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What is the first thing you do when you’re trying to find an electrician? Ask neighbors, friends, and family if they know a good electrician. Consult online directories for the names and reviews of electricians in your area. Yeah, okay.  That’s good advice and it’s a great start. But let’s go over some fresh, unconventional suggestions that you may not have thought of when it’s time to find a licensed electrician (or any subcontractor) who is qualified. 

1. Look around new residential construction sites

Drive by up-and-coming neighborhoods in your area where new houses are being built. Look at the yards for signs showing company names and phone numbers.  Electricians often have signs posted. Be especially alert for names that you see repeatedly.  In general, electricians who do good work will be hired over and over again.

2. Chat with subs

When you’re at those home building job sites, have a chat with a few subcontractors.  Ask them what electricians they would use if they were having work done on their home.

3.  DON’T ask supply warehouse workers for recommendations.

That’s right, I said, “Don’t.”  Workers at wholesale stores, electrical supply warehouses and even big box stores are a good source of information about electricians.

But if you ask them to “recommend” electricians, you may not get specific names.

Workers usually won’t give “recommendations.” They say they don’t want to offend (and risk losing the business of) the electricians they haven’t recommended.

So you have to be clever about the questions you ask.   Try these:

“Who are the busiest electricians in the area?” or “What electricians come in for supplies most often?”  Asking which electricians are the busiest will again give you some idea of who gets hired often. Electricians who work often, usually work well.

4. Check out your state’s Home Builders Association website.

Most states have a Home Builders Association website with a list of subcontractors that are dues paying members. Most shady subs won’t take the time to join the HBA.  Bonus: If you hire an HBA electrician and have trouble with him, you’ll be able to file a complaint with the association.

With these tips, you should be able to come up with at least 5-10 names of electricians you could potentially hire.  Okay, what’s next?

INVESTIGATE BEFORE YOU INVEST!

Before you hire and pay any subcontractor, it’s smart to do some investigation.

Read more: 5 Warning Signs Telling You When to Call an Electrician

5. Review the BBB profile

 Okay, this isn’t a fresh, unconventional tip, but it really good advice and it’s easy to do.  Look up the electrician’s BBB rating and see if he has any complaints.  Search BBB.org not only for the company’s name but also the electrician’s name.

6. Proof of license and insurance

Unfortunately, some electricians will tell you they’re licensed and insured when they’re not.  Ask everyone on your list for actual copies of their license and insurance papers.  And so neither of you feels awkward, just tell the electrician that you need the papers “for your project file.”  If anyone refuses to give the papers, cross him off the list.

7. Get at least 3-5 bids

Be as specific as you can about your scope of work and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.  Don’t forget to ask about the warranty.   Be cautious of hiring an electrician with a price that’s significantly lower or significantly higher than the other bids.  

building plansPhoto by Pxhere CC0

8. Talk to 3-5 references

Ask for the names of several of the electrician’s past clients and chat with them about their experience.  Ask them what they liked and disliked. Make sure to talk with recent clients AND clients from 10 or more years ago so you can find out how the electrician’s work holds up over time.

search webPhoto by Pxhere CC0

9. Test the candidates

Call, text and/or email each candidate a couple of times to see how responsive they are.  Do they answer you within a reasonable amount of time or do they ignore you?  Take note of those electricians who are especially receptive to communicating with you. 

10. Ask for ideas

When talking to electrician candidates about your project, ask them for suggestions about what you could do to save money without compromising quality. Or ask how you could make your design better.  Put the guys with the best answers on your short list. Bonus:  You might just get some great design and money saving ideas.

11. Look at their work, if possible

Ask if they have any clients who are willing open their homes to you.  If not, ask for photos of past work.

interior designImage by Stefano Ferrario from Pixabay CC0

12. Keep a list of runners-up

Hold on to the contact information of 2 or 3 electricians that you liked, but didn’t hire for your project.  Those electricians are your back-ups, just in case something goes wrong with the guy you chose.

If the electrician that you hired continually fails to show up, or if he is doing poor quality work, call one of your backup electricians to see if he is interested in completing your project.  If so, you can give your unreliable electrician one last warning.  Tell him you’ll have to replace him if you don’t see improvement.  If problems continue, call your back-up and ask if he can start work ASAP.  Although firing a subcontractor is not ideal, sometimes it has to be done.

IN SUMMARY:  MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE!

Going through all these steps takes time and effort, but you’ll greatly increase your chances of hiring a good electrician.  Plus, your effort will be a sign to your electrician that you’re on top of your game.  That you mean business.  He’ll most likely conclude that because you’ve gone the extra mile to find an electrician, you’ll expect quality work.

