Choosing an electrician for your project is a crucial matter because he will be doing one of the most sensitive jobs in the industry, and electrical jobs should be done right the first time. Any miscalculation on electrical wiring and its related jobs and issues will not only compromise an electrician’s job but your life as well.
While the job of an electrician is to maintain your electrical health and safety in your home or business, be sure you are talking to a professional with all the right credentials and experience. There is no wrong in asking questions to which you will be enlightened what your electrician can do, how much you are going to spend, and how trusting their work is.
Since electricians do the job that may put their life and yours at risk, below are things to check and ask your prospective electrical contractor before hiring them to work in your home or business.
- Are they registered with a government approved scheme? – Run by bodies such as NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contractors), Elecsa, NAPIT or STROMA. Contact the scheme directly to check that the electrician is registered. In the event of something going wrong, you’ll receive support from the scheme operator.
- Are they highly skilled? – Part P certified and qualified to the latest IEE wiring regulations (BS7671) to carry out the work.
- Do they follow health & safety regulations? – Do they hold an SSIP accreditation?Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) – is an umbrella accreditation that demonstrates competence in health and safety practices and procedures, and therefore a business that is safe to work with. (The most popular SSIP schemes are CHAS, SMAS and SafeContractor).
- Do they have positive customers’ feedback? – Check on their company website for any reviews. Have a look to see if they are listed on any commercial directories such as Checkatrade.com which recommend tradespeople based on previous customer ratings. Lots of good reviews are a good indicator that they will do a satisfying job.
- Do they hold valid Public liability insurance? – Check and ask for proof of insurance. As a minimum all electrical companies registered with a competent person scheme should hold public liability insurance up to 2 million pounds.
- Do they offer a warranty on their work? – Ask about the warranty coverage and the duration of which the work and parts are covered for.
- Will you receive all certification for the work? – Question them if they are going to issue an electrical certificate for the work and ask if the work is notifiable. If the work is notifiable, also ask if you will receive a Building Regulations Certificate of Compliance (Part P).
- Do they have good customer service? – Inviting them to visit should give you a feel for whether they can be trusted. Check if they have got good communication skills, friendly personnel, arrive on time and provide professional service and advice.
- Quotations? – Always ask for detailed written quotes with as much transparency as possible. Also remember that the cheapest quote isn’t necessarily the best. Take the electrician’s recommendations, qualifications and professionalism into consideration too.