This is how our world works now: to get things done, we need to hire the right people for the job. Companies hire employees and households to hire professionals. Even the act of hailing a taxi to get home is a form of hiring someone. We cannot do everything all by ourselves.
However, when hiring a professional, it’s essential for us to judge whether or not this person can do the job we need them to do. There are a lot of candidates out there who seem qualified, but when they begin to do the work, they churn out lackluster output. This is why we do interviews before we finally settle on a worthy candidate.
This is especially true when hiring an electrician for our home or business. Working with electrical systems requires competent hands; otherwise, you could end up with a fire or several unnecessary short circuits. We want someone that will ensure a smooth flow of power among our appliances and electronics. To make this possible, we have a list of questions that you can ask an electrician before hiring them for a job.
What Does An Electrician Do?
So what exactly is an electrician capable of doing? What jobs require the skillful hands of an electrician? Here are some of them:
- Installing Electrical Systems – When we have a new house or a new building, we need to hire an electrician to have the wiring systems installed. They can ensure that every single one of our appliances and electronics is powered and running smoothly. They know which wires to use and where each wire can run through without causing fires and inconveniences.
- Electrical Maintenance – Wires degrade through time, and may eventually burn out or break. This is where the electrician comes in. He or she can inspect the wiring system installed in your home or building and provide solutions that will restore your electrical power flow to normal, should he find anything wrong.
- Repair of Electrical Components – When a part of your wiring short-circuits, the electrician can do some repairs to counteract the damage. This is especially useful if your home is prone to short-circuit or if the previous electrician’s work was shoddy.
What Questions Do You Need To Ask Before Hiring An Electrician?
To avoid faulty workmanship, you must be able to assess if the electrician you’re about to hire is qualified or not. To do this, you must ask him these ten critical questions. null
- Do You Have A License? – An electrician needs to have a license before he can perform any wiring work. Doing the tasks mentioned above requires the necessary skills and knowledge, and a legitimate regulatory board must certify you. Make sure also that the license is real, not a counterfeit one. You can’t risk your safety, your family’s well-being, and your home’s integrity to someone faking a license.
- Do You Have Insurance? – An electrician’s work leaves him and your family exposed to fatal elements, such as electricity and fire, as well as falling from heights if he is working with high wires. Without insurance, all of you will be at a higher risk of being financially burdened with health care issues. The insurance must also be legitimate, not just something that the electrician verbally states.
- What Work Do You Specialize In? – Electricians have different specializations. Some are good in home wiring, some excel in establishing electrical systems in buildings, and some are good at repairs and maintenance. Before hiring, make sure that he or she is skilled enough for your required job. Otherwise, his license and insurance don’t matter. The wiring work will still become shoddy.
- Do You Have Training Or Experience For This Kind Of Work? – An electrician having a license is one thing, but being trained for the kind of work you require is another. He or she could be someone qualified, but has not yet done any projects similar to the job that you need. It’s vital for you to assess if his training or experience is suited to the situation to ensure quality workmanship.
- What Is Your Estimated Fee and What Does It Include? – Talking about the prices upfront is crucial if you want to avoid hidden fees and sudden surcharges. This also allows you to negotiate with the electrician if you need additional work to be done. It’s essential for the electrician to be transparent with the prices he or she is charging you so that you will know how much to prepare. A good tip would be to have it all documented and signed by both parties.
- Do You Have References From Previous Jobs? – If the electrician mentioned that he previously did jobs that are similar to what you want him to do, you have to ask for references. It could be possible that he or she is faking it to get you to agree to hire him. The recommendations would allow you to verify if he or she did the work that he or she is claiming.
- Will a Permit Be Needed? If so, How Can We Secure It? – Some jobs need to have permits from the government, especially those involving elaborate wiring systems. You have to ask the electrician if he or she needs to have a specific permit first before starting, especially if they have done similar jobs before. He or she should also inform you if you need to secure the permit yourself before he or she can work the job.
- Who Will Do The Work? – Some jobs require more than the usual workforce to accomplish. The electrician may need to bring along additional hands to finish everything. You have to clear it up with the electrician if he or she will be doing the work solo or with some assistance. You also have to check if the electrician’s assistants are skilled enough to manipulate wiring systems. They must also be closely monitored.
- What Can You Guarantee? – An electrician must be able to give you the peace of mind that he or she can accomplish the work needed. Otherwise, he or she must at least guarantee what can be achieved within his or her capabilities. The electrician must inform you if you need to hire another electrician after he or she is done with the work so that you can plot your timelines and calculate the fees required.
- Can I See Something You’re Currently Working On? – If it’s possible for you to inspect something that the electrician is doing at present, you may do so. It allows you to gain insight on his or her quality of work and what you can expect once he or she starts on your needed job. If you see that he or she does not work as well as promised, then you may have to re-consider hiring him or her.
Once the electrician’s answers to the ten questions above satisfy you, it’s time to start on the actual job. From here, you now have to monitor what the electrician is doing at all times, keeping in mind everything he or she said when you interviewed him or her. If you see something that contradicts what you know from the electrician, call him or her out on it, and ask about what you saw. It saves you the trouble of having to deal with future issues that may arise from it.
After the job is done, your work is not yet over. You now have the responsibility of monitoring if the workmanship of the electrician holds up for a long time. If there are any issues, inform the electrician at once. It helps if you coordinate with the same person since he or she best knows the wiring done inside your house or building. Other electricians may not be too familiar with the systems installed, especially if your electrician used different techniques to accomplish the job.
As they say, prevention is better than cure. It’s much more beneficial and economical for you to invest in a proper electrician than save money on someone with mediocre skills. You’ll be spending more on repairs and hospital bills if you rely on unqualified electricians. The additional cost that you spend may be less than what you will eventually shell out if something goes wrong. Remember: you will also need to pay someone if you need to have repairs done on your wiring.