Read more: How And When To Upgrade Electrical Panel Equipment

12 Effective Ways to Find an Electrician Who’s Good was last modified: June 2nd, 2020 by Build Your House Yourself University
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THINH NGUYEN TRUONGRachel FramptonKen HwanCoquitlam ElectricianBethany Birchridge Recent comment authors
Alexandria Martinez
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Alexandria Martinez

My fiance and I are thinking about getting an electrician for the new home that we just moved into. We have been noticing some strange problems with our lighting and figure professional help would be better than doing it ourselves. Both of us will be looking into the work of whoever we decide to hire as suggested.

Derek Dewitt
Guest
Derek Dewitt

My wife and I are looking to hire an electrician to help us wire up some new lights in the basement, but we aren’t sure where to start. I like that you suggest looking in areas for new houses are being built because they often have electrician signs posted. We’ll have to check around here and see if any are working in the area near us. Thanks for the help!

Ashley Turns
Guest
Ashley Turns

I really like your advice to see if you can look at some of their past projects (whether actual homes or photos) to see their work. My husband and I are in need of some rewiring so we are looking for a residential electrician to help us. We will definitely be asking each residential electrician we consider for examples of their past work.

Juris Ainsworth
Guest
Juris Ainsworth

I really liked how you suggested asking the potential electrician for any ideas on how to save more money on the repairs without setting aside the quality of the work. I will be sure to take note of that because I am currently budgeting my money for other needs in the house. The only reason why I’m looking for an electrician was the idea that something unexpected happened with the wirings last night and I just can’t ignore it. It was really helpful that I came across your article. Thank you.

Deb Pearl
Guest
Deb Pearl

Thank you for all the tips on how to hire a good electrician. I really like your tip about making sure to ask everyone on my list for actual copies of their license and insurance papers before hiring. I would want to make sure that we are all safe and covered before they start working on my home.

Amanda
Guest
Amanda

I like your suggestion to ask a potential electrician for some tips to help you save money without compromising quality. My husband and I want to add on another room or two to our house so that we’ll have another bedroom. It’ll be important to have electricity, so I think that I’ll find a service that could give me some money-saving tips and implement them for me.

Gerty Gift
Guest
Gerty Gift

I liked what you said about asking for suggestions from the electrician about what you can do to save more money. I have never considered asking them what to do, but rather research it for myself. I will definitely utilize his expertise the next time we need him to come over.

Jenna Hunter
Guest
Jenna Hunter

I appreciate your advice to drive around up and coming neighborhoods where new houses are being built to see signs of electricians they are using. This seems like a good way to find a quality electrician that big companies use and trust. My husband and I just moved to a new house and need a few electrical repairs done so we will have to find a good company in our area. We will have to check out some building areas and ask a few contractors for referrals.

garypuntman
Guest
garypuntman

I like the idea of using the Home Builders Association website to find a list of electricians. You can probably find all the possibilities that way and then sift through them yourself. I agree that you should always do an investigation before hiring anyone, like you said.

Burt Silver
Guest
Burt Silver

What you said in the first point about looking around new residential construction sites showing company names and phone numbers is a genius idea. I didn’t ever think about that before and I’m in some urgent need of electrician work. This is something I know I can do right now, so finding an electrician shouldn’t be too hard and difficult. Hopefully, I can find someone that can help me with my electrical problems soon.

Ashley Maxwell
Guest
Ashley Maxwell

Thanks for mentioning how an electrician should be well recommended. I also like how you said that have lots of clients who hire them. My husband and I are looking for an electrician to get a consultation from; thanks for the post.

Lilia Robberts
Guest
Lilia Robberts

Right now, I am needing electrical services for my home. I wanting to get an outside security system installed outside. Thank you for the advice of checking if they the electrician is licensed and insured. I’ll make sure I see their papers before hiring them.

Bethany Birchridge
Guest
Bethany Birchridge

I like that you mentioned to ask for proof of an electrician’s license and insurance, as it will help you make sure you have a professional. I’ve been needing to get my home rewired, as it is over 50 years old. These tips will help me find a great electrician, so thank you for sharing.

Coquitlam Electrician
Guest
Coquitlam Electrician

Thanks for sharing the beautiful information with us all it will be very beneficial to the so many peoples and I will share this to those. In this post have some shockingly effective ways of finding and hiring a good electrician. Thanks for sharing this.

Ken Hwan
Guest
Ken Hwan

I never would’ve thought to talk to clients that have been from as far back as ten years if the electrician has been around that long! My brother is trying to find an electrician to take a look at the wiring in his unfinished basement. I will be sure to suggest to my brother that finding an electrician with positive reviews from their whole career is a good step in finding a quality electrician!

Rachel Frampton
Guest
Rachel Frampton

Thank you for these tips on hiring a good electrician. I really liked the point you made about keeping two or three backup electricians on retainer just in case something goes wrong with your first choice. I usually want to go with my first choice but I think having a backup, especially for a large project, is a great idea.

THINH NGUYEN TRUONG
Guest
THINH NGUYEN TRUONG

Your idea is very good about the online directory, you also have a lot more detailed information about the individual directory. I think it will be helpful to you.