Choosing an Electrician

Published July 20, 2012

After many hours of searching for the perfect chandelier for our house, I finally came upon one and was secretly hoping that it would be hung for the weekend.

“Don’t call an electrician honey, I can easily do it”, my four-thumbed,  “electrical engineer” husband said.

After a very loud pop, sparks and his hair almost completely fried, (he looked like one of the natives from the jungle ride at Disneyland) we made the mutual decision to call a professional electrician.

Sound familiar?

Too many people attempt minor electrical repairs without the proper knowledge and safety measures required. Sometimes having a basic understanding of electricity is not enough to undertake repairs within the home. A simple blown fuse is an example of an electrical problem that is easily remedied at home, However, smoke coming out of an outlet is a whole different scenario.

When the problem goes beyond the basics it’s time to call in a licensed electrician.

Choosing the right electrician involves taking the following steps.

First, be sure to enquire that the electrician is fully certified. Are they certified by the city, province or both? It’s a good idea to enquire as to where they received their license.

Ask what kind of work they primarily do. Is it new construction, remodeling or perhaps repair work only? What are they most experienced with? This is important.

What is their hourly wage? Is it comparable to the market standard?

Electrical and plumbing service calls can be costly. The best way to keep the cost down is to get advice ahead of time and before the work begins.

Written quotes should be mandatory. Be sure the electrician specifies exactly what work is to be done, hours involved and final cost. This way there are no surprises.

Working with electricity is dangerous, period.  Even small electrical jobs are sometimes best left to the professionals. In the long run, you will have peace of mind and possibly avoid costly return trips by a professional.