Are the lights flickering in your home? Or maybe you’ve experienced a string of power surges lately – regardless of the electrical issue, you shouldn’t have to deal with it on your own. When it’s time to hire a professional, the process can be overwhelming. With so many contractors available, it makes the hiring process difficult and confusing.
Not all electricians are created equal, and it’s important to find the right electrician for your needs. Here is what to look for when choosing a residential electrician.
Your search for a residential electrician should start with looking at their qualifications to ensure that they are qualified to handle the job in the first place. In Canada, the highest qualification an electrician can receive is called a Red Seal Certification. To get one of these certifications, an individual must complete a 4-year apprenticeship program with over 6,000 hours of on-the-job training, and then pass their Red Seal Interprovincial Exam. Until an electrician is officially certified as a Red Seal, they are considered ‘journeymen.’ The experience and expertise that a journeyman holds can vary vastly.
For the highest level of confidence in both your electrician and project, look to hire a Red Seal electrician; this will ensure that you’ve hired a well-qualified and experienced contractor.
Experience and Training
Whether you decide to go with a Red Seal electrician or journeyman, you must always consider their experience and training. It’s not only important to take into consideration their experience in terms of hours worked, but you also have to consider the field they have experience in. If you’re looking to hire an electrician to solve a lighting issue, hiring one that has solely worked on fireplaces may not be the best option.
Up to Date Insurance and License
Ok, we’ve got the qualifications and experience out of the way. Now what do we look for? The next question to ask is whether or not the electrician is licensed, bonded and insured. If the answer isn’t “yes” to all three, it’s time to look somewhere else.
Licensed: All electricians in British Columbia must be licensed by Technical Safety BC before they legally can work as an electrician in the province.
Bonded: A bonded electrician has paid for a guarantee of his obligations in a timely and reasonable manner – sort of like an insurance policy that the electrician will start and complete all jobs with satisfactory results. If the electrician does not adhere to this standard, the bonding company will compensate you.
Insured: Making sure the electrician has insurance and it’s not expired is important. Having an electrician be insured helps to protect you, as the homeowner, and covers damages in the event that something goes wrong on their end during the project.
This is one of the easiest steps on this list! Once you’ve got a shortlist of electricians in mind, search them up online and see what others have said about their work. While online reviews shouldn’t be the holy grail when it comes to deciding which electrician to hire, it’s a very strong selling point. Make sure to check the dates of each review and take a look at what people have written about their work. This will give you a good idea of what their work habits and job execution will look like.
There are plenty of online resources to check for reviews, if you have specific electricians in mind, some of the most popular resources include Google and Facebook Reviews, Yelp, HomeStars and Better Business Bureau (BBB) – and some electricians will even have reviews listed on their websites – like this. All you have to do is type in the name of the electrician and the word “reviews” into the search bar and you should be able to find plenty of reviews.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your social network to see if they have any recommendations for electricians. Hearing unbiased and unsolicited opinions and recommendations speaks louder than reading online reviews from strangers. They say that your reputation will precede you and you don’t want an electrician with a bad reputation.
Get an Estimate
The last step in the hiring process is to ask for an estimate. While an estimate is just that – an estimate, this will give you an indication of how much you should expect to spend. This ensures that there are no surprises at the end of the project when it comes time to pay.
As you look to hire the right residential electrician for your home project, look no further than AJ’s Electrical Service and Repair. With over 60 years of combined experience, we strive to provide professional residential electrical services at a price you can afford.
If you want to connect with one of our honest, courteous and reliable technicians, who are fully bonded and insured, contact us today!
AJ’s Electrical proudly services nine locations throughout the Lower Mainland, making sure we deliver on time and on budget every time.