Have you recently bought a new home? Have you discovered that the electrical system may need a little work? Here are some questions to ask before hiring a residential electrician to update your house:
Have you ever worked on a house like this before? Older homes can hold a lot of surprises for a residential electrician. There could be hidden sections of cloth-covered wiring or knob and tube wiring. If they remain undiscovered or if the electrician simply leaves them in place, they could begin to overheat and potentially cause an electrical fire. Knowing that your electrician has handled and replaced these rewiring issues before will help give you peace of mind that your project will go well.
Do you have a list of references? A good residential electrician will be able to supply you with a list of previous customers. Be sure to call several of the references to verify that they were happy with their experiences and that they would hire the same electrician again.
Are you insured? Insurance is important for a number of reasons. If the electrician causes accidental damage, filing a claim on your personal homeowners insurance could cause your monthly premiums to increase. If he or she is injured on the job and does not have insurance, they may be able to file a claim against your homeowner's insurance to cover their medical bills. By hiring an electrician who carries their own insurance, you'll be protected against these sort of claims on your insurance policy.
How will this job be handled? Will the job require tearing open one or more of your walls, or can the residential electrician simply work by pulling wire through your attic or crawlspace? If the wall does need to be opened up, knowing ahead of time will allow you to arrange for a carpenter or other handyman to re-hang drywall, paint, and otherwise repair the affected area.
Is a permit required? If so, who will get it? Whether or not a permit is required will depend on your local laws and the extent of the work required. In some cities, you may need a permit to add an additional outlet to a room, while other municipalities won't require this. If a permit is required, sometimes it is your job to get one and sometimes the residential electrician will fill out all the paperwork for you to sign. Filing the requisite paperwork as soon as possible is imperative to getting the job started and finished on time.