How to Choose the Best Electrical Contractor in Your Area
There is no shame in calling in an electrician for even the smallest electrical job. Even experienced DIY-ers sometimes call on the services of an electrician when there are electrical jobs to be done. Electrical wiring is one area in which it truly is better to be safe than sorry. So how do you go about finding the right electrician or electrical contractor?
When having any sort of work done around our home, we always want to make sure we get quality work done at the right price. Choosing a tradesman can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for.
License and Insurance
The most important factor to consider when choosing an electrician is whether they are licensed. A license is your guarantee that the contractor has done the necessary courses and practical work to perform the job safely and correctly. Always ask to see their license, make sure that it is current and do an online check if possible. Make sure that the license held covers the type of work you need done. Some electrical licenses may carry restrictions. It is also important to make sure the electrician carries all the necessary insurances. Ask to see copies of current policies and make sure they have not expired.
Value for money
It is a good idea to get at least 3 quotes, in fact the more the better. Always make sure you communicate exactly what work you require and the exact fittings and materials you would like to use. Make sure the electrician gives you a quote with a breakdown of prices as this will make it easier to compare one quote to another. Choosing an electrical contractor on price alone is unwise as there are other important things to consider.
Qualifications and experience
Not all electricians are the same, many will have extra qualifications or experience in different areas of electrical work, and some may even have accreditation. Choosing a Master Electrician gives a guarantee that the electrician has at least 3 years experience and must offer a 12 month warranty on workmanship. Using a Master Electrician will ensure you receive the highest standard of workmanship and electrical safety. With the skyrocketing cost of electricity, energy efficiency is likely to be of interest. There are several organizations offering accreditation in the field of energy efficiency. An electrician holding this type of accreditation should have an extensive knowledge of energy saving products and technology.
A recommendation from someone whose opinion you trust can be invaluable when choosing any type of tradesman or service. Knowing that they have had a positive experience with an electrician, and been happy with the level of service and workmanship is a good endorsement. If you cannot get a recommendation then ask the electrician if they have any references. If possible, call and speak to the referee to make sure that they are legitimate.
Attitude and communication
Nobody enjoys dealing with a tradesman who displays a bad attitude or sloppy workmanship. Take note if they arrive for the quote on time or, if they are held up, did they ring ahead and advise that they would be delayed? Do they communicate with you? You need to be confident that you understand each other so that there are no miscommunications during the project. A professional appearance and attitude is usually reflected in the quality of the workmanship provided.
Who would have thought getting a tree removed could be such a headache! I hear this time and time again from homeowners all across the country, who are trying to get their trees lopped or removed by a professional at a reasonable price. So what’s so hard? Most go straight for the local paper, find a couple of tree contractors promoting their service and away they go. That'll be fine, Right? Well not so fast.You see, there are tree loppers and there are arborists. The difference is massive and could potentially save you thousands in property damage and or personal injury.... Let me explain. The Industry The tree lopping industry is one of Australia's top 10 most dangerous industry (it actually comes in at #5 just after construction), but if you look at it from deaths per 1000 workers, it's actually the most deadly industry in Australia. The scary part is, you don't need a licence to operate as an arborist! It's a completely unregulated industry. If you were to hire an electrician or a plumber to do some handy work at your house, they would need to be licensed to do so. They would need to have been through the proper training and license numbers are issued to qualified individuals who have completed the training. The industry is also monitored closely as to not allow 'shonky' tradesmen operate. Being such a niche market, the money you can earn pruning or removing dangerous suburban trees is comparable to what a doctor or lawyer might earn… They don’t call them tree doctors for nothing! But seriously, for a large tree to be removed you are looking at $2000 - $4000 depending on the size and location of the tree. With the right equipment, a good crew can be finished with 1 large job by 11 AM and onto the next after lunch. This results in a large number of what the industry professionals call "cowboys" who don't know what they are doing and take unnecessary risks through ignorance, lack of experience or just plain stupidity. This results in a high number of personal injury and property damage cases being reported on a weekly basis. And if you hired one of these unqualified cowboys and damage was done to your property... you'd be left to clean up the mess and pay for potentially tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. How to avoid 'shonky' contractors? You make sure that every Tree Lopper that quotes your job has these 3 things: 1. A certificate II (minimum) in Arboriculture 2. 5 million in public liability insurance3. 5 years experience (minimum) As the community is waking up to the dangers to hiring an unqualified arborist, more and more homeowners are beginning to ask for the above as a minimum requirement during the quoting process. And the true arborists are happy to comply. In fact must are starting to hand over proof of qualification and insurance with every quote they do. What else to look for Now that you have ascertained that your arborist is actually an arborist and is capable of doing the work, there are a few more little things you can look for to be sure he or she is a great arborist. Informative assessment - Arborists love sharing their knowledge, so when you present your tree they should be able to tell you what species it is (both common name and Latin name) and also some details about why it's sick or how they are going to trim/ remove and why etc. Communication - There is nothing more frustrating when you are trying to contact a contractor and they won’t answer their phone. Or when they do and you make arrangements to meet, they are late or worse yet, they don't turn up at all. If you’re not worth their time or their courtesy, then more on. Now with the power of the knowledge above you are in a great position to select a fantastic tree contractor for your job with minimum risk of property damage and maximum chances it will be a good experience.