Having your home's electrical wiring upgraded or repaired can be daunting. As a homeowner, I want the job done properly to ensure safety, but also quickly and affordably. By hiring independent electricians, rather than big firms, I've found it's possible to get quality work done while saving time and money.
Researching and Hiring Independent Electricians
The first step is researching electricians in your area. Look for independents with great reviews and experience. I search online directories and read reviews to find the best candidates. Keywords to search: independent electrician, electrical contractor, home electrician.
When comparing electricians, here are key factors I consider:
- Experience and qualifications - Look for licensed electricians with 5+ years of experience. They should understand local and national electrical codes.
- Specialization - Some focus on particular types of electrical work, like wiring remodels or upgrades. Make sure they have experience with jobs like yours.
- Reviews and references - Choose electricians with consistently positive reviews and vetted references from past clients.
- Response time - How quickly can they come assess your electrical needs and provide a quote? Faster is better.
- Availability - Do they have capacity to start your job quickly? Ask about their current workload.
- Pricing - Independent electricians are often 20-30% cheaper than large firms. Make sure to get multiple quotes.
I call my top choices to discuss my project and get a sense of their expertise. I go with the electrician who understands my needs and provides the best value.
Getting Your Home's Wiring Done Quickly
Once you've hired an electrician, there are things you can do to expedite the job:
Provide Complete Details Upfront
Give them a full explanation of the job upfront - areas that need wiring, types of lighting or outlets, your timeline, etc. This allows them to prepare the optimal plan to execute quickly. I provide a home layout, mark areas needing electrical work, and explain my priorities.
Set a Firm Timeline
Discuss your ideal timeline and see if they can accommodate it. Some projects may take multiple days over several weeks. Agree on a firm schedule for starting and completing the job. I make sure the electrician knows any dates when work absolutely cannot happen.
Allow Full Access
Make sure the electrician has full access to all areas needing wiring during scheduled work times. If certain hours or days are best for access, communicate this. Temporary adjustments like removing furnishings from work areas also helps speed up the job.
Inspect and Provide Feedback
Check in periodically to inspect progress and provide feedback. I politely address any concerns right away rather than waiting until the end. This allows the electrician to make any needed adjustments and avoid delays.
Following these tips, most wiring jobs can be completed in just a few days, even large projects. Clear communication and granting full access goes a long way.
Getting Quality Electrical Work Done Affordably
While you want your home's wiring fixed quickly, you also want quality work at a fair price. Here are tips for getting affordability while still prioritizing safety:
Get Multiple Estimates
Don't go with the first quote - contact 3-4 electricians to provide estimates. Give them the same job specifications to ensure apples-to-apples comparisons. I saved 30% going with the third lowest estimate.
Ask About Discounts
Independents often offer discounts for bundled services, seniors, veterans, or off-peak scheduling. Just ask! I saved 20% by scheduling during a slow period in the winter.
Negotiate on Labor Costs
While materials are fixed, labor costs can sometimes be negotiated, especially if giving the electrician a big job. Offer 10% below the estimate as a starting point. See if they will compromise, even by just 5%.
Do Basic Tasks Yourself
Where allowed by code, I do very basic tasks like installing outlets and light switches myself to save on labor fees. I hire the electrician for technically complex aspects involving actual wiring.
Pay Attention to Add-Ons
Understand what is included in the base estimate, and look out for add-ons. For my remodel, extra costs popped up for items like drywall repair that I didn't expect. Clarify any potential extras upfront.
With multiple estimates, discounts, and DIY contributions, I successfully reduced my complete rewiring project cost by 35% using these strategies.
Ensuring Your Home's Electrical Work is Done Safely
While cost and speed are important, safety is the number one priority in any electrical job. Here are top tips for guaranteeing quality and safety:
Hire a Licensed, Insured Electrician
Never attempt complex electrical work yourself. Hire a licensed professional who carries full insurance that covers potential electrical fires or injuries. I verify current credentials.
Ask About the Materials They Use
Reputable electricians use only high-quality, UL-certified electrical components that meet modern safety standards. I double check that the quote specifies brand name materials from trusted manufacturers.
Get a Detailed Plan for the Job
The electrician should provide a step-by-step plan for the work being performed and explain safety precautions. I review the plan carefully and ask questions to fully understand it before work begins.
Request Permit and Inspection
Depending on where you live, a permit and inspection from your local building department may be required when wiring a new circuit. Don't skip this step - I always request the legally mandated permit and inspection.
Check Work and Test New Wiring
As the job wraps up, I carefully check that all new wires are securely installed and enclosed. I test lighting switches and outlets to make sure the new wiring is functioning properly.
By hiring experienced, licensed electricians and staying involved through careful planning, verification and inspection at each stage, I ensure my home's electrical system is upgraded properly and safely.
With proper research and planning, hiring independent electricians allows you to get your home rewired or upgraded in a quick, affordable, and completely safe manner. Being an informed and engaged consumer makes all the difference - vet electricians thoroughly, communicate expectations clearly, and prioritize safety at each step. Following the strategies outlined above will lead to success with your next home electrical project using independent contractors.