Questions To Ask When Choosing An Electrician
Unbelievable as it may seem, a quarter of UK adults do not use registered electricians, and a third of people have hired an electrician based on recommendation, without scrutinising their credentials. However, how can you determine in your search for a local electrician whether they are legitimate, and above all safe? It can ultimately be difficult to tell, especially without the right questions. The importance of these questions can not be understated as they can be the key to ensuring that your home is completely safe for you and your family. We have compiled a set of key questions that should be asked before your electrical installation has begun and will help you find an electrician you can trust.
Are you a registered member of one of the Government approved schemes?
Registered electricians ensure that you get additional protections in the case that something goes wrong. By checking this, you will be safe in the knowledge that they are regulated by the UK government, they work to the BS7671 safety standard, their work is regularly assessed, and they’re insured so you are protected. Additionally, it’s a legal requirement for certain types of electrical work. You can contact the scheme directly if you want to check the individual’s registration.
Can I please see your paperwork?
While some may find it embarrassing to ask to see their paperwork, any licensed electrician will be happy to prove their professional competency and qualifications prior to starting any job. In most occasions, any reluctance to prove this is a major warning sign. In the UK, an electrician must pass a trade test known as the AM2 in order to become fully qualified. In addition, many contractors will then apply for as Electrotechnical Certification Scheme as a means to evidence their competence and allow them to carry out specific electrical jobs. Hence, asking to see their paperwork is a perfectly reasonable request.
What services can you offer?
Attempting to source different contractors for various types of electrical work can become tedious, time consuming and above all has the potential to become more expensive. Finding a company that can offer a large range of services, such as ourselves, not only is convenient for you, but also indicative that they have an incredible sense of experience and knowledge within the field of electrical installation.
Who else will be working in my home?
When you employ a builder for example to do some work in your home, they will often need to contract an electrician for certain aspects of the job. Yet, do you know if the person they have chosen is suitable for the job? It is easy to assume that a tradesman, one that faces the same government regulations, would check qualifications and licensing. However, don’t leave this to chance. It is always appropriate to ask for proof of competency yourself.
What is the cost and expected timeframe for the work?
Large electrical jobs can sometimes be disruptive to your everyday life and become expensive. Your electrician should therefore be someone you can trust who is completely upfront about exactly what work needs to be done, how long it should take and whether the cost will be overall, or an hourly rate. As with any job, it may not always go to plan and complications may arise throughout the job. However, it is the electrician’s responsibility to communicate any problems with you as soon as they appear. It is important to note that electricians work at different paces, so electrical testing with us in Great Yarmouth may differ to that of another local electrician. However, this is highly dependent on the work in question, and however you choose your electrician is it fundamentally based on results.
Do you have any references from previous customers?
Following on from choice being based on results, don’t be afraid to ask to see other examples of work they have completed in order to gauge the level of their services. Especially if you are feeling uncertain about an individual, ask them to provide references of previous happy customers. You should ask these referees to explain the work they had done and how satisfied they were with the job. If possible, it would be ideal if you are able to contact these referees directly. While this is not always possible, it is more informative and trustworthy to hear these opinions directly, rather than through someone else.
Do you provide a warranty?
It is highly unlikely that you will need a warranty if you have chosen a competent and professional local electrician. However, it is useful to see if this is a service that is available and will give you peace of mind in the case if any unexpected issues arise that result in another call out.
I’d like to get a second opinion – can I get back to you please?
There is no pressure to decide quickly. Fundamentally, you must feel comfortable with the professional you are going to hire. If for any reason this is not the case, then seek advice before you contract them to do work for you. It is never a bad idea to get multiple quotes and compare options. The cheapest quote may not always be the best option and anything that seems to good to be true usually is! Remember, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Trading Standards will be able to give advice if you want to dispute any electrical work.