, during a large electrical project, the electrician may bring in subcontractors to help complete tasks. Ask the electrician you hire:
- Does their liability insurance cover the subcontractors?
- How many subcontractors will there be?
- How long have they known the subcontractors?
Are you familiar with this type of work?
Experience is vital when hiring an electrician. Ensure they know what they’re doing before trusting them with your electrical work.
Do you have an expected work schedule?
Ask them about their timeline—when are they likely to complete the project? What’s their daily schedule? What happens if there are potential delays?
Can you share your references?
This question is crucial! Always obtain at least three references from the electrician you hire. Talk with customers and ask about their completed projects, the issues they experienced, and how the electrician communicated with them.
You don’t need to look hard while searching for an electrician in St. Cloud, MN. Nies Electric is a licensed, insured, and bonded electrical contractor serving Central Minnesota with the highest level of customer service. Whether your electrical needs are commercial, residential, or industrial, we can help—contact us today to get started.