Choosing the right electrician can be a nerve-racking experience — especially when you don’t know exactly what it is you need. But don’t worry, Cali Coast is here to help! As professional Menifee electricians, we’ve dealt with countless customers and know their dilemmas well. Here’s our comprehensive guide on the best way to hire an electrician.
Make sure they are qualified
So, you need a professional electrician to install a new light fixture, fix a wiring issue, or replace your electrical system entirely. The first step is usually to make sure they’ve got what it takes. Easier said than done, you say! What kind of qualifications should I be looking for? Well, let’s break that down. Here’s a few boxes that your residential electrical contractor should check.
- Relevant Experience: Obviously, you do not want electricians who have never done the kind of work you need.
- Required Permits: Depending on the state you’re in, your electrician needs to be up to date on all licensing and permits needed at that locale.
- Liability Insurance: Almost without exception, a professional electrician will be covered by some form of liability insurance, just in case anything goes wrong.
- Worker’s Comp: Not strictly necessary from your side, but a good sign of a reliable outfit is the ability to provide worker’s compensation coverage to their technicians.
These are just the essential criteria – for some types of electrical work, it might be all that you need to make the call. But from what we’ve learned over the years, when homeowners in the Menifee and Temecula hire an electrician, they look a little deeper.
Make sure they are reputable
If you need extensive residential electrical services, you’ll want to hire an electrician with a solid reputation. In this day and age, reputation is a make-or-break kind of deal for professional contractors. So how do you confirm that your electrician is reputable? Here are three ways that customers often resort to.
- Online Resources: Whether it’s Google My Business, Better Business Bureau, or some other repository, there are countless ways of verifying a contractor’s reputation online.
- Customer References: Don’t be afraid to ask electrical contractors for references before hiring them. A reputable business should be able to provide them.
- Word-of-Mouth: The traditional ways of checking out an electrician’s reputation still work, of course. Ask your friends, ask your neighbors, see what they tell you!
Now, you might be inclined to cut new companies some slack here – good or bad, it takes a while to build a reputation. That’s certainly within your rights as a homeowner. Still, when faced with a choice between a highly reputable electrician and a less reputable one, most people know who to bet on.
Make sure they fit your budget
Once you get right down to it, the harsh reality is that not every electrician will fit everyone’s budget. There are some serious considerations to be had, as homeowners try to find the right balance between affordability and quality of service. As usual, this works best when you know what to expect, so here are some broad guidelines.
- Hourly Rates: These can vary depending on several factors, but on average, you can expect to see them somewhere between $50 and $100. Keep in mind that this is rarely all you pay – it’s just the rate used to calculate the work hours’ cost.
- Cost per Job: Depending on the scope of your project, you might get quoted as little as a couple hundred (for a simple outlet repair). Or, your quote might be in the thousands (for wiring or upgrading your whole house).
- Getting an Estimate: If you come away from reading this with only one piece of advice, let it be this one. Always be aware of what it is you’re paying for! Do not let yourself get roped into paying for work that you don’t actually need or want! A professional residential electrician should provide you with a detailed estimate outlining all that needs to be done and how much each item will cost.
We don’t mean to scare you off – residential electrical services can come pretty steep, but that’s not always the case. When talking to a contractor, you’ll be able to see if they’re being forthright and transparent about their rates. If they can, they might provide leeway or offer you a compromise solution. But that old adage applies when dealing with electricians, too – you only get what you pay for.
The Electrician Hiring Checklist
Summarizing all that, here’s a handy checklist that you should go through when considering your next residential electrical contractor.
- Are they qualified? Does the electrician have the experience, the certification, and the insurance that every responsible professional should be able to provide?
- Are they reputable? Have you made the effort of going through the electrician’s ratings, reviews, and recommendations?
- Are they affordably priced? Have you been given a clear and detailed estimate of the prices involved? Have you compared it to those offered by other electricians?
- Do they pass your smell test? While communicating with the electrical contractor you’ve thought about hiring, how do they seem to you? Are you getting the sense that they’re trying to pull a fast one on you? Or are they perfectly polite and professional, transparent about everything they say and do?
Go through these four items with every contractor. Be open-minded, but also be cautious about who you do business with.
What’s the best way to hire an electrician, then?
There are a lot of different electricians out there, and choosing the right one can be intimidating. The best approach is to choose fully qualified contractors with a solid reputation, able to do the work you need within your budget. If you take it step-by-step, we’re confident in your ability to make the right call in the end.
And hey, if you’re looking for a dependable residential electrical contractor in the Menifee or Temecula area, Cali Coast Electric stands at your disposal. We’re professional, we’re reliable, we’re up to code, and we take pride in our work! Give us a call today – you won’t need to think twice about having us back